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Hornets, heatwaves and Hooters- 10 days in the US


Miss CoasterForce 2016
Staff member
Social Media Team
Ever been in a crowded amusement park in 36° heat with no shade?

Ever been stung by a hornet and had an allergic reaction where your arm swelled to twice its' size so you had to seek medical help in said amusement park?

Ever seen a teenager try to punch a goose?

And that was just our day at Carowinds. But we'll get to that. You see, dear reader, @Slamming Coastercore and I have decided to take it in turns to write this trip report together. Isn't that sweet / gross (you may delete one option there)

So without further ado, here are my 6am ramblings about our first day of the trip. I typed these out on my phone when I couldn't sleep on the plane home, so obviously, you're in for my finest literary work. Brace yourselves! We're diving in to Kings Dominion, or Kingy D as we had started calling it.


Beforehand this was my least anticipated park on the trip, but what an idiotic misconception that was. I was such a fool. This park is fantastic.

Of all the Cedar Fair parks I've been to, I like the 'Kings' ones the most. Something about the Triple F package (Fountains, Flowers and Flags) when you enter gives a lovely sense of occassion to the place.

We met up with Scott and he instinctively led us on the most direct route to Twisted Timburs. I don't think any of us even had to mention what we wanted to ride first. We all just knew! The RMC comes first, naturally.


The ride was walk on, but of course Locker Faff must occur in USA parks to slow things down a tad. Lockers were annoyingly small, but cheap and transferrable. Overall faff Rating: 🔒🔒

My first ride on Twisted Timburs was in the front row. Wow! This ride has 3 of the best consecutive airtime hills I've ever experienced. Bold font for bold airtime. Plus the inverting first drop is excellent, really throws you around.

Minor flaw: too many small off axis hills in the second half that give sharp pops of airtime and leave bruises on your thighs. But the 3 large airtime hills at the start are worth the pain in my opinion. We ran round for another go immediately, which is always a good sign.

Intimidator 305 was next and I was genuinely anxious about this ride. I hate Lech and it's grey-out inducing forces. I even hate the stupidly forceful turn on Fenix. Extreme positive Gs are usually anything but a positive for me.

I'm sure you've also heard many stories about people losing consciousness on I305 from the forces. So you can understand my trepidation. (Apparently this is why the coaster has OTSRs, to stop people slumping over if they black out. Yikes!)

Weeks before the trip I decided I needed to get ready for I305. I read up on the Hick Manouvre and breathing / physical techniques jet pilots use to endure postive Gs. Then before we joined the 0 minute queue for I305 - I drank plenty of water, had a sugary snack and did all I could to prepare for...

...one of the best, most indescribable coaster rides of my life. I absolutely LOVED I305.

This coaster is not like anything else. Easily the most intense ride I've ever ridden, but not in a horrible way like Lech. This ride is simply all the forces in the best way possible.

I think the trick with I305 is to prepare and not underestimate it. As soon as I felt my vision going on the first turn, I did the breathing techniques and tensed all of my lower half to keep the blood going to my head. It worked! No grey out for me!

I wish I could describe how I305s intensity is not like any other coasters. But it's really difficult to put into words.


I don't post about it much on CF but I really struggle with my mental health. Something that draws me to rollercoasters is how the thrill of rides can block out the dark thoughts, if just for a few minutes. They're a very good distraction and offer momentary relief from depression by assaulting the senses with G Forces. I've probably worded this really badly in my sleep deprived state. To clarify, I'm not saying rollercoasters make me happy - when you're depressed nothing makes you happy. But coasters can briefly take you away from your thoughts even when you're trapped in a black cloud - this 'escape route via G Force' is something I am grateful for.

So imagine my relief when the stunning intensity of Intimidator 305 made me leave every single thought behind. I never felt so lost in the moment as I did on this ride. It was genuinely one of the purest experiences of my life. The sheer speed and power of the ride will make you forget everything else in the world for a few minutes. I still can't believe a coaster like this even exists. It's SUCH an adrenaline rush.

So yeah, chalk up another Intamin for the Top 10. (A theme that will continue on this trip!)


Now we must go from two fantastic rides, to several bad ones. Flight of Fear - sickly, rough, bad layout. Backlot Stunt Coaster - sickly, rough, bad layout. Grizzly - rough, rough, hornets nest next to lift hill. (This was not where THE hornet incident occured though. That happened in the queue for Fury325 at Carowinds. Yep I got stung by a hornet waiting for Fury, the hornet themed ride. The ride even features the tag line "feel the sting"...ffs!)

Anyway, back to Kings Dominion and we've got Racer 75 - another forgettable ACE coaster classic.

Drop Tower gave some fab views of the park from 305 feet up but didn't have the punchiest drop. Still enjoyed it though!

Dominator was very good, easily my favourite floorless coaster. It has a really fun layout. Just look at those happy goon faces!


One of the best things about visiting parks in the States is the enthusiasm. If people hear you talking about rides in the queue they will join in. If people spot the ride merch you are wearing they will compliment it. We met so many great people at Kings Dominion who were doing similar trips to us - and ended up hanging out with these new enthusiast friends at almost every park!

Anywho, or should I say...anyboo. Boo Blasters on Boo Hill is very cute. I love how isolated the ride is. The creepy facade is nestled away in the trees with a little river running through. You really feel like you are off on a spooky adventure on this ride.


Keeping with tradition, we rode it three times. I won the first ride, Alex won the second. The final third ride was nailbiting - with our scores matching throughout most of the ride. It was every man for himself in there! I'm pleased to report I managed to zap my way to victory.

