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Carowinds Discussion Thread

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

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I don't understand how Intamin can run a ride like El Toro or Skyrush where the trains just run wild, and then B&M designs a ride and decides that a trim is needed before two airtime hills.

 

during the design phase, parks often tell designers what "level" of intensity they want. This could be quantified by G-forces - in other words, nothing stronger than -0.2Gs for example. A park buying a B&M hyper is probably asking for something a little tamer than a park buying an Intamin. Not true 100% of the time but this is generally how it works.

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So we went to Taste of Carowinds yesterday since we’re visiting the in-laws who live ten minutes away. Before going I was confused as to why this event was even a thing and after going I’m infini

I don’t think you get what I’m saying at all.  As a fan, I’m really glad they opened Carowinds for like a month even though this event was really stupid because I got to ride two coasters and I w

Probably. It’s a Christmas tradition.

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during the design phase, parks often tell designers what "level" of intensity they want.

 

Makes sense. I would love to be a fly on the wall for this stage of design. I remember watching a documentary about building Fury where they sort of discussed this process. I think my question about Intimdator vs Intamin creations is better stated as "THIS RIDE IS SO DAMN GOOD WITHOUT TRIMS, WHY ARE THEY ON?"

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. . . Intimidator was at the very bottom of my B&M hyper list, while Goliath is likely the best (I've been on all except Mako in the US) but honestly the way Intimidator is running is comparable to Goliath now. You get sustained airtime and get kind of whipped over the last bit of each drop. Night and day compared to when they trims hit hard.

 

Looks like I should change my expectations for Intimidator. Goliath was by far the most boring, underwhelming B&M Hyper I've ever been on. I can't imagine one worse.

 

I doubt the trims being off will stay that way. Aren't trims computer controlled, and automatically adjusted depending on the speed of the train as it approaches them?

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. . . Intimidator was at the very bottom of my B&M hyper list, while Goliath is likely the best (I've been on all except Mako in the US) but honestly the way Intimidator is running is comparable to Goliath now. You get sustained airtime and get kind of whipped over the last bit of each drop. Night and day compared to when they trims hit hard.

 

 

I doubt the trims being off will stay that way. Aren't trims computer controlled, and automatically adjusted depending on the speed of the train as it approaches them?

 

DING! DING! DING!

 

Say the trim is set to regulate the train to 40mph. If you come into the trim at 50mph, it's going to bite "hard" and have enthusiasts bitching and moaning. If you come in at 42 mph, the trim may barely grab...

 

Now if an enthusiast is on a train that goes through at 38 mph, the trims won't come on at all. An enthusiast will then bust his/her nut over a "ZOMG! Best ride eva!" experience they had despite the ride running noticeably slower than normal.

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^They are off and I hope they stay that way. Intimidator was at the very bottom of my B&M hyper list, while Goliath is likely the best (I've been on all except Mako in the US) but honestly the way Intimidator is running is comparable to Goliath now. You get sustained airtime and get kind of whipped over the last bit of each drop. Night and day compared to when they trims hit hard.

 

I totally agree! Intimidator is great without the trims off, and IS comparable to Goliath at SFOG, Diamondback, and Shambhala. The only reason why I don't like it as much as those top 3 hyper coasters (3-1 Shambhala is the best IMO) is because it doesn't constantly have the trims off. If it didn't have the trims on, it could possibly rank the same as Goliath for me. Goliath might be #1 or #2 for me if it always had the trims off after the helix because of the crazy ejector airtime. I really hope Intimidator stays like this.

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I've always assumed that if the trim doesn't hit on a B&M coaster, the train just isn't going fast enough. You're cresting the hill at roughly the same speed. Are we sure these great trimless rides aren't just a psychological thing?

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Now if an enthusiast is on a train that goes through at 38 mph, the trims won't come on at all. An enthusiast will then bust his/her nut over a "ZOMG! Best ride eva!" experience they had despite the ride running noticeably slower than normal.
I've always assumed that if the trim doesn't hit on a B&M coaster, the train just isn't going fast enough. You're cresting the hill at roughly the same speed. Are we sure these great trimless rides aren't just a psychological thing?

In my opinion, it's not about the extra 3 or so MPH. It's about not being abruptly slowed down during the only element type the ride has. When comparing my multiple trimless rides Saturday with my many trimmed rides in previous seasons, I think an Intimidator ride where it's running a few MPH slower than normal and not activating the trims (if that is indeed what's happening here) is better than a trimmed ride running a little faster up the hill. But that's just my opinion.

 

One more thing: I'm not sure it was running slower. It seemed to be flying along pretty good. But maybe that part is a psychological thing.

