Carowinds 03/31/2015

With Fury 325 being added this year to Carowinds we had to make the trek to ride it. It opened only just a few days before we got there so we still rode it within opening week. So how was Fury 325 and Carowinds? Well let’s find out!

First things first though, from the Dollywood area we had to take Foothills Parkway to get to the highway to Charlotte and....
First things first though, from the Dollywood area we had to take Foothills Parkway to get to the highway to Charlotte and….
...these are the views you get!
…these are the views you get!
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Awesome early morning drive!
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After going through the new parking entrance we arrived at Carowinds and parked by Intimidator.
The reason why we came. Though coming soon isn't really accurate anymore. :P
The reason why we came. Spring 2015 has arrived! πŸ˜›
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Our first look at Fury and the interaction with the entrance area is incredible.
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From the bridge you can look right at the track. Plus some neat reflections in the glass.
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It sure is massive, and commands attention from the entrance plaza.
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The new sign for the park with the state flags of North Carolina and South Carolina.
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And the new entrance! Or as I like to call it, Cedar Point 2.0 minus the Gatekeeper. πŸ˜›
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World debut of Fury 325!
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The state line sign moved just a little bit back from where it used to be.
And here we are!
And here we are!

So how was Fury 325? Well my first impressions weren’t all that high but after a few re rides I got more of a feel for it. Plenty more pictures and thoughts on it later but for now…

Food time!
Food time!
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Harmony Hall is a real nice setup with multiple options to choose from and Coke Freestyle machines inside it’s a great place to grab some food to eat.
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Now that we’re finished with lunch onward to the rest of the park.
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Being tradition that we ride the carousel at every park we took the Carowinds one for a spin.
Giddy up!
Giddy up!
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This was a really nice waterfall in the kids section of the park with Intimidator in the background. So just had to snap a picture.
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Time to go dinosaur exploring?
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The path gave some great views of Afterburn and Intimidator.
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And of course dinosaurs.
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Afterburn was cycling, but there was nobody on it. πŸ™
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Empty trains soaring over the station.
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Looks like someone tripped and fell….
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Afterburn’s track follows the dinosaur’s neck. πŸ˜›
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And now Intimidator is in sight.
Watch out hungry dinosaurs!
Watch out hungry dinosaurs!
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A wide look at Intimidator behind the trees.
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Intimidaot does have a fun turn around.
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Hands up!
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First drop time…
And there they go!
And there they go!
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Enjoy the air time.
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One last wide shot of the turn around.
Uh oh things are getting violent.
Uh oh things are getting violent.
And we have babies too.
And we have babies too.
Don't worry this one will sort everything out. :P
Don’t worry this one will sort everything out. πŸ˜›
Well after looking at it for so long it was time to give it a shot.
Well after looking at it for so long it was time to give it a shot.
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The plaza and station of Intimidator.
Gentleman..... start your engines!!!
Gentleman….. start your engines!!!
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Intimidator’s 232 feet lift hill.
While Fury is over there saying hey don't forget about me.
While Fury is over there saying hey don’t forget about me.
Happy riders returning.
Happy riders returning.
Time to ride yet?
Time to ride yet?
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It’s about that time!
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You can’t miss Fury from anywhere inside the park.
Here we go!
Here we go!

So how was Intimidator? Well it’s your standard B&M hyper coaster that has good sustained floater air time over the hills and the general out and back layout. Really nothing too extraordinary but it’s a good solid ride and definitely one of the best coasters in the park. However in the Cedar Fair chain the other two B&M hypers Diamondback at Kings Island and Behemoth at Canada’s Wonderland are both better coasters. Still a fun solid ride just don’t expect anything amazing. (The real Intimidator is in Virginia and has a 305 on the end of the name) πŸ˜›

Anyone want to Hurl yet? :P
Anyone want to Hurl yet? πŸ˜›
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I actually enjoyed this version of the Hurler more than Kings Dominion’s version last year.
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Hurler still has one of the weirdest coaster stations anywhere though.

