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Carowinds & Kings Dominion opening weekend


Hyper Poster
While I try to avoid weekends and especially opening days, when you're in the area what can ya do?

Arrived at Carowinds a little after 10 and was thankful to see they were letting people in already, and naturally waited at Fury for 11 to come. Was pretty slow ops to be expected, a fairly short line took about 45 minutes but what a ride. I managed to do a loop and quickly get the big 4 done. Lines were quite short for all of em but ops were pretty brutal. Only Copperhead Strike moved well and I have to say, after I was pretty uninspired my last ride, it was better than I recall this time! Perhaps it was all the expectations game, but yeah it was more fun than I remember. Still the weakest of the big 4 there, but quite solid. Afterburn was of course great and Intimidator is still a bit of a forgotten gem, at least in the back row.

I also forgot how "unequal" this park is...its lineup falls off a cliff outside those 4. Anyway, grabbed some lunch and saw the line for Fury was not too long, and was moving a little quicker. Got 5 more rides on before I called it a day (as I had to drive up to Doswell, VA later). I forgot what a truly wild ride that is, esp once warmed up. Truly what a perfect ride, the speed and unexpected whippiness (for a B&M) is just something else. That first 3 turn complex still blows my mind. Not a bad day and considering it was opening day, I was surprised the crowds were not horrendous and was able to get by fine without FL.

Next day was King's Dominion and I was excited as I've not been since 2013! I read I305 was down and sure enough, it was. I was chatting with an employee and they claimed the snapped cable thing was bunk, they actually chuckled at the notion, but who knows....and to be fair they had no idea. Just said it kept stopping on the lift "about a quarter of the way up" but felt it wasn't a major problem, like a snapped cable would be. But take it all with a grain of salt. I know I was bummed, and don't imagine I'll be back this year so that was my 305 day gone. I should also say, I felt KD's lineup was really exposed with 305 and avalanche down. It deff felt lacking, but what can you do? Ops were also pretty rough on a lot of the rides, esp Twisted Timbers which at one point took I think an hour and a half (I know bc my 2 hour locker rental was exceeded) for what was not a long line. It was brutal, since 90% of it was standing still, with small bursts of movement. I do assume this is early season kinks and hopefully they will smoothen it out, because crowds were not bad at all imo. I'd say the day could've ended 3 hours earlier for me if not for the snails pace of TT ops.

That said I did suck it up to get a lot of rides on it, and holy hell. Not the biggest or craziest, in a way it has perhaps on the simplest layouts of RMCs but wow. Back seat was solid but up front, this thing was not right. The airtime is just glorious, so many hills and it's broken up with just enough elements and nothing repeats. It's not the most jam packed RMC but my god is it great. It did go down at one point but this worked out quite well for me, was a brutally hot day so I took the opportunity to rest, hydrate, watch some YT and wait it out. Upon reopening was first train back on. What a superb ride.

Historically I recall loving Grizzly in the back row, IDK if age is getting to it or I've experienced so much more since but it was quite slow and lackluster imo. Ironically, Racer 75 which I recall thinking was OK was running great! Only two sluggish hills and some gnarly air in the back. Would've gone more if not again for painfully slow ops. Anaconda is as trash as I always thought it was lol Shame, it's such a visually stunning ride but goodness that thing sucks. I got on Backlot which is a cred I actually didn't have and it's a surprisingly fun ride! Launch took me by surprise as did the little indoor dark part. Dominator had perhaps the longest physical line of the day but was the quickest moving, god bless B&M. It's a ride that frustrates me. The first half is so fun, fast, unique then turns left right into the MCBR and...corckscrews and meandering finale. I just wish so bad it did more before that MCBR, could be a great ride opposed to just a good one. But yeah, all in all a pretty good day and like Carowinds I was surprised crowds were not too bad, though I do hope 305 gets running soon as the park suffers without it.
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