County Fair The County Fair section had the feel of a busy carnival. It was full of bright lights, music, and games that were actually attracting customers. It was also home to the wooden racing coaster Thunder Road. Normally, it races one train with forward facing cars and one train with backward facing cars. This night, only the forward facing side was operable. It has the distinction of straddling the North Carolina and South Carolina border. I have to say I enjoyed my trip out to North Carolina better than the trip back, but for a 30 year old coaster it wasn’t bad.
Carolina RFD The RFD area bordered the closed water park and was a dead zone of activity. I passed by the now defunct Super Saturator in a section of the park that was scarce of people, lights, and really anything open. There was this twenty foot tall swamp thing statue, but that was about it.
Thrill Zone After that horrible accident at Kentucky Kingdom, I thought it best to skip Drop Zone. The other main attraction in the Thrill Zone area of the park is the wooden coaster dubbed the Hurler. I wonder how many park guests under 25 have any idea who Wayne and Garth are? For more on badly named coaster see my rant here. Anyway, Carowinds’ Hurler was identical to Kings Dominion’s Hurler only maybe a little bit smoother. Rumors that the ride was rehabbed may be true. I spotted a few fresh yellow slats of wood within its structure.
Carolina Boardwalk The Carolina Cyclone is an old Arrow coaster which normally equates to rider’s heads bouncing off the hard over the shoulder restraints. Even still I’m a sucker for steel loopers (even bad ones) and I had to ride the coaster that’s featured in my blogs banner. My first ride on the Cylcone was as rough as expected especially after the silky smooth flips and turns of Top Gun. Something told me to re-ride and I’m glad I did. My ride in the back surprised me with some great airtime on the opening drop and the feeling of being pulled into the inversions.
I skipped Ricochet, but watched it and thought about how Six Flags will re-theme identical wild mouse coasters for the three Dark Knight coasters next year. It’s got the potential of being a really freaky fun house type of ride once they enclose it and include some Joker and Gotham-esque theming. Carolina Goldrusher is in my top 2 or 3 mine train coasters. It’s longer, more forceful, and more fun than say Hersheypark or Cedar Point’s mine trains. It’s great for kids and families and I hope that it will be one of my daughter’s first roller coasters.
Carolina Showplace I was also able to sneak in two rides on Vortex. It’s an older B&M stand up coaster. Vortex is far from the level of a Chang or even Georgia Scorcher. But it also doesn’t produce as much leg pain as Mantis at Cedar Point. Bottom line, it’s a B&M coaster with a pretty short line, so for me that makes it a must ride.
If you’ve never been to a Halloween event like Scarowinds I highly suggest that you go. Aside from the thrill of riding roller coasters at night, parks also entice guests with haunted houses, mazes, graveyards, and other attractions. I just wouldn’t suggest you bring small children. Not only are the kids sections usually closed, but the level of gore is about PG-13, sometimes more.
What Halloween events at theme parks have you been to? Do you have any ‘horror stories’ or fun nights you can remember? Leave a comment below.