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    Coasterbilly's East Coast PTR: SFoG, Carowinds, and KD!!

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    Coasterbilly's East Coast PTR: SFoG, Carowinds, and KD!!

    Post  coasterbilly on Wed Jul 07, 2010 1:39 am

    Well, Saturday is my day of departure on another exciting trip, this time it's down to Georgia (last visited in 1996) to revisit a Six Flags park that lead me to becoming the coaster enthusiast I am today 14 years ago! Then up the coast to hit Carowinds (last visited in 2003) to test out Intimidator and then to Kings Dominion (last visited in 2008) for Intimidator 305. This is an introductory post to get you all ready for my complete coverage, pictures, changes in my top 10 lists and reviews of my trip! I will be a SFoG on Tuesday, Carowinds on Friday, and Kings Dominion the following Monday. Can't wait to share it with you all! Cool
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    Re: Coasterbilly's East Coast PTR: SFoG, Carowinds, and KD!!

    Post  Fanatic on Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:56 pm

    Great parks, and I'm sure great PTR's and pictures to come! : P
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    Re: Coasterbilly's East Coast PTR: SFoG, Carowinds, and KD!!

    Post  coasterbilly on Sun Jul 18, 2010 12:52 pm

    Hey everybody! Coasterbilly here reporting from my hotel in Charlotte, NC, I apologize for not being able to start on this sooner hopefully no body was waiting for me anxiously with this report haha. But it has been an AMAZING trip so far, everything has been as expected except for the beginning of this report haha! So we are on our way out to dinner in Chattanooga, TN and in the hotel lobby we see brochures and one sticks out to me big time. It’s a rarity for me to miss something like this because of my knowledge of parks and my obsession and passion for coasters, what did I find? Well, I found out the classic little park LAKE WINNEPESAKUH is 20 minutes from where we were staying! The catch though, is that the park was only open Wednesday-Sunday and we happened to discover this Sunday around 5 pm, so what do we do? We scarf down our dinner, Dad and I grab directions, and then we zoom out to Rossville, GA to get 3 coaster credits we never expected to get!

    We arrive to a nice skyline of flats and 2 of the visible coasters there, the classic Cannon Ball woodie and Wild Lightnin’, the park’s Wild Mouse.

    We park for free with a decent amount of cars in the lot. Upon entering you are required to pay $5 at the gate then there are a couple of deals because it’s a ticket amount per ride there. So we pay the $5 each and get a 2 books of 14 tickets (28 overall) for a total price of $36 for the 2 of us, which wasn’t bad at all!

    After our tickets we strolled around and enjoyed the quaint, relaxed atmosphere the park has because it’s by a lake, it’s on the smaller side, and it’s brilliant history. The first ride of the evening was the park’s only big-ish steel coaster, Wild Lightnin’.

    WILD LIGHTNIN’- 3/10- Well, it got a 3 for only 3 reasons: it was a walk on, the ride op didn’t care about tickets so it was free, and it was a credit I didn’t expect to get on this trip! Other then that it was awful, not to mention quite unsafe because our restraint was stuck open, the op never checked it, I pointed to it and he wasn’t paying attention when releasing us. So Dad and I hung on for dear life as we got whipped every which way feeling like we were going to fall to our doom after every corner. When we returned he asked us how it was and I told him next time I advise you to check your restraints because we didn’t have one, not even seat belts, if that were a kid I guarantee he or she would have flung out of there. So, that’s Wild Lightnin’, a new credit and an interesting story to tell haha.

    So, after that experience and all of our tickets in hand we headed to the front of the park for the main attraction which was of course the Cannon Ball!

    CANNON BALL- 7.5/10- So this is a classic, it’s not too high, it’s not too long, it’s on the older side, and it’s a simple out and back coaster, but damn it’s a good classic!! The drop is nice and smooth and every hill delivers some kind of airtime on them, the first time we rode it was in the front which was good but the second time I went alone in the middle of the train and got some ejector on some of the hills which rocked! It isn’t too rough, it’s got that “nice” woodie roughness to it where you don’t get the crap kicked out of you, you just get a wild ride, which is two thumbs up for me! What a nice ride this is and I don’t just do Top 10 lists, I just added to my top ten years ago to develop longer lists so I had a Top 25 coming into this trip and this one slipped in at #21, any classic lover must go to Lake Winne and ride this gem!

    After Cannon Ball we looked around the park a bit and saw some of their flats, I didn’t really get to do a lot there because of how many tickets we got (Cannon Ball alone took 10 out of the 28 we had so we had to be frugal). I knew the park had 3 coasters and I knew the last might require me to grab a child so we headed over to the park’s kiddie coaster Wacky Worm!

    WACKY WORM- 2/10- This was a 2 because of the credit and the fact we cycled through the ride 3 times haha! It has a hill you roll around into 2 little bumps, another curve, a little drop into a turn into the station so it’s nothing huge, but it’s a coaster and they let me on by myself, no kid required which was nice lol.

    After Wacky Worm my dad and I decided we wanted some extra photos and a nice tour of the park so we did the park’s train ride that looped around the entirety of the park and the Lake part of the park interacts with and sits around, it was actually a pretty long ride, with the sun setting and the weather cooling off it was a very enjoyable ride.

