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4/17-4/19 TR

KI Kevin

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I only too like five pictures the whole trip so I'll just give the rundown of the rides and other stuff I think is important:P

DAY 1- Carowinds

Intimidator- First coaster of 2011 for me. Definitely a backseat ride. I'd have to rank it SLIGHTLY below Diamondback just cause it feels a little slower coming over some of the hills, and the first hill doesn't provide as much airtime. However, the last few hills provide more than Diamondback's. So they're pretty even for the most part. 10/10

Afterburn- one of the best inverts I've ridden, just below Alpengeist. It feels really fast, the layout is really tight. 9/10

Hurler- pretty much the same as the one at KD. I didn't really feel any airtime but it felt pretty fast coming around some of the turns. 7/10

Drop Tower- up until we rode it, we pretty much made fun of how pathetic it looked compared to Power Tower and the Drop Towers at KI and KD. Once we rode, I was pretty surprised at the feeling you get in your stomach. I really underestimated it.

Carolina Cyclone- a decent Arrow looper. I like Vortex and Loch Ness Monster a lot more, but it's better than Corkscrew at CP and Anaconda at KD (Anaconda HURTS). 6/10

Carolina Cobra- best boomerang ride I've ridden. That's not saying that much though. It's still pretty boring, but at least the restraints protect from headbanging. 6/10

Carolina Goldrusher- probably one of the worst mine rides I've ridden. It doesn't hurt or anything, it's just really boring, and the seats are like half as long as the should be so only half your butt is really on the seat. 5/10

Southern Star- same as Berserker at KD. They're both really fun and unique.

Nighthawk- no better or worse than Firehawk. Yawn. One advantage though is that the chain lift is really quiet, as opposed to Firehawk where you can't even hear your own thoughts. 6/10

Vortex- A standard B&M stand-up coaster, probably my least favorite. It's not bad, it just doesn't have that much going for it. 7/10

Woodstock's Gliders- They put this thing in the kiddie area? Tons of fun, I was able to snap them at the bottom and the top. Truly the best scooters I've ridden. I miss these things being at KI.

Other Stuff

  • The park's layout was somewhat confusing but who cares, it's better than Great Adventure!
  • I think the entrance/ entrance plaza was really cool. It splits the North/ South Carolina border The entrance building looks like an old plantation house. Once you're inside, you go over a bridge and there's a neat looking sign (you can totally tell it was made in the Paramount era)
  • South Carolina is better than North Carolina

DAY 2- Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Griffon- not really sure where this one stands on my list. It's definitely near the top, but it's a bit short. It's really smooth though and hanging at the top of the hill looking 200 feet down is one of my favorite elements on any coaster. 10/10

Alpengeist- my favorite invert. Probably the most intense I've ridden as well. Although it has a lot more of a graceful layout than Afterburn or Talon, it pulls some insane G's and isn't the smoothest. The cobra roll is insane. 10/10

Curse of DarKastle- wow! Best dark ride I've ever ridden, period. Seamlessly integrates real life sets on the walls with 3D screens. Great effects, with a surprise at the end. Just an overall fantastic ride, it's the stuff like this that sets Busch apart from Cedar Fair and Six Flags.

Apollo's Chariot- I rode this in the back seat two summers ago and was impressed, but it didn't even come close to Diamondback. I rode it in the front on Monday and was truly amazed! Without a doubt in my mind, it's my favorite B&M hyper. The airtime on the first few hills was fantastic, the dive/ helix combo is awesome, the hills after the mid-course break run were sweet, the dive under the lift was amazing, and the best part was the dip right before the final break run. I rode in the back later on and I decided that it must not have been running too well when I rode it two years ago. I think this might be one of my favorite steel coasters. 10/10

Escape from Pompeii- a fairly fun water ride. It has really good theming and effects, but it's a bit short. It got us pretty wet.

Europe in the Air- decent simulator ride. I mean, it was no DarKastle, but it's better than Spongebob.