After some very tasty BBQ food (garlic shrimp skewers and ribs, hell yes) , we grabbed more re-rides on Twisted Timburs and I305. I305 in the front row as the sun was setting was such a special moment for me. What a ride!

As an amusement park, the standard set by Kings Dominion is very high. I'm genuinely surprised you don't hear more people talking about the great food, the gorgeous fountains and the wonderful atmosphere here.

I wasn't expecting much from this park at all but I left with a huge desire to come back (specifically during Halloween for night rides on I305!) It was a brilliant way to start the trip.

Up next, a good but spiteful day at Busch Gardens Williamsburg...Over to you @Slamming Coastercore!
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Amazing TR as always @Serena and what a fab day to look back on 😊 I'll quite happily say that Kingy D has the best 1-2 punch of any park I've visited (sorry Energylandia).

I love that the locker faff scale has made a triumphant return! Speaking of locker faff I did accidentally leave my wallet in one, then once we relocated our locker I couldn't access it again 😥 9 days in the US with no wallet was certainly a challenge!

I'll do my best to have the BGW report up this week! There's plenty of trip to cover and we want to keep the momentum going whilst the memories are still fresh!


Strata Poster
I'll have to try out that breathing technique next time I ride 305. That first turn has some of my least favorite grey outs on any coaster. It really prevents me from loving the ride, especially since the rest of the layout is so awesome.
For a long time I305 was my number 1, glad you enjoyed it. I agree it forces you to be in the moment so any other negative things you're thinking of get shoved away by the intensity of the ride. Not everyone is up for marathoning it but I've spent the best part of the day going round and round on the insane ride in the past. Now I just embrace the grey out when I ride, try and keep your hands in the air through the first turn, have your vision start narrowing in at the edges then get all the blood rushing back to your head as you get the negative g over the airtime hill. The other high speed twists and turns are great and I actually dont mind the trim break over the airtime hill as that gives a brief respite of floater air in an overwhelming ride.

I just wish I could of experienced it before they modified the first turn. I can only imagine what the ride was like in its original form.
Thanks Serena! Apologies for the delay, it’s been a very hectic time in the life of Alex currently!

Anyway, having completed our wonderful day at the affectionately nicknamed Kingy D, it was time to head off to possibly our most anticipated park (or at least in the top 2) of the trip. Busch Gardens Williamsburg!

Initial impressions are great as you drive in. Massive B&M’s peeking out atop the heavily wooded skyline and the rest of the park hidden within the surrounding “forest” leads to a sense of wonderous sense of mystery. What wasn’t a mystery though was the shiny new addition elevating the park’s line-up, Pantheon, and after meeting up with Scott from Upstop Media at the entrance we made a beeline straight for it.

As many others have pointed out, Pantheon is a little “bare” compared to other Sea World/Busch attractions with its lack of theming, but it honestly doesn’t need it. That brand new golden Intamin track looks gorgeous and watching the train swoop, dive and launch throughout the layout is a spectical in itself. If only the ops were the same… Trains were only being dispatched every 5 minutes by the despondent teenage bystanders occupying the station (sorry, “Ride ops”); leading to us enduring 30-40 minutes in a boiling hot open-air queue that definitely should have been quicker. If they like stacking so much they should work in retail :/

We eventually boarded the train Serena & myself snagging the back row, with Scott and @Coop just in front. Our 5 minute in-seat snooze was interrupted by the station audio commanding us to “Harness the speed and strength of 5 roman gods” and we were off. The initial launch gives you a playful push into the first inversion and the following bunny hops/transitions are a nice appetiser for what is about to come. Then the ride comes alive. Harness the speed and strength of 5 roman gods we did. LSM’s suddenly stood for Leave Seats Magnificently as that swing launch delivers airtime everywhere. Both the tophat and spike provide some great floater bookending the launch and you get to roll over that obnoxious little airtime hill 3 times, executing stronger ejector each time you pass over it. This is among the greatest launches on earth. The airtime doesn’t stop there though, oh no. Falling off the tophat you feel every degree of that beyond vertical drop as Intamin try to fling you into the Rhine River below whilst plunging 180ft downwards. After this every element hits hard and true, every bit of track proving itself worthy of being in the layout. It was an instant top 10 for me and where we had thought there is no way that it would surpass Velocicoaster; Pantheon was giving it a damn good run for its money. Whilst an excellent ride, we needed a couple more goes just to make sure it was really that good…

(Scott also kindly filmed this particular ride and now my face has made its way onto the CF YouTube channel! A highlight in my enthusiast career for sure!)

Next on the list was Pantheon’s purple neighbour Apollo’s Chariot, which was nothing more than a station wait. Sadly, the chariot of 1 roman god didn’t get the memo from the other 5 across the pathway and neither speed nor strength was shown. Our first front row ride was sluggish, forceless and aside from one hill towards the end the airtime was very muted. It’s not overly rough and the setting is nice, but you can definitely see how B&M’s hyper design has improved drastically since their debut attempt. A quick run round the queue for a back row (just to check) didn’t change much and it secured itself at the bottom of the pile of my ridden hypers.

Tempesto was next door as well, but with a decent amount of people piling into the queue-line we thought it best to venture elsewhere into this massive park. It really is a gorgeous park to walk through and our journey to the next coaster lead us through some of the most iconic theme park views in history. Walking over the bridge and seeing the interlocking loops of Loch Ness Monster, the massive inversions of Griffon and Alpengiest jutting out over the Rhine River is one of those views that really makes you go “wow, I’m really here”. My teenage enthusiast heart was very full at this moment and sharing it with three wonderful people made it even more special. Moments like these are what being an enthusiast is all about.


