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Carowinds Discussion Thread

P. 403 - Park opening for a limited Holiday Event!

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^^There are better ways to deal with this, though. The CF parks I've been to just use hand-held wands on specific days (most often during haunt). Usually they have plenty of security there, and it doesn't slow stuff down much or make the entrance area look ugly.

 

On the contrary, most parks I've been to that have permanent ones installed slow things down a lot. Magic Mountain, for example, often seems like they don't open enough of them up, and you end up waiting in a line every time.

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The medal detectors are just giving you a perception of safety. They don't actually make things safer. When's the last time you heard of a weapon being confiscated at an amusement park? If someone wanted to pull a Columbine and shoot everyone, it would be just as easy to do before you pass through medal detectors.

 

This is similar to people on Facebook saying they wish Fury had OSTR's because it would be safer.

They do not just provide a perception of safety. That statement would only make sense if they were turned off and being used as a prop of sorts. Anyways I am not saying they are necessary I am mostly just noting that the park went from having high safety standards upon entry to having almost none. The real point of my post was that I simply found the old entrance to be much nicer looking. I do love the bridge with Fury passing over and under it though.

 

Edit: I've physically seen knives confiscated at park entrances before and maybe you haven't, but it isn't like there is a news report every time someone has a weapon confiscated.

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Fury 325 - This ride is my favorite B&M. I got to ride 3 times, once in the back, once in the middle, and once in the second row. I wanted a front row ride but the rows were assigned. The drop in the back seat is amazing. You get a nice forceful pop, and then float for a good 3-4 seconds. My 3rd favorite drop behind El Toro, and Sky Rush, but ahead of i305. The pull out is forceful and made me grey out once. The opening twisty bits are really fun giving a good but controlled sensation of speed while still throwing you around a little bit. The turn around and 91 degree dive into the tunnel was a really fun element with strong sideways floater. The return turn was more fun than I expected, and the following airtime hill provided really strong floater. The trim was variable, one ride it didn't engage, and one ride it engaged pretty strongly. The airtime was good on all rides. The helix wasn't very forceful, but the headchopper was a good effect. The last two airtime hills brought some nice air.

 

I really hate that. Don't tell me where to sit. I sit where I want to damnit. If I want to sit in the back then I'll wait at the back row gate. God, I really hate that LOL.

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It is possible they were only doing that because it was the opening weekend, and they were more concerned about getting people through the turn styles in an orderly fashion than allowing for people to decide... I'm sure it will change over the next few weeks

 

I went in 2011 and 2012 and during the week when they had 5 minute waits for everything but Nighthawk, and they were assising seats on Intimitador all four days.

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Okay, this has kind of been nagging at me for a while now...For anyone who went to Media day and rode Fury 325, did you see any fatty walks of shame? Were there guys who were big in the 240-50lb range riding? I'm working on some weight loss right now so I'm defnitley smaller than when I went to Busch Gardens last year...Apollo's Chariot was a bit of a tight fit, but I got in.

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Very awesome pics! Thanks for the update and pics. what kind of camera did you use?

 

Thanks - and thanks to Robb for tweeting out the link.

 

I am using a Canon EOS Rebel SL1 crop sensor DSLR. The wide angle shots were from the Canon 10-18 f4.55-5.6 IS - A nice cheap wide angle lens made for crop sensors. For the rest of the shots I used the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II - I finally rented this beast to try it out - and wow did it ever live up to the hype...

 

All this pics are the direct jpegs from the camera - I keep meaning to learn LightRoom to make things really pop but haven't really yet - this one I tried to crop and add some color enhancement to the picture...

IMG_9327.thumb.jpg.6b839f015257fd4ba07e7f39b2c9378b.jpg

Love the front row of First Rider shirts!

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Okay, this has kind of been nagging at me for a while now...For anyone who went to Media day and rode Fury 325, did you see any fatty walks of shame? Were there guys who were big in the 240-50lb range riding? I'm working on some weight loss right now so I'm defnitley smaller than when I went to Busch Gardens last year...Apollo's Chariot was a bit of a tight fit, but I got in.

 

The restraints are the same but Carowinds seems to require one more "click" on Intimidator than Busch does on Apollo. This was an informal survey, of course.

