Share thoughts, photos, and reviews from visits to Carowinds or any other amusement park
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By gabed
#101224
Day 6 - Part 1

Knoebels was fantastic, but all hood things must come to an end. Fortunately, some good things end just to make room for the beginnings of more good things, as was the case today. Getting on the road early in the morning before the heat hit us, we were off to West Mifflin, Pennsylvania. Fast forward three and a half hours and we reached our sixth destination.



Although there was a bit of bad news I discovered upon entering the park.



Ugh. I was really hoping they’d have the ride fixed before my visit but oh well. Is what it is. Since Skyrocket was out of the question, Plan B was obvious.



Though the lines weren’t too bad this early into the day, one train operations combined with awful overall operations meant I’d be standing in the queue for a bit longer than I had first anticipated. Although I can’t complain since in the end, I was able to snag the back row for my very first ride.



WOW. I was not expecting the ride to be that good. I knew I’d enjoy myself but I was not expecting the ride to be that exciting. From the 232 foot drop to the ejector hills at the end of the course, this ride was probably the biggest surprise of my day.

Phantom behind me, I was off to ride my first Zamperla Giant Discovery.



Now I can finally say that I’ve ridden a Huss, a Mondial, and a Zamperla frisbee. And in order of greatness from best to worst, I’d rank them; Zamperla, Mondia, Huss. Black Widow takes a while to get moving, but once you’ve got momentum, you gain some serious air. This may just be my new favorite flat, but my love for Electro Spin is one that takes a lot to be replaced. I’ll have to think about it more.



I love S&S Screaming Swings. Always have. Always will. This one felt a lot tamer than most, even with a much shorter cycle, not to mention horrid operations. Oh well, still a great flat.
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By gabed
#101225
Day 6 - Part 2

Flat ride fiesta on hold, I tried out one of Kennywood’s dark rides before killing more credits.



Noah’s Ark was just bizarre in the best ways possible. They’ve really taken good care of this attraction and some of the effects I saw were unlike anything I’ve done before. In many ways it felt like a Scarowinds maze, just without the scares. You walk through the attraction at your own pace and try not to hit a wall due to lights being sparsely placed throughout. As you can imagine, it tells the story of Noah’s Ark and takes you around to see all the animals on board. Very well done.

Ok ok, now for more credits.





I was a little scared I would have to wait the entire queue just to be told I can’t ride alone. (All riders on Thunderbolt MUST have a partner... or else). Luckily for me, within five minutes of standing in the scorching hot line, a call for a single rider was shouted through the queue, an offer which I happily accepted. So I got to skip the line and get the credit! The ride itself was very, erm, interesting? Like all the wooden coasters at Kennywood, the ride’s layout is pretty bizarre, with a good chunk of the action happening before the train even hits the lift hill. Little pops of airtime are scattered here and there, but really the best part of the coaster is seeing how it interacts with the terrain. It feels like the coaster was built FOR the mountain and nothing else, which I’m sure probably was the case.



Oh look another flat. Now this looks like some old rinky-dinky flat, which it is, until you see...



I have never even heard of this ride, much less seen anything like it at other parks. I rode it and had a blast, each time you go over the ramp the ride delivers a great pop of air before bringing you back down to do it again.

After a burger at Johnny Rockets, Jack Rabbit was my next coaster.



Much like Thunderbolt, a good portion of the coaster’s layout happens before you even get to the lift hill. Fun little thing but nothing too memorable. One thing I will say is that this, along with the other two wooden coasters here, were much smoother than I had anticipated. So well done Kennywood!
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By gabed
#101226
Day 6 - Part 3





Really quick I just want everyone to admire this station. Too bad this dude is blocking part of the shot.

Racer was an odd one. The coaster is a möbius loop, but unlike Twister Colossus, you can only ride one side at the time. To both truly feel like I got the credit and to experience the ride in full, I did both sides. Not to brag, but my train won both times so I’m more or less the best enthusiast here. Like Jack Rabbit, very smooth, very weird.



Despite getting rejected by three kiddie coasters on this trip, Lil’ Phantom (yes that is the name) gave me no trouble at all.



My last new coaster today was Exterminator. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s an indoor spinning roller coaster with heavy theming inside the building. If that sounds a lot like Laff Trakk, that’s because it is exactly like Laff Trakk, despite being twenty years older. While I prefer Laff Trakk over this, Exterminator was still a blast. On top of that it was another way to escape the heat so that’s another plus.



