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Carowinds Discussion Thread

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

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14 hours ago, Rai Fox said:

What is it with wasps this year?  All the other problems with parks...yeah, I get it, I know why staffing and parts shortages and all these things are a problem, and I don't want to hold them against any parks.  Wasps though...2/3s of the parks I've been to this year have been absolutely invested with them.  Twice this year, (Raven@Holiday World and Thunderhawk@Dorney) I've been stuck on a brake run with wasps crawling over me while I was stuck in the restraints.  I do not do well with wasps.  Never had that happen before this year...

I noticed this at KI this weekend as well. Couldn't sit down at a table or bench or anything outside without 20 yellow jackets sitting down with you. All over the outside soda fountains as well, although not quite as bad as Lake Compounce used to get during the free soda days. Thankfully no issues with bees on brake runs.

That reminds me of one time probably 15 years ago at the Big E in MA, they had a drop tower called (I believe) Drop of Fear which had a big top section on top of the tower. One year apparently a bunch of bees set up shop right where the car stopped when it got to the top, underneath the big top section. The ride op had the ability to estop the ride right at the top for dramatic effect and we were screaming for him to let us drop because we were getting SWARMED while we were sitting there. Definitely the worst bee/wasp experience I've ever had on a ride lol.

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It is just a good year for wasps and particularly yellow jackets, I think. I've never previously found any on my property and I found four different nests this year. I destroyed three of them and let one be that I thought was far enough out of the way. 

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One of the issues with yellow jackets could be due to staffing shortages and things (tables, trash cans, etc.) not being cleaned as often as in the past. When I worked at a park we had one year we had a MASSIVE yellow jacket problem, and it was because the manager in charge of park services that year was lazy AF and didn't have them spray the insides of the trash cans with bleach water every few days like the previous manager had. I had to deal with guest complaints about them multiple times a day.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...
45 minutes ago, coasterbill said:

I think Carowinds pushed the 2022 opening date up by a week or two.

Rare good news on the operating-calendar-front from them...

That is good news, we've looked at going in the past for Spring Break but the park wasn't open til the following week. Nice to have that option in play now.

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This park should really just be year-round. I know they won't do it since they're Cedar Fair but I really wish they'd just grow a pair one year and try something weird like Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Just do 11 - 5 operating days or something in January and February with some special events and run every coaster except for whatever you're refurbing. The average high is 12 degrees above their minimum operating temps even in the dead of winter. I get that occasionally they'll be below that, but rarely.

... that's my pipe dream.

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I'd love to see Carowinds and CGA both go year-round in the next few years. It really makes no sense why these two are still seasonal, and within the Cedar Fair chain these are the two that seem the most viable. But yeah... Cedar Fair. Hopefully someday. Especially with BGW now year-round and Dollywood rumored to be within the next few seasons as well.

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  • 1 month later...

Doing some trip planning here, and I'm  going to Carowinds on Friday March 18, when they're open 5 to 10. I'll be solo. This is an opportunistic trip, so dates are set and I'm squeezing it in how I can. I have already accepted that a Fast Pass will be necessary, since I have never been to Carowinds and am going to want to do as much as I can fit into those five hours. Recommendations?

 

Here's a handy guide to my theme park priorities:

 

Stuff I like:

- Roller coasters (can skip all the kid stuff)

- Dark rides (but if Boo Blasters is just like the one at KI then meh)

- Flat rides with forward motion (Screamin' Swings, drop towers, flying eagles, etc.)

- Beer

 

Stuff I dislike:

- Flat rides with lateral motion (teacups, scramblers, etc.)

 

Stuff I like but can skip:

- Shows

- Water rides

- Anything that is not super great and is identical/near identical to something at Kings Island, since KI is fairly close and this is probably the only visit to Carowinds for a few years.

 

Thanks!

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Good luck with or without a Fast pass. I think any planning here is overthinking it. First Friday of the season...take whatever is opened. And, hope for decent weather. Just as likely to be 35 as it is 70 that time of year. 

It's not a huge park. It's a big circle. Hit Nighthawk first if you really want to ride that POS. 

99% of the time FL makes everything a walk on. 

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I ride everything once so I don't blame you.  Knock it out first and you're good.  If you are a credits person, the kids coaster Flying Ace or whatever can get a fairly decent line and not on FP.  Might be really crowded.  Those people are loyal fans and show up beginning of the season and Halloween time.

They are usually really hard on req a kid for the small kids coaster if you looking to ride it.  Woodstock Express is not on FP.  

 

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12 minutes ago, ytterbiumanalyst said:

Don't care about credits, and Kiddy Hawk looks the same as Flying Ace at KI. I would much rather skip all the kids coasters to ride Fury again.

Kiddy Hawk is WAY better than the KI version (which was a complete shit show and hurt).

 

but I kinda didnt' mind Kiddy Hawk.

for sure don't miss Woodstock Express back there. . it's a really well run Jr. Woodie (not as good as the one at KD. . but SO much better than the janky one at KI)

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other advice:

Don't miss Afterburn (not that you would). . it's a fantastic suspended and one of the best in the park.

also.. hit Intimidator *before* you ride Fury.      Intimidator is good, but Fury leaves it in the dust.. so make sure you ride in that order, or you'll be unimpressed by Intimidator.