Anyway, enough of the views. It’s cred time. Verbolten was next on the list and we were all going in fairly blind on this one. Excited to see what this Zierer (Intam-imitation) had to offer, we faced being Ver-molten for 30 minutes in the boiling heat through a queue line that wouldn’t be out of place in Germany. I know that’s the intention, but they really nailed that part of the ride experience. The ride cars are all pretty cool as well, with nice attention to detail like numberplates on the trains saying things like YLB DR OPN… but its charm ends the minute you leave the station. The trains are pretty uncomfortable, the indoor section feels a bit cheap and the layout is nothing special. Combine that with some unpleasant twists, weak launches and a bit of roughness… yeah. Not good. The highlight was definitely the drop track, but when considering there is a pretty damn decent drop tower next door, it feels a bit redundant. Better than 13’s… I’ll give it that at least.

Underwhelmed, we had a go on the drop tower for some guaranteed fun and some gorgeous views of all the massive coasters on offer here. Big and floaty. Quite like what Moser have done with the drop tower experience. Better than that 300ft one at BGT.

Then we had some pretzels at the shop next door. Light and doughy. Quite like what BGW have done with the pretzel experience. Not as good as the extra buttery one at BGT.

Successfully fed, we popped back round for a ride on Tempesto and another on Pantheon. Tempesto was good, not much new to say about these Skyrocket II’s but I do always enjoy them. It didn’t have as much fanfare as Tigris or Sky Scream but it did the job! Pantheon had a brief bit of downtime so we skipped it in favour of increasing our cred count, hitting up one of the most recognisable coasters in the world, Loch Ness Monster. Sadly, this is another one of those Arrows that work better as an ornament that a ride. Every Arrow characteristic was in place, hard restraints, janky transitions and not enough leg room. I wanted to love it, but it’s just a one and done these days. Fortunately, this was just a little stop off before the coasters started getting good again.

Up next was the wonderful combo of Griffon & Invadr. Griffon easily wins the battle of the dive machines for me, providing more pops of airtime than any of the others I’ve ridden (the way for any coaster to win my heart). The ride op for this one also had a nice little rhyme for Griffon, "The floors dropping and you're not stopping, get ready to dive from 205." Any rhyme that talks about both the station dispatch mechanics and rollercoaster height will always put a smile on my face. Invadr also packs a lovely punch for its size and shows what can be done when there is more room for airtime moments. Whilst it won’t be Invadn my top 30, I found it superior to our GCI here in the UK and I’d probably rank it over the likes of Troy and Heide too. Wodan is still number 1 for me though!


This then brings us to the last cred of note, Alpengiest. Before we head onto the world’s tallest invert though, let me take you back to 2005. A very young Alex had just received a copy of Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 for Christmas and quickly discovered that B&M inverts were his favourite model to build. I adored the size of elements, variety of inversions and aesthetics of the ride type. Naturally my curiosity grew and in my hunt to find out which inverts existed in the real world I stumbled across RCDB.com; a rite of passage for any enthusiast. Black Mamba, Katun and Montu all caught my eye; but nothing got the blood flowing quite like Alpengiest. I became somewhat obsessed with the coaster and bar maybe Millennium Force, this was THE bucket list nostalgia coaster for me as a fledgling enthusiast. So, to finally be there was something really special, even though my love for inverts tends to lean much more towards the smaller, whippier variations. It was also Serena's 700! Yay!


So how was it? Well, it's a big invert and rides like one. It feels kind of similar to how Katun feels with just a touch extra speed, better setting and that awesome Immelmann added in. Taking humongous inversions at ridiculous speeds on an invert will always be great fun, but after grinding to a violent halt on the midcourse, the rest of the ride leaves a bit to be desired. Poor Alpy well and truly gets the wind knocked out of its sails at this point, really trundling through the remaining elements. The "snowy canyon" theming at the end has also definitely seen better days. It was walk on so I did have a go on the front and back, checking to see if there was much difference but no, the midcourse is still there. As much as I wanted it to be a top 10 contender, I think I have to face that that the old mindset I had as a teenager of "More/bigger inversions = better" just doesn't align with what I like in coasters now and an invert is never realistically going to crack my top 10.


With all the creds out the way all that was left were rerides and with plenty of time to spare too! We had a couple more goes on Griffon as it was nearby (still just as good) then headed off to the Pantheon for as many rides as we could muster in the last two hours or so. Entering the queue at around 7:20 there was a bit of a buzz about the area, Patheon was running visibly faster and we definitely we're the only ones looking to close out the day with a marathon on the the golden Intamin beast. The queue was advertised at 30 minutes, but even with a 30-minute queue we could still get in at least two or three rides, right? ... right?

Nope. One train from the air gates on the front row the bloody thing goes down. Dammit Intamin! At first things looked hopeful and like us many others remained in the station whilst they checked the restraints and completed numerus test runs; then came the dreaded announcement of "we're experiencing extended downtime and recommend you try other rides in the park". We remained in place, adamant that we were going to get at least one more ride in. The engineers came bringing some hope, the first looking very "all-American" wearing aviators and a grin that said he meant business. Even geeing up the crowd a little by giving positive indications from the control booth. We named him Maverick, certain that he was here to save the day! Sadly, I think Tom Cruise would have actually been more use than this guy, as after spending 5 minutes checking Pantheon over he gave up, spending the rest of the day chatting and laughing with the bored ride ops. The frustration really started settling in at this point, as hope turned to despair. Another engineer came to the station to painstakingly clean each sensor one by one (no help from ****ing Maverick), but his efforts were in vain. After hearing the station speakers commanding us to “Harness the speed and strength of 5 roman gods” on every test run for the last 90 minutes, this would be the last.