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I got to ride intimidator and fury in the rain yesterday, holy hell did that hurt lol it was so much fun though. I'm pretty sure I felt the trim brakes at one point yesterday on intimdatior, maybe due to the rain?

 

Carowinds has some of the best staff I've ever seen. The crew on fury gets trains out at an incredible speed. In the entire park everyone is so pleasant and happy to be there.

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I got to ride intimidator and fury in the rain yesterday, holy hell did that hurt lol it was so much fun though. I'm pretty sure I felt the trim brakes at one point yesterday on intimdatior, maybe due to the rain?

 

Carowinds has some of the best staff I've ever seen. The crew on fury gets trains out at an incredible speed. In the entire park everyone is so pleasant and happy to be there.

 

Thank you so much. It means a lot!

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I rode Intimidator Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The trims were off all three days.

 

I understand the function of trim breaks and that they engage based on the speed of the train and it varies. I have been on Goliath at SFOG when it is 37 degrees in the dead of winter and the trims didn't engage because the train was likely running slower.

 

As for Intimidator, the weather wouldn't be a factor considering it was very warm. I have been on Intimidator every year since it opened multiple times and the trims have always bitten fairly hard. This past weekend they were off and the train was moving very fast. The airtime was consistent on the hills and even kind of whipped you over the last bit of each hill in the back rows. Of course the train was entering the mid course block pretty hot and after that point the ride was a drag, but everything prior to that point was awesome.

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^the park could have experienced some rollback or near-rollback conditions during testing and opted to keep the trims off for a short period to ensure the ride breaks in for the season. Or they decided to make the ride better. who knows!

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Looking into a visit on Friday, May 26th (the Friday of Memorial Day weekend).

 

Can anyone comment on the crowds last year? I'd do Thursday, the 25th but for some reason that's one of the two Thursdays that month it's not open.

 

Honestly, I'm only trying to ride Fury and Afterburn a bunch so I don't need to worry about the other rides.

 

 

Slightly off topic and probably a 'call the park' question....has anyone had luggage held at a park? I could avoid getting in the night before and go straight from the airport to the park, if that's possible. I doubt my duffle bag could fit in a locker..

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Was at the park this past Saturday for my first ever visit. I have to say, I really enjoyed my entire day there! A very well kept park that's easy to get around.

 

First, Fury. Jesus. What can I say here that hasn't been said already? Absolutely amazing in every sense of the word. I did six laps on it as soon as it opened, then spent the next several hours getting everything else in before coming back around 6 PM and just doing lap after lap. Ended up with 20 rides, and although there isn't a bad seat on the train, I have to say the front row experience is like nothing else for me. Towards the end of the evening the grouper was having a hard time keeping up with the pace they were sending trains out, and I noticed many trains going out literally half-full. Then a rotation happened and they got right back up to speed. This became my new #1 favorite coaster in very short order. As much as I still love 305, after several laps that one begins to hurt -- this is just eminently rerideable. I felt like I could have spent the entire day on it.

 

With regards to Intimidator, I was worried about it being a lesser experience since I'm used to 305, but you know what? Since I apparently got lucky with the lack of trims, this ride became an unbelievable airtime monster. I frequently found myself counting "one one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand, four one thousand, five one thousand" every time I ended up out of my seat. This was a ridiculously fun B&M hyper for me. I hope it manages to stay like this for the rest of the season for all of you, because in it's current state, I'd gladly trade Nitro for this one back home.

 

Other quick thoughts and first impressions...

  • Carolina Cyclone was fun, I love the old Arrows, but man, those restraints need some love given to them. Filthy and falling apart.
  • Carolina Goldrusher had a really unique layout for a mine train -- there ended up being way more mine portion than I expected. Pretty fun!
  • I went in with the expectation of hating Hurler due to the one at KD being one of my least favorites, but for some reason, this one didn't beat me up like KD's has in the past. It actually ended up being quite enjoyable. (Not enough to ride more than once, though.)
  • Riding Nighthawk has cemented my opinion that Vekoma flyers are literal torture machines.
  • Afterburn was pretty great for an invert, very forceful, but it ended up being my second favorite on the trip since I followed up with a visit to Busch Gardens the day after, and Alpengeist is unbeatable IMO.
  • Flying Cobras went down as soon as I boarded due to a passenger getting stuck in the restraints. They managed to get it taken care of within 10 minutes and by this point most of the people that were on the train had already left, and the line had thinned out considerably. Glad to see the vest style restraints making their way to more boomerangs, definitely prefer these over the usual headbashing variety.
  • Their drop tower was pretty forgettable. *shrug*
  • Windseeker operations were mega slow. But hey, at least it was running.
  • Scream Weaver was interesting -- I hadn't been on this variety of Enterprise before. Some definite dizziness out of this, probably due to the smaller overall radius and shorter cars.
  • Vortex... ouch. It was down for a good portion of the day, and I was waiting for it to open up to get the credit. Once it opened, and I got it, I immediately regretted it. There's got to be a better way for standup coasters. After riding this one, Green Lantern at SFGAdv, and Riddler's Revenge at SFMM, I think the design of them is just inherently flawed. I can't enjoy them in the slightest, and this one was probably the worst of the batch.
  • Food options; Chickie's & Pete's was awesome. Papa Luigi's was disgusting. I made liberal use of the Coke Freestyle machines near Fury with the disposable cup plan since they were pretty much the only place in the park to stock lemon-lime seltzer.
  • Met a lot of people throughout the day as I frequently got grouped with others as a single rider, and the Carowinds crowds were some of the friendliest folks I've ever met in my park travels. I wish some of that southern politeness would make its way up north more frequently.