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Okay, this has kind of been nagging at me for a while now...For anyone who went to Media day and rode Fury 325, did you see any fatty walks of shame? Were there guys who were big in the 240-50lb range riding? I'm working on some weight loss right now so I'm defnitley smaller than when I went to Busch Gardens last year...Apollo's Chariot was a bit of a tight fit, but I got in.

 

The restraints are the same but Carowinds seems to require one more "click" on Intimidator than Busch does on Apollo. This was an informal survey, of course.

 

In my experience, with Apollo's Chariot, if you can get it to click once, you're golden. I was able to get it to click twice even thought it was a pretty tight fit.

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Just got back from our Orlando/Carowinds hybrid trip… Had a great time at the park (first timer!). The media event was excellent, although on the short side. I wish we had a little more time, especially given what happened yesterday when I stopped back at the park, which I will get to in a second.

 

I got eleven rides total on Fury with 4x on media day and another 7x throughout the weekend… This included 2x front seat, 2x backseat and the rest scattered throughout the train. My favorite seat ended up being front left side. As I said before, I believe Fury takes the #1 spot for hyper/giga but I don’t think it would be in my top 5… perhaps in the top 10 somewhere.

 

About the other rides in the park… Afterburn was a coaster I have been wanting to ride for well over 10 years or so. Thankfully, it didn’t disappoint one bit! It was the highlight of the trip and the best ride in the park, easily.

 

Intimidator was OK. I was actually fairly disappointed to be honest. Kind of slow, clunky… Still hate those long “V” trains, the classic B&M speed trains are far better for overall ride experience. It was also heavily trimmed, which for the cold days we had was surprising. I wonder how hard those things kick on when it’s a warm summer night?

 

Vortex was more fun than expected… Good little standup.

 

Never made it on Nighthawk, even on the day we had FL+… Which I was a little bummed out about, I really wanted to try out the ‘classic’. Ran one train with the most atrocious loading… Literally, the interval had to be 15minutes. I bet our wait would have been 30-45mins. I would have waited, but we were on a short schedule. Thankfully we decided to leave the line to do other stuff, as I think two trains later it stopped on the lift and those people were eventually evacuated and the ride was down the rest of day. Not a huge bummer as I have been on X-Flight and such, but those corkscrews look fun.

 

Georgia Cyclone was a pretty crazy arrow looper… A bit more aggressive than expected with those fast turns and the helix. Not a bad ride in all honesty.

 

Carolina Goldrusher was one of the more lame mine-trains I have been on… Not much excitement going on there.

 

Hurler was a bit on the rougher side and Thunder Road was fun except for the crazy weird rough airtime on the last few hills. First half was great though! Ricochet was your basic mouse, although it was very lightly trimmed which made it good for what it is. Didn’t ride the boomerang (no desire) or kiddy coasters.

 

 

Now to get back to my story I mentioned right in the beginning… On media day I planned to take a lot of pictures of the ride, naturally. Once the opening ceremony was done I placed my gear into the lockers, rode twice and went right to lunch. Once that was done, came back for two more rides and the event was already over with. I think in total just under three hours, which was fairly short (I thought). That along with the grey, gloomy skies I decided to stop back with the camera on the weekend and get all the pictures I wanted to get of Fury/Intimidator from the parking lot. On Saturday I got all the pictures I wanted from within the park, so all that was left was the two iconic rides

 

So anyway… We stopped at the park yesterday on the way back to Raleigh to get my lot pictures of Fury. Beautiful blue skies, lighting, etc… Within about 15mins a Carowinds officer stopped by and asked what I was doing (I was not in a restricted zone or anything weird like that). I politely told him I was just getting pictures of the ride and all that. He wanted to know why I was talking the pictures, so I explained I do amusement park photography and just stopped back because I didn’t get all the shots I wanted from media day. He took more of my information and eventually said due to homeland security concerns, you are prohibited from taking ANY photos from the parking lot of their ride structures. That took me back a little bit, but I simply put the camera away and headed back to the car. The officer was really polite and such, but it baffled me a bit. I thought perhaps because it was close to the airport or something, but I go to the Cleveland Airport often to take pictures of planes coming in all the time and never get hassled. Oh well. I didn’t want to be a dick or anything, but I almost wanted to ask him if they were going to tell everyone with a phone taking pictures of Fury to not take pictures… Small or big camera, it’s still a camera. I asked him if I walked over into the main gate area and took pictures if that made any difference but I was told I couldn’t. I guess the only way you can take pictures of Fury, “legally”, is from inside the park.