    With that we started getting low on tickets so we decided to spend it on one of the oldest rides in the park which was their dark ride simply called “Castle”. You sit in an electric car and it rolls through a haunted house with old time sounds and figures, one part the front of a tractor trailer lights up and a huge horn blows which made us jump which was funny. It was definitely on the older side, so old some effects weren’t working because half the ride we went through pure darkness without anything happening haha, all in all it was pretty neat though!

    To finish off the day we strategically had 6 tickets left, 1 to keep for our album of the trip and 1 more ride on Cannon Ball for me, so I did that spin in the middle and go that awesome ride. Once I was off we exited after occupying the park for around 2 hours.

    This place is a little gem in Georgia, if you’re ever around it is more then worth a trip, it’s cheap, it’s a gorgeous place, it’s well run (except that one ride op lol), it’s friendly, and there are over 35 rides (GREAT flat collection for a park this size). It was the surprise of my trip for sure, it got me 3 credits to get me to 204 coasters, and it definitely got me ready for the big 3 parks ahead of me on this East Coast trip! Thanks for reading and next up is Six Flags Over Georgia!

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    Six Flags Over Georgia

    Post  coasterbilly on Thu Jul 22, 2010 11:21 pm

    Park #2- Six Flags Over Georgia (new format to my reports will be a lengthly written report and rap up, followed by the pictures all together with captions, kind of hard to squeeze them in with the text so I will separate them)

    Before I continue my report, and since this trip is full of potential top steel coasters, here is my top 20. I have a top 30 but honestly that would a little much to post every time I update this trip report, so keep this in mind before each park to see where everything ended up, and then at the end I will indeed give my entire list. My woodie list will be at the end too since their really won’t be any top ten defining woodies on this trip, some will definitely land in the 20’s maybe even the teens.
    TOP 20 Steel before SFoG:
    1. Millennium Force
    2. Bizarro (SFNE)
    3. Phantom’s Revenge
    4. Diamondback
    5. Apollo’s Chariot
    6. Incredible Hulk
    7. Bizarro (SFGAdv)
    8. Nitro
    9. Top Thrill Dragster
    10. Storm Runner
    11. Maverick
    12. Fahrenheit
    13. Griffon
    14. Alpengeist
    15. Kumba
    16. Ride of Steel
    17. Montu
    18. Volcano: The Blast Coaster
    19. Dominator
    20. Raging Bull

    After Lake Winne and exploring a day in Chattanooga we headed down to Atlanta to our Comfort Suites to get us ready for a revisit of a great Six Flags park that got me officially started in coasterdom back in 1997: Six Flags Over Georgia. I went the year Batman: The Ride opened (yeah I know, wow haha) when I was 10 years old. I had gone to Niagara Falls and Martin’s Fantasy Island the summer before that and rode my first official coaster over there, but wanted to move up to another ride and Georgia had the perfect one: Georgia Cyclone. I remember absolutely being terrified of it because I kept getting lifted out of my seat and it throwing me all over the car, I didn’t ride another coaster there when I was there so I had 9 new credits awaiting me!

    I had my Season Pass from SFGAdv so my mom, bro, and dad had to get tickets so we stopped at a Sleep Inn to get $30 discount tickets for them. Once purchased we flew through the parking gates (thanks to my season pass parking!), parked, and starting heading to the entrance by opening at 10:30. We got in pretty swiftly with a pretty crowded entrance plaza, but that was mostly for people still buying tickets. The skyline is stunning with Goliath dominating it and Georgia Scorcher pretty visible since both are at the front of the park. Once you go through the parking gates and head to the lot, Mindbender and Batman are right there to be stared at as you park and start walking, a great thing to get pumped for! As soon as we entered the plaza, we got our picture taken, and started carrying out my plan for the day which was to start in the back because everyone was probably going on rides closest to the entrance, but on our way back we HAD to stop at the dominating B&M this park has right smack in the middle of the park: GOLIATH.

    GOLIATH-10/10-Well, this was the first ride of the day and one of the coasters on the trip I anticipated most next to the Intimidators because of the reputation it has and the rankings it has in the Golden Ticket awards and other Top Tens I’ve seen. We hopped into the queue and walked through all of it up to the station since it was just opening. My dad and I got 2 rides on this excellent piece of steel, once in the morning, and once for our last ride of the day around 8:30. The first ride was pretty good in the 2nd row, but you can never rank a coaster based on your earlier ride because the ride needs to warm up. So in the morning it ran very good still, but not as good as later on. In the evening we rode in the front seat to experience the raw speed this coaster has. The lift is steep and the drop is great overtop of the midway, from there on out it’s non stop ejector air over every hill. The midsection of the right is the nasty downward helix which produces some surprising forces where you pick up more speed into the rest of the bunny hills. This thing never lets up until you fly around the final corner and dip into the break run. It is smooth, it is fast, it gives incredible airtime, Six Flags Over Georgia has themselves one of the best steel coasters in the world, in the morning it came in at #7 behind Incredible Hulk and Apollo’s Chariot, but after that incredible final ride, it beat out both and became my #5 steel coaster.

