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Carowinds Discussion Thread

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

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Last Thursday a buddy of mine and I made the 10 and a half hour trek from St. Louis to Charlotte, starting at 4:30am, for a day and a half trip to Carowinds. We got to the park around 4pm, just as a lightning storm started to roll in, closing all rides. We were able to take a quick counter-clockwise walk around the park before the rain set in. Just as we approached Harmony Hall, it started to come down, placing us within the grasp of two ice cold Yuenglings. Fate? Who gives a Sh*t! Time to have a beer! We drank our refreshments on the patio and waited less than an hour for rides to start testing. At the advice of everyone else, we hoped on Intimidator before Fury. Not only was it better than I remembered from my trip a few years ago, but it really didn't seem as bland as everyone said.

 

After that, we walked toward Fury. I have to admit, 300+ feet looks a lot less tall than it did the first time I gazed at Millennium Force, eight years ago. I was excited, but I was trying not to let myself down. Yes, it looked awesome walking in and it really screamed over the walkways, but was it going to be another I305 let down experience for me? Was it going to be too much, or two little? I was prepared for the likely possibility of either. The park was empty, so we pretty much walked right up the station, as we pretty much did throughout our trip. The ride ops were kicking A$$, so within a minute or so, we were climbing up the lift hill somewhere in the middle of the train.

 

Mother of God... This thing is... perfect, or about as perfect for me as anything else I've ridden at this point. The first drop is endless. After that, the ride has its way with you with its quick transitions and mixtures of positive and negative g-forces. The ride lets up after the trim, but the airtime hill is still incredible and the helix is taken at a great pace with a nice head chopper near the end. The last few bunny hills also provide great air. When we crashed into the break run I was almost speechless. I don't really play the top 10 lists/top favorites game, but I think if I had the choice to ride any coaster at this moment, it would be Fury 325. I parallel with almost everything Bill said a few posts ago. We'll have to see how this thing stacks up against Millennium Force on Friday, since it's been so long since my last ride.

 

As far as the rest of the park goes, it's a great combination of three great rides stirred in with an assortment of mostly really sh*tty or bland rides. If I had to describe the park, I would say that it's what Worlds of Fun (at least the better parts) wants to be when it grows up. The landscaping is nice and subtle. The entrance is exciting and reminds me of a modern sports complex. I like how you can see the large rides looming in the background and there really are great views from every angle. I like the various areas to relax/eat/enjoy a beer/etc. Everything in this park just looks great and it's very adult oriented while offering plenty of attractions for kids. I can't believe how small the park feels, despite its incredibly large attractions. The park is a nice place to spend time at. For lack of more masculine words, the Carowinds is incredibly 'charming' and exciting at the same time.

 

Luckily, throughout our couple days the park was not crowded at all. We spent Thursday night riding most of the 'meh' coasters so my friend could snag the credits. On Friday we just relaxed and moved from Intimidator, Afterburn, and Fury, with the occasional beer (after 4pm) or food break in between. We capped our last hour off marathoning Fury after multiple beers. I think we got around 15 rides total throughout the trip, with a couple in the front and several in the back row. For the first time in a long time I can say that I wish I had ridden it even more than 15 times.

 

I also spoke with two enthusiasts on Friday, who were easy to spot. One guy was riding solo on Ricochet (clue #1) and wearing a Son of Beast shirt (clue #2). I told him I liked his shirt to get the conversation going. We chatted for a few minutes about other parks, Fury, and flying coasters. He seemed like a nice normal guy. Later that day we spotted another guy riding alone next to us on Fury (clue #1), wearing a vest with a cargo pockets (clue #2), and a FP+ (clue #3). With all of those things combined, I asked him where he was from on the break run and he said Orlando. So, I asked him how Mako was to key up the conversation and reveal my enthusiast identity. We talked for a minute or so on the break run. Another nice normal guy. It felt good to have a quick chat with people who shared the same passion, since I don't meet many of these people. Most of the enthusiasts I see are easily identifiable by their obnoxious comments or flamboyant behavior, which are among people I avoid at all costs. These guys seemed approachable and I enjoyed our quick conversations.

