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

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The 2019 operating hours are now up! https://www.carowinds.com/explore/calendar-and-hours

 

Awesome, thanks for posting. Looking forward to my annual May visit!

 

Hmmm Water park looks to remain with the 6 or 5pm closing in August and Septemeber instead of the 7pm closings of yesteryears. Also no full week of operations during Winterfest this year, however looks like they will open at 4 instead of 5 on Sundays this season and the 2pm openings will remain on Saturdays. I'm cool with.

 

I think the calendar is subject to change. Especially in regards to ERT. The current calendar shows ERT for Fury 325 as 3 weekend days in August only. It was the same way last year and wasn't updated until closer to opening day, IIRC.

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Also no full week of operations during Winterfest this year

 

I think that's mostly just because of how Christmas falls this year. They went to daily operations for the week leading up to Christmas last year and they still basically do, daily ops just started a few days earlier last year because of where the weekend fell.

 

At least that's how I'm seeing it...

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The local schools (Charlotte-Meck anyway) last day before Winter Break is Friday Dec 20th. That's the main reason there isn't a full week during Winterfest. I'm actually surprised they are open on the 19th because of that.

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Great timing with the calendar coming out. I have a "milestone" birthday in April and was looking for something to do. (Hint: It's between 30 and 50.) I noticed that they are open a full week in April that just so happens to coincide with my birthday. How convenient! Maybe too convenient. I can only assume that the reason is that is spring break in the area.

 

So without asking for an accurate prediction, in the past has that spring break week an "OMG stay the F away" type week, or is it decent crowd but typically been manageable?

 

(Asking for a friend)

Edited by operative_me
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Great timing with the calendar coming out. I have a "milestone" birthday in April and was looking for something to do. (Hint: It's between 30 and 50.) I noticed that they are open a full week in April that just so happens to coincide with my birthday. How convenient! Maybe too convenient. I can only assume that the reason is that is spring break in the area.

 

So without asking for an accurate prediction, in the past has that spring break week an "OMG stay the F away" type week, or does it decent crowd but typically been manageable?

 

(Asking for a friend)

 

It's somewhere in the middle. If the weather looks great? It's going to be busy, but still doable. If the forecast calls for rain? Could be dead, even if a drop never falls. Weekdays, specifically Tues & Wed, will be least crowded (in great weather).

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Cool, thanks for the response. I typically plan my trips for Mon-Wed and hope for smaller crowds, but I know it's not a guarantee. I just don't want to drive down from Cleveland and it's like a CP Halloweekends Saturday.

 

As for the weather, can't control that, I just hope for the best.

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With the demographic of the crowd I saw, I don't know if even opening up some more coasters would even help since I saw more families with kids who weren't tall enough for some of them (the coasters).

 

How are the coaster lines at the parks that have them open vs the flat ride lines?

 

While generally the demographics of these events do shift towards families, coasters are still popular. Family ride lines are disproportionately high but Afterburn was still pulling hour waits daily with 2 trains and that tells you all you need to know. Around the country, Great Adventure's coasters are often station wait during Christmas but on busy days they can get a line. Nitro actually hit 100 minutes on closing weekend of Holiday in the Park this year. Great America often had decent waits too. Raging Bull was pulling crazy waits quite often.

 

As far as Carowinds goes, I feel like opening a family coaster like Goldrusher would be a really obvious move for them. It's a Cedar Fair park so it has a ridiculous height requirement but it's still a family ride with good capacity (compared to a flat ride). As an added bonus it has a low temperature limit.

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Cool, thanks for the response. I typically plan my trips for Mon-Wed and hope for smaller crowds, but I know it's not a guarantee. I just don't want to drive down from Cleveland and it's like a CP Halloweekends Saturday.

 

As for the weather, can't control that, I just hope for the best.

 

Oh it won't be anything like CP crowds. Copperhead Strike will likely have the longest line of the day (since it's new). I would just suggest getting there before the park opens (to park and get in line to get in) in order to get a head start on some of the rides.

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Just booked my trip for opening weekend! It'll be my 4th or 5th time at the park but my friends first time. Can't wait!

 

Edit: Also buying fastlane for Saturday (obviously... New coaster + opening day = omfg it's crowded). Price won't deter us but for planning purposes what should I expect the price to be? I'm thinking $80-$90 for FL+?

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Just booked my trip for opening weekend! It'll be my 4th or 5th time at the park but my friends first time. Can't wait!

 

Edit: Also buying fastlane for Saturday (obviously... New coaster + opening day = omfg it's crowded). Price won't deter us but for planning purposes what should I expect the price to be? I'm thinking $80-$90 for FL+?

 

Since your trip is booked you can always buy the Fastlane online and save yourself time and usually a little bit of money.

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It seems that Cedar Fair parks' FL+ usually has the best, if not all, coasters on the list. Would it be a safe assumption that Copperhead Strike will be on FL+?

 

I just noticed a 'Scheduled Ride Closures' option under the Explore tab on the Carowinds website. There are currently none listed, but I don't remember seeing that option before.

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^Yes, the parks that have the FL+ option usually keep the newest attractions on that. As well as some of the lower capacity attractions (Electro-spin at Carowinds is a FL+ ride).

 

For example, CP has their 3 newest from the ground up coasters on FL+ as of 2018. Gatekeeper, Valravn and Steel Vengeance.

 

You can plan on Copperhead Strike to be on FL+ as well as Fury 325 staying on there for 2019.

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It seems that Cedar Fair parks' FL+ usually has the best, if not all, coasters on the list. Would it be a safe assumption that Copperhead Strike will be on FL+?