    So, after our ride on Goliath we continued to the back of the park which was quite a hike, the park is rather large and I totally underestimated it, but boy it was a good work out! We headed up to Metropolis to give Superman: Ultimate Flight a spin to see how it compared to my Superman at home in Jersey.

    SUPERMAN: ULTIMATE FLIGHT- 8/10- This Superman was the very first flyer from B&M here in the states and it honestly is the best out of the 3 Superman’s out there, not because it’s the original but because of it’s location. We got in the queue and it worked exactly as planned, we went there first because the load time on these are usually slow, so a line was expected to grow as the day pressed on. This one has a duel station like Storm Runner and the Vekoma flyers do, and with one train running it would have been a disaster all day. We waited 3 trains and hopped in the middle for a forceful but enjoyable ride. The reason this one is better then the rest is because it wasn’t plopped in a parking lot, they strategically put this on a hilly area so the coaster could hug the terrain, which it definitely did. The pretzel is still very intense and the swooping turns felt faster because of how close to the ground we came. You hit the breaks feeling dizzy but feeling a rush, it was a very fun ride like I expected, way to go Six Flags for putting this in an awesome area to enhance the experience!

    Following Superman we continued back in the park more to check out the park’s older woodie and the park’s wretched Vekoma looper.

    GREAT AMERICAN SCREAM MACHINE-8/10- Well I honestly didn’t expect a great ride on this because of it’s age so I expected a pretty rough experience, but I was wrong! This was our longest wait of the day because of the one train operation because of how early it still was and we waited for the front. We hopped in the front 20 minutes later and had a great ride. On this one it’s all about speed, it does have a few rougher spots but nothing to complain about, this ride moves! The airtime is pretty decent in spots and the layout is really good, plus going over the water was a nice touch. As I said I had a Top 25 list before this trip and this one clocked in at #18 on that list, a pleasant surprise.

    NINJA- 4/10- Well next up was the painful Vekoma. It does get 4 out of 10 though because I’ve always though this layout was unique and they also placed this over water and had asian music in the queue so the theming was involved too. The ride itself was horrible, head banging everywhere, the restraints were painful and it is your typical ouch machine, but it was a credit and honestly something you could re-ride over and over if you dared because it had no wait all day.

    After Ninja we decided to take it easy and get a bite to eat as well as see the park’s comedy western show. We saw the show 13 years ago and my mom cried laughing so hard so we wanted to see how this one was many years later. We got some BBQ and played some cards while we waited for the show to begin, this was a nice break because 4 coasters in just over an hour was pretty tiring lol. The show changed a bit, it was in a stage setting back then, this one was based outside a house with just 3 actors. We recognized some jokes from so long ago and of course they updated it with facebook and twitter references. We got many laughs still, definitely a good show to catch while eating or just need a break from the heat and running to coasters.

    After our tanks were refueled and we were well rested it was time to pick up with the rest of our credits. The next 2 we headed to were 2 I was really excited to get on because it’s a nice 1-2 punch in Gotham City at the park: Mindbender and Batman: The Ride. The reason for the excitement is because of what people say about Mindbender and how it is still ranked in Golden Ticket after all these years (over 30!), and for Batman because I saw it brand new and now I was getting to ride it! Since it was the first ride into Gotham, we did Mindbender first.

    MINDBENDER-9/10- Schwarzkopf is a genius, he doesn’t have a ton of coasters out there, but the ones he has all pack big punches. This one is probably one of his best, if not THE best. We waited only 10 minutes for this and rode in the 2nd row for one heck of a ride. The lift is old school, I was really excited to see what this ride was about! The drop was good and the first loop was tight and extremely intense! You then fly up the second hill and bank left but get lifted out of your seat and slammed to the right, you drop to the left and back up to the lift in a circular motion then back down and up into another turn around with great airtime again. You then drop into the second loop was even tighter, on the way out you speed through a tunnel and bank to the right with ridiculous speed into the breaks. It’s on the shorter side but who says that rides have to be massive to be amazing? The lap bar is always something I love on ride like this because of the freedom it allows. The loops, the turns, the airtime, and the speed make this one special, it landed at #23 on my steel list, don’t go into this ride with a weak mind because it will surprise you bigtime!

    BATMAN: THE RIDE- 8/10- This ride is just a clone right? Yes but not JUST a clone. The Batman clones are guaranteed great rides no matter which one you ride, they are fast, they are tight, and they are still pretty smooth no matter how old they are. This one happened to be my favorite of the 3 I have ridden (SFGAdv, SFGAm, and now this one) because the landscaping around the ride was excellent, I love LOUD coasters and they kept this one loud (I guess I love it because it adds to the intensity of the ride) and the queue is better designed. Because this ride was beyond popular when it opened, this thing had the longest queue I’ve seen since Dueling Dragons, the queue house is enormous lol. I rode in the front and went on this by myself because my dad was starting to feel exhausted because of how quick we were moving through everything. This one was awesome, with a fresh new paint job it delivered a solid ride, just a brilliant design by B&M and it always will be.

    After Gotham we headed towards the front of the park to get our last 4 credits of the day, 3 of them being new ones. First up was the park’s unique looking stand up coaster Georgia Scorcher.