Hurler is a good standard wooden roller coaster. Yeah it’s a little bit bumpy but it provides some decent airtime and has a decent layout. The turn after the first drop still provides some intense G’s. Definitely worth a ride if you’re in the area.

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Think it’s time to return to Fury.
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The plaza is a lot more active now.

After giving Fury 325 a few more rides we decided to head out to the car and grab a lot more shots of Fury in action.

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Vortex waits for riders. Slingshot also new for this year awaits riders as well.
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The dying breed of the Stand Up coaster.
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There was a stage set up at the front for bands and what not during the Spring Break weeks.
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More of the Cedar Point 2.0 entrance.
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The brick and font I’m sure looks pretty familiar to Cedar Fair parks.
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The state flags of North Carolina and South Carolina with Fury in the background.
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There’s certainly a lot of space to walk around with Fury blazing by.
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Fury rocketing through those turns.
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And into the tunnel!
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They certainly look to be enjoying themselves.
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As you can see Fury is quite the twisty and low to the ground coaster.
And it's most certainly photogenic as well.
And it’s most certainly photogenic as well.
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You can see it from almost anywhere in the parking lot.
Let's not forget Intimidator though.
Let’s not forget Intimidator though.
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This picture shows the nice contrast between Intimidator and Fury 325. As you’ve seen Fury is twisty and hugs the ground, Intimidator is a series of camel backs and floater air time. So yeah Fury is not just as simple as a 100 ft taller version of Intimidator. They most certainly are VERY different coasters.
Wee!
Wee!
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Look at all the hands up.
This is the best shot I could get of the new parking entrance from where we parked. You can kinda see it. :P
This is the best shot I could get of the new parking entrance from where we parked. You can kinda see it. πŸ˜›
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Everyone looks to be having a blast.
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The top of the turn around easily my favorite part of the ride.
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Here it comes.
These riders are in for a treat.
These riders are in for a treat.
And down they go!
And down they go!
81 degrees straight down.
81 degrees straight down.

Β Alright so that’s plenty of pictures, but don’t worry many more to come! Anyway how was the ride? Well it’s a great ride and definitely the best coaster in the area. However it just doesn’t hold up to the two Intamin giga coasters out there Millennium Force and Intimidator 305. It’s the third best giga coaster in North America and again certainly a thrill to ride. The speed is amazing throughout the first half but the trim does seem to slow it down on the second half. Where Millennium and I305 keep there amazing speed the whole course. The best way to sum up the ride would be if you’ve been on Leviathan its a more complete version of that coaster. If you haven’t been on Leviathan it’s still an amazing ride, just personally Millennium and I305 still take the cake.

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After re entering the park decided to check out Nighthawk. Not to ride it though haha, just to grab some pictures. I’m not a fan of the Vekoma Flyers and this one is by far the worst of the three. I’ve already ridden it so no need to revisit this one.
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The flying position is always the best part of these rides.
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People can put their arms out and do the Superman.
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The ending corkscrews, my least favorite part of the ride.
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Meanwhile riders were enjoying Flying Ace Aerial Chase which is just brutal with the over the shoulder restraints. Decent ride layout but the head banging is just awful on this version.
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Walking to the back of the park Afterburn was now running, but the line was pretty long so figured we’d hit it tomorrow.
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Afterburn really is a great coaster so hopefully we’ll get a ride on it tomorrow.
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Carowinds lets us know that we are on the South Carolina side of the park.
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Thunder Road! Prior to Fury 325 this was the only coaster to traverse two US states. Now Carowinds has two coasters that do that.
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Thunder Road is like most of the other former Paramount Parks wooden racers. Standard out and back layout.
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Unfortunately today they were only running one side, so no racing.
Thunder Road climbs the lift.
Thunder Road climbs the lift.
..and then it turns around...
..and then it turns around…
..and comes back. haha
..and comes back. haha
Boo Blasters which also had a long line so we skipped it.
Boo Blasters which also had a long line so we skipped it.
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Windseeker looms in the distance.
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Windseeker fully loaded, however the next day it wouldn’t be. Hmmm…
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This area of the park wasn’t too busy.
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There was no activity on Carolina Cobra the former boomerang coaster relocated from Geagua Lake Amusement Park.
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Sigh… I rode it plenty at Geagua Lake but haven’t been able to ride it since the move. Plus it also got new trains with much better restraints since the move as well. Hopefully next time I visit it’ll be open.
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And we are now on the North Carolina side of the park.
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We also find ourselves on the Carolina Boardwalk.
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Time for some Goldrusher!
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Standard Arrow mine train coaster, but a little more forgiving than the Cedar Point mine train.
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One of the lifts on Carolina Goldrusher as seen from the station.
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A little bit better view of the track and the backside of Vortex.