Sadly, it was the downtime of 5 roman gods that we experienced in the Pantheon station for the last two hours of our day at BGW. We got kicked out of the station with about 7 minutes to spare and had a couple of goes on the lacklustre Apollo's Chariot, which even night rides couldn't save.

We had a good day at BGW, but it did end on a really bitter note. Pantheon was one of the best creds of the trip and by a mile the best in the park; this should be the priority for anyone visiting. The one Pantheon ride we had on it was incredible and I could see myself placing it above Velocicoaster if the others were just as good, feeling half-spited I can't bring myself to do it though. If we returned, now I have the creds I would have quite happily not bothered with the likes of Verbolten, Apollo's Chariot and Loch Ness Monster; instead spending more time with the wildlife, scenery and the superior creds. It's very hard for me to rank it against BGT simply because I haven't ridden Iron Gwazi, but I think comparing my last two visits to either park BGT just slightly wins it for me.

Lastly, the locker system is the same as Kingy D, just $10 instead of $5. Still a good system though. Overall faff Rating: 🔒🔒

I'll now pass back to Serena for the next day, hopefully she can remember it ok despite it being well over a month since this trip happened! I'll start on my next part of the TR too! Keep your eyes peeled!


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Miss CoasterForce 2016
Staff member
Social Media Team

Do you like roasting hot tarmac burning through your trainers? Do you like being stung by massive hornets? Do you like standing still in shade-free lines that simply. never. move? Do you like feeling your senses being assaulted for 10 hours straight?

If you (rightly) answered "no" to all of the above, who cares. You're going to go to Carowinds anyway.


Not one enthusiast is going to spend their entire life resisting the lure of a certain award-winning teal and green steel hornet. (No, they haven't repainted and relocated the cred from Flambards)

Carowinds is a bit like a Tesco Value Chicken Kiev.

Disappointing layer of breadcrumbs, disgusting layer of cheap meat but oh my, that sweet, sweet garlic butter in the middle.

Of course, that glorious garlic butter is Fury 325. It makes being in this park worthwhile. Drop Tower is the nice coleslaw on the side. Intimidator is the pudding. These three rides make up a nice meal, just a shame the proverbial restaurant is so dire.

Okay, I think we've established that Carowinds is not a nice place. But it is home to 2 of my favourite memories:

- Parking outside the park the night before and gazing at the skyline, watching all the rides operating at night.

- Riding Fury 325 in the front row at night. All the light suddenly disappearing as you crest the lift hill. You couldn't see the drop in front of you or the ground. We all simultaneously exclaimed "oh my god!" on the train. Falling so far, so fast into complete darkness was one of those truly memorable thrills. Here's a great ORP of me, @Slamming Coastercore, @Coop and @TexasCoasterEnthusiast


Fury gets better with each ride. It's not like any other B+Ms, but it is simultaneously the most exemplary B+M - what an enigma.

Fury's strong point is re-rideability. There's no particularly mad stand-out moment layout-wise, it's just a lot of fun throughout.

Think Squirtle. Is he the most powerful Pokemon? No. Is he the fastest? No. Does he have the best variety of attacks? No. But still, you keep using him in battle over and over again, simply cos you like him.

Screenshot 2022-08-04 at 14_18_20.png

So yeah, Fury used Re-rideability and it's super effective.


Now for some lowlights. During the hottest point of the day, Alex and I headed to the water park. Admission was included with the park ticket, so why not. After battling through crowds to get into one of the pools, I threw a bit of a strop because it was still so. f**king. hot. How can I still feel so sweaty and gross when submerged in a swimming pool?!

Worse, the bright sunlight was reflecting on the water into my eyes and giving me such a headache. The queues for the slides looked unbearably long. I turned to Alex and uttered "this is actual hell" and padded off back to the changing rooms. A complete waste of time.

The heat, the noise and the crowds of Carowinds got so unbearable that I found myself hiding in the toilets regularly, just for a brief respite of air con and quiet.

As previously mentioned, I got stung by a hornet in the queue for Fury (oh the irony) Had an allergic reaction to said sting.

My arm swelled to twice it's normal size and was in throbbing pain. Eventually I decided I should probably go to the medical centre in the park.

This turned out to be a genuine highlight of my day. It was so cold in the medicenter! So quiet! So calm! Pumped full of tablets and with a deeply- appreciated ice pack for the swelling, I stepped back out to the park feeling better.

Intimidator was my favourite B+M Hyper on the trip. Another Triple F package, but this time we're talking Floaty, Fast and Fantastic.

Drop Tower was an Intamin 2nd Gen so obviously it was brilliant. Riding it at sunset was a lovely moment.

But enough enthusiasm! Let me take my Coaster Enthusiast hat off, and put on my Coaster Moaner hat on.

Afterburn, the B+M Invert is absolutely disgusting. Way too intense, terrible ops. They should rename it Afterthought.

Copperhead Strike was one of the biggest disappointments for me. The transitions are jerky, the hangtime is too much, the launches are particularly weak. It was one of those rides I was just waiting to be over.

You don't need me to tell you how awful the boomerang was, do you? No? Good.

Night rides on Fury 325 ensured we left the park on a high. I got a snazzy glow in the dark Fury tshirt. As good as that ride (plus Intimidator and Drop Tower) is, I don't think I'll be heading back to Carowinds any time soon.

Readers! Thanks for reading, you may now place your bets on what will come first:

Mission Ferrari Will Open at Ferrari World

Elder Scrolls 6 will be released

Alex will write his next installment of the trip report
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Giga Poster
I still can't believe a coaster like this even exists. It's SUCH an adrenaline rush.

Great to see some I305 appreciation! I totally agree with you Serena: what a rush! Wish there where more of these around 😊

Also glad to read that you had a really good time!