    GEORGIA SCORCHER- 8/10- I have been on many stand up coasters and this one is easily my favorite now. This is one of the newer ones that came after Chang, Mantis, and Riddler’s Revenge. This one is also not as tall, not as fast, and not as long, which is probably why it was that good; because it didn’t ruin your legs like some of the bigger ones do. I walked onto the 2nd row no problem into the, in my opinion, comfy restraints. The drop is small but it gets you going, the loop is nice and forceful. You then do a figure 8 section where after the loop you curve upward to the right and drop to the left and then you do the opposite by curving up left then down right. You hit a highly banked right bend into the corkscrew which is very smooth and then the rest of the ride consists of highly banked sharp curves and unexpected transitions that all are low to the ground before you hit the brakes. This one also surprised the heck out of me, another coaster that proves that bigger isn’t necessarily better.

    After the awesome ride on Scorcher we zipped on over to revisit the coaster that got this passion all started, but unfortunately hasn’t aged as well as I have haha.

    GEORGIA CYCLONE-3/10 - Well we were back to 1997 on this ride, but unfortunately, it wasn’t 1997. This ride was fast and terrifying when I was a kid, but now it terrified me in a different way. We rode second row again here for the roughest ride since Raging Wolf Bobs when it was Six Flags Worlds of Adventure back in 2002. The ride doesn’t have a lot of speed because it honestly struggles to get through the course because of how rough it has gotten. Every hill is very painful and the laterals are worse. But, despite how bad it has gotten, it will always be the coaster that brought me to where I am so it will always have a special place in my heart!

    After having the crap beaten out of us we wanted to do something a little lighter so we headed to the Dahlonega Mine Train. But, on the way there we passed a depressing site. The park also has a ride that has kind of been forgotten about, their Drop Tower Acrophobia! It was depressing because it was closed all day, I passed it as the ONLY test of the day was going on, so I witnessed it, but it never opened, so I didn’t get on it, so that sucked.

    DAHLONEGA MINE TRAIN-6/10- I have been on many many Arrow Mine Trains now (almost 10 if I really dig them up) and this one has gotten solid reviews so this was highly anticipated too. The reviews definitely lived up to my ride! This one has 3 different lifts, some nice tight corners and some decent speed, plus it’s smooth! The last lift is the most intimidating because you see a tunnel you will be dropping through on the other side. The drop is pretty nasty! The drop goes through that tunnel and comes right up to the breaks, a nice mine train!

    Once that was complete it was time to eat, we were in the area so we decided to eat at Panda Express for some good Chinese eats. The place was clean and nicely air conditioned so it was very refreshing to get inside and refuel after my day so far, my brother and I played some cards while my dad napped a bit on the table (put his head down, not slept on the table lol). We weren’t in too much of a rush because at this point it was 4:00 and we only had one ride to go so we took our time. Once we felt good enough to head out into the park again, it was time for the last new credit before re-rides and that was Wile E. Coyote Canyon Blaster.

    WILE E. COYOTE CANYON BLASTER-5/10- For a kiddie coaster this one is really good! I took my mom on this one and we waited 3 trains to get on with all kids lol. You go up the lift which is over top of a roof, drop to the left go over a little bunny hill and dive down to the left, even out a banked left turn through a tunnel then up to the left, cross over to the right into a curved drop that way and up into the station, it’s very short, but very quick, a nice kid coaster!

    So, all of the credits were complete. Next we went back over to Metropolis so I could get my brother his birthday gift (got him a Justice League frame from the Superman store and we got a picture with capes that we won at one of the games nearby). We then just strolled, snapped some pics and enjoyed the beauty and scenery of the park. My parents wanted to do some of the slower rides (sky ride, train) and I wanted to re-ride, so my bro and I headed off on our own. We went to Gotham and I got 3 more rides on Mindbender and 2 on Batman. We then headed to the middle and I caught one more on Georgia Scorcher before meeting up at Goliath for our last ride of the day. That was our front ride evening ride on it that put it in my top ten, I grabbed my usual t-shirt from the park and a Goliath shot glass then we headed out.

    Six Flags Over Georgia ranks second out of the Six Flags parks I have been to. It was the cleanest I’ve witnessed, the employees were very friendly and the rides were run quite well, the ride ops were nice and enthusiastic, getting you pumped to leave the station and giving you an ovation when you returned. They have a great lineup of coasters for anyone to ride, not to mention one of the best in the country. Thank you Six Flags for an amazing time, I will surely be back in a few years after a few new rides get introduced in the future! Now onto the pictures!

    Pulling through the parking gate we pass by Mindbender staring us down waiting to open!

    Not only that, but Batman is in the neighborhood as well!

    It definitely intimidates everyone because it towers over the parking lot!

    Since you can't get nearly any photos of Mindbender in the park, get them out here, this is the second and smaller, more intense loop!

    Have a dog? Bring it to Six Flags and have it taken care of!

    As you approach the front of the park, you walk directly next to Georgia Scorcher

    As we continue walking, look who decides to show up!