Carolina Goldrusher is a great mine train coaster. It’s a whole lot of fun and has a decent length to it as well. Definitely one of my favorite coasters at Carowinds.

Beach body.
Beach body.
Next up we decided to torture ourselves with Carolina Cyclone.
Next up we decided to torture ourselves with Carolina Cyclone.
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Just like most other old Arrow loopers this one is not fun in the least.
Zoom!
Zoom!
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Still not sure why we rode it, but figured we’d get it a shot. It looks decent but that’s about it.
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We find ourselves back in the Fury 325 plaza for more rides.
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Grabbed a few pictures while in line with my phone and here’s a look at the lift motor. Crazy how close it is to the queue and not really covered too much.
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The honeycomb station opening.
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An underside look at the trains and wheels.
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Once you get to this spot, you’ll be directed to a row which for us usually ended up being the fifth row.
Here we are waiting in a row that isn't row 5! Most of our rides were in row 5 but occasionally we got different rows. Never the front though. :( I believe this is row 3.
Here we are waiting in a row that isn’t row 5! Most of our rides were in row 5 but occasionally we got different rows. Never the front though. πŸ™ I believe this is row 3.
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This is the view you see before departing the station.
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And just because I love this picture to show you the scope of the ride.
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We stayed till the 8PM closing to get as close to a night ride as we were able to get. It was decently dark but still want to ride this in complete darkness.
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The lights are definitely amplified at sundown though.
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We like to believe this kid was not a fan of Fury 325 and preferred Millennium Force to it so he was destroying the sign. πŸ˜›
The Fury plaza does look good at night though.
The Fury plaza does look good at night though.
The back side of the station and the lift.
The back side of the station and the lift. You can also see the Hive, Fury’s gift shop.
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Some of the final trains of the night climbing the lift.
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And the lift sorta looks like a light saber from the side. haha
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Everyone leaving the park for the night.
The entrance plaza is just as impressive at night.
The entrance plaza is just as impressive at night.
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The under the bridge tunnel also illuminated for the night.

Well that’s it for our first day at Carowinds, but since we’re season pass-holders we’ll be back for more action tomorrow before making the trek back home.

