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Ultimate Rollercoaster > Discussion Forums > Roller Coasters, Parks & Attractions > TR: Carowinds 8/19/12

TR: Carowinds 8/19/12

Posted: 8/22/12 at 11:15:30 PM
Views: 5397

My Mom and I headed to Charlotte from Jax to spend a four days (18th to the 21st) at my aunt & uncle's house; Their was some other relatives there that drove from Vicksburg MS, and Jacksonville. So I had to take advantage of the opportunity to visit Carowinds, esp for a couple of rides on Intimidator, right. :) I went to the park by myself; My mom has arthritis, and she can't get around like she used to, so she stayed at the house. I tried to drag a roller coaster crazy cousin along with me (I even offered to pay her way in and everything) but she did want to leave when some other relatives that were expected to arrive at the house (I saw everyone that came in the evening). So I told everyone that I be back later, I'm gonna go out 'coasting'. :)

I arrived at Carowinds a lil' after 11am with overcast skies; I went thru the main gate this time, unlike in 07. Intimidator looms nearby the parking area. The park was about half full at best, and those crowds came in later on in the day.

I normally will not do two trip reports on the same park, but their was alot of flatrides (and not to mention three coasters) that I didn't ride back in 07'. Here's my 07 TR

On to the rides.

Carolina Cyclone: Ridden before. It's still gives a good smooth ride, just like it was in 07'. This and Corkscrew at CP are still my favorite small Arrow loopers.

Hurler: Ridden before. I'll just get it outta the way, it's officially my worst wooden coaster! This thing was beyond brutal! It was making a screechy noise throughout the entire course. It was rough (even more than 07), and it felt washboardy. I'll equate this coaster to flooring a POS jalopy car that's about to break down at any minute. Awful, just awful.

Carolina Goldrusher: Ridden before. I rode in the front. An okay mine train with the highlight being the tunnel at the end towards the break run. IMO there are definitely better mine trains out there like Goldrusher at Six Flags Magic Mtn.

Vortex: Ridden before. The layout is very blah, but this coaster did not feel painful to me (unlike in 07), because I know know how to ride stand ups, avoiding that imfamous groin pain. Here's the secret; Stand up foward about a couple of inches from the inner rail; So you will be actually leaning back on the seat instead of standing straight upright. Some stand ups have footprints; Do not stand on the footprints unless you want discomfort, stand in front of them. I had to bend my knees slightly while going through the positive-G loop, but that's okay, it beats groin pain. I didn't experience any pain on Riddlers Revenge either. Use the technique at your own risk, as things can differ between two riders, height etc.

Nighthawk: Ridden before as Borg. This slow loading coaster was by far the longest wait in the park (not too bad though about 30-40ish minutes). I rode in the back. I was pretty rough, and clanky in the back. One thing about riding in the back, the elements come outta no where, as you can't see, and anticipate them.

Afterburn: Ridden before as Top Gun. I rode somewhere towards the back. It's still ridin re-rideably smooth. It's cool whizzing by the fighter jet theming toward the station run. I'm kinda getting B&M looper fatigue just a lil' bit.

Now to the coasters and flats that I didn't ride before.

GR8 SK8: A Chance Falling Star. The seats face out towards the queue line. A fun family-friendly flats with some weak airtime forces, but it some some good shifting lateral forces as you slide from side to side, on the wide seat.

Yo Yo: Another one that's made by Chance (Yo Yo). My best way to describe it is a Wave Swinger without the tilting motion, it's not really that much to it, although it's a good family friendly flat.

Southern Star: A Intamin Looping Starship. It nice to ride this old school thrill flat (esp when you haven't ridden one in a while) It's fun watching the people reactions on the other side of the ship. The other one I rode is Phoenix at Busch Gardens Tampa.

Windseeker: Made by Mondial. A nice family friendy (albeit lofty) flat. This bad boy plays some soothing enchanting Disney-esque music unlike the one at Knotts. You can see the Charlotte skyline towards Nighthawk's lift hill. The thing about these rides are that they don't lie; As soon as you get near the top, it gets windy as hell. :)

Drop Tower: Made by Intamin. A mediocre lower capacity drop tower with a measly 100 ft drop. The cycle is very quick, with that short drop.