Miss CoasterForce 2016
Staff member
Social Media Team
you may now place your bets on what will come first:

Mission Ferrari Will Open at Ferrari World

Elder Scrolls 6 will be released

Alex will write his next installment of the trip report

Well, Mission Ferrari is testing now... 😂

Well, Mission Ferrari is open… but Elder Scrolls 6 is still very much in development, so technically this TR can still claim to be written with some (dare I say it) haste; even if it is the type of haste that Gotham City Escape seems to be going through its Top Hat currently 😅

There is no doubt I’ve been sitting on this one for a while, not through a lack of wanting to immortalize memories in TR form, but more through a lack of things to say. Despite boasting an impressive line-up of 11 coasters, 9 of which are in the “extreme” category on RCDB; Six Flags over Georgia still manages to be easily the least memorable park of the trip.

So why not have some fun with it! I might be missing a couple of points due to the time that passed since our visit, but I’ll slap a “Have a Six Flags day!” counter in at the end… how many “Have a Six Flags day!” moments can you count? 👀

Six Flags over Georgia (SFoG)

Today was set to be another scorcher (in both cred and temperature form), but with our trio’s eyes glinting in the light of the B&M hyper-adorning entrance and the park as dead as an S&S Sky Swat, there was some anticipation in the air.

Enthusiast instinct always takes you one of two ways when entering a park; to the anticipated or to the capacity nightmare, and in this case, Twisted Cyclone started the day down, so we ventured to the latter and our first Gerst of the trip; Dare Devil Dive.

Sadly, this cursed Gerst is one of the worst Gerst’s (try saying that quickly). Beyond vertical has never felt so shallow and not a sniff of airtime was to be had on the back row of this weird Eurofighter. To summarise, it’s like they’ve taken the uneventful moments of Anubis and glued them all together. +1 and done.

Fortunately, Goliath was right next door and for us, a B&M Hyper is never just “another B&M hyper” (looking at you @Nitefly ), so we decided to shake off the disappointment of the triple D by getting in some of that sweet floater airtime.

…and shake is exactly what we did. God this thing had a rattle. Considering its relative stature to the other hypers though, Goliath’s airtime absolutely kicked ass, especially at the end where its hills give the strongest ejector on a B&M hyper I’ve experienced. It’s glorious enough to make relinquishing your fillings in each valley tolerable and I love the fact that the first drop is only 170ft, whereas the drop off the first airtime hill is actually 175ft. I love BOGOF style of 2 big drops for the price of one, they really value your float ❤️

Spying a testing Twisted Cyclone whilst on Goliath’s lift hill *just little enthusiast things* we dashed over as soon as we had the chance. Unlike the last two rides that had decided to go for the “tin shed chic” look, Six Flags had put somewhat of an effort into the theming on TC by pasting newspapers that covered cyclone-related stories over the walls. Six Flags knows what it is and it’s rare that their coasters get much spent on theming. That being said, it’s much more fun to think that someone got way too into the newspaper and PVA glue stage of Art Attack projects when they were a kid, and the rest of the marketing team just let them roll with it when TC was being created.

Serena and Greig took the front row, whilst I waited for the back of the following train. I eagerly leaned over the air gates to see their reaction as they pulled into the break run, waiting to see their faces full of the laughter that RMC’s are usually so consistent at delivering (painful dispatch times ensured this was possible). Alas, they were expressionless, Greig shrugged as he mouthed to me “it’s fine”. Then my train was dispatched.

Could it be that RMC, the manufacturer that up until this point could do no wrong, had created a dud? My mind was awash with questions as I ascended up the lifthill. If I can’t believe in RMC, what can I believe in? Will I ever trust again? Was any of this even real?

My internal existential debate was yanked from me as I plummeted down the first drop. It’s short, but not terrible, looking good so far… then the rest of the ride happens and yeah, it’s the worst RMC I’ve ridden. Even though it’s short in both height and duration, with an RMC you expect a ride to be interesting. It wasn’t. The only saving graces on the ride are the drop and the wave turn, even those are the weakest on any RMC I’ve ridden. The RMC fanboy in me wanted to challenge the experience I’d just had and immediately I went around for a go on the front, hoping it would be better. Knowing full well that I usually prefer the back row, I was destined for disappointment. Sadly, this ride cleared up any doubt. It was a 7/10 at best. 💔

Feeling a little bit betrayed by my own hype and the heat of the day starting to darken the underarms of my t-shirt like an ominous shadow; we decided to try and seek some watery relief on the nearby Shoot-the-Chutes ride. Had I done my research I would have known that this closed in 2018, but being still present on the park app it was disheartening to see it in one very derelict SBNO state.

Back to creds then I guess and up next was Dahlonega Mine Train. This 1967 Arrow mine train may seem unassuming with its three lifthills and short courses; but let me assure you, it is purely sadistic in nature. For a measly 37ft tall this ride does some serious damage. The profiling was back shattering, to say the least. Yet another +1 and by this point I was starting to get a bit fed up. Was Goliath the only thing here worth riding?

After Dahlonega Mine Train had finished playing Jenga with my spinal vertebrae, it was time for something a little more slow-paced. Whilst Kingy D did have a good Boo Blasters, BGW and Carowinds had left us a little starved for dark rides and weirdly it was this Six Flags park that would help us to scratch that itch, on two separate occasions! The first of these was the boat ride Monster Mansion (formerly known as Monster Plantation 😬).

Monster Mansion was weird. I couldn’t tell whether it was supposed to be endearing, scary or downright disturbing. What it lacked in charm though it made up for in creativity and by the end, I felt like I’d been through every iteration of a bad trip on psychedelics. Strangely, I did enjoy it though. They also had a couple of nice effects with the lighting at points and I’d say that it was highly worth a ride.