Another rare flat, this time a Tumblebug, that I’m pretty sure only Kennywood has. If this is incorrect please correct me. Fun ride with a lengthy cycle.

I finished the night off with a front row ride on Phantom before heading back to the hotel for the night. Kennywood was great, but is nothing compared to the park that would follow. Until then, thanks for reading!
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By gabed
#101278
Day 7 - Part 1

Here we are, time for the big guns!

Cedar Point has recently rebranded itself as “a place like no other”, and that could not be any closer to the truth. There just isn’t anything on the planet that compares to it. The atmosphere, the endless selection of incredible coasters, it’s all amazing.



I’ve been to Cedar Point three times now after today, each time visiting when the park had a new coaster. That last part wasn’t on purpose, more of just a coincidence. Yet despite having now gone to the park three times, each visit feels like my first one. There’s a kind of magic here that you just cannot feel anywhere else.



This obviously was my first ride of the day and if that surprises anyone, I’m shocked. First and foremost, yes, it lives up to the hype and more. I was pretty confident it would become my new number one, but I had no clue that it would shatter every expectation I had for it (which were quite high by the way). Steel Vengeance is the best roller coaster in the world, that is not an opinion. Another enthusiast I met at the park described the ride as a “religious experience”, which is pretty much the most accurate description of the ride one can give. The airtime is nothing but ejector all throughout, the ride time is longer than most coasters, the sensation of flying through the wood on the second half of the ride is stellar, there really is no one thing about the ride that makes it great. It’s just one big package of awesomeness.



Maverick was next. For years this ride stood proudly in the number one spot of my coaster rankings, but comparing it to Steel Vengeance just isn’t fair. Maverick is still running great as ever, now even with some new effects in the tunnel. I still can’t get over how much the new restraints add to the ride, now the airtime doesn’t have to be painful.

With crowds staking up, it was already two in the afternoon after I exited Maverick, so I headed off to grab a bite to eat. Once my stomach was satisfied, I was off to the park’s most underrated coaster.



This ride is not bad, you guys are just mean. It’s rattle may be a lot to bear during the second dive, but it’s still a blast of a coaster to ride. It’s one of those “just-for-fun” coasters that I just can’t get enough of. The ride’s final inversion into the helix is still the best part, but the ride as a whole is still great.



Still on the fence on whether this or Thunderbird is my favorite wing coaster. Gatekeeper’s longer layout and killer turnover drop are great, but Thunderbird’s launch alone is fantastic. Oh well, time will tell.

I remember a time where Millenium Force was so overrated it was criminal, now it seems the ride has gained an opposite reputation. Listen, the ride isn’t bad, it’s just not that good. The first drop and overbanked turn are forceful, sure, but after that all the ride has to offer us some pretty views from the “airtime” hills.



Say what you want, but this IS my favorite floorless. I absolutely love this thing, which is saying a lot considering that Mantis is my 3rd least favorite coaster. Rougarou is just so unique when compared to other floorless coasters out there, with elements you can’t find on any other ones. I know most would say Dominator is the best floorless, which I understand, but Rougarou has my vote.
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By gabed
#101279
Day 7 - Part 2

With the evening coming near, I headed back to my cabin for a few hours and grabbed dinner before coming back into the park. Once I was back in, I decided to put a unique twist on my day.





Get it? Twist! Ahahaha.

Front row on Wicked Twister was a blast, as was the back row. Maybe not a top 10 thrill ride, but a great little shot of adrenaline to pump you up.





The rest of my night consisted of a night ride in the front row on Steel Vengeance and Maverick, not a bad way to end my first day at Cedar Point if I do say so myself. My face may have looked like a windshield from the layer of dead mayflies caking it, but it was all worth it.
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By gabed
#101280
Day 8

Getting into the park at nine for early entry, I made the trek to the back of the park to ride Steel Vengeance, only to find it was down indefinitely. Disappointing, but considering I still got two awesome rides the night before, I couldn’t complain. In the meantime, Skyhawk was my Plan B.



Great flat, great air, and a nice breeze in the hot sun.

By 10:00 I had already gotten several rides on Maverick and Vengeance was showing no signs of opening up, so to the front of the park is where I headed.