 

Anyway… So I didn’t get nearly the amount of pictures I wanted of Fury (and almost none of Intimidator because I never made it to that side of the lot). Was a bit bummed. I personally think it is an idiotic rule, per my phone reasoning above… But aside from that we had a great time at the park!

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I don't mean to be overly negative because I like the idea of what they did to the entrance, but holy cow they butchered that area bigtime. To me looks very stereotypical Cedar Fair "pave it and put a coaster over a grass field." Walking up to the park and seeing large open space with lots of concrete, little landscaping, and the blue sign with white letters with the generic Cedar Fair Carowinds logo. Even the stone work in the lamp posts are gray and just blend in with the concrete. The ticket windows just look....meh. It's like they said "well this looks fine at Cedar Point so maybe itll look decent at Carowinds." I do like that the metal detectors and turnstyles are gone though, thats always nice.

 

I just hope it isn't finished and there is major landscaping work coming.

 

Landscaping isn't nearly done. The trellis are still awaiting the arbor vines that have been planted near each support, so once the vines grow that we the shaded area for seating. Trees are also to be planeted later in the green. Although I'm sure that area will turn into a pinic area for families who typically bring there food to the park and just spread sheet on the grass for lunch.

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Being at the park all of opening weekend I had a chance to ride Fury 325 19 times in a variety of seats so I could garner a better idea of the coaster and my thoughts.

 

The first drop is stunning, long and takes your breath away (especially in the front). The first turn was great and offered decent forces but not as tight or forceful as the first turn of Leviathan as a comparison. The next 2 banked turns offered up an airtime sensation that I did not expect at all and greatly welcomed. If you are riding in the back row you may notice it a little more but I personally compare the transitions to something like Maverick or i305. They are very quick and because of the style of restraints give you this awesome pop of air.

 

Once you hit the turn around and the 91 degree banked turn into the drop you experience another pop of air (floater or not its still awesome) into the tunnel which is such an amazing sensation. Back left seat gives you the best feeling of this airtime for sure. Seeing the faces of everyone looking through the glass is an awesome touch as well. The next turn comes fast and then, for me is the only "weak" part of the ride. There's this odd straightaway that leads into the trimmed hill that just seems off from the rest of the pace of the ride. It's nothing major but feel like I should mention it as part of my review. As for the trim hill, there are moments you can feel them on and moments you can't. Does it affect the ride? Not even slightly! If a little bit of pull is all we have to put up with to not have a mid course brake, it'll take it!

 

The helix is up next and is taken at a decent pace, though in most the videos it doesn't seem like it, and offers once hell of a head chopper. Every time we went by it, rides would lower their hands or in some extreme cases duck. Probably my favorite head chopper on any ride I've been on. The last two pops of airtime almost come as a surprise because you feel as if the ride is over and then you hit them.

 

From start to finish Fury 325 is a winner. I don't know where I would rank it on my list nor do I really care. The ride is fun, fast, full of airtime and just awesome. Conngrats to Carowinds, B&M and everyone involved with the making of this awesome coaster.

 

*Please keep in mind, this was my personal review of the ride and everyone is entitled to their own thoughts.

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Okay, I promised a full trip report so here goes. I'll try to keep it as brief as possible but that never works out the way I think it will.

 

I didn't plan on going down for opening weekend but the more I watched them build this thing the more I knew we couldn't resist. My girlfriend is originally from the Charlotte area so we decided to make a weekend out of it and leave from work Friday (in NY), drive until about 2AM... get a good nights sleep and then finish driving the next morning which worked out great as we got there right at opening.

 

I was going to go in order of what we rode but I decided to just go ride, by ride. When the park opened "select" rides were closed due to low temperatures (select is apparently Southern for "good") so this included Nighthawk, Afterburn, Intimidator, Fury325 and some others so we rode the other coasters and then when Fury started testing we got our Fastlane Plus passes and headed over.

 

Ricochet:

We rode this first as Fury wasn't open when the park opened and it wasn't on Fastlane. Fun little ride with minimal braking.

 

Hurler:

I actually liked this ride. It was actually running pretty smooth and it was a fun "hands up" sort of coaster. Nothing amazing but it was fun.