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13 minutes ago, bert425 said:

Kiddy Hawk is WAY better than the KI version (which was a complete shit show and hurt).

 

but I kinda didnt' mind Kiddy Hawk.

for sure don't miss Woodstock Express back there. . it's a really well run Jr. Woodie (not as good as the one at KD. . but SO much better than the janky one at KI)

Hmm...good to know. Both of those suck at KI,  so I just assumed these would too. In that case, I'm interested.

 

10 minutes ago, bert425 said:

other advice:

Don't miss Afterburn (not that you would). . it's a fantastic suspended and one of the best in the park.

also.. hit Intimidator *before* you ride Fury.      Intimidator is good, but Fury leaves it in the dust.. so make sure you ride in that order, or you'll be unimpressed by Intimidator.

Noted. Will go ride shotgun with Dale before gettin' my hornet on.

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If you want to ride all the coasters, do Nighthawk and Ricochet first. Lines get crazy and Ricochet is not on FL. Also, get there early. Charlotte traffic on a Friday at 5 will be bad. Also, I may be there. I plan to visit a lot more now that I have a platinum season FL pass.

Then make sure you get Afterburn (my favorite of 13 B&M inverts I've ridden), Fury 325, Intimidator, and Copperhead Strike.

I also ride Carolina Goldrusher and Carolina Cyclone once a year for nostalgia. Personally, I skip Hurler, Vortex (truly awful), and the boomerang. If you are doing FL, you will be fine. The Mountain Gliders are fun and they let you snap. 

For beer, the bars at Blue Ridge Country Kitchen near Copperhead Strike and Harmony Hall beside Intimidator usually have the Copperhead Strike IPA on tap. I believe there is a weird rule where you can drink outside in one state but not the other.

If you have any free time in Charlotte there are a ton of great breweries. Some personal favorites:

Wooden Robot

Salud

Divine Barrel

Resident Culture

Free Range

Lenny Boy

Suffolk Punch

Protagonist

Lower Left

Sugar Creek

Heist

Noda

Birdsong

Fonta Flora

Petty Thieves

 

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4 hours ago, ytterbiumanalyst said:

Doing some trip planning here, and I'm  going to Carowinds on Friday March 18, when they're open 5 to 10. I'll be solo. This is an opportunistic trip, so dates are set and I'm squeezing it in how I can. I have already accepted that a Fast Pass will be necessary, since I have never been to Carowinds and am going to want to do as much as I can fit into those five hours. Recommendations?

 

Here's a handy guide to my theme park priorities:

 

Stuff I like:

- Roller coasters (can skip all the kid stuff)

- Dark rides (but if Boo Blasters is just like the one at KI then meh)

- Flat rides with forward motion (Screamin' Swings, drop towers, flying eagles, etc.)

- Beer

 

Stuff I dislike:

- Flat rides with lateral motion (teacups, scramblers, etc.)

 

Stuff I like but can skip:

- Shows

- Water rides

- Anything that is not super great and is identical/near identical to something at Kings Island, since KI is fairly close and this is probably the only visit to Carowinds for a few years.

 

Thanks!

Everyone else has commented on coasters, so I'll comment on some other stuff:

-The Boo Blasters is identical to the one at Kings Dominion, so even a step below the one at Kings Island.
-As for flats, they've got a great Schwarzkopf Enterprise that ran a pretty good cycle when I was there in 2021.  They've also got a Sol Spin which is a huge nope machine for me but you may like.  They've also got a Yo-Yo and a Wave Swinger.  Otherwise its just the standard CF flat ride package.
-Coasters not on FL: Ricochet, Kiddy Hawk, Woodstock Express.  If you are about any of these try to hit them early.  With a FL pass, you should have plenty of time to grab a lap on each of these and then move on to the FL rides.

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^ oh. . beware the final brakes on Ricochet.

they kick in HARD and are rib-crackers.   Tho we were laughing so hard from the sudden stop, we giggled thru the pain.
dunno why some wild mouse coasters tend to DO that.
 

 

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^^^ Woohoo! Beer list! 

^^ Yoyos/wave swingers are a favourite, will try to do that if I can. I have heard about the legendary gliders here. Apparently they're the same as the Knoebels ones but not run quite to that level because they're not at Knoebels?

^ Don't know that I want to start my day with a rib-crushing, so I may skip Ricochet. I've been on a mouse before.

 

Thanks for all the help so far, much appreciated all!

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I liked Ricochet and was ready for every brake except the sneaky one at the end. 

KD improved the brakes on their mouse with the 2018 name change, much smoother.

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Suffolk Punch was delicious for food and beer, but it's in a very bizarre and grimy area of Charlotte that I hadn't seen before. We were harassed by undesirables at stoplights multiple times on the way out of SP on the way to the airport, so your experience may vary.

I love love love the local bbq chain Mac's Speed Shop about 10 minutes away from the park - so friendly every visit, an awesome happy hour, tons of local craft beer, and great bbq!

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Mac's is absolute shit for NC bbq,. But their wings and beer can chicken are awesome. And they have a great tap list. The last two times I ordered bbq at Mac's, it was really dry and the waitress suggested we put more sauce on it. That's not how it works around here! FWIW, I'm an eastern NC style guy, so good bbq in NC starts in Goldsboro and points east for me.

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