thrillseeker4552 Posted August 5, 2017 Share Posted August 5, 2017 (edited) Hello everybody, I am usually not one to do big trip reports like this, but I just got back from a fantastic vacation with my family that involved several awesome roller coasters, so I thought I'd put together a four-part photo trip report. We live in Southern California and tend to alternate between Six Flags and Knott's season passes every year. Last summer we took a vacation to a few Six Flags parks on the East Coast, so this year we decided to splurge on Cedar Fair Platinum Passes (with meal and drink plans) and visit some Cedar Fair parks on the other side of the country. We visited four Cedar Fair parks: Carowinds, Kings Dominion, Kings Island, and of course, Cedar Point. Only two of these parks were new to me (Carowinds and KD) since I visited both KI and CP back in the summer of 2014. However, three years was enough time to convince us to head back to these awesome parks, being that Rougarou, Valravn, and Mystic Timbers would all be new hotness for us. Including the two travel days, our trip was 10 days long. That may seem long, but for four Cedar Fair parks, each a good distance from the other, that means a lot of driving and not much room for error. Luckily, we were quite lucky with weather--at least until Cedar Point. But more on that later. The vacation was actually pretty straight forward. We flew into Charlotte, worked our way to each of the four parks, and flew out of Cleveland. We passed by a few close-by parks (particularly Dollywood and BGW), but in an effort to minimize costs for the trip, we decided that doing a Cedar Fair-only vacation was the way to go. Those other parks are all the more reason to visit again in the future. Enough rambling. Let's get started with Part I of the trip report: CAROWINDS. Part I - Where the Carolinas Come Together Our flight landed in Charlotte on the evening of July 26th, and we arrived at Carowinds that night to catch a little "preview" before our full day at the park on the 27th. We spent time in the park for about four hours that night, all day the next day (from open to close), and a few hours in the morning the day after (the 28th). First impressions were GREAT. The park has a wonderful atmosphere. It has a gorgeous skyline (massive B&Ms ) and really something for everybody to enjoy. Oh, and, you know, Fury. Yeah, that's why we were here. I figure I'll just give my brief review of each coaster below before moving on to photos. Enjoy! Afterburn: HOLY CRAP. This ride completely blew me away. I was expecting a fairly average B&M Invert with some intense moments, but it was so much more than that. This ride instantly jumped up to the top of my list for B&M Inverts, at least until I was able to get on Banshee again and re-evaluate. But until then, it blew every other Invert I've ridden out of the water. Love it, love it, love it. Carolina Cyclone: This was a fairly average Arrow looper. As expected, it was rough. It was still tolerable though. It pretty much turned out exactly how I expected. Carolina Goldrusher: It's a mine train. Nothing else much to say about it. Flying Ace Aerial Chase: Yuck. What a poor excuse for a "family" coaster. It was rough. Like, really rough. How do children ride this without getting headaches? The one at KI is at least a little better due to the less bulky restraints. Flying Cobras: YAY! I finally rode a Boomerang I enjoyed! It was quite good. It is by far my favorite Boomerang and very re-rideable. I love the trains, the theme, the colors--everything. It fits perfectly in the area. All Boomerangs should be like this. Fury 325: WOW! What an amazing ride. This is by far the best B&M of the 2000's, at least that I have ridden. It's tall, fast, long, smooth, and comfortable (yes, I know, that's what she said). It is by far my favorite B&M out there and is easily a top 5 coaster (even though I don't keep a list). Millennium Force doesn't even compare. Bravo, Carowinds. You have a winner. Hurler: Probably the most mediocre wooden roller coaster I've ever ridden. It's not very rough but not very smooth. It has a little bit of airtime but nothing crazy. It's a forgettable ride. RMC! RMC! RMC! Intimidator: This ride turned out much better than I was expecting. It has some really solid airtime and is much better than Diamondback, IMO. It's very different than Fury, and the rides complement each other very well. Nitro is still my favorite B&M Hyper that isn't Fury, though. Nighthawk: Bleh. Having now ridden all 3 Vekoma Flying Dutchmans, I can proudly say this is by far the worst. Firehawk and Batwing are much better. The first half of the ride