Lunch was next and with limited food options, we opted for the safest bet, Johnny Rockets, opposite TC. It was everything we expected and more. It had a painfully slow-moving queue (the longest of the day), the food was overpriced, all the condiments were missing and half the drinks option on their machine were non-operational; but it had aircon! Weak aircon, not the kind of arctic tundras that you get in Florida, but aircon all the same. It was enough for me to ignore the fact that my burger looked so sad you’d think that, prior to purchase, it had been sentenced to its own consumption; and that every surface you looked at had sticky spillages and discarded fries strewn everywhere. For a brief moment, it was sanctuary.

Enduring the remorseless humidity of the Georgian summer though had to continue; we were slacking and still had plenty more coasters to ride! First though, we had the bright idea of finding a water ride to make the midday heat a bit more tolerable. We found out manually (ie trekking up and down the massive hill that SFoG is situated on; that the rapids was bone dry and closed (no communication through the app). This left our only watery respite as the comically small log flume at the front of the park. Unwilling to venture back up the hill at this moment, we pressed on round to the somewhat distant feeling part of the park that housed Blue Hawk, Great American Scream Machine (GASM), Superman: The Ride and Justice League: Battle for Metropolis.

Blue Hawk was running one train and seemed to have more than a 5 minute wait, so we went on round to GASM. My spine hadn’t fully recovered from the Dahlonega Mine Train assault from earlier so I was a bit nervous about this one; but I was very pleasantly surprised. They’d clearly done some extensive retracking of GASM and even though we weren’t in the front row, the ride was gloriously smooth, like Modern GCI smooth. We were tantalised by lovely pops of floater throughout the layout, and a great setting on the lake made this ride the “coaster sleeper hit” of the trip for me. I might even go as far as to say I’d take this over TC.

Despite Superman being next door, the appeal of a ride indoors and free from the elements far outweighed it. Battle for Metropolis was up next.


Now if GASM was the sleeper hit then Battle for Metropolis had been a f*cking coma because I was absolutely flawed by the quality of this dark ride. I knew nothing about it going in and honestly, couldn’t believe that this was at a Six Flags park. Theming in the queue, a cohesive story, amazing effects and the mix of both physical and screen based sets made for a truly immersive experience. Not only that, but all the guns were working and that glorious Floridian Arctic Tundra aircon was billowing through the air vents. Are we still in Georgia?

Battle for Metropolis is the best ride at the park and I dearly hope that the clones are as expertly executed as this. It also gave Serena & I another opportunity to ignite our infamous shooty dark ride rivalry; I had a reputation to resuscitate after my shocker on Boo Blasters at Kingy D and on our first lap I did just that. Serena adored Battle for Metropolis even more than me and stayed on to practice whilst Greig and I had a go on Superman.

Superman… happened. It essentially just has one goal, that being to get you through the pretzel loop and unsurprisingly the “Rhino sitting on your chest” feeling when you go through it is just as unpleasant as it is here as it is on the other B&M Flyers. Chuck a bit of dehydration in and this makes it one of the more regrettable +1’s on the trip.

Having not ridden it and looking quite smug about the fact, we saw Serena at the exit of the ride where she boasted of achieving a huge score on Battle for Metropolis instead. So, as is tradition, we needed to make it a best out of three and once again we plunged into aircon heaven, me emerging victorious. Much to Serena’s dismay.

Polishing off this area, the last coaster was Blue Hawk. Again, I was filled with a similar apprehension to that I felt for GASM; but it was unwarranted. The new Vekoma trains maintain a pain-free ride experience, however nothing in the layout really stood out. The highlight of the ride is the fact that it’s mostly over water and the paint is relatively fresh. Like the first sword that you get in an RPG it does look sharp, but similarly, you’d discard it the moment something better came along.

We had a courtesy ride on Pandemonium, their giant discovery and trudged our way back up the hill. It had been long enough since the cool embrace of Battle for Metropolis; so the ice cream parlour that I had made a mental note of earlier was due a visit. Alas, it would be in vain. Despite being manned by three staff members and still in the heat of the afternoon, they dashed my hopes by crossing their arms and mouthing “It’s closed”. :rolleyes: No matter how quiet the park was I would have thought, given the heat, that would be the one shop you keep open? Maybe that’s just me.

I had gotten used to seeing the options for cooling down made unavailable at this point and having just passed some people that had been stranded at the top of the mini-drop tower for at least 20 minutes, I wasn’t really in a position to complain. That kind of exposure must have been intense.

Three major creds left.

The Gotham section housing Batman and Riddler Mindbender was closed. So we ticked off Georgia Scorcher, the most bearable of the standups, and had a go on the mini-log flume, enjoying what little pitiful splashing it offered.

Giving Gotham apt time to open, we also had some rerides on TC, just to see if warming up (if that was even possible) had done it any favors… not really. The most notable thing about this was that rubbish had accumulated between the tracks in the station, empty bottles and wrappers rattling about underneath the TC trains as they were loaded. Not sure if that’s a potential safety hazard, but the staff could not have seemed less phased about clearing this mess up. I’ve never seen anything like that at any other park; if that was Europa I’ve no doubt every person in the station would have been strung up by Euromouse himself 😂

Attempt number 2 at going into Gotham, the barrier blocking our entry had been removed but there was zero sign of life from either coaster or park staff. Hanging around for 10 minutes we eventually gave up and went for another ride on Goliath. Whilst in the station for Goliath (of which the staff had now abandoned the mandatory locker policy) we saw Batman testing and as if by fate, Goliath went down.