    The anticipation skyrocketed when this test run was going on

    We would be on this within the hour Smile

    Uh oh, the bad sign of the morning, workers on top of Acrophobia Sad

    The pleasant entry plaza of the park, full of shops and a nice fountain!

    The buildings were very nice looking, not to mention air conditioned Wink

    The fountain!

    Our first ride of the day!

    Reaching for the sky

    The entrance with the nice logo Smile

    B&M started making their lifts steeper the year this and the other Goliath at La Ronde opened

    Superb ride!!

    One of the best parts of the park: trees for shade.

    And nice scenery!

    What's that I see ahead!?

    None other then Superman!

    This one is better then the others because of it's great location

    Chillin in the break run, at least it's not like the Vekomas where you are on your back baking in the sun lol

    Onto the wood!

    One of the most gorgeous coasters in the park

    Really the only other slow part of the ride besides the lift and the breaks, this one is fast!

    Coming back, easily the best airtime on the ride

    Time to get beat up lol

    Heading up to your doom

    The very interesting and painful butterfly element to start the ride

    Turning around back into the tangle of steel track

    While it's a very painful ride, it definitely gets beauty points for its location as well

    The last of the 5 inversions, your torture is now over Smile

    Country comedy show, definitely gave some laughs!

    It was so humid that my camera blurred up a bit, but this is the entrance to Gotham City lol

    Gotham store

    The old school pictures of villains, this was all here when I was there in 1997 Wink

    Onto Batman!

    The new paint job look fantastic

    Inversion numero uno!

    2nd loop

    The ride is so fast, these are some of the best corkscrews on any coaster

    This is easily the best themed Batman out there from what I've seen

    And it has one of the biggest queue houses I've seen in a long time too!

    Really the only action shot of Mindbender from Gotham besides the breaks

    Leaving Gotham, this tower was used for the Batman show in it's opening year back in '97 too Very Happy

    On our way to Scorcher, we took some great shots of Goliath

    Awesome drop

    Awesome ride sign, unfortunately not many picture ops in the park either, only on your way in!

    After Scorcher, we got some more great pics of the rest of Goliath's layout

    The nasty downward helix

    One of it's many awesome airtime hills

    Coming right over the walkway!

    Easily one of B&Ms best coasters

    The revisit...but the only visit lol

    Ouch the entire way through Sad

    Yay kid coaster!


    Nice ride entrance...

    ...if you were working Sad

    On our way out, the twisted track of Scorcher

    Goliath spins down in the sunset

    And I conclude the pictures with a half moon over Batman, what a day Smile

    Total Ride Count:
    Mindbender- 4
    Batman: The Ride- 3
    Goliath- 2
    Georgia Scorcher- 2
    Superman: Ultimate Flight- 1
    Georgia Cyclone- 1
    Great American Scream Machine- 1
    Ninja- 1
    Dahlonega Mine Train- 1
    Wile E. Coyote Canyon Blaster- 1

    Top Ten after SFoG
    1. Millennium Force
    2. Bizarro
    3. Phantom’s Revenge
    4. Diamondback
    5. Goliath*
    6. Apollo’s Chariot
    7. Incredible Hulk
    8. Bizarro
    9. Nitro
    10. Top Thrill Dragster

    Next up is Carowinds, thanks for reading, stay tuned!!
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    Re: Coasterbilly's East Coast PTR: SFoG, Carowinds, and KD!!

    Post  Fanatic on Fri Jul 23, 2010 10:57 am

    Wow. Great report. Lots of pictures and detailed info! Glad it was an enjoyable experience!
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    Re: Coasterbilly's East Coast PTR: SFoG, Carowinds, and KD!!

    Post  coasterbilly on Fri Jul 23, 2010 1:51 pm

    thanks dude! Yeah sometimes Six Flags reputations aren't that great based on some of their parks but this one was a pleasant surprise and coasters aren't the whole focus, they had some good flats and lots of family attractions too, I was impressed immensely! Cool
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    Re: Coasterbilly's East Coast PTR: SFoG, Carowinds, and KD!!

    Post  Fanatic on Sat Jul 24, 2010 11:45 am

    Yeah, I've noticed that about SF too. But it's great that there's some parks that like you said, spread out the focus on rides. Smile
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    Part 3: Carowinds

    Post  coasterbilly on Tue Jul 27, 2010 10:13 pm

    After my incredible trip to Six Flags over Georgia and having my top ten penetrated by Goliath, it was time to move forward to park #3 on this trip and to a brand spankin’ new coaster. First we traveled to the world of Coca-Cola, did the tour, have 64 varieties of soda from all around the world, and then we were off to North Carolina. My dad is a pastor and a family we were pretty close to moved down there last year, so we went to their new house for dinner and had a nice time, we then proceeded to our hotel to rest up for one heck of a day at Carowinds the next day.

    We arrived at the park around 10:30, but even before we arrived as we were driving, probably 2 miles away from the park, you could easily see Intimidator towering over the park, it seriously gives this park the skyline it deserves, it’s incredible. We pulled through to the parking gate and were greeted by a friendly lady, she muttered about something being closed when my mom slipped her the money. My dad started crawling away and I said “wait stop, ask her what she said was closed!”, so mom leaned back to ask and she said “Nighthawk is closed all day today”…what a horrible start to my day, a new credit would not be able to be ridden, not to mention if I got on that that day I would be able to say I’ve ridden all of the Vekoma flyers. My depression quickly went away when we parked and I was able to bask in the Intimidator, it was running 3 trains and it looked so awesome.