is alright; it's the second half that killed me. It sure has a nice placement in the center of the park, though. Ricochet: Definitely one of the better Wild Mice out there! It's very hard to top Hershey's, but this one comes awfully close. However, it has a TERRIBLE loading procedure. This is the first mouse I've seen that loads ONE car at a time and has both a seat belt and a lap bar. Even Coast Rider at Knott's is more efficient. But aside from the atrocious throughput, it's a really good mouse. Love the colors as well. Vortex: EWWW. PLEASE Carowinds, slap some Floorless trains on this sooner than later. It's right there with Apocalypse at SFA for my least favorite B&M and probably least favorite coaster. It's tired, old, clunky, and rattly. It needs help ASAP. Woodstock Express: Your basic Cedar Fair kiddie wooden coaster. It was actually quite fun in the back row! But those cars sure are a tight fit. I'll briefly mention my thoughts on the flat rides as they come. On to photos! En route to Charlotte! I see you! It's so MASSIVE! But I promised myself I would ride Intimidator first! It was difficult, but I did it! NOW it's time! I've waited two years to walk in this queue! The ride was AWESOME! I had no desire to immediately hop on Vortex yet... Decided to check out Ricochet! GREAT mouse with a TERRIBLE loading procedure. We then checked out Windseeker. Anyone know why the ride runs such a weak cycle? The other Windseekers on this trip ran WAY faster. This one barely spins fast enough to let the cars swing out. We then went to Afterburn! The entrance is a little hidden and "off the beaten path." LOVED IT! Pretty much the worst family coaster I've ridden. We ended the night with our first and only ride on Nighthawk. Ouch! That's about all we rode on our little "preview" night. Now on to photos from our big full day at the park. Good morning, Fury! Up bright and early for early entry. I'm ready! Woo! What a beautiful sight! After ERT we gave Carolina Cyclone a shot. It was "bleh." But my little sister got over her fear and rode it! Electro-Spin was fun and had no line. My third Top Scan! I love these rides. I needed some more Afterburn. This ride really was the "underdog" of this park for me. Best Boomerang I'd ridden! Oh boy... I can tell you that this line was NOT worth it. Mediocre. A surprisingly good drop tower! The ones at KD and KI are obviously better, but it's better than Power Tower! This place had GREAT food. And it was a great deal for the meal plan. Not just quality but quantity too! The brisket was AMAZING. Back to Intimidator! Better than Diamondback, but not as good as Nitro. Love Nighthawk's location, but hate the ride. More Fury! Cirque Imagine was also quite good! I'm not much of an "entertainment" person when it comes to theme parks, but I enjoyed this one. And it was nice to sit in the AC and take some time off the feet. Back at Afterburn because it is THAT good! Aesthetic. Front row on Intimidator was actually very good! Maybe even better airtime than in the back row? My first enterprise ride. It was lots of fun! I wish the cycle was longer, though. Holy crap. That was amazing! Terrifying, but amazing. Worth the money! Back at Fury because it's Fury. Rides at dusk were even better! County Fair has a great atmosphere at night. I took this photo when it was in the middle of flashing. Good timing, right? Last ride of the night! And it was awesome! We then spent just a few hours in the morning in the park before driving up to Doswell. We mainly just went for ERT and some last rides on our favorites. Such a unique turnaround. Nice to look at, but not to ride. Loopy. Goodbye, Carowinds. Not sure when I'll be back. Overall, I REALLY love this park. But the one thing I couldn't help notice was that the rides were either awesome, or mediocre and rough. Fury, Intimidator, and Afterburn is a GREAT top 3, but after that point, the rest of the rides are just...eh. Flying Cobras was a solid Boomerang, and I love Drop Tower, but the rest of the rides were pretty forgettable. Floorless Vortex would help tremendously, and I'd love to see a big GCI at the park one day, but considering how much the park has grown in the last 5 years, I can't help but be impressed. Those top 3 B&Ms make the trip worth it alone, so get out to Carowinds and RIDE! Thank you for reading! PLEASE post your thoughts below. This is my first major trip report (even though I've been around here for almost 5 years ), so let me know what you think! Next up, KINGS DOMINION! Edited August 25, 2017 by thrillseeker4552 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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