 

Carolina Cyclone:

Fun ride, we got stuck on the lift for about 20 minutes but besides that I have no complaints.

 

Carolina Golrusher:

Fun little mine train

 

Thunder Road:

This was a very enjoyable coaster, obviously it reminded me a lot of Racer and Rebel Yell.

 

Vortex:

I hate stand up-coasters... even the ones that get decent reviews (like Riddler) are terrible as far as I'm concerned. I've ridden Mantis, Shockwave at KD, Apocalypse, Green Lantern, Riddler and others that I've probably tried my best to forget and I've hated all of them... one more than the next. They're uncomfortable and the gimmick isn't enjoyable in any way shape for form, so imagine my surprise when I actually really enjoyed Vortex. The ride was relatively smooth, it didn't have any fast uncomfortable turns and I actually rode it more than once and caught myself laughing the whole way through. My girlfriend hates stand ups too and had exactly the same reaction. Vortex actually gets a big thumbs up from me.

 

Nighthawk:

I love Vekoma flyers. This one rides really well, looks great in the park and even has cool little things like a covered brake runs with fans to keep riders cool. The over-water sections really took this ride to the next level. We only rode it once because my GF hates these but I loved it. Another thumbs up from me.

 

Intimidator:

I was worried that Fury would make this ride seem redundant but it really does provide a totally different ride experience with it's large hills and swooping turns. The ride isn't going to many make any top 10 lists but it has some great floater air and is a nice, fun, smooth, put your hands up and have a great time kind of coaster. I love the first turn... I'm a sucker for those slow, swooping B&M hyper turns (like Nitro's turn into the helix). I wish you could pick your seat but if you ask for a certain seat they usually let you have it.

 

Afterburn:

Reading the reports from opening weekend I've noticed 2 things...

 

1) Everyone seems to like Fury but people do have differing opinions on it. Some people enjoy it but think it's very similar to the other B&M hypers and isn't anything amazing and others think it's a top tier ride. After riding it I'm surprised that people's opinions differ so much but to each their own.

 

2) I found something that enthusiasts actually agree on and that's amazing but deserved. Every trip report from opening weekend or preview night seems to go out of it's way to sing Afterburn's praises. Good, because this ride deserves it.

 

Afterburn is a flat out amazing coaster, and anyone that finds Fury lacking in forces only needs to walk about 10 minutes to find a coaster that has everything they're looking for. The ride is great in every seat, the drop is forceful in the front but in the back it rips you down the hill with incredible ferocity. Then it goes into a unique series of inversions that get progressively more and more forceful as they go on. The pretzel, zero G roll and flat spin are some of the best inversions on any coaster anywhere and even though it violently rips through them it manages to be butter smooth while doing it. This ride is a gem... plain and simple. Wow!

 

Fury 325

Going in I was expecting to love this ride. I figured it would be fast and fun but forceless and would probably be the second best coaster in the park after Afterburn. I knew B&M was slowly improving as I liked Banshee a lot and considered it a really good ride and while not an elite invert like Montu, Raptor or Afterburn it did have some forceful moments and a great layout.

 

Fury isn't Banshee though... it doesn't really scream "B&M is slowly improving" it screams "B&M is back, and taking it to a level nobody ever thought they would". This ride is now my favorite B&M, amazingly coming in just ahead of Kumba. The ride is absolutely packed with airtime which falls somewhere between floater and ejector. You're out of your seat all the way down the drop, there's an almost I305 like twist (I said ALMOST... relax) that offers great air, awesome sideways airtime (I didn't know that was a thing) before the dive under the bridge and then a return run of great B&M style floater air. The bridge and the support beam in the helix offer great headchopper / armchopper experiences too which just makes it even more fun.

 

Fury 325 has everything... it starts out with an awesome first drop full of airtime, then it goes into an insane, balls out series of low to the ground twists and turns that can only be described as relentless and reminded me a lot of I305 (though the transitions aren't quite THAT quick... but they're very reminiscent). The far turnaround is great and gives awesome sideways floater air and then the ride ends with a B&M style return run full of great, elongated floater air.

 

It's like the ride borrowed some of the best elements from some of the best coasters out there and combined them into one awesome attraction. The speed is breathtaking, the ride is awesome and I can't for the life of my figure out what more anyone could ever want in a coaster. Fury 325 isn't just a home run, it's one of the best coasters in the world and it's made Carowinds a major destination.