Ricochet: I rode for the credit. The lateral turns actually was tolerable on this coaster, but the drops were kinda painful with the lap bar on the knees.

Carolina Cobra: Those restraints are excellent, no pain whatsoever. You can actually enjoy the ride, and feel the positive-G forces throughout the ride without fear of OTHR's bashing your head. I wish that every Vekoma looper had them.

Intimidator: I saved the best for last. I rode it four times (in various spots) without considerably short queue waits (hopefully that's enough times for you coaster marathoners out there LOL JK). It was awesome, like number 8 on my overall list awesome! Massive airtime throughout! So Much air, the I got a lil' concerned with the lapbar as I had that felling that my legs were gonna slip between the seat and lapbar ejecting me outta the coaster, I've never been concerned like that before. The first drop is nice, but the consistent air hills afterwards were even more nice. It is awesome, the most air that I felt on a B&M hyper. When you sit near (or in) the front seats, you actually catch air on the MCBR, it's crazy. Carotim is a great B&M hyper.

I skipped the been there done thats the Thunder Road coasters, The Vekoma hang-N-bang JR, and the junior woodie.

It's been an extremely awesome year for me, in contrast to my sickly year of 2011. I'll probably check out Dare Devil Dive up there at SFOG later on (maybe in September) before call it a wrap in 2012. I hope that yall enjoyed the TR.

* This post was modified at 8/24/12 7:36:02 AM *

Re: TR: Carowinds 8/19/12 by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 8/23/12 9:34:38 AM
Nice work, Chris. I love both Intimidators..they're both in my Top Ten Steel. However, like many B&M hypers, it runs outta gas about 2/3 of the way through.

Afterburn remains my #1 invert, despite frequent challenges from Batman at GAdv and Talon at Dorney.

I've been to Carowinds twice, and have yet to ride Nighthawk. First visit in the mid-2K's, it was too damn hot to stand on the (very long) line for Borg Assimilator without much shade. 2nd visit in
2010(?..I might be off on the year)..Nighthawk was down for a multiple week period for rehab.

Too bad you skipped Thunder was running nicely on that last visit.


The amusement park rises bold and stark
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist...
Re: TR: Carowinds 8/19/12 by Overbanked Overbanked Profile at 8/23/12 10:04:54 AM
^^^I forgot about Thunder Road's rebab in 08', I probably should have checked it out for that alone. To be honest, I didn't like the decision to make both of the trains face forward at all, I thought that the former backwards side was very fun and unique, esp going through the tunnel backwards. Why wouldn't they want to make the most with differing experiences on two adjacent mirror image coasters? In it's former state back in 07' I thought that Thunder Road wasn't overly rough, it was pretty decent to me; Definitely been on FAR rougher coasters, look no further than the other woodie in the park.

* This post was modified at 8/23/12 10:10:19 AM *

Re: TR: Carowinds 8/19/12 by frontrow frontrow Profile at 8/23/12 10:38:06 AM
Great TR Overbanked. I've been to Carowinds twice; once in 2001 and in 2010 ( Intimadator's first year). I agree Intimadator is loaded with air time. I have it as my #9 favorite steel coaster. The only complaint I have is the final helix is very dull. On my last visit every thing was a walk on, except Nighthawk. We had to wait about 30 minutes. We got a bunch of rides on Intimadator and Afterburn, they were both walk ons. I really like the back seat of Intimadator, but I like the front on Afterburn. Vortex was running surprisingly well, and Carolina Cyclone is one of the better Arrow loopers, but had the weirdest paint scheme. Carowinds is a nice park. Adding a signature coaster like Intimadator really helped that park. The New restraints on Carolina Cobra are nice. Hershey's Sidewinder got the same treatment. Well, it sounds like you enjoyed the park and got to visit with your family. Sounds like a really nice vacation.
Re: TR: Carowinds 8/19/12 by Overbanked Overbanked Profile at 8/23/12 11:17:06 AM
Thanks for the reply Frontrow. First and foremost, I really enjoyed seeing my family, some who I haven't seen in years; Although the enjoyment of riding Intimidator was a close second, LOL JK ;)