 

I don't know when I'll get a chance to come back here, it ended up being a hell of a drive to and from NYC spread across three days, but I definitely hope to be back someday, probably when the big kid gets up to 54" so he can experience Fury for himself. But I definitely hope to be back!

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Nice little report. I really hope I'm able to make it out to Carowinds this summer and get some use out of my Knott's Platinum Pass. I've been dying to get on Fury and Afterburn, and if Intimidator is half as good as Nitro, I'd be happy.

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[*]Vortex... ouch. It was down for a good portion of the day, and I was waiting for it to open up to get the credit. Once it opened, and I got it, I immediately regretted it. There's got to be a better way for standup coasters.

 

There is. It's more or less a foregone conclusion at this point that CF will eventually give Vortex the same floorless conversion therapy that Mantis/Rougarou at CP & Vortex/Patriot at CGA have undergone. CF is clearly on a mission to make the chain stand-up free.

 

The only question now is the when.

Edited by Steely Dan
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Vortex is such an anomaly for me. I hate every other standup coaster in existence and somehow really enjoy Vortex but it's pretty much universally hated by everyone else.

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Nice recap Chris. Was hoping you'd post something after following your travels online. My main beef is that you take really nice pics, where are they? lol

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Vortex is such an anomaly for me. I hate every other standup coaster in existence and somehow really enjoy Vortex but it's pretty much universally hated by everyone else.

 

I'm kind of the same way. I don't hate Vortex and actually kind of like Scorcher.

 

The big ones are cool to watch, but I don't particularly enjoy them.

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I enjoy the first half of Vortex, but find the corkscrew to be pretty rough and the remaining layout after that to be bland. I still enjoy it though.

 

Scorcher is an awesome coaster, and I actually think it is in it's best state as a stand up. Floorless wouldn't be as exciting during the airtime moments.

 

Let's not even talk about how awful Green Lantern is.

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Vortex is such an anomaly for me. I hate every other standup coaster in existence and somehow really enjoy Vortex but it's pretty much universally hated by everyone else.

 

You also held the patent for the best way to ride Mean Streak. So I don't know whether or not to trust your opinion here. What's your secret? Does it work on other stand ups?

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I don't have a trick, with standups I think it's just all about body type / height.

 

But for the record, everyone who tried that Mean Streak trick admitted that it worked to make the ride smoother.

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-- this is just eminently rerideable. I felt like I could have spent the entire day on it.

 

First, I enjoyed your report. Second, I feel the exact same way you do about Fury 325. What a freaking fun ride. I can't wait until my next visit to Carowinds sometime this season.

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I've ridden four B&M standups and Riddler's is the only one I've ever actually enjoyed (others were Green Lantern, Mantis, and Vortex at CGA). Debating whether or not I even want to try Vortex at Carowinds when I visit in June. I've never been there before and I'm only there for one day so with Fury and Afterburn in the same park, I struggle to find a reason to even step on Vortex...

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I've ridden four B&M standups and Riddler's is the only one I've ever actually enjoyed (others were Green Lantern, Mantis, and Vortex at CGA). Debating whether or not I even want to try Vortex at Carowinds when I visit in June. I've never been there before and I'm only there for one day so with Fury and Afterburn in the same park, I struggle to find a reason to even step on Vortex...

My advice? Hard pass. Vortex is short, uncomfortable, makes you wait an eternity on the final brakes, and the only reason people scream on it is because their nether regions are being destroyed.

 

Getting on Vortex takes away valuable time you could spend reriding Fury, Afterburn, Intimidator, or something good. I rode it once, loathed it, then never even set foot near it again. Thanks to my future Vortex shunning, I was able to set a new personal best of 14 rides on Fury in one day. I regret nothing*.

 

*Well... okay, I suppose I regret riding that stupid, horrible thing in the first place.

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