Front row rides on Stratas are something else. Did Dragster twice in the front and had a blast. Nothing quite like wind flapping through the inside of your eyelids before shooting up the tower.



For an early lunch I stopped at Pinks and used my meal plan to get a burger and some of the best onion rings on planet Earth. Seriously, if you’re gonna go to Cedar Point, you gotta get onion rings from Pinks.



Maybe not the best idea to ride this with a stomach full of greasy food, but I’m usually pretty good at keeping food down on rides so I wasn’t terrible worried. Had a lot of fun on this thing. Again, Huss frisbees aren’t the best but they’re still a lot of fun regardless.

The rest of the day was spent doing rerides on coasters I’ve already talked about so I’ll cut it short here. Steel Vengeance did finally open at 6:00, where I got five total rides before the park. Had a great time here, now off to the eight and final park, Kings Island.
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By gabed
#101282
Day 9 - Part 1

And here we are, the very last day. It’s been an amazing nine days, but like all good things, it must come to an end. However, it’s not quite over yet, one more park remains. That park of course being Kings Island.

It’s been three years since I was last here, with Banshee only being in it’s second season at the time. Now not only was Banshee operating in it’s fifth season, it wasn’t even the newest coaster in the park anymore. The newest coaster at Kings Island happens to be this little guy right here...





With all the hype surrounding Mystic Timbers, some even calling it the very best project GCI had ever made, I was a bit nervous that it had been overhyped for me. It wouldn’t be the first time either as I overhyped both The Voyage and El Toro to a point where they never could have possibly lived up to the expectations I had for them. As for Mystic Timbers, while it’s no Steel Vengeance, it’s still a fantastic wooden coaster. I’m not quite sure if I like it better than Thunderhead, but it’s definitelt one of the finest coasters GCI has created thus far.



The Beast was one of the highlights of my 2015 visit and easily the ride I was most looking forward to on my return today. Just like I remembered it, the ride was a blast. Sure it’s nothing but straightaways, but it’s the ride’s seclusion from the rest of the park that makes it so great.



This is also about as crowded as the park got all day, which shocked me given that it was a national holiday at one of the biggest parks in America. Probably had a lot to do with the heat wave which was pretty awful to say the least. Despite it only being 95, weather forecasts reported it feeling like 105. Water quickly became a must for me and was borderline enforced by ride operators and park personnel.





Diamondback was running great today, probably thanks to the unbearable heat allowing the trains to rip through the course. I used to have Intimidator pegged above it, but after today I must say that is no longer the case. While very similar on paper, Diamondback has a slight edge with it’s stronger airtime in the first half of the layout.
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By gabed
#101284
Day 9 - Part 2

After checking out the views from the Eiffel Tower and gobbling down orange chicken at Panda Express, Banshee was my next stop.





Whoever said this coaster isn’t as good as it used to be is lying straight through their teeth. Banshee is still the best invert hands down and was running just as well as it was three years ago.



Oh look another frisbee. At this point I’m not even gonna bother describing it, just read my reviews from the other three frisbees on this trip.



I’m normally not a water ride guy. I hate getting wet in my dry clothes. I hate the feeling of walking around in drenched shorts and underwear, it’s just not for me. But... when it feels like the seventh circle of hell outside, you’ll catch me in line for any log flume on the planet. The ride didn’t get me drenched, but it did get me wet enough to bring my body temperature down a few thousand degrees.

After a few hours had passed I had already reridden a lot of coasters and flat rides from earlier, and the clock was winding down. At 5:30, I made one last ride in the front row of Banshee before heading out into the drop off lot.

...

It’s been an amazing nine days. Some of the parks I made it to on this trip are parks I never in my life thought I would make it to. I am beyond fortunate to have had this opportunity and hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I loved writing about it. Thank you to everyone who has been reading this mess since last week.

After 9 days, 8 parks, 52 coasters, and over 1 year of planning, that’s a wrap.

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By gabed
#101395
Gopack44 wrote:Gabed, I really enjoyed reading through all of the posts along the trip! Without a doubt you had to of had a blast. Excellent synopsis of all the rides and experiences at the various parks!


carowinds.captured wrote:i enjoyed reading....thanks for posting :wink:


Thanks you guys!

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