End of Summer Trip: Day #8 Carowinds
Carowinds has our last park of the trip. Once again we got to the park before opening. Now I called the park. I was told me got 15 minutes early entry. After we entered the park, we walked up to the security guards and showed our platinum passes. They said we are not doing that today, and they weren't very polite in their tone. Of coarse I had to put my two cents in and gave them the same tone of voice. This was already starting off to be a bad day. Luckily the crowds were non existent again.
At the rope drop we hustled to Intimadator. My kids got first train of the day in the front seat. I followed behind them in the next train in the front seat. My last visit to the park was in 2010, when Intimadator was brand new. It was my 3rd visit overall and my kids first visit. Intimadator is still running really good, just like I remember it. It sits right outside my top 10 at 11 or 12 on my steel coaster list. Being we rode Goliath at SFOG the day before, I realized how much more I liked Goliath. I still like Intimadator much more than Diamondback, but my daughter disagreed. My son really liked Intimadator, almost as much as Goliath. Later in the day we waited about 10 minutes for another front seat ride and a back seat ride. I already commented on the incident, so the only thing I'll say is that we could have gotten more rides. Due to my meltdown, we didn't ride again after the incident. One thing to add is for the big guys, like me. On Diamondback and Goliath I pulled the restraint down myself and actually had a little comfy room. They do require an extra click on Intimadator. It was probably the tightest fit I had the whole trip. If I was 5 pounds heavier, I would not have fit. Just something to keep in mind.
Next we headed for Nighthawk, a Vekoma flyer. With only one train running we waited about 30 minutes. It's a good thing we did ride it when we did. When we got off there was a full que. We boarded a middle row and it was running much better on this visit. It wasn't rough at all. In fact it was quite enjoyable.
We then headed for After Burn, a B&M invert. We had to wait a few trains for front seat. Later in the day we rode the front again and the back seat, both with a few train wait. Being we rode Raptor and Batman in the same trip, I must say After Burn is exceptional. It's better than I remember. The first drop is great, the vertical loop is good, the zero g roll is fabulous, and the bat wing is the best part. I think Banshee at Kings Island will be similar to After Burn. AB climbed many spots on my favorite list. The kids really liked it and we all agreed it was the best invert of the trip.
Next went to Carolina Cobra, a Vekoma boomerang that used to be at Geauga Lake. They put new trains on it with soft restraints, similar to Sidewinder at Hershey. We waited about 3 cycles and sat near the back. My daughter loves these types of coasters. Some teenager got sick on the ride right before we boarded, so it took a while for them to clean it up. The ride ops were getting into a heated argument of who's job it was to clean it up. I even shouted "Is someone going to clean it up or not?" I even sarcastically volunteered to clean it myself. Finally they all cleaned it up.
We then headed for Ricochet, a Mack Wild Mouse. We waited about 10 minutes and got our ride. We then rode Carolina Cyclone, an Arrow Looper. My kids sat front row, and I sat in the 2nd row. We had to wait a few trains. I actually like this coaster, but my kids hated it. Next up was Hurler, identical to Hurler at Kings Dominion. We walked on it. My kids grabbed front and I sat in the 2nd row again. Carowinds version is much rougher than the one at KD. After getting our brains beat off our skull we headed for the Mine Train. Once again it was a walk on. Nothing special about this weak Arrow mine ride. Next up was Vortex, another B&M standing coaster. We had to wait 1 train for front seat. It wasn't too bad. My son really liked it, but he likes all standing coasters.
Thunder Road was down earlier in the day, but it was now open. The were only running the right side. On my last visit it was really rough, but I could see new wood We waited about 5 trains for front seat. It was actually a great ride. Not as good as Rebel Yell at Kings Dominion, but probably equivalent to Racer at Kings Island. The kids liked it also.
We went back to Planet Snoopy. We rode the kiddie coasters back there including Flying Ace Airie Chase, a Vekoma junior invert, and Woodstock Express, a junior wooden. When we returned to the station someone behind us got sick, and once again they shut down the ride. The kids already got their credit, but we were in that area for a while and never seen it run again. They were probably arguing about who was going to clean it up. We rode a ride back in that kids section, I think it was called Pirate's Flight. It was pretty fun ride. Busch Garden Williamsburg used to have something very simular. We also rode the flyers back. I couldn't do anything on these flyers, but other people were snapping them. I could see and hear then snap. I was really frustrated that I couldn't figure out how to snap them also. We rode the Sky Tower on the way out and I shot a video.
I'm not saying this just because of my daughter's incident, but Carowinds has the worst employees. It a great park, but the employees make it difficult to have a good time. They really need better training on how to handle ordinary things and other problems. If this was my first visit, I would have a terrible opinion about the park.
The next day we drove home and traveled 2,350 miles and spent $1,665. We had a great time and made memories that will last forever.
Thanks for reading,
Wow Ken.....so do you handle all the driving by yourself?? How do you stay awake??
The way I plan these trips is that we hit parks that are 4 hours apart. We wake at 7:00, and drive 2 hours to park. Visit the park from open to 7:00pm, then drive 2 hours. We are usually in our hotel by 9:30. It's really not too bad. We will have a day or 2 where the driving is a little longer. I'm used to getting very little sleep because of work. Now when we got to Carowinds, I was beat. After a week of driving and walking around parks, I do get very tired. We were supposed to meet Mike at Waldameer the day after we got home, but I was just too tired. I ended up sleeping like 11 hours the night we got home. Being that my kids are young and coaster crazy right now, I'm pushing myself a little more. So far It's been a great season. I've been to 17 different parks. My daughter has been to 19 this year and has added 100 coasters this year.