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SE Trip Lite- silver2005's Trip to Carowinds and Dollywood


silver2005
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Kentucky Kingdom TR July 5, 2021

It was a hot day in Louisville today.  Got in at park opening and stayed until 5-ish.  I did go on the pretense of a short trip as I thought it might be busy the day after the 4th, but aside from a mildy busy water park, it was a very pleasant visit.  The longest wait I had was for a 1 train op Lightning Run (probably 25 minutes).  Thunder Run got to 20 later in the day, but the other 3 were walk on.  Only the raft ride as my water ride source, Mile High Falls snafued today (91 with a tad bit of humidity and no swim gear).  I'm also a fan of Larson Loopers after this trip.  Had a relaxing trip, took my time, had a good day.  Kentucky Kingdom always wears me out quickly with how intense the ride line up is as well as the 2 hour drive to and from.  Speaking of which, I need to find a way around the bridge situation for next week's venture, especially coming back.  Took a TON of pictures (say...200). 

Only 2 slight issues- a late T3 opening and a temporary Storm Chaser ghost train. 

Ride count- 

Lightning Run- 2

Thunder Run-3 (Ran GREAT today, especially in the front half of the train)

T3- 1 (its super jerky to me)

Storm Chaser- 3

Kentucky Flyer-3 

Eye of the Storm- 1

Raging River Rapids- 1

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Well, Gatlingburg's weather took a nose dive.  Rain forecasted for every day I'm there so far, though its all below 50% so far.

Though....post-rain Thunderhead seems like a good thing. B) 

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Why are so many parks sucking at operations compared to KI recently, even the good ones?

I also ride stand ups early as my legs aren't happy doing them later in the day, so Vortex will likely be stop #1.  

Also, the way it works out, I will hit #125 at Carowinds, picking between Afterburn and Fury. 

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So weather looks hit and miss.  Charlotte looks clear, but its going to be very humid the day I go.  

For G-burg and PF, I'm at the mercy of the weather patterns of the Smoky Mountains, IE, lots of scattered rain.  Luckily, I can change my Dollywood reservation.  Will make that decision the morning I go from Charlotte to Pigeon Forge. 

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^Heat isn't an issue.  I've been taking walks (in the realm of 20+ miles since mid-May) with a lot of hills near where I live on the west side, and doing so on the hotter days on purpose to get used to the heat.  The thing is, it hasn't been that humid in Cincy, at least compared to what the south can dish out.  

The day I'm reserved for Dollywood is looking MUCH better, now very low chance of rain.  

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^I think the industry needs to see a 2nd coming of non-water park water rides.  Who makes reliable flumes out there?

silver2005, sucker for a good log flume (I get to ride my favorite at Dollywood ^_^ )

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Pretty sure I had meat candy for dinner.  Ribs that don't need sauce, and the mustard based sauce has a lot going on including a steak aftertaste.  Hush puppies, mac n cheese were great too.  Highly recommended. All this was $20.

20210711_204643.jpg

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1 hour ago, silver2005 said:

@MDMC01 has a Pokémon using Rain Dance it seems. Downpour in Carowinds now.

Sorry, it wasn't me (my Blastoise doesn't know it and my Kingdra is in a PC Box). Must be the local Ludicolo causing that rainstorm! :P

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Carowinds TR July 12th

Got in a full day at Carowinds, sans a small rain squabble that stopped everything for about 90 minutes.  Also, man oh man was it humid until and just after the rain.  This park is in serious need of water rides outside the water park (as well as a modern wooden coaster, they deserve better than Hurler).  I was overall impressed by the park.  Has a very simple and quaint layout.  Decent amount of shade sans the back of the park.  Good music was pumping through the midway especially by Afterburn and Carolina Cyclone. Staff was pretty fair all around, though on average, KI's are better, especially ride ops.  I particularly liked the simplicity of the entrance along with Fury blazing across the concourse.  Cedar Point gets more points for having the gate designed for the coaster to pass (Fury is the better of GateKeeper by a bit).  Got the full Carowinds experience by eating at Harmony Hall (had ok pizza, kept it simple with the heat).  Drink plan got a work out.  

As for path, I started out by Fury, routed to make it my 120th (5 coasters in), and then circled around the other side and made Afterburn #125, ending with 126 total before my new credits in TN.  Took in a lot of non-coasters too (Plants vs Zombies was closed for the day).   Wait times were 15-40 minutes, but luckily, there was a low quotient of Fast Lane users, so I totally got my money's worth getting one, especially after the storm stopped and things reopened. 