 

All in all, it was an awesome trip. This is a park I'd like to visit semi-regularly, if for no other reason than to marathon Fury and Afterburn, while sneaking in a couple rides on Intimidator. Here are my thoughts on some of the coasters:

 

Fury: Top dog in the park, no doubt. It's as visually stunning as it is to ride. The g-forces are constant, but not overwhelming like I-305. This may actually be my 'favorite' coaster. Just one question... What the hell is the noise played over the speakers on the lift hill supposed to be?? It sounds more like an evil spirit than a Hornet. Banshee's sister, maybe?

 

Intimidator: Not fantastic, but I think it gets a lot of unnecessary crap. I really enjoyed this ride. It had great floater air time. I almost feel like if you can't have a good time on this coaster then it might be time to take a break from riding. That's just my opinion.

 

Afterburn: This is the hidden gem in the park. I really enjoyed the hell out of this coaster, as I did during my last visit a couple years ago when I drunkenly marathoned it to park closing time, while my frustrated/bored wife stood by.

 

Hurler: Very rough, but not as bad as I remembered. Hopefully my last ride ever.

 

Carolina Cobra: The restraints are nice, but boomerangs make me sick, regardless.

 

Nighthawk: I hate Firehawk... It sucks and it makes me sick. I was dreading this, as I missed it on my last trip, BUT.... I actually found it tolerable. Most people prefer Firehawk, including the barrel roll, but I actually liked this ride better, including the setting. That said, I don't want to ride it again.

 

Cork Screw (or whatever it's called): sucked/ouch/nuff said

 

No other coasters are really worth talking about. I really wish the park had a flume or a train. They did have the modernized light show at night, which was cool. Here are some mediocre pictures taken from my cell phone:

 

Just in time for the storm!

 

I can't think of a better way to kill time.

 

So much for the rain stopping. I should have had another beer.

 

Fury looming in the distance, waiting still prior to my first ride.

 

My first Fury train ever.

 

Still not sure what to think.

 

TOTAL F****** WIN!!

 

In other news.

 

Great looking park.

 

Ducks! They're probably here for the Yuengling.

 

Intimidator looks nearly as good as Fury.

 

Blah. The only thing I like about this ride is how it roars and you can hear it from a distance.

 

As a regular fitness/nutrition guy, park visits are opportunities to binge on an assortment of terrible for you beverages, including Coca Cola.

 

The views from the entrance are great. To the right ^^

 

Annnnd to the left ^^

 

And somewhere in the middle...

 

Just great looking.

 

Everything flows really nice.

 

Very classic looking.

 

Harmony hall was a nice place to grab a cold beer.

 

Your typical night shot.

 

The park looks great at night.

 

At least the Cobra 'looks' cool.

 

Snoopy light show area. Better enjoyed with my wife than a dude. (sorry, Kirby)

 

More lights.

 

Then, the rain pretty much called it a night, before we could get one last lap on Fury.

 

As you can tell from the glare, it started to pour.

 

Red and green welcomed us for day 2!

 

Definitely the hidden gem of the park, with walk on rides throughout the trip.

 

As someone mentioned a couple TR's back, the wheel covers are cool. I like the redbirds showing their teeth.

 

Shark train agrees.

 

Thank you Afterburn, for whipping us around on your awesome batwing.

 

Very underrated and forgotten.

 

My buddy Kirby in plants v zombies. I was not a fan. I couldn't really tell what the hell was going on or where I was shooting. I must be getting older.

 

This park looks great from every angle.

 

It was probably a good thing for us that the margarita stand wasn't open.

 

This thing again.

 

I see plenty of open ground for me to build my home here.