    We got in, took our opening pictures, and made our way to…you guessed it…Intimidator!

    INTIMIDATOR-10/10- Well we arrived to the plaza, it’s seriously just a few steps away from the front gate. It’s a nasty area because Nighthawk’s entrance is right there as well, just on the opposite side (but yes that was closed). I love the #3 car of Earnhardt sitting there with the checkered flag sidewalk. We entered to a queue that was not that full, it was 2 switchbacks before the tunnel under the brake run. We only waited 15 minutes because of the dominant operation of this ride (AMAZING job crew!). We were assigned row 4 (technically the 2nd row outside seats). The trains are amazing, I love the new designs on these newer B&M models (also used on Diamondback and Behemoth). The lift is steep but rather quick, the drop is the usual sensational B&M drop, and it’s smooth as glass. It’s a nice layout with that nice second hill with the curved right drop and the turn around hill isn’t a hammerhead element this time. So my thoughts, well I’m not going to lie I rode 3 times that day, this first ride was a tad bit of a let down, it wasn’t really fast, it was very forceless, and the airtime was decent at best, after the ride it honestly was only #10 on my list behind the other B&M hypers in my list. My second ride was a late afternoon ride in the same seat and it moved up to #8, still behind Apollo’s Chariot, Goliath, and Diamondback. But, night rides definitely have that potential to boost it and my night ride came at 9:30 so it was pitch black, I rode front row of the outside seats and let me tell you, this animal woke up. The speed was ridiculous, the airtime was near ejector and carried you over the hills entirely, the turns were wicked, and it just screamed through the circuit. This ride proved to be the Intimidator I expected and it indeed moved up, coming in at #5 replacing Goliath…barely because that one was incredible as well, but as you notice, it doesn’t dethrone Diamondback. I loved Diamondback’s layout more, it’s location slays Intimidators, and the ride was incredible anytime I rode it, so for that Diamondback is still the king of B&M’s in my list, but Intimidator is easily now #2.

    So, following the initial ride earlier in the day we moved forward to the right side of the park to get on more of the coasters, all of them re-ridden from when I was there 7 years prior.

    VORTEX-5/10- First up was the B&M stand up in the park known as Vortex. This is a nice little beemer the park has, it’s only 90 feet high and features a loop and a corkscrew with a helix and some nice turns. We rode second row after a 20 minute wait because the ride loads rather slow, it was the longest wait of the day. The ride gets a 5 because it’s good, but no way great, it’s definitely rough and it’s very short, not to mention you sit in the brakes a good 5 minutes waiting for the other. Nonetheless it’s a B&M for the park and is a good ride to ride to kill time if you want to ride something.

    After that ride we got refills of water and bought an Intimidator souvenir cup. We then made camp at the diner next to Hurler to get 3 rides on 2 coasters and the drop tower.

    HURLER-6/10- The first woodie of the day was Hurler. I had always liked this one better then Kings Dominion’s because it ran smoother and ran faster. They put a trim at the bottom of the hill to make the big right bend a bit smoother, which it did, but it also killed the speed and the airtime the rest of the ride. We only waited a train for the front. It still gets a 6 because it’s a great layout for a woodie and I still love the drop into that bend, plus the ride still runs quite smooth for being 16 years old!

    DROP TOWER-8/10- Dad sat out as I hopped on Drop Tower really quick. This one differs from Kings Dominion and Kings Island’s that have the ring people sit in. This one is 4 sided that seats 4 people per car. It’s not as tall either but it still packs a nice freefall sensation, you get up quite quickly and they don’t hold you too long. I love freefall rides and this one is no exception, just a fun thrill with no line, thumbs up from me!

    CAROLINA CYCLONE-4/10- Next up was the Arrow corkscrew that turned 30 years old this year! It got a new paint job that looked snazzy as well. They ran 2 trains on this, I yet again rode alone because my dad is taller and doesn’t fit in Arrow coasters very well, plus he went last time. This coaster is a classic but painful, mainly because the trains are very uncomfortable, the ride wouldn’t be THAT bad if the wheel covers weren’t so big where it didn’t allow your legs to move. I like the tunnel at the end and the tightness of the inversions, your typical Arrow lol.

    After those 3 rides we stopped for lunch. We got a foot long Corn Dog and Cheese Bites from Carolina Corn Dogs to share. The bites were really really good. My brother Scott and I did what we did at SFoG and played Gin Rummy to relax for a while, while we played mom and dad went on Carolina Goldrusher, which I didn’t ride that day because I had been on it before and wanted to go on some of the other coasters more. When they returned we got our stuff together and continued over to the 2nd newest coaster in the park!

