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Photo TR: G-Dog's Deep South Expedition


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It was my original intention to visit the Texas parks this year but I'm not quite ready to board a plane yet (last time was in June 2001). In the meantime I was hearing Carowinds call out to me and I began making plans to visit the park. Seeing that Atlanta was about a 4.5 hour drive from Charlotte I included Six Flags Over Georgia in my plans.

 

I spent two days at both parks which I didn't need to as I was able to hit all the main credits on the first visit but I do this for new-to-me parks because I never know if or when I'll be able to get back to them again. Crowds at both parks were rather light, with walk-ons to minimal waits for the coasters.

 

I did like Carowinds. It was an easy park to get around in though it needs a bit more shade in some areas and a few updated flat rides (like most parks).

 

I took a good number of photos but I'll share just a few since most of the photos I've taken are similar to what has been posted on past TRs already.

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Hello Carowinds!

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What a nice profile you have, Intimidator.

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Welcome to Carowinds, where "Everyday is Saturday." The cool theme song sounds like it came straight from the "Lawrence Welk Show."

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Intimidator was a very good coaster and a ride Carowinds needed.

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One of my favorite parts of the ride.

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Nighthawk. It's deja vu all over again as I rode this when it was Stealth in 2001.

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Though it has a nicer location here. I liked how you "flew" over water on some parts of the ride.

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Carolina Cyclone looks bigger in pictures. Only ran one train both days.

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Though I have to admit it has one of the worst paint schemes I've ever seen. I wonder how they came up with painting it this way.

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Vortex wasn't that bad - if you sat towards the back of the train.

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Towards the front of the train - it was Iron Wolf's evil twin.

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Carowinds doesn't have a lot of shady areas outside of Planet Snoopy and parts of Carolina RFD but there is this nice little area by Vortex with a fountain.

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Hooray for old school mine trains! Carolina Goldrusher was a pretty good ride. Loved the second half.

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To paraphrase the classic song from Peaches and Herb - "Reunited and it felt so good." Great to see you again Head Spin. Miss having you back here in Ohio. I know it's just a boomerang but I'd rather have this than not have the place it used to call home.

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The new Vekoma train is awesome though the vest felt almost like it was digging into my shoulders.

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Hurler, Hurt-ler, or whatever you want to call it, was probably the weakest of the coasters. The blue train just shook and shimmied its way along the course, which does absolutely nothing.

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I don't even think Rocky Mountain topper track could save this ride.

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The red train did track a bit better but the layout is still a little boring.

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One of the smallest I've seen but still a decent drop tower.

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Thunder Road was pretty good, especially with all the new track work. Only running one train on each side they didn't even bother racing the trains on both days. Too bad it's a ride that's hard to photograph.

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Boo Blasters was well done and IMO better than the Kings Island version.

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Despite the odd restraints, I like Looping Starships and it's rare for me to ride one.

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Saving the best for last - Afterburn, IMO, is best described in three words - Best invert ever!!

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This ride is amazing and is now my #2 favorite steel coaster, knocking Alpengeist down a notch.

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The train coming out of the Immelman. I must add that in a world where the cobra roll has been a dominant element found in plenty of B&M's the batwing was a welcome change from the norm and I wish there were more batwings than cobra rolls out there. They are fantastic.

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I know this view has been posted millions of times but you can't help it - Afterburn is a work of art. Thanks for viewing.

Edited by Geauga Dog
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Carowinds is a good park. The best two rides are by far Afterburn and Intimidator. Afterburn isn't the best invert and Intimidator isn't the best hyper coaster out there, but they sure are the two best things in the park that make the park worth visiting! Not every park can say that they have 2 great B&M's. The park really needs a good Intamin or two (preferably a launch) for me to visit it more than once a season though...

 

BTW, fantastic photos!

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Thanks for the comments. While the coaster collection is solid if you consider the various types of coasters Carowinds offers it still felt like something was missing. I agree that a launched coaster would definitely help fill that void. I even had the crazy thought that GL's former Steel Venom would have been better here than at Dorney with Head Spin going to Michigan.

 

And it wouldn't hurt to add a few up-to-date flat rides since most of the park's flats are in Planet Snoopy.

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Part II - Six Flags Over Georgia.

 

What a beautiful park! Not too many parks can say they have an expansive canopy of trees to help shade you during your day, which helped due to the temps being in the low 90's. The park would have light crowds making it easy to get all the main credits in one day.

 

I'll just let the photos do all the talking. I hope they get many of you ready for Deep South Bash in September.

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Hello Batman and Mindbender. I really like the blue paint on Batman.

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Not even in the park yet and Goliath sends a big welcome.

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"Thanks for the welcome. I'm excited to be here."

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Where am I at again?

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When I left Carowinds my coaster count was 199. Mindbender became my special 200th coaster.

