For this edition of What If…

Imagine getting to call the shots, rather than just playing armchair theme park GM like we usually do. You’ve just won a contest where you get to choose the type of ride that your home park builds next.

Here’s what I would do:

Carowinds Could Use a Launch Coaster

Back in 2009, when there was buzz about Carowinds’ new roller coaster, fans speculated about a regional tie-in for the ride to make it unique. The park teased that the new ride would be racing-themed; which made a lot of sense given that NASCAR originated in the area.

I was hoping that the roller coaster would have a launched start. It’s the roller coaster experience that’d best simulate a race car (see Top Thrill Dragster) and the park didn’t have one. While I’m very happy with the ride we got (Intimidator review), I still feel like a launch coaster would round out the park’s lineup.

Currently, Carowinds has 13 roller coasters. Here are the types: wooden, hyper, giga, inverted, flying, stand-up looper, mine train, boomerang, sitdown-looper, wild mouse, junior inverted, junior woodie, kiddie steel
Xcelerator - Knotts Berry Farm
As far as the layout, I wouldn’t make it a looper. Carowinds already has 20 total inversions, 5th most of any park in the World! I’d just give it long flat launch that people could watch, like they can on Cedar Point’s Dragster and then have some hills, turns, and tunnel or two. Basically a ride like Knott’s Berry Farms’ Xcelerator, but with a longer and more interesting layout.

Non-Coaster Ride: How About Some H20?

If I could bring any non-coaster ride to Carowinds, it’d be something that incorporated water. The expanded water park is great, but on the theme park side there’s a serious gap in water attractions. The park’s log flume and suspended coaster with water elements have been removed for quite some time. More recently, the park removed their shoot-the-chute water ride, Whitewater Falls.
Buccaneer Battle - Six Flags Great America
For me, the clear choice for a non-coaster would be a water battle ride like Six Flags Great America’s Buccaneer Battle (pictured above) or Dollywood’s River Battle. Guests on and off the ride would appreciate a way to cool off, especially during our hot Carolina summer days.

Some Other Takes on Carowinds’ Next Ride

If you’re interested in Carowinds, and you’ve got some time, dive in and wade through the Carowinds 2018 Prediction thread on Carowinds Connection or check out Screamscape’s Carowinds page. Seems like turning stand-up coaster Vortex into a floorless coaster is the leading rumor for 2018.

Also, Josh of Coaster Corner recently speculated about what Carowinds should build in the area left by Whitewater Falls. Check it out here: Josh on Carowinds’ Next Coaster

What’s Your Take? What Would You Add to Your Park?

That’s what I would do. What would one roller coaster or ride would you add to your home park? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Photo Credits: Image 1Kevin and Image 2Six Flags Great America both via Creative Commons

About The Author

Founder of My favorite coasters are B&M hypers and gigas. I'm also a huge fan of terrain roller coasters.

5 Responses

  1. Brian MacDonald

    My home park is Great Adventure, and they already have five B&Ms, plus Kingda Ka and El Toro. What I wish they had was an RMC. Unfortunately, what I really wish is that they’d go back in time, not tear down Rolling Thunder, and give it the RMC treatment. A racing out-and-back, that interacts with El Toro, with RMC style goodness? Oh, what could have been.
    Or a B&M wing coaster. I won’t be greedy for B&Ms; they can tear down Green Lantern to put in a Gatekeeper-style wing coaster. That’s OK by me.

  2. Bobbie Butterfield

    I agree entirely with Brian. My home park is also Great Adventure and I really wish that they had given Rolling Thunder the RMC treatment. This park has almost everything so it’s difficult to assess what’s possible or where to put it. There’s space where Chiller used to be but that was before I developed an interest in coasters so I don’t know how much space is available. Anyway, a Vekoma Flying Dutchman would be a welcome addition and a vast improvement over Superman:Ultimate Flight. Or maybe a giant inverted boomerang. I’ve never been much of a fan of boomerangs but there are two I actually liked. Rode Goliath at SFNE for the 1st time this month and while the ascend up the vertical lift hill had me hanging on for dear life, at least it was far from boring. A boomerang such as Stinger at Dorney would be nice although the park already has a face-off coaster with Joker.

  3. Jon H

    Easy. Home park is Hershey. My dream Coaster addition would be an RMC topper track woodie that covers most of the new expansion area they have southwest of the park. A terrain hugging monster with as much length as is bearable on an RMC coaster. Think Wildfire @ Kolmarden crossed with Lightning Rod, and you get the picture…

  4. Matt McIrvin

    My non-coaster is one that very nearly happened for real. I’d have Canobie Lake Park build the rapids-raft ride that they were planning for 2017, but cancelled in the aftermath of the Dreamworld tragedy in Australia. Why? Because my whole family loves those rides. It’s one of the precious rides that I can share with everyone instead of riding solo.

    Moving further into fantasy: for the same reason, my dream coaster for Canobie would be a Mack launched family coaster winding around the park’s territory, something like Disney’s Slinky Dog Dash.

    Canobie currently has a bit of a gap in the family-coaster range: there’s a teeny Zamperla Dragon, and then there’s the Yankee Cannonball (which my daughter did dare to ride on, once, then swore never to do so again) and a couple of compact inverting coasters–as dearly as I love Untamed, my wife and child wouldn’t go on it for a billion dollars. There needs to be something a little tamer that isn’t a pure kiddie ride.

  5. The Borgified Corpse

    I live in Phoenix, AZ, so we don’t really have a home park. (Castles ‘n’ Coasters is less an amusement park and more like a mini golf course with ideas above its station.) So I’m more thinking about existing places here that could add a token coaster. An old hand-me-down woodie would fit pretty well with Rawhide’s old western theming. Maybe Golfland could acquire some of the adjacent light industrial land and put in a Batman clone or something. Dreaming big, maybe we could convince one of the Indian casinos like Talking Stick Resort or Wild Horse Pass to build the first Giga west of the Mississippi.


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