Loch Ness Monster- pictures and POV's do no justice for this coaster. One would expect a rickety old Arrow looper, but it's SO much better than that. It's easily the smoothest Arrow looper I've ridden, the theming is great, and who doesn't like a quadruple helix inside a cave? 9/10

Other Stuff

  • At the beginning of the day, the park was empty. There was a RoTB at the bridge connecting Scotland to Ireland and we were at the very front, sprinting to Griffon, and making the first train. From there, we were able to get some other rides in. In total, the first hour got us a ride on Griffon (first train), three on Alpengeist (ALSO first train, our first two were zen rides, just my friend and me), one on DarKastle, and two on Apollo's Chariot. Pretty successful, I'd say. However, mid-day it was absolutely packed. This didn't ruin anything, though. There was enough inside the park to keep 23409 people out of coaster lines, and to entertain us while we waited for the lines to meddle down. The crowd settled down a bit right before closing (we stayed from open to close, 10-8).
  • The food at Busch is incredible. I told my friend to bring enough money to buy a good-sized meal in the park. We ate at the Italian restaurant, and it was absolutely delicious. I had the sampler plate with spaghetti w/ sauce, chicken parmesan, and eggplant ravioli (I think....). I also bought breadsticks and a fruit punch. It wasn't cheap, but it was totally worth it. We also got an apple pie funnel cake later on in the day. It was cheaper and better than any of the funnel cakes at CF parks. Yum.
  • I loved the park's shows. We watched one in the Italian theater while we were eating with a huge assortment of instruments. Being in band, I found it extremely entertaining. Later in the day we also watched a show called "More Pet Shenanigans". Despite the name, it was actually really good! It showed a lot of domestic animals such as cats, dogs, birds, rats, geese, and even a pig doing tricks. Highly amusing.
  • After leaving the park after a fun day two years ago, I had decided that BGW was my favorite park. Well, nothing changed. I had a blast just like I did two years ago, despite the huge crowds. I HIGHLY recommend Busch Gardens Williamsburg to anyone in the area. Actually, scratch that- I recommend planning a vacation out there. There's Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, Yorktown, Virginia Beach, etc.
  • Favorite hyper + favorite invert + dive coaster + best Arrow looper + amazing dark ride + great food + fantastic theming and shows = ?????????

DAY 3- Kings Dominion

Intimidator 305- basically just as good as anyone could guess, judging by the POV's. It's a huge rush. The drop is awesome, especially in the first row. Though they re-profiled the turn after the drop, it was still very intense. My vision was almost completely gone until we came over the airtime hill. After that, it's all out insanity. We were going so fast that I hardly had a clue where we were in the layout. After riding in the front and back once each, I would recommend the front seat. I found it to be a tad more intense, plus front seat views are always awesome. 10/10

Volcano- this ride is a blast the first time you ride it. After that, it's fun, but nothing to write home about. It's not too smooth and it's a very short coaster. Still a good ride. 9/10

Dominator- I always like to ride floorless coasters in the front, but in the interest of time we decided to take row six. It didn't really matter, I'd ridden it before. It a fun ride, but I prefer Hydra, Scream!, and my favorite floorless coaster, Bizarro. 9/10

Berserker- like I said about Southern Star, it's a fun, unique, flat ride.

Shockwave- ouch. I don't like this ride too much. The airtime's decent, but it's an extremely short and quite uncomfortable coaster. 6/10

Hurler- same as the one at Carowinds, but it's the slightest bit rougher. I did find it to have a little more airtime though. 7/10

Flying Eagles- slower, somewhat more boring version of its sister at Carowinds. I, my friend, nor my dad were able to snap them.

The Crypt- I wish KI's Crypt was like this one. It's a lot of fun, but it hurts.

Anaconda- very painful Arrow looper. 6/10

Other Stuff

  • The park was pretty crowded, and the lousy operations didn't help one bit. The lines were atrocious. When we got in line for Rebel Yell, they were only running one side (this was mid-day), and when we were almost to the station, it broke down. One credit missed for me. Perhaps the worst was Shockwave. They were running two trains (I think that's all they have), but they were seriously getting one train out every four to five minutes. I know that the restraints probably take a bit longer to check, but five minutes?! Too much
  • Drop Tower and Grizzly were down as well.
  • After having a lot of fun at KD two years ago, I was really disappointed. Like I said, operations weren't up to par, and they really should be on crowded days like Tuesday. We unanimously decided to leave without hitting a decent amount of the credits (I already had most of them, my friend did not), partially due to the fact that we were tired from the previous two days, and due to boredom of the park. It's a fun place, I would just have liked better operations and more open rides.

Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed!

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