    CAROLINA COBRA-7/10- Well, yes it’s new, but it’s a boomerang lol. This was yet another coaster from Geauga Lake that was relocated to a Cedar Fair park and it was honestly a good addition to Carowinds, especially because it gave Vekoma the chance to try out their new restraint system! I have been on many boomerangs but this one easily takes the cake on this best one BECAUSE of these restraints, they are pretty much the same restraints used on their flying coasters and the new design put on The Great Nor Easter at Wildwood, they are thin and made of a softer material, which prevents head banging. It was also not as rough as many boomerangs in itself, making it quite enjoyable, I walked away from the ride pleasantly surprised!

    We strolled past Boomerang Bay and past some of the restaurants and other rides. We passed the other walk path that lead to Nighthawk but it had a construction barrier there that didn’t allow people to even enter the area, and as I write this report today I went to Carowinds website and it STILL lists Nighthawk as being closed, it’s quite a bummer because I know it is one of the big attractions at Carowinds. Anyway, we continued on to the 2 big coasters in the back of the park, one which took me by surprise and ended up being the best woodie of the trip!

    THUNDER ROAD-8/10- That woodie is Thunder Road! I only did one side of this back in 2003 so a new credit was in store, which was the South Carolina side of the coaster. This coaster had a bit of a face lift in the off season when GCI came in and did a renovation of spots of the coaster, which made this ride significantly smoother and allowed it to run faster! I rode the side I didn’t get on last time and was blown away, it was so fast, gave awesome airtime, and kept the speed into the breaks, not to mention they raced the trains. It is easily the best out of the woodies of its kind over Rebel Yell and the Racer at Kings Island (while that layout is slightly different).

    AFTERBURN-9/10- Next up is Thunder Road’s dominant neighbor, Afterburn. When I rode this back in 2003 I was blown away by this ride, it was #6 in my top ten after I rode it 7 years ago and was at #22 coming into this trip! This one was pleasantly a very short line thanks to Intimidator so we decided front row was the way to go here. We got, as usual, an excellent ride on one of the most underrated B&M’s…actually coasters out there, it is rarely talked about but wow it still cooks! The inversions are smooth, the zero g roll into the batwing element that sends you under the walkway is just so dominant, it’s one of my favorite parts on any coaster.

    Once we got off Afterburn it was time to pick up one more new credit that I could get at Carowinds, and that is the park’s junior woodie, Woodstock Express.

    WOODSTOCK EXPRESS-4/10- I’ve been on Kings Dominion’s and I’ve been on Kings Island’s versions of these, but I somehow missed Carowind’s last time! So I went by myself for a quick spin. This one, sadly, is the worst of the 3 in my opinion. How? They all have the same layout! This one, though, was honestly quite rough for a small woodie, that’s the only reason. I like the layout and that kids can enjoy a smaller end woodie, but on this one they can see how rough wood coasters can be.

    After Woodstock, I took my brother and we went on the other family coaster the park has, it used to be called Rugrat’s Runaway Reptar, but now it’s called Flying Ace Aerial Chase.

    FLYING ACE AERIAL CHASE-4/10- I though it was so cool when Kings Island and Carowinds debuted these, Kings Islands in 2001 and Carowinds in 2003. This is a Vekoma Junior Suspended Family Coaster that only goes 26 mph but it is a nice and fun little ride. This was a lot of fun back in 2003, but the problem with it now is that it’s a Vekoma, this ride, even as tame as it is, was rough. There was more head banging on this then a lot of the coasters at the park, the only one that had more was Carolina Cyclone. I was quite disappointed in this because of that fact, but my brother liked it, so I guess it wasn’t a complete waste lol.

    Well, that was it for the new credits and the rides I wanted to ride. As I stated earlier I didn’t go on Carolina Goldrusher, I also never rode Ricochet because the line was pretty long all day and I didn’t want to spend time in line when I could get on something quickly. We then ate dinner at the Country Kitchen where I thoroughly enjoyed Chicken Fingers, Mac n Cheese, and Potato Wedges. When we started to eat, we heard thunder, and then saw that a storm fell upon the park, so we hung out for a while. At around 5 the rain cleared and the rides started to re-open. Mom and Dad were exhausted so they left Scott and I at the park so I could re-ride and get night rides, the plan was for dad to come back and pick us up at 9:45, perfect time because that gave me over 4 hours of opportunities to re-ride! Scott and I walked with them to the front so I could start with Intimidator. After that we headed back over towards Thunder Road and Afterburn, I got 2 rides that time, once on each side, still incredible! I then rode Afterburn twice in the middle, still cookin’!

    We then made another lap around the park, hitting up the park’s observation tower to get some aerial pictures and then I wanted to ride Hurler again because in 2003 Hurler was my favorite woodie at Carowinds, but Thunder Road was kicking serious butt that day so I wanted reassurance that it was true, which is was. Hurler ran a bit faster the second time around but still nothing compared to Thunder Road. We then stopped at Outer Hanks for a beer, it was a great day so far and me and Scott toasted to the day so far, plus it was a nice rest. Following this I wanted to do Carolina Cobra again but the line was a little long so I came up with a plan which was to ride Thunder Road from 8:00-8:30, Afterburn from 8:30-9:00, and then Intimidator until dad arrived. We were a little late getting to Thunder Road because my brother attempted to win a Sony PSP in one of the arcades, but it was fine because I got 3 more on it, all on the South Carolina ride without even leaving the station, just switching rows. It never got old, such a fun coaster.