Attempt number 3 and Batman had opened, Riddler was now testing too. I quite like the queue/station for this Batman clone. The fact it’s designed to look like you’re going into the Batcave and that the station was adorned with glowing yellow 90’s batman logos on the wall. It was a nice, unexpected wave of nostalgia. The ride itself though was a menace. It had been 10 years since I rode my last Batman clone at SFMM and I had found it intense then. Now in my late 20’s and exhausted from the day, I found the positive G’s to be easily the most nausea-inducing I’ve ever experienced. The series of unrelenting snappy inversion after snappy inversion had broken me. If you love constant positive G’s and inversions, look no further, this is your coaster. It was not for me.

Positively, I hoped for more negatives on Riddlers, which was now open. This is another coaster at SFoG that has a really nice setting; careening through trees and hugging the landscaping in the area, but again that was the highest praise that I could deliver it. The new trains are horribly cramped and it seems that the chefs in Gotham had come out with a fresh load to add to the buffet of positive G’s already experienced on Batman. At this point, it was becoming a real physical test.

One more ride on a successfully resuscitated Goliath and it was time to go home.

(yes, this was taken at SFoG)

So that was Six Flags over Georgia and clocking in at 2824 words, it turns out I had a bit more to say than I originally thought! To be honest though, I still don’t fully know what to make of the place. The park seemed mostly well-kept and to have a bit more soul than Carowinds, there is a pretty extensive and varied ride lineup and many attractions fit into the “good” category. Despite this, the operations left a lot to be desired and their shortcomings were present during every minute of the day. It would take a real killer headline coaster to entice me to come back and had Aireforce One opened as planned, then the journey to Atlanta would have been considerably more worthwhile. When factoring in the distance we traveled, time spent and cost of adding in the day here though, I would have rather visited in a park like Six Flags Great Adventure; achievable with the areas we covered on this trip. I didn’t hate it, I didn’t love it, but now I no longer have to wonder what Goliath and Twisted Cyclone ride like!

Hopefully, there was something that you enjoyed in that wall of rambling text, apologies for the lack of pictures! 😅

Oh and I nearly forgot the "Have a Six Flags Day" moment counter. How many did you count? My answer is hidden below.


Up next is Serena’s TR on Dollywood, which I know she has had planned for months now! I can promise that won’t take anywhere near as long to post and will be far more entertaining! So stay tuned!


Strata Poster
The most notable thing about this was that rubbish had accumulated between the tracks in the station, empty bottles and wrappers rattling about underneath the TC trains as they were loaded. Not sure if that’s a potential safety hazard, but the staff could not have seemed less phased about clearing this mess up.
Only time I've noticed this was at Farup Sommerland with their woodie. No trash, but a couple of (relatively full) plastic water bottles had fell on the tracks in the station. They kept cycling the ride though; I found it kinda funny that they just didn't care.
Only time I've noticed this was at Farup Sommerland with their woodie. No trash, but a couple of (relatively full) plastic water bottles had fell on the tracks in the station. They kept cycling the ride though; I found it kinda funny that they just didn't care.
Interesting to hear that it's happened somewhere else! I think I would have found it a bit more forgivable if I knew that it couldn't interfere with the operation of the ride... or if the ops hadn't cleared it because they were trying to get trains dispatched quickly (definitely wasn't the case)!
Interesting to hear that it's happened somewhere else! I think I would have found it a bit more forgivable if I knew that it couldn't interfere with the operation of the ride... or if the ops hadn't cleared it because they were trying to get trains dispatched quickly (definitely wasn't the case)!
That's just your normal day at Mt. Olympus 😂


Miss CoasterForce 2016
Staff member
Social Media Team
Gaitlinburg and Dollywood

Readers! Get those hiking boots on, cos this ones a rambler. (To cut straight to Dollywood, scroll about 12 paragraphs down)

After our sweaty time at Six Flags Over Georgia, we had a day off from theme parks.

Prior to this, we had made a little agreement. As I was away on my actual birthday, we decided to pick a day on this USA trip which would be my unofficial birthday celebration. I picked this day. I do baffle myself sometimes. A theme park enthusiast choosing to celebrate their birthday on the day we're not at a theme park?! Who even am I?!

"So what do you want to do for your unofficial birthday celebrations?" asked Alex.

"I want to ride a horse! Through the smoky mountains!" I squealed.

And thus, we booked an afternoon pony trek through the smokies and I was so excited. Real life Pony Express!

But I should have known to never get excited for any form of birthday celebration. Because the experience that followed was truly cursed.

Got to horse ranch. A bit of paper stuck to a post informed us that the pony treks were not happening today. It was too hot for the ponies. Fair enough, it was too hot for me and I'm not covered in fur. (Fur? Hair? Which do horses have?)

Screenshot_20230316_172145_Samsung Internet.jpg

Now that we've learned something trivial, what shall we do instead of pony trekking? Gaitlinburg and all it's tacky delights were our oyster.

The indoor water park certainly looked enticing in the sweltering Tennessee heat, so that became our next port of call.

What followed next is truly baffling.

"Sorry we can't let you in the indoor waterpark because of the lightning"

* looks up at sunny clear blue skies *

"Uhhh, okay?"

"Yeah, because of the lightning we're closing the indoor pool"

We did not see any lightning, dark clouds or any semblance of bad weather approaching. Plus, the water park was entirely indoors?! Someone make it make sense please 😂

With pony trekking and swimming both off the cards, I picked a fool-proof activity that never suffers any downtime: a walk. Let's go for a nice walk in the Smoky mountains. What on earth could possibly stop that?!


