Review: Vortex at Carowinds

Vortex represents an era of roller coaster history. The Bolliger & Mabillard-designed ride opened in 1992 back when the novelty of riding a roller coaster while standing was still relatively new. Today, the number of surviving stand-up roller coasters is shrinking as many of them have been removed, converted to sit-down rides, and as parks have preferred to build other types of rides. Today, V...[Read More]

Review: Carolina Goldrusher at Carowinds

Located in the Carolina Boardwalk area, Carolina Goldrusher is a steel mine train roller coaster that debuted during the park’s opening year in 1973. As you’d find on any mine train coaster, it features locomotive-themed trains that ride steel rails on a wooden support structure. It’s a family-friendly coaster that has no loops, relatively low speeds, and modest heights. Gold Min...[Read More]

Review: Hurler at Carowinds & Kings Dominion

In 1994, the Paramount-owned Kings Dominion and Carowinds opened two wooden roller coasters dubbed, Hurler. The ride’s original theme was connected to the 1992 movie and Saturday Night Live skit, Wayne’s World. Back when it opened the sparse warehouse-like station had a few exterior touches to make it look more like a Hollywood studio building. The most overt tie-in was the video of Wa...[Read More]

Review: Carolina Cyclone at Carowinds

Carolina Cyclone opened in 1980. I’m not sure if it opened with a lot of fanfare, but it deserved it. It was a real record-setter as the World’s first roller coaster to feature four inversions, surpassing Cedar Point’s Corkscrew which had three. It’s located in the Carolina Boardwalk section of Carowinds not far from Ricochet and Hurler. Expect Turbulence Ahead Carolina Cyc...[Read More]

Fury 325 at Carowinds | Review & Rating

I was fortunate enough to be among the first to ride Fury 325 at Carowinds. Billed as: The World’s Tallest and Fastest Giga Coaster, the massive roller coaster has gained national attention thanks to its ridiculously tall lift hill (325 feet) and unnervingly steep drop (81 degrees). For now, I’ve included a mini-review and overall rating. I’ll be posting a full, more detailed rev...[Read More]

Nighthawk & Batwing | Roller Coaster Reviews

Nighthawk & Batwing | Vekoma Flying Roller Coasters Flying roller coasters are about the closest thing to human flight that the amusement industry can offer. Riders are treated to a thrilling face down riding position with nothing between them and the ground, but the ride’s restraints. My first Vekoma flyer was Batwing at Six Flags America in Maryland. While I’m a huge B&M fan,...[Read More]

Intimidator @ Carowinds | Roller Coaster Reviews

Someone says, “This was a bad idea.” Another rider says, “I think I can see Atlanta”. Meanwhile, Intimidator’s black and red NASCAR-themed train ascend further and further into the sky. I look over my left shoulder and I can see Charlotte’s cluster of skyscrapers in the distance. Most of the other riders are glued to their seats bracing for the ensuing plunge. T...[Read More]

Afterburn @ Carowinds | Roller Coaster Reviews

Take a Spin on the Best Roller Coaster in the Carolinas Due to popular demand, I’m finally getting around to writing my full review of Afterburn; an underrated inverted roller coaster at Carowinds (Charlotte, NC). It was formerly Top Gun: The Jet Coaster until the 2008 season. The movie theming had to go when Paramount sold the park to Cedar Fair. It’s too bad because the ride’s ...[Read More]

Carolina Cobra Review & Media Day at Carowinds

It was a rainy day, but the Carolina Cobra media day had a positive feel and pointed to a bright future for Carowinds. The event was attended by the local media, park officials, live snakes, and some Nick characters. A local cover band played a few crowd-pleasers while Dora, Diego, and the Rugrats entertained guests. Next, the park addressed the media. Then, an official ribbon cutting was followed...[Read More]

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