Featured Photo #32 – My Favorite Dummies

These lucky plastic dummies are often the first riders on the roller coasters that we’re itching to ride. I assume that they’re meant to simulate a weighted train packed with live riders. They’ve been featured in countless test videos on YouTube (like this one of the Battlestar Galactica coaster), but I never thought I’d get to meet them in person. I couldn’t help mys...[Read More]

Featured Photo #30 – Full Body Drying Booths

The Family That Dries Together? Maybe you’ve noticed these nifty family-sized dryers at your local theme park. Maybe you’ve even used one. I think they’re a neat idea. Some people don’t want to walk around the park after they’ve been soaked by a log flume or some other water ride; especially if it happens to be a chilly day. Haystack makes these ‘drying booths&#...[Read More]

Is Carowinds Up to Something with Those FURY Billboards?

For about a month now I’ve been seeing billboards in the Charlotte area that simply read “FURY”. The billboards have nothing but the four giant letters with a kind of steel-texturing to them. I figured that this had to be some type of viral marketing campaign as the sign didn’t mention any other details. No web address, phone number, P.O. Box, or anything. I Googled “...[Read More]

Carowinds Announces WindSeeker for 2012

Carowinds Announces WindSeeker Yesterday, Carowinds made their 2012 announcement as they unveiled WindSeeker. It will basically be a super-sized version of the old school amusement park swing rides. With a height of 301 feet, Carowinds has dubbed it “The Tallest Ride at Carowinds”. Park vice president, Bart Kinzel noted how cool it will be to be able to look down at Intimidator. He als...[Read More]

Survey Markers for Carowinds Rumored 2012 Ride

Today Screamscape reported a survey marker sighting at Carowinds for a rumored 2012 ride near Intimidator, but no one had photos. So I went down to the park after work and saw a number of markers in the grassy field next to Intimidator. They have “HUSS GF” written on them which likely means the park is getting a Huss Giant Frisbee ride. I have to imagine the park wasn’t trying to...[Read More]

Featured Photo #23 – A Thrill Ride in Disguise

This ho-hum looking ride found in the kiddie section at my home park, Carowinds has a wild alter-ego. I had always wondered about the interest hardcore theme park fans had in flying scooters or flyers as their called. Flyers can be flown with very little movement and taken as a nice, breezy ride. Or, riders can play the role of fighter pilots and make the vehicles do swoops, dives, and climbs. Som...[Read More]

Mrs. Coaster Critic Reviews Carowinds’ Snoopy Starlight

My wife was invited to Carowinds’ media event for the new Snoopy Starlight Spectacular. The new attraction features more than a million LED lights covering trees and buildings in the Planet Snoopy area. In order for guests to enjoy the beautiful lights, Carowinds is staying open later (until 10 PM). Our kids are pretty young (4 and 1), but we may try to stay late at the park once this summer...[Read More]

Featured Photo #7 – Roller Coasters As Memorials

Today’s Daytona 500 marks the 10th anniversary of Dale Earnhardt’s fatal crash. With his enormous success and signature aggressive racing style, the legendary racer left an undeniable mark on one of America’s most popular sports, NASCAR. In 2010, Carowinds opened a new roller coaster with the aim of thrilling guests with its height and speed while also paying tribute to Earnhardt...[Read More]

Featured Photo #5 – Carolina’s Former World Record Holder

I took this photo of the Carolina Cyclone spiraling over the midway on my first trip to Carowinds back in 2004. Years later I used it as part of the header of the first version of my blog (seen here). And after that, I ended up moving my family down to Charlotte, making Carowinds my home park. Carolina Cyclone was built during the looping coaster boom and its record setting four loops (two vertica...[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 vs. Intimidator 305 | Roller Coaster Showdowns

Intimidator vs. Intimidator 305 | Roller Coaster Showdowns In this edition of Roller Coaster Showdowns the two NASCAR-inspired Intimidator roller coasters do battle. We’ll look at Intimidator 305 at Kings Dominion (Doswell, VA) and Intimidator at Carowinds (Charlotte, NC). Ever since the announcement of the two roller coasters with their similar themes and proximity (it’s about a 5 hou...[Read More]

Theme Park Digital Airwaves: The Season Pass Podcast & More

The Coaster Critic Joins Podcasts Based on the East Coast, West Coast, & Europe I’ve been lucky enough to join a few different podcasts this season. I joined The Season Pass Podcast while they were broadcasting live from Kings Dominion during the last leg of Theme Park Review’s East Coast Bash. I was invited to be a guest on Theme Park Central‘s new podcast. And, earlier this...[Read More]

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