 

I can't think of a single bad thing to say about this ride and out of about 250 coasters it now sits at #5 (I don't rank coasters on the spot but I had a long, 12 hour drive yesterday to think about this, lol). The only coasters I prefer are #4 - Maverick, #3 - Phoenix, #2 - El Toro and #1 - Millennium Force but I actually feel like Fury is a more well rounded ride than all of those. I'm just a sucker for Maverick's relentless transitions, the great return run of Phoenix, El Toro's ejector air and Millennium's location and awesome speed.

 

Fury is easily one of the best rides I've ever ridden and it's taken this park to the next level. Carowinds has an amazing 1-2 punch with Afterburn and Fury and with Intimidator, Nighthawk, a bunch of other solid coasters, a lot of fun flats like Windseeker and Southern Star and a quickly improving waterpark this park is really setting itself up to be one of the best in the country.

 

======================================

 

Oh, and I should note that while the original plan was to spend all day at the park Saturday and then spend time visiting the future in-laws all day Sunday and drive home yesterday that plan changed a little as yesterday morning we both woke up with a terrible case of Fury Fever and decided to visit the park again for a few hours before our 12 hour drive home so I'm absolutely exhausted as I type this but it was well worth it. It rained yesterday morning so the crowds were light and we managed to ride Intimidator, Afterburn (twice), Vortex and Fury all within the 2 hours we were there which was a great way to end a great weekend.

 

We WILL be back. Congrats to Carowinds on this world class ride.

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Thanks for that report, Bill. I really enjoyed reading that, it honestly made me want to go to this park more so than any other Fury report Ive read so far. Sounds like you guys had a great time.

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Assigned seating can be annoying... but when I've asked nicely if a certain seat was possible, it's usually granted.

 

What's really annoying is if you catch a Six Flags ride with assigned seating (especially Goliath at Great America). Someone else can fill in the details, but it's safe to say that it drastically slows down the operation (and thus the queue).

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I, too, have caught Fury Fever. I do have a few questions about a possible road trip this summer.

> How doable are Carowinds and Kings Dominion both within two days as far as having enough time to ride everything?

> Is there a good city that is roughly halfway between Charlotte and Richmond that I can book one hotel for two nights? Or should I just book two separate hotels by the park?

> Any hotel recommendations?

 

Thanks!

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You can probably find acceptable lodgings in the Durham/Chapel Hill, NC area. There are quite a few hotels along I-85 between Greensboro and Durham (not as much after that). Henderson, NC (which is closer to the Virginia border) might have some decent hotels.

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The parks are 5 hours apart... there's no reason to make your life so difficult.

 

Get a hotel at each park, or better yet go to your first park, then drive half way to the next park and stop knowing in the morning you'll easily be able to make it by opening.

 

If it were me I'd drive to Kings Dominion, get a hotel (I recommend the Best Western as it's literally in the Kings Dominion parking lot), then when you leave get in the car and drive until you feel like stopping. Don't book a room... if you're tired from walking around all day and only want to drive an hour or 2 fine... if not drive as far as you want and then get a room. In the morning finish the drive and go to Carowinds. If you want to hit the parks in reverse order then feel free to reverse this.

 

Both parks are doable in one day, especially with Fastlane plus. You don't NEED Fastlane Plus but I'd suggest it so you get more rides in. Without it the lines for Volcano and Flight of Fear at KD and Nighthawk at Carowinds will be brutal. I'd keep an eye on the crowds at both parks and buy it if you feel like you need it. At least at KD you'll never buy it and feel like you got ripped off though because Volcano, Flight of Fear and the Flyers always have lines even on slow days.

 

Thanks for that report, Bill. I really enjoyed reading that, it honestly made me want to go to this park more so than any other Fury report Ive read so far. Sounds like you guys had a great time.

 

Thanks!

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^ and ^^ Thanks! I'm leaning towards the the two separate hotels. I am very intrigued that Kumba was surpassed in your review as that's my favorite B&M too. Since I'll be within driving distance to another giga I haven't ridden yet, I figured I should hit Kings Dominion on the same trip. I'm also thinking about stopping at Dollywood since its actually on the way, although it would require an extra day on the trip. I'm aiming for a late June or early July timeframe.

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