We found a nice public trail and started driving towards it (because America doesn't believe in the pedetrianisation of Gaitlinburg city centre) Then suddenly, we had to stop in the road. A massive tree had fallen down, blocking the entire road. We couldn't get to the parking area to begin the trail.

So guess what I ended up spending my birthday celebration doing?

Helping a mountain ranger clear a big tree from the road. We developed quite an efficient system tbh. The ranger had a mini chainsaw and would hack off the branches, then we would collect them up and move them to the sides of the road. In the sweltering Tennessee heat. Happy birthday to me 😂

After this, we squeezed in a short walk to a waterfall. Getting there was lush and tranquil under the towering forest trees, but the waterfall itself was full of screaming kids running around. I guess this is what they mean when they say "it's the journey not the destination."


I guess we look happy enough though!

In the evening we went into Boomerville, oh sorry, I mean Gaitlinburg. This place makes Weston Super Mare seem classy. These are the kind of t-shirts they sell in Gaitlinburg:



We also spotted a record breaking coaster:

...coming soon to a Merlin park near you!

We rode the Rocky Mountain Alpine Coaster at night because it has sections of track that are lit with rainbow chaser lights when you ride it in the dark.

What a complete waste of time. The queue was pouring out of the cattlepen, all down the street. They had speakers blaring music at a painful volume. The cattlepen was so cramped, you couldn't move without a strangers sweaty arms sliding against your own. How was the ride?

It was an alpine coaster. 70% lift hill, 30% fun.

There was an adorable sausage dog in the ticket booth and the owner let me pet him. And that was as good as my "birthday celebration" got.

But hey, at least I didn't spend my birthday celebration at Dollywood.

That was the next day.

Now. Here I am in front of the Dollywood sign. Does the way I'm dressed look inappropriate to you? Worthy of thousands of disapproving stares, tuts and noises of disgust?


Cos that's what I got. Dollywood is WEIRD. It kinda felt like the opposite of what Dolly Parton stands for.

Upon parking up, we were walking towards the park and a sweet little girl exclaimed "Mommy! Mommy! Look at her tattoos!" pointing at me. As I smiled their way, the mom looked me up and down and shouted "that's disgusting!" at me. Wow. Welcome to Dollywood.

So, thanks to that, I was already in a bad mood before we even entered the park. And that type of behaviour just kept happening to me when we were there. I've not received such rude treatment since high school. Families frequently pushed in front of me (but interestingly, not in front of Greig or Alex) and as the hours wore on I felt more and more uncomfortable. It really was like being back at high school :( And I couldn't cover up my tattoos because it was way too hot. (Note: none of my tattoos are offensive, they're all just unicorns and game characters etc)

Anyway. The rides. Obviously we rushed to Lighting Rod first. Here's me and Greig sweating away, ready for our first ride in the front row:


There's no other way to put this. Lighting Rod sucks. It has no redeeming qualities. You launch up then slow to a crawl at the top of the lifthill. It's rough. The airtime isn't good. The layout doesn't flow well. We rode it again and again and again to make sure. It was bit like when you'd buy an album on CD (lol remember paying for music) and listen to it over and over again to try and like it. We were trying SO hard to like it. There was a shared disbelief and disappointment that this ride could be that bad. I love you RMC, how could you do this to me?!?!

We rode Wild Eagle which is actually pretty nice for a B+M wing. Great views, huge swooping inversions, lovely stuff. In fact, I'd rank Wild Eagle above Gatekeeper, Thunderbird, Flug der Daemonen and the as-yet-unopened Mandrill Mayhem (which I haven't ridden yet, but come on, we all know where it's going to sit)

Speaking of wild eagles, Dollywood has a small collection of birds on display. One of those was an eagle. The irony of keeping an eagle in a cage, with a sign on said cage about how "the eagle is a sign of freedom" was not lost on us.

Also, look at the sign for pregnancy in Dollywood!!!!

...says all you need to know, doesn't it.

We rode Tennesse Tornado which won an award...
...in 1999.

I love a bad Arrow and tbh, this one wasn't quite bad enough. Which moved it into the forgettable category, sadly.

Mystery Mine was a bucket list coaster for me. I love a Eurofighter and this one is themed to the (mystery) nines.

The dark ride bit was cool, but the coaster section sucked. It was rough and had terrible pacing. Another major disappointment at Dollywood.

Drop Line, the big Funtime drop tower was closed. I was really looking forward to riding the American equivalent of Hangover without having to pay £8 per go. What a shame.

I guess now I should inform you that we planned on spending 2 whole days at Dollywood. But a mere 2 hours in and we were all itching to be somewhere else. In the queue for Firechaser Express we quickly priced up getting to Hershey Park for the next day and made an executive decision. Nobody required much persuasion, we were all keen to leave Bible Belt Disney as soon as possible.

Quickly grabbed the most American lunch I've ever had. A hot dog topped with mac cheese:

As we mechanically bashed out the remaining rides like true "enthusiasts," we were delighted to discover not everything at Dollywood is bad. Thunderhead, the GCI, was an absolute stormer of a woodie. It does what GCI do best, loads of little pops of airtime between quick turns and transitions. Fantastic stuff. And it had no queue, so we ran around getting loads of rides in on this, literal, great coaster.

You should never feel relieved when leaving a theme park. But that's how I felt stepping out of Dollywood. The atmosphere in this park is so off and most of the rides are disappointing. I Dollywouldn't go back.

Thanks for reading :)
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Hyper Poster
🫣 oof that didn’t sound like a fun time at all, sorry to hear it.

With no swim and duff rides, the Lightning God was truly not on your side in the Smokies 😞
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James F

Hyper Poster
That's a real shame to hear, to go all that way and have you day ruined by idiots.

and that hot dog is ... something.