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And we’re back for day 2!
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The awesome turn around of Fury which is easily the best part of the ride.
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Blurred because of sheer speed.
We of course had to get a selfie by the state border.
We of course had to get a selfie by the state border.
Sadly the Sky Tower was not running during our visits. I'm sure it would have made for some great Fury pictures.
Sadly the Sky Tower was not running during our visits. I’m sure it would have made for some great Fury pictures.
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First stop was lunch at Harmony Hall yet again.
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Inside Harmony Hall there was a magic show going on for spring break.
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Some more views of Nighthawk because why not.
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Coming out of those final corkscrews. Again yucky part of the ride.
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Let’s take a spin on Windseeker.
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From over here you get a great look at Intimidator’s lift hill.
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So for reason today Windseeker was only loading every other row. Not sure the reason, no one got an answer. Maybe winds? Not sure. But like I said earlier the day before every row was filled.
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So after waiting 40 minutes to ride Windseeker. We continued on past Flying Ace Aerial Chase.
On our way to the back we were stopped by the antique photo crew. Apparently they were training and asked if we would volunteer to help train. We didn't get to pick our outfits but if we liked the photo we could buy it for $10. So we accepted and this is our serious pose.
On our way to the back we were stopped by the antique photo crew. Apparently they were training and asked if we would volunteer to help train. We didn’t get to pick our outfits but if we liked the photo we could buy it for $10. So we accepted and this is our serious pose.
And then our fun picture. Since there was a problem with the computers in the morning we got two pictures for $10. Definitely a steal.
And then our fun picture. Since there was a problem with the computers in the morning we got two pictures for $10. Definitely a steal.
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So we saw this on the map. It wasn’t open but its claimed as the world’s largest funnel cakes. 20 inch funnel cake for $19.99 that’s a whole lot of funnel cake. Definitely need a family to take on that one.
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We took a spin on Ricochet today, it’s a decent Mack wild mouse.
Hurler in action.
Hurler in action.
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Hmm not sure why we’d be back over here? The face holes are really big on this sign. haha
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A few more rides for the day.
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Slingshot awaiting riders.
I had some Fury ice cream which was a combination of blue cake batter flavor and green apple. It was as awful as that combination sounds. Not sure who made that decision.
I had some Fury ice cream which was a combination of blue cake batter flavor and green apple. It was as awful as that combination sounds. Not sure who made that decision.
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A random fountain in the park.
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We returned to Afterburn which we finally got a ride on before heading home.
Time to ride!
Time to ride!
Afterburn is a great coaster and might be my favorite ride in the park besides Fury.
Afterburn is a great coaster and might be my favorite ride in the park besides Fury.
Well it was time to head home but not before grabbing some more shots of Fury from the other side of the parking lot.
Well it was time to head home but not before grabbing some more shots of Fury from the other side of the parking lot.
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Hands up!
Cresting the lift....
Cresting the lift….
And down they go!
And down they go!
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Carowinds is also pretty close to the Charlotte airport and every now and then you can see planes landing and taking off.
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A wide shot of the turn around easily the best part of the ride. You get some great airtime as the train turns sideways before diving under the bridge.
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Sideways!
The train diving under the bridge.
The train diving under the bridge.
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Fury cresting one of the air time hills. Notice the hair time in the back row.
The evil trim brake.
The evil trim brake.
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And here’s a train entering the trim brake, where I think the ride loses a lot of steam.
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Zooming into the turn around.
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Just such a photogenic coaster.
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Alright last action shot I promise. haha
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See ya later Fury.
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One final look back at the entrance and the American flag.

Β It’s no denying that Carowinds has gotten a huge boost with Fury 325 this season. It’s definitely a flagship ride in the chain and gives Carowinds a crown jewel of their own. It’s going to impress the heck of out the general public but seasoned riders of Millennium Force and Intimidator 305 might not be as easily impressed. Still its a great ride and a great addition to the park. As for the rest of the park, well it’s got two other great riders in Afterburn and Intimidator and a good mine train coaster in Carolina Goldrusher but outside of that not too much. I still think the park is rather small but to be fair I’ve never visited when the water park has been open. Regardless if you like roller coasters you should definitely make the trip out to ride Fury 325 it might not blow your mind but you definitely won’t regret it!

2 comments

  1. Next time you go to Carowinds, be sure to ride Fury in the front! I think that’s probably why you didn’t love it as much. It’s a COMPLETELY different experience than it is in the middle rows. The air on the camelbacks is especially more forceful.

  2. Winner of the 2015 Golden Ticket Award for β€œBest New Ride” by the readers of Amusement Today, this steel behemoth reaches heights of 325 feet tall and breathtaking speeds of 95 miles per hour.

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