Ride Reviews and Count

Non-Coaster Reviews

Southern Star- I'm starting to like looping flats like Larson Loopers and looping ships.  Southern Star swings around much slower than Larsons, so the hang time is better.  

Electro Spin- This is easily the most insane flat I've ever ridden.  Completely unpredictable, comfortable as long as you brace yourself.  Add that to flats I want KI to have along with S&S Screaming Swings. 

Drop Tower- Short and sweet for a nice Gen 2 Intamin tower.  One ride Intamin gets consistently right. 

WindSeeker- My 3rd one.  Only ride open with a view to enjoy (Skytower seems to be SBNO).  Weird seeing Charlotte kind of stick out from a bunch of nothing.  Good location in the center of the park, too. 

Coaster Reviews (Alphabetical Order)

Afterburn (4 laps including LROTD row 1 zen ride)- This is easily my favorite B&M inverted coasters.  It has a perfect sense of pace, a compact layout, no MCBR, and that old school snapiness of gen 1 B&M designs.  The 0g roll and batwing are wicked fast as well as probably my favorite drop-loop-Immelman combination ever.   It has just enough ease off the gas where I enjoy it more than Banshee, being highly re-rideable over Banshee gives it massive kudos as well.  This might sneak into my top 5.  Need to make the trek to FL to ride Montu pronto. 

Carolina Cyclone (1 lap)- I'm starting to like these smaller Arrows more and more.  Fun simple course, really miss The Vortex trains, has good speed through the course including a pretty good helix.   Just a fun coaster (love the colors).  Sat in the same seat I rode when I last rode Vortex (5-1, the Toomer seat).  

Carolina Goldrusher (1 lap)- An okay Arrow mine train.  It pretty much the same elements reversed between the 2 lifts.  The first helix and final drop being underground were cool.  Also a nice station (along with a lot of the older coasters).  

Copperhead Strike (1 lap)- This is a really fun launched coaster.  I like the Mack train design, and its surprisingly intense for its size and speed, especially in contrast to the insane hangtime going through the inversions on the slower side.  Combined for a very fun ride.  Theming was pretty cool, too.  

Flying Cobras (1 lap)- Like this on par with Hershey's with the new Vekoma train.  More coasters also need trains with all the cars different colors.  An enjoyable Boomerang. 

Fury 325 (5 laps)-  THIS is how you design a giga boys and girls.  Fury is insanely fast and forceful.  It really pulls you over the first drop, especially in the back, and every single hill had insane ejector air.  All the transitions were super intense as well.  The treble clef had insane lateral ejector air (probably helped with the heat, steel coasters haul a** in the heat).  Good enough to slide under SteVe for the #2 spot on my steel list and is my current favorite B&M.   

Hurler (1 lap)- It isn't bad per say, but just boring and rattley.  Most of the hills are forceless or just a smidge of air.  Way too drawn out, especially due to me having ridden Thunder Run recently which is mirrored, but way more compact and forceful.  

Intimidator (4 laps)- Really solid B&M hyper, but Diamondback is its superior by a hair.   Timmy is a bit more drawn out in spots, though, it does have some decent curves taken faster.  Diamondback has more of an aggressive edge over Intimidator.  Still a good coaster. 

Nighthawk (1 lap)- This is a tale of 2 halves, but both of which combine to pale to Firehawk.  Its a faster ride throughout than Firehawk, and while the first half is somewhat pleasantly more intense, it is atrocious after the loop.  I was hanging on for dear life as soon as it flipped back over for the really bad corkscrews.  Also rattled uncomfortably throughout.  Just blah.  Worse than Superman: Ultimate Flight for me.  Probably my least favorite Vekoma (yes, T3 is better). 

Ricochet (1 lap)- Bad CF Mouse practices return.  Only 1 car unloading and loading in the station, very bad at stacking.  At least it isn't braked to death like its Dorney counterpart is.  CF should stay away from Wild Mice. At least it was good on the mousey parts like good laterals.  

Vortex (1 lap)- Did this early to prevent my legs from collapsing if I ride stand ups later in the day.  Short and intense.  Actually somewhat enjoyable.  Might not need a floorless conversion.  The hill over the lift is surprisingly steep in a good way.  

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Hopefully my commute from Charlotte to PF will be less stressful than what it was in reverse.  Looking forward to a super relaxing day in PF/Gburg before venturing into GSMNP tomorrow.  Definitely need to acquire a map of the national park.  

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