* This post was modified at 8/24/12 7:37:04 AM *

Re: TR: Carowinds 8/19/12 by LoneStar LoneStar Profile at 8/23/12 5:15:21 PM
Thanks for the TR Mike. Couple of questions:

Have you been on other Vekoma flyes? I absolutely loved Firehawk at KI. I am curious how the earlier Stealth design compares.

How are the trims on Intimidator? The POVs I watch show trim brakes all over that thing. Do the impact the ride at all?

Glad you love the Cyclone...from one Arrow lover to another!!

- Pat-O

Re: TR: Carowinds 8/19/12 by LoneStar LoneStar Profile at 8/23/12 5:20:39 PM
Oh, and I forgot to ask...where does Flight Deck rank on your B&M inverted list? The ride looks awesome and intense.

How does it compare to Raptor and Alpengeist? I've heard this ride is very under-rated.

- Pat-O

Re: TR: Carowinds 8/19/12 by Overbanked Overbanked Profile at 8/23/12 5:58:30 PM
LoneStar said:

Thanks for the TR Mike. Couple of questions:

Have you been on other Vekoma flyes? I absolutely loved Firehawk at KI. I am curious how the earlier Stealth design compares.

How are the trims on Intimidator? The POVs I watch show trim brakes all over that thing. Do the impact the ride at all?

Glad you love the Cyclone...from one Arrow lover to another!!

- Pat-O

It's actually my TR (Chris) Pat-O. I'll go on and answer the bombardment of questions, JK Pat-O. :)

I haven't been on any other Vekoma flyer to compare to Nighthawk; I got a better ride experience on it back in 07' when it was Borg Assimilator; Then I rode somewhere in the middle, I rode Nighthawk in the back and it was pretty rough, it felt SLC-ish.

I didn't notice the trims on Intimidator, but then again, I took my glasses off. I didn't feel any 'trim-drag' on Intimidator at all, it felt uninterrupted.

Right on about loving Arrows, Carolina Cyclone was running very good.

I dunno what it was about Afterburn, but I caught a better (more intense) ride in 07' as Flight Deck. Don't get me wrong, Afterburn is definitely a top notch coaster, I just got a lil' B&M fatigue, esp after being spoiled with the recent ride on other B&M's loopers (non-inverts) like Superman Krypton Coaster, and Riddler's Revenge which is very forceful, with airspots in places (a lil' mini airspot on RR).

Here's my B&M invert rankings, I absolutely love Raptor and Montu.

Silver Bullet
Dragon Challenge Fire [They were awesome when they were dueling :(]
Dragon Challenge Ice
Batman (SFOG/SFMM)/ Goliath(SFFT) all facsimiles.

* This post was modified at 8/23/12 6:25:23 PM *

Re: TR: Carowinds 8/19/12 by MABrider MABrider Profile at 8/23/12 6:31:02 PM
Nice report.

I visited Carowinds once, in 2010, an ACE event with ERT on Intimidator, etc.
I liked the place a lot and liked the coaster line up there.

Anyone ride the Flyers at Carowinds?
They were great when at King's Island, as our friend Chuck (Coasterfanatic) knows well, and remain great in NC/SC.
Ops actually encourage snappage, and then grant a re-ride to the tub they deem most "snap worthy."
At least that's how it was when I visited in 2010.
Great fun!

Mike B.

Flyers at Carowinds

Mike B.
Re: TR: Carowinds 8/19/12 by Overbanked Overbanked Profile at 8/23/12 6:42:23 PM
^^^The Flyers went under the radar on my 'flaride search' as I lost it in that realm of kiddie rides. If I knew they were there, I probably would have went on and ridden it. That name "Woodstock Gliders" doesn't exactly scream "Flyers".