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This is such a great ride which confirms that Schwarzkopf was a genius.

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Look, Ma, no OTSR! I refused to take a photo of the wrapped train.

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Goliath from the queue line.

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Intimidator may the the tallest but Goliath has the goods.

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Moving onto the Cotton States area.

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Don't spit your drink onto your computer screen when I say that I actually liked Ninja. I didn't experience any headbanging.

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If I didn't know it was a Vekoma I would have thought I was on an old aging Arrow.

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GASM is a beautiful ride.

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It also ran really well.

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In the home stretch.

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This was probably the best of the three Superman flyers. With it being on a hill made the ride seem higher. Plus you can "take the tunnel".

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Dare Devil Dive - I was impressed with it.

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What goes up...

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Must come down.

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Through the misty flames of death....

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Trying to be like Hanno in getting a shot of rider's expressions.

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Beautiful and scenic Six Flags Over Georgia.

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Splashwater Falls

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Thunder River

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Dahlonega Mine Train

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Thank you, Angus, for having the vision to create the regional theme park concept.

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Acrophobia, this was an awesome freefall ride.

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Georgia Cyclone was bad. The train just bounced around the course.

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I'll end this photo TR with a few shots of Georgia Scorcher, simply one of the best stand ups.

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Thanks for viewing.

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No, they don't exactly stop upside down though sometimes it feels like it. It's just a very slow flip upside down.

 

This may be a good time to ask a few questions regarding SFoG. These came to me while walking around the park and I forgot to ask them when I first posted the second part of this TR.

 

Was Deja Vu where the Whistlestop Park is now and wasn't there a second gate in that same vicinity at one time?

 

Where was Viper located when it was there?

 

Where was Z-Force located when it was there?

 

Thanks for your answers.

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^I can answer a few of those.

 

Deja Vu was in fact where the newly renamed whistle stop park, previously Thoma Town, is now located. I do not know about a second gate, maybe someone else can answer that one.

 

Viper was on the hill where Goliath now sits and it was removed for Goliath's construction (so long as I have my facts straight).

 

Z-Force was around the area Ninja now sits, don't remember the exact location. This picture should help:

picture credit rcdb.com

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This may be a good time to ask a few questions regarding SFoG. These came to me while walking around the park and I forgot to ask them when I first posted the second part of this TR.

 

Was Deja Vu where the Whistlestop Park is now and wasn't there a second gate in that same vicinity at one time?

 

Where was Viper located when it was there?

 

Where was Z-Force located when it was there?

 

Thanks for your answers.

 

I will chime in:

 

-Deja Vu was located where Whistlestop Park is now located. The old second entrance (back gate) was located where the Go Karts are now (right beside Whistlestop Park). This was removed when the front entrance was re-designed into the current Promenade in 1997/1998.

 

-Viper was located where Superman: Ultimate Flight is now. The Viper station is still there (the large Superman artwork you can see as you fly down the first drop is on the side of the old station).

 

-Z-Force is located where Ninja currently is. Both rides shared the same queue house.

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The old entrance was great! You could take the sky lift right to it from over near where Acrophobia sits now. I also seem to remember when there were two Sky Buckets criss-crossing the park.

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Thanks for clearing those up for me. I wondered if there was a second gate at SFOG because the way the parking lot is situated, just like at Carowinds, it would be quite a hike to get to the front gate. I did notice that SFOG does run a shuttle, which is odd in this day and age as so many parks that had one have long quit using them.

 

The Sky Buckets were closed on both visits and I would have liked to have taken a ride on them. Bet the view is awesome from up there.

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- Look at that line! It usually gets a little after the loop but rarely ever that far!

 

 

Vortex wasn't that bad - if you sat towards the back of the train.

 

Isn't it kind of hard to sit on a standup?

 

Nice TR! Carowinds is my home park and I very much agree about Afterburn being the best invert and the world needs more (B&M) batwings, and we need a launcher, and we need to set fire to Hurler and replace it with a GCI/Intiman.

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First off, very nice TR! SFoG is my home park (I'm about 45min away with light traffic), and it's always nice to see such good pictures of a great park. Second, you couldn't have chosen a better ride for your 200th credit. Mind Bender will always be in my Top 5, simply because there's hardly anything like it. A terrain-based Schwartzkopf with only lap bars is an incredible thing to experience.

 

Fantastic pictures of Carowinds, too! I've been there quite a lot (school trips, mostly) and, like everyone else, I agree with you about Afterburner and Intimidator. Definitely two of the best rides in the Southeast.

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Thanks for the comments Legoguy and no_brain_er. It was a fantastic trip all around. It was a choice between Goliath and Mindbender for my 200th but it was a no-brainer that Mindbender got that distinction. A classic Schwarzkopf looper with lap bars only is a very rare and special treat nowadays.