 

My front porch could face this way, right next to the machine gun nest and landmine field to keep coaster enthusiasts out.

 

The open area is a nice change of pace from cramped entrances.

 

This element provides a fantastic opportunity for intoxicated to shout at pedestrians.

 

Beers... rocking chairs... roller coasters. Heaven?

 

Pretending it's not 95 degrees.

 

"Bazinga" (I don't even know what that means)

 

Time to for binging on more things I don't frequently indulge in.

 

At one point we had to pick up an item or two to smuggle back to St. Louis.

 

But, this one was brought here from the homeland. Of note, there is no evidence of an open beer here.

 

However, there is an open beer in this guy's hand.

 

And wouldn't you know, there's one in my hand two.

 

Another reason why KI is one of my my favorite parks is because beer is NOT restricted to certain areas, unlike many other parks. Also of note, I am approximately 1/2 inch in FRONT of the sign, for those of you cry babies who are losing your minds at this point.

 

I think this picture is actually from day 1. Hence the clouds.

 

This looks much better at night than it rides... not unlike a couple of women I used to know.

 

This picture may be highly edited, but it really is a good area of the park. It was as close as I could get to the actual feel of the area.

 

All of the colors throughout are really nice.

 

Thanks for our last ride!

 

What a great park. Fury really turned this into a destination park for me. I WILL be back. Cheers!

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while not the best beer I've ever had, not too bad at all.

 

Kind of how I feel about it, with a little more love. It's not the best beer I've ever had, but it's really solid. I love to drink it when we're east enough to be in their market, so at this point it's synonymous with vacations and trips. This makes me appreciate it even more. Also, it's respectable from a bottle or can, but it's delicious on tap!

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while not the best beer I've ever had, not too bad at all.

 

Kind of how I feel about it, with a little more love. It's not the best beer I've ever had, but it's really solid. I love to drink it when we're east enough to be in their market, so at this point it's synonymous with vacations and trips. This makes me appreciate it even more. Also, it's respectable from a bottle or can, but it's delicious on tap!

I've only had in it in glass bottles, but yeah, everything's better on tap.

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Now that we live in GA, Yuengling Black & Tans have become my staple go to. Relatively cheap and adequately delicious. Also loved your TR, Fury is such a breath of fresh air. Easily one of the most well-rounded and impressive rides out there.

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I won't go into a full trip report because Coasterbill and Prozach have already voiced most of what I would have said very nicely in the last few pages. I did have the pleasure of visiting Carowinds for the second time last Tuesday (6/14) however and had a fantastic day at the park. The Fury crew was absolutely killing it the day that I visited. They were consistently getting out trains by about the time the train in front was cresting the hill. They were some of the best ops I've ever seen in my life.

 

In addition to that, the park was pretty dead so I got to ride Fury 7 times in the span of an hour or so without even trying to push it. Though I got to ride Fury for the first time last May, what really struck me about these more recents ride is just how easy it is to marathon this thing. I had to move on for various reasons after my hour, but I could have easily gone back for more. As much as I love I305, for me personally, Fury strikes the perfect balance between being intense and being reridable. B&M really has created something special here and I do hope they continue on this path. Just wanted to share my Fury love.

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So after riding Millennium Force for the first time in years and a week after Fury 325, I can say that Fury 325 easily bests Millennium Force for me. I did not see that coming.

 

Perhaps, I need to take a break.

 

With all seriousness, maybe you do. I just got back from CP and found myself relatively bored and somewhat unentertained. After talking it over, Emily and I decided to can our Kentucky Kingdom trip we were talking about taking in July and just spend those days relaxing. I don't want to burn myself out before we go to Busch Gardens Africa in August. Sometimes it's best to step away for a brief period.

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I can't wait to ride Fury with all the great reviews.

Does Carowinds offer Early entry like some of the other cedar fair parks or no.

Seems like all the people talk about Going that lines have been short. is that just since its not prime summer yet?