 

I just noticed a 'Scheduled Ride Closures' option under the Explore tab on the Carowinds website. There are currently none listed, but I don't remember seeing that option before.

 

The only way Copperhead would be off would be if for some reason it was only at one train operations early on in the season.

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Looks like they took down the ERT calendar and posted this in its place:

 

* Exclusive Ride Time for Copperhead Strike and select Camp Snoopy attractions begins 30 minutes prior to park opening. Carolina Harbor Early Entry begins 30 minutes prior to the scheduled opening of the waterpark. Waterpark attractions will open at the scheduled waterpark open time.

 

Sa-weet! Would be nice if they had more than one coaster on ERT, but I'll take it.

 

https://www.carowinds.com/tickets-passes/season-pass-early-ride-times

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So there's a bunch of hotels right around the park. Which is the best and why? (Psst: I'm a Wyndham and Choice rewards member) Also, I can only assume Uber from the airport is fairly simple and straightforward, is it equally easy to get one near the park/hotels back to the airport? It is possible to walk from the hotels to the park w/o an issue? I don't know the area at all.

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Yeah, it seems like they basically have the entire Choice lineup right there plus a Best Western and a Motel 6. Comfort Inn is best for walking since there are no sidewalks or crosswalks and it's a busy street. it's also probably the best hotel except for maybe the Best Western since Comfort Inn (and/or Suites) is basically always the best common Choice brand and the only other competition is... well... a Motel 6.

 

It's also only 10k points a night on some spring weekends, I'm not sure how many you have but I'd imagine you'd be above that with all of our Virginia bullsh*t.

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The Comfort Inn at the Park is nice and you don't have to cross Carowinds Blvd. on foot. There is a Clarion, Quality, and Sleep Inn on the other side of Carowinds Blvd., so you have a broad selection of Choice hotels really close. If the south gate is open it would be a shorter walk from any of these.

 

It looks to be 0.6 miles as the crow flies from Comfort Inn to the main entry plaza. And .33 miles to the south entrance.

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Carowinds has taken to Twitter to release several new photos of the construction work around Copperhead Strike!

 

 

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Coiled up and [almost] ready to strike!

 

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"We build barns." Miami River Lumber Co.

 

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A striking model.

 

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Return of the Mack.

 

Mack Rides built Ricochet at Carowinds in 2002.

Edited by jedimaster1227
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Today Carowinds invited the media out to get a look at the progress of their newest addition, Copperhead Strike, and the development of their (new again) themed area "Blue Ridge Junction" and I went on behalf of TPR. A few years back Cedar Fair decided to start pumping investments into Carowinds, as the park is in a viable market that they can take advantage of. Over the past few years the park has grown. From installing the award winning Fury 325, vastly expanding the water park to adding 8 flat rides over the course of 2 years, Cedar fair is proving how committed they are to making Carowinds a flagship park.

 

Another sign of that commitment is Copperhead Strike! Let's get to some tidbits shall we . . .

 

- As far as thematic elements, the entire area will be playing up on the farm theme.

 

- We will be seeing veggies (especially corn ) growing throughout the area as well as. . . Copperheads!

 

- Granny's jam factory will have a presence in the area but the team haven't made the decision on everything as far as speciality items (food, souvenirs).

 

- There will be a small show scene inside the barn. For those of you who are familiar with the area, the park installed a much improved version of their ladder climb game in 2017. Well, they purposely placed it in it's location (directly in front of the barn) so you couldn't see directly into it (the barn).

 

- There will be a HUGE gas fireplace built directly to the left (if you're looking at it) of said ladder climb. This will be perfect for those winterfest nights.

 

- It's interesting how the launch system works. On COpperhead Strike (and i'm sure on other launch coasters) the coal is to have it operate at the highest efficiency point. The actual speed of the launch will depend on the weight of the train at that time. They will test and tweak the launch system with water dummies at different weights. The initial test will be with the dummies weighing 170lbs each as that is the standard weight of adults. Then they will raise the weight to 220lbs each to see how that will effect the launch. From there, will be able to provide a near perfect ride, each time, regardless of the train is full or not.

 

- The expansion of Country Kitchen will allow for dual serving lines and one of the main featured dishes will be rotisserie chicken made right there in the restaurant!

 

- There are a lot of foundations on this coaster. Coming in at 230, it surpasses Fury and Intimidators 170 and 180.

 

- The onride photo section location is yet to be determine. It has been narrowed down to two spots (don't quote me lol) which are after the first vertical look and before the top hat element.

 

- As far as a light package, I wouldn't expect anything like hangtime. While no decision has been made, I would bet my money on some spotlights, if anything.

 

Now, before we get to the pictures . . . some people have noticed Rip Roaring Rapids (the park's raft water ride) has been omitted from the ride list on the website. Well, that was no oversight and very intentional! Needless to say, the future is looking brighter (and wetter ) For the park.

 

Thanks for reading and on to the pictures!

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The park is building on-site dorms which should help out with housing students from across the region and around the world, allowing the park to develop programs such as a full internship for travel and tourism students.

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The extension of the former wings and now Country Kitchen

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I can assume some bette retaining wall is on the way, possibly with seats.

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This area is pretty open now.

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There were two game booths here which are now gone.

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I think this will be my favorite section of the coaster!

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You can kinda see where the area for the coaster will end (at the tree line)

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I can imagine how much fun this launch is gonna be!

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The electricians were busy installing the wiring for the LSM launch.

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The model MACK had at IAPPA was given to the park.

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