    Then I headed up to Afterburn and got 3 more rides on that too, except something happened to me for the very first time after riding 217 coasters to that point: I got stuck at the top of the lift for 15 minutes. People were freaking out, cursing that we should get refunds, and thinking they were going to die…the GP suck sometimes it was so annoying. I was annoyed that it was cutting into Intimidator time, we were finally released and gave me the best ride ever on it because it got really dark while we sat up there. Anxious after Afterburn, we walked quickly to Intimidator, it was 9:15 at this time and my plan was single rider all the way through. But, when I arrived, they had single rider closed off, so I had to wait in line, which only allowed me to get 1 more on it for the day instead of the multiple I was hoping for. Does anyone know why they close the single rider off at night? Even though it was only 1 ride, it was the ride that put Intimidator at #5 so I couldn’t complain! I bought my Intimidator shirt and a shot glass, then a Cinnabon, and then went to meet dad to head back to the hotel.

    Overall, and this is after Kings Dominion that I’m writing this, it was my favorite park of the trip. It isn’t the colossal size that Kings Dominion and Kings Island are, but in my opinion it was the best run park on the vacation, every ride had multiple trains running (minus Carolina Cobra of course), the park was kept very clean, the pricing was very good, and it was beyond friendly, I was VERY impressed and honestly didn’t want to leave because I had that good of a time there. Everyone, don’t miss this park, in fact, make a vacation or trip that involves or revolves around Carowinds, it’s worth it, not just because of Intimidator, but because of the rest of the coasters and the atmosphere they gives their guests. Thanks for reading, below is yet again my coaster count for the day and my updated top ten, thanks for reading, Kings Dominion to come soon!

    Intimidator from afar, towering over Carowinds!

    Afterburn then comes into view as we get closer to the park

    Coming into the park, guess what you see lol

    The final turn before the brakes

    The awesome 2nd hill and curved drop

    Hill #3 with awesome airtime!

    The gates to get in, lines were pretty light for a Friday!

    Entrance plaza and state line sign

    The dead Nighthawk Sad

    But this took those frowns away Smile

    The lovely gift shop for the happy riders after their experience

    The ride entrance

    One of Dale Earnhardt's cars, nice touch to the Intimidator plaza

    Yep you're down, I'm mad at you!

    On our way to Vortex, we walk through this pleasant vine tunnel with nice shade on this hot day

    Hello Vortex!

    The nice loop to start the ride

    The other reason the line moves slow, only 6 rows for 24 riders a train, small capacity for a B&M

    The small curved drop!

    Didn't ride you that day, but that's Ricochet, your standard Wild Mouse Smile

    Mr. Hurler welcomes its riders with this sign

    It hangs out by the Jukebox Diner

    Racing towards the speed curve although it is slightly slowed down now

    Right next door is this beautiful ride

    The multiple cars that allow different views of the park!

    Up next, the good old Arrow who turned 30 this year!

    To celebrate it got a nice, fancy paint job!

    The train is nearly as long as the drop

    One of its 2 tight loops

    Turn over the walkway, with my brother also ready for a picture lol

    Exiting the final inversion before the helix

    Onto the Boomerang with the nice logo!

    Going through the surprisingly smooth layout!

    It's nice to see that Cedar Fair is making sure some of Geauga Lake's coasters are finding new homes

    Thunder Road's entrance, not many photo ops of this ride Sad

    Next up, one of the best inverts out there, I love how Carowinds made their new names look nice and put entrance logos to the rides, not just renaming them and leaving them at that

    The sweet first loop!

    The smooth immelman

    One of my favorite shots, the immelman with the fighter jet, awesome theming Smile

    One of the best elements out there, the zero g roll Smile

    The ride also has a nice hill over the station where you get a little air, right before the corkscrew

    A view of Intimidator from the path between Afterburn and the front of the park, it's visible anywhere!

    Another shot of the 2nd hill

    You can also stand right by the drop, as seen in this picture, awesome view Smile

    Another nice ride sign for another re-named ride

    The unique curved beginning to the ride

    It's nice looking, but it is a little rough

    Now for the pictures from the obervation tower, the Intimidator looking amazing

    The queue, station, and brake area


    Carolina Cyclone and Ricochet


    Carolina Cobra and Carolina Goldrusher


    Intimidator's hill to the brakes

    I leave you with Intimidator at night, my camera has a little bit of trouble at night, but I thought it looked cool! Thanks for reading!

    Coaster Count:
    Thunder Road: SC- 4
    Intimidator- 3
    Thunder Road: NC- 2
    Hurler- 2
    Vortex- 1
    Carolina Cyclone- 1
    Carolina Cobra- 1
    Woodstock Express- 1
    Flying Ace Aerial Chase- 1

    Top Ten after Carowinds:
    1. Millennium Force
    2. Bizarro
    3. Phantom’s Revenge
    4. Diamondback
    5. Intimidator*
    6. Goliath
    7. Apollo’s Chariot
    8. Incredible Hulk
    9. Bizarro
    10. Nitro

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      Current date/time is Sat Jan 19, 2019 11:18 am