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]

Coaster Stock 2010 Recap Pt. 4: Trivia, Videos, & Night ERT

This is the final part of my coverage of Coaster Stock 2010 at Carowinds. After the Intimidator Tour, there was another break. Again, attendants dispersed throughout the park. I headed for the above average Arrow looper, Carolina Cyclone only to get caught by a thunder storm. All rides were halted for fear of lightning strikes. I waited in the station hoping that the storm would pass quickly, but ...[Read More]

Trip Report: Filming Bert the Conqueror at Carowinds

After signing a few waivers, the group of about 30 of us made our way to Intimidator. It was hours before the park opened to the public and it was neat seeing the normally busy park empty, but not lifeless. Maintenance and groundskeepers were hard at work making sure that Carowinds looked pristine as always. We entered the station where the crew, except Bert, were already setting things up. There ...[Read More]

Coaster Stock 2010 Recap Pt. 3: Intimidator Tour

When we last left the Coaster Stock attendees they were enjoying lunch while being treated to a rare Q&A session with B&M rep Bob Mampe. Next, the attendees had a break for a few hours where they could enjoy the park at their leisure. Since I live about 30 minutes from the park, I headed home to help out with the kids and cool off. When I returned around 6 PM, everyone was finishing dinner...[Read More]

Coaster Stock 2010 Recap Pt. 2: Q&A with Bob Mampe of B&M

This is the continuation of my coverage of Coaster Stock 2010 at Carowinds. During lunch, we were treated to a Q&A session with Bob Mampe from Bolliger & Mabillard. I’ve paraphrased the questions and responses below. In hindsight, I should have video taped the session, but I think that I’ve been able to summarize the bulk of the Q&A session. The picnic area where the sessio...[Read More]

Coaster Stock 2010 Recap Pt. 1: Morning ERT & My Intro to Flyers

Coaster Stock Part 1: Morning ERT Carowinds’ roller coaster enthusiast event Coaster Stock kicked off with morning ERT (exclusive ride time). Hours before the park was open to the public, we had Afterburn, Woodstock Gliders, Lucy’s Crabby Cabbie & Flying Ace Aerial Chase all to ourselves. Are you wondering why three of the four rides are located in Planet Snoopy (the park’s childre...[Read More]

Carowinds Coaster Stock to Feature B&M Engineer

Aspiring roller coaster designers should take note. Not only will Carowinds’ roller coaster enthusiast event, Coaster Stock, feature plenty of ERT (Exclusive Ride Time), but the event will also feature a rare opportunity to talk with a roller coaster designer. Recently, the park announced that Bob Mampe from Bolliger & Mabillard will be on-hand to take questions. Here’s the full it...[Read More]

Top 10 New Roller Coasters for 2010 Part 2

This the conclusion of my annual New Roller Coasters List. In case you missed it, here’s Part 1. This year was tougher than usual as there weren’t many new coasters opening in the States. Also, there were a few attractions with very little information for me to go on. Here are my top five picks for 2010. Thirteen | Alton Towers – Staffordshire, England, United Kingdom Alton Towers̵...[Read More]

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