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I can't wait to ride Fury with all the great reviews.

Does Carowinds offer Early entry like some of the other cedar fair parks or no.

Seems like all the people talk about Going that lines have been short. is that just since its not prime summer yet?

 

It's a capacity Monster. I couldn't imagine the crowds that would be needed in order to have a wait in excess of thirty minutes. That would probably be be Holiday weekend or Haunt event level.

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Barring an unlikely day with a million school groups, Carowinds rarely has long lines except on Saturdays. As prozach said, Fury chews through it's lines. Intimidator does too on busy days. On slow days Intimidator runs 2 trains and they staff 1 seat checker per side (Six Flags style) but on weekends they run 3 with 2 per side. Fury almost always runs at maximum efficiency.

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Hate to pile on here but I will!

 

Went to Carrowinds for the first time last Friday. We were 4 hours behind schedule last week due to the storms that hit VA and we had trouble getting out of town due to all the damages.

 

Anyway we finally got there around 3:30ish I believe and I hit Fury first and let me say it deserves all the accolades it gets. I got 2 rides in about 15 mins and then moved on to the rest of the park. Finished up my night with 2 more rides in the front row and I must admit this is the one coaster I actually prefer the front on. Normally I am back row rider. While it did not overtake MF as my #1 (it probably should have) I would take this ride over ANY ride (or more than 1 of the rides) in my home parks (KD & BGW) right now. Loved EVERYTHING about it except the brakes on that one hill in the second half of the ride. Yeah I know if they weren't on the train would get launch off the track - I get it. Simply a fantastic ride from top to bottom and I hope B&M makes more like it because "clones" of this one would be a good thing IMHO. I should mention I am not an I305 fan. I think its a good ride but nowhere near MF or Fury level - not even close.

 

Overall the park was fantastic. Its a smaller park which makes it much easier to walk and do everything. The park was clean, everything running well, staff was great. I just can't complain about anything. There was one minor incident on the Carolina Cyclone (I think is the name) where a lady got into a huge argument with the OPs. She had a purse strapped across her should (diagonally) and insisted on riding with it. She showed it was clipped to her belt loop but they said no repeatedly. This went on for about 10 mins and they kept telling her no - lose the purse or get off the ride. The lady eventually gave in and took the purse off and gave it to her husband. She was being kind of an a$$.

 

If anyone has any doubts about going to CW don't. Get in the car and head down there you will have a good time.

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I'm not sure how I missed it but great photos prozach. I never knew Yuengling wasn't popular nationwide. Of course we travel a ton, but I guess I never took notice of the fact that people didn't carry it when you left the east coast. We always have our fridge stocked with some, it's pretty good and very inexpensive. I normally stay away from cheap beers because they're cheap for a reason (and I always figured if I came home to a fridge stocked with Natural Light or Icehouse I'd have officially hot rock bottom and need to reevaluate my life choices) but Yuengling was always an exception to that rule.

 

When we rode Intimidator last week it was running better than I'd ever seen it run. Early in the season when it's cooler it absolutely crawls but it made me eat my words a little last week. Fury is obviously in a league of it's own.

 

Oh and I didn't know what to do in Plants vs. Zombies either. I pretty much exclusively shot at the gnome things (is that what I was supposed to do? Someone who knows about this app please let me know, lol). It was fun though.

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^I've been wondering that myself.

 

Carowinds is up there with SFGAdv on my bucket list right now just because of Fury, by the way. I love the sensation of speed and apparently Fury delivers it better than Millennium Force, plus it has strong airtime. That's pretty much an automatic #1 coaster, because all MF is missing in my opinion is a section of the ride dedicated to ejector air. The current hills deliver good airtime in the front and back seats but only the last one really delivers in the middle. From just a technical/POV standpoint, Fury could easily become my #1 coaster. Its layout is almost like an RMC giga coaster with the banking, speed, drop, etc.

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