 

Legoguy, I didn't even realize the line for Nighthawk was that long when I took that photo. You have a good eye. I would much rather remove Hurler for a launched coaster as I think it would fit in that area better.

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John, I knew the Yo-Yo's came from Geauga Lake and I got a photo of it even though I didn't post it here. Still the same color as it was back in GL's Happy Harbor. It didn't look like it was in great condition though but of course I was too busy re-riding Afterburn to get a closer look.

 

I saw the former Flying Eagles but didn't ride them. The only thing I rode in Planet Snoopy was Peanuts Pirates, formerly the Great Whale of China from Canada's Wonderland.

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Geauga...other interesting SFOG facts......

 

The Hanson Cars, now around the carousel, used to be where Cyclone is now, and the lower Cyclone station was their station.

 

There used to be two flumes, intertwined with each other.

 

The Rapids ride used to be a "Jungle Cruise Ride" called something like Jean Ribaults River Adventure.

 

The Great Gasp, a parachute slow drop ride, used to be the skyline of SFOG.

 

And you missed a few awesome SFOG landmarks in the photo TR.....maybe you have some you could add....

 

The dark ride is an absolute Atlanta Classic, Monster Mansion. It doesn't get campier or cheesier, and no one makes a trip to SFOG with hitting the Mansion at least once.

 

Also, they have 3 beautiful arbors......I absolutely love those things.

 

There is the hidden rotor ride from many moons ago that can still be seen if you know where to look. As you board the train near Goliath, heading towards the front of the park, quickly look to your left as you leave the station. It's hidden in the trees, but very cool to spot it.

 

Finally, the log ride goes deep into the trees, it's a beautiful track, culminating in the smallest log ride drop EVAH.

 

Great park, thank you for the Photos.......sometimes as a home park I take it for granted, but it's really a beautiful place.

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That is so disappointing. I was probably at SFOG the day or two after you left and had to ride the Vekoma train on ninja and it was absolutely terrible with the old GASM train sitting right there in the transfer area. I really wish I got to ride it, I bet it really is night and day depending on what train you get to ride.

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And you missed a few awesome SFOG landmarks in the photo TR.....maybe you have some you could add....

 

The dark ride is an absolute Atlanta Classic, Monster Mansion. It doesn't get campier or cheesier, and no one makes a trip to SFOG with hitting the Mansion at least once.

 

Also, they have 3 beautiful arbors......I absolutely love those things.

 

Finally, the log ride goes deep into the trees, it's a beautiful track, culminating in the smallest log ride drop EVAH.

 

I did ride Monster Mansion but failed to get a photo of the exterior and I agree, it seemed like it was a little cheesy but I knew I couldn't miss riding it. The ride also reminded me of something Sid and Marty Krofft would have done back in the day.

 

I thought I was the only one who liked shade arbors and I was surprised to see three of them. Most parks only have one or have removed theirs.

 

I don't normally ride log flumes as I feel a bit odd riding by myself but I did ride Log Jamboree. I didn't really notice it until I was on my way back to the car on my first day and saw a part of it through Georgia Scorcher. I actually got a decent splash for a small drop.

 

That is so disappointing. I was probably at SFOG the day or two after you left and had to ride the Vekoma train on ninja and it was absolutely terrible with the old GASM train sitting right there in the transfer area. I really wish I got to ride it, I bet it really is night and day depending on what train you get to ride.

 

They ran both trains on both days and I did ride each one twice. I didn't notice any difference between them.

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Thanks for the pictures and reports. Carowinds shares a spot as my home park, along with Kings Dominion. I definitely agree that Afterburn is a great ride. Intimidator is also a perfect fit in the park; I just wish they'd keep those trims off! Great job capturing Nighthawk, which went from being one of the ugliest rides in existence as Borg to a gorgeous centerpiece for the park. That damn line is frustrating though because you hardly ever move.

 

It seems like they completely retracked Hurler's drop, too. Thunder Road ran great on Halloween weekends last season so I imagine it's even better now. It's nice to see the park giving their older rides TLC and paint. I actually like the Carolina Cyclone paint job.

 

I'm hoping to go to SFOG again soon too, maybe with TPR in September. Last time I went it was the weekend before SUF opened. It was dead, though, so I got tons of rides on Deja Vu, Scorcher, Batman, Cyclone, GASM, etc. I really liked Ninja myself, and it's got a nice location. Slow corkscrews over the water are always cool. Glad to hear DDD is good. How long was the line for that with the small cars?

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Glad to hear DDD is good. How long was the line for that with the small cars?

 

I'd say it was at least 20-25 minutes but the ride only has four cars. The queue was three switchbacks full in the main queue area before the ramp to the station. The crew was good at getting the cars loaded and dispatched.

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