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Carowinds Photo Trip Report June 16-17, 2007

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Scott (coasterfreak80) and Rob (coasterbear30) decided to head to North Carolina on June 15th and hit the newly-purchased Carowinds while visiting some friends. It had been over 10 years since either one of us had visited this park (while under Paramount's management) even though the park was only a three-hour drive from Atlanta.

This trip marked Scott's 75th credit and Rob's 50th, so this was a very special occasion for both of us. We decided that we wanted Top Gun to be our landmark coaster credit, as we anticipated it to be the best coaster in the park.

Since the park offered a second day for only $5 more, we decided to jump on the offer and go both Saturday and Sunday, the 16th and 17th. Even though we hit every coaster at least once on Saturday, it was nice to come back on Sunday to a nearly-dead park and ride everything again multiple times.

Starting on Saturday, our first ride of the day was the Fairly Odd Coaster, a mini-wooden coaster. We then headed over to Rugrat's Runaway Reptar, a kiddie Vekoma head-banger. After picking up those credits, we headed to Top Gun for our milestone credits. Top Gun proved to be one of the best B&M inverted coasters in the Southeast, we thought; although it definitely fell short of Montu, our #1 ranked inverted coaster.

We headed over to the newly-reopened Southern Star looping ship. The ride ops on this attraction were, by far, the slowest in the park and they forced you to sit where they directed you to sit. LAME!

Next was the backwards side of Thunder Road followed immediately by the forward side. Although they do not race the trains anymore, the ride was still a great classic.

COMPLAINT TIME: We are at a loss as to why these parks are refusing to run their dueling wooden coasters anymore. Prime example: our last trip to Busch Gardens Africa where the ride ops refused to run Lion with Tiger. Isn't that the whole point of the ride?!?! It's a dueling-wooden coaster, guys!

After Thunder Road, we headed to our first Vekoma flying coaster which proved to be our last. Borg was the roughest steel coaster EVER! We left the station afterwards with crinked necks and beaten backs. The restraint system was quite unusual compared to the restraint system we are used to on B&M flyers. We decided that, only for a credit would we be caught dead on one of these Vekoma death-flyers again!

We changed into bathing suits and headed over to the appropriately-named Super Saturator. This ride was great! You even get soaked standing in line, before even getting on the ride itself. This ride was awesome and the first of its kind we've been on.

After changing back into dry clothes, we headed to the opposite side of the park, heading back around to the entrance. Along the way, we hit Vortex, Carolina Goldrusher, Ricochet, Carolina Cyclone and the Hurler. Ricochet was a new credit for both of us and a great little wild mouse. Carolina Cyclone is one of Scott's favorite Arrow rides. We ended up riding this one about five times (four of them without having to leave the train). Hurler was painful, but provided plenty of airtime for Rob (unfortunately Scott's restraint locked down tight both times we rode this and was a nut-cracker!) Gold Rusher was a great little mine train coaster and made good use of the terrain, with lots of helixes and tunnels. Vortex was painful...period. One of the roughest B&M coasters in existence.

Along the way, we hit some great flat rides including our first magic carpet/falling star ride, Rocket Power Airtime. We also did our first flyers ride which they allowed "snapping" on. Rob got the hang of it quickly and got lots of high swings.

Due to strictly-enforced park rules, we missed one credit on Hey Arnold's Taxi Chase. We tried again on Sunday to get the credit. After being allowed to walk through the line, sit down and buckle our seat belts, the ride attendant shook her head and told us we couldn't ride without a child. Darn it!

Sunday we returned on a blistering hot day to find the park nearly empty. We rode all the good coasters again, some of them multiple times in a row before heading back home to Atlanta. (See photos below).


Carowinds Entrance:

See you next time!


Rocket Power Airtime


Phantom Flyers


Phantom Flyers Entrance


Donkey: this park is definitely TPR approved!


Hey Arnold's Taxi Chase

Hey Arnold; you SUCK!

Missed credit.




Carolina Cyclone's loops


Carolina Cyclone's lift


Carolina Cyclone


Carolina Goldrusher




Ricochet Entrance


Vortex Loop


Vortex Entrance


Super Saturator


Super Saturator's Entrance


BORG Assimilator

Can you say "PURE DEATH"?


Thunder Road's layout


Thunder Road's lift through the trees


Thunder Road's lift


Thunder Road


Southern Star


Top Gun and Southern Star


Scott's 75th Credit!


Rob's 50th Credit!


Top Gun


Rugrat's Runaway Reptar


Fairly Odd Coaster...AKA FOC!


...or Cedar Fair? Looks like they were able to make the appropriate changes to their garbage cans! We saw plenty of contradictory Paramount icons all over the park.


Is this still a Paramount park...

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If you were already on the coaster, I think they should have allowed you to ride but I guess the op didn't want to take a chance on getting in trouble. I never understood those maximum height limits unless you are riding with a kid. The ride is obviously safe for someone over the height limit to ride or they wouldn't let anyone over that height alone at all and I would think most people over the height limit wouldn't be interested in the coaster anyway so it wouldn't have an impact on lines.

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Hey guys, thanks for checking out the report. The lines on Saturday were not horrible. I think the longest line was an hour wait and that was for BORG-the death machine. Everything else was about 30 minutes which wasn't too bad (Remember I am from Atlanta and I am used to waiting hours for rides at SFOG on a Saturday.) Sunday was Fathers day though and it was pretty dead overall. I don't think we waited more than 10 minutes for anything that day. We even rode Top Gun four times without getting off.


The rocket power ride was a magic carpet and a lot of fun I might add.


Yeah, that whole thing about Hey Arnold's Taxi Ride really pissed me off. They let us get on and everything without even mentioning that we needed a kid, then they kicked us off. We even told them we were enthusiasts and needed it for a credit, but they didn't care. It doesn't make any sense, because obviously adults can ride it. I don't see why you need a kid. Guess I am going to have to grow some kids.

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If you were already on the coaster, I think they should have allowed you to ride but I guess the op didn't want to take a chance on getting in trouble. quote]


The strange thing is that, Saturday morning, we tried to ride but the ride hadn't opened yet. The ride op told us to come back later when the ride opened. She clearly saw that we were two adults without children. Made us think that we'd actually be able to ride it. Tease!

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