I feel my opinions of Carowinds, as a park, were unfortunately lower than they could have been had we done this park much earlier in the trip. But after 2 full days of Dollywood, with glorious sunshine, respectful guests and staff, beautiful surroundings and the feeling of this probably can’t ever be topped, visiting just another Cedar Fair park with concrete and rides was always going to be a let down. While I stand by what I’m about to say, I acknowledge things may have be quite different if our park lineup was.
We were back to rainy weather today, which concerned us after our Kings Dominion and Six Flags New England experiences. There were 13 coasters that needed ticking off today and despite the rain the car park looked busy, so if they do massively cut hours we may have issues.
First blood was in the form of Copperhead Strike, the park’s brand new Mack multi-launch coaster. Me and Heartline are both massive fans of these as I’m sure you know but we walked away from Copperhead with differing opinions.
Don’t get it twisted though, I think Copperhead Strike is a very good coaster, that would be a strong addition to almost any park. I also think it offers a very fun ride experience, one that’s perfect for the whole family. I don’t however feel that it’s a fantastic example of what the Mack multi-launch hardware is capable of. I also don’t believe it is strong enough to be the park’s killer attraction, which it needed to be for me because Fury 325 was never going to be.
The easiest way to get my points across is to bring back the i305 rating system, of course being more kind because I actually do really like Copperhead.
Things I love about Copperhead Strike
The theming, much like Twisted Timbers, Cedar Fair have done a great job of theming the coaster. The area looks great and the first launch shed is great fun. Also the train design is awesome.
The stupidly slow roll out the station is ridiculous and is just what I expected from the boys at Mack.
The hangtime in the first loop is possibly even more silly, it’s genius.
The couple moments of pretty good airtime.
Things that make me sad because I wanted to love Copperhead Strike
Not enough airtime moments for my liking, yes I’m an addict, I won’t apologise. Also the moments we get don’t hit as hard as other Mack multis.
There’s a lack of pace throughout. Icon, despite being not much faster manages to have moments where you really feel the speed.
There’s quite a lot of moments on the coaster that feel clunky and unnatural, not rough at all, just off putting.
This point is strange but I’ll put it anyway because it’s something I love on multi-launches. Helix and Icon take you on a journey through their parks, Copperhead being a compact layout doesn’t.
In summary, Copperhead isn’t what I wanted or expected it be but it’s still very good.
Did the Boomerang next, forgot to take a picture, that’s what I think about that.
My 2nd ever B&M stand up and this was even freaking worse. Balls crushed before we even started, then head smashed to pieces while balls were repeatedly re-injured. Awful, awful, awful, a fire would be too kind to this thing.
Carowinds’ Arrow Mine Train, queue and ride was full of obnoxious teens being unpleasant, the coaster wasn’t great, this just made it worse.
I should have just trusted my original thoughts on how Fury was going to ride but a few weeks before the trip I watched a documentary about it and got my hopes up that it was going to be something really special, which it isn’t.
The best way to describe Fury in my opinion, is that it’s a much larger B&M Hyper. If you love their Hypers then Fury is unmissable but if like me you aren’t too fussed about them, then Fury is going to disappoint you if you read into the hype. Seriously it’s as simple as that, I really wish it wasn’t though.
Steel Dragon and i305 while far from outstanding coasters, at least have a real sense of character about them, Fury just felt sterile and B&M at their laziest.
I won’t deny it does look amazing though and I love the way it interacts with the park entrance.
The first of 2 Vekoma Flying Dutchman coasters on the trip. I’d been both interested and nervous to try one from the moment I learnt of their existance.
It was pretty easy to see why, from a technical point of view, the B&M design won out once we reached the station. Even with a decent sized ride team the loading process was very slow and complicated. The restraint set up was a bit of a mess and the time it took the seats to jerk their way to lying was comical.
When it was our time to lay down though, comedy went out the window. You feel pretty helpless laying on your back, even more so when you’re climbing up the lift not knowing when you’ll reach the top.
Once things get going though Nighthawk isn’t too bad. There’s several moments that are actually quite enjoyable and several moments that aren’t at all. Not as bad as I was expecting but I’ve got no intentions of riding it again.
Fury rides like an oversized B&M Hyper and the park’s actual Hyper is the least interesting I’ve ever experienced.
The suprise hit of the park was Afterburn, an old school B&M invert that kicks serious freaking ass. Forceful, intense and a unique layout, we have finally found a properly good US invert lads.
Next up was the park’s tiny woodie, very similar to the one at Kings Dominion, but not as good.
On route to Hurler the rain came down stupidly hard, soaking us to the bone in a matter of minutes, despite wearing a rain jacket…
It was cool seeing the layout that became Twisted Timbers before it became twisted but other than that I’ve no idea if the coaster was any good or not because we spent the whole ride in defense mode unable to see a thing through the rain.
Knowing operations couldn’t continue in this weather, we ran to Carolina Cyclone and even managed to sit down in the train before operations ceased. Almost…
With the stupidly heavy rain only getting heavier, we decided to get some food and wait things out in the car. Heartline said Cinnabon was good, so we headed to it as it was on the way to the park exit. We entered a sweaty shop full of several hundred wet teens and waited over an hour for the rude staff to serve us… Are we sure we can’t go back to Dollywood?
We sat in the car for a while drying off and ate our poor excuse for lunch. Some credit needs to go to Carowinds though, as while we were waiting Fury began to test again.
Back in we go, but not before having to queue ages for security again…
What a violent name for an off the shelf Wild Mouse.
With that we were done, the Vekoma SFC didn’t open today but we knew we’d be back so weren’t stressing too much.
We spent the rest of the day with Fury, Copperhead and Afterburn.
Carowinds as a park did very little for me and sadly their coaster line up didn’t live up to my expectations. The park is lacking a stand out coaster in my eyes and with Hurler just sitting there unloved, an RMC would more than put this park back on my watch list, please?
Thanks for reading, click here to read the next part of my report, Six Flags Over Georgia.