Sorry for the double post, but I thought I'd give a quick little report on my first ever visit on Sunday and Monday.
We arrived around mid-day on Sunday and, to be quite honest, my opinion of the park was quite low when we first arrived. Twisted Cyclone was stuck on the lift hill with no people anywhere near the ride, the line to get into the parking lot was quite long considering we arrived around 4:00 on a Sunday, food lines throughout the park were absolutely horrendous, and ride operations were terrible. We stayed for a few hours and left a little before closing, hoping the next day would be better.
It definitely was. We spent a full day at the park on Monday and SFOG definitely redeemed itself. Twisted Cyclone was operating with two trains and decent dispatches (something we did NOT expect considering the state it was in the previous night). Goliath was pumping out trains left and right, and all the coasters were operating very well. The park was also considerably less crowded.
I ended up riding my 200th coaster at the park, Batman. I wanted to make TC my 200th, but I didn't want to risk it closing later in the day for the sake of saving it for my 200th, so Batman it was. I really didn't care. I count my credits, but stuff like this doesn't matter much to me. Batman clones are AWESOME anyway!
Overall, I don't think this park has a single bad coaster. GASM is a bit rough, and Blue Hawk has some jarring moments even with the vest restraints, but no coaster in the park made me scream in pain or want it to end. SFOG has a SOLID collection. Here is a brief rundown:
1. Goliath is an excellent B&M Hyper. It does run a bit rougher than Intimidator, Nitro, or Diamondback, but I think I prefer it to all of those. The mid-course helix is forceful, and the returning airtime hills over the park entrance are stellar. Usually I prefer the back row on hyper coasters, but the front seat (with a slightly loose lap bar too) is the place to be on this ride.
2. Twisted Cyclone pretty much met my expectations exactly. I rode Twisted Timbers a few days prior and knew that TC wouldn't top it, but I still very much enjoyed the ride. I also preferred the front seat on this ride and it warmed up throughout the day too. In terms of RMCs, I think the only one I prefer this to is Joker. I personally think Twisted Timbers, Twisted Colossus, Wicked Cyclone, and Railblazer are all better rides, but as we all know, even the worst RMC is still VERY good. And even though I never rode the original Cyclone, I can't imagine somebody not preferring this awesome RMC.
3. Dare Devil Dive and Mind Bender are two "underdogs" in the park IMO. I hear people rave about Mind Bender and I agree with all of it. The loops are forceful, the layout is unique, and there are even a few airtime pops to boot. With that being said, I think DDD surprised me the most. It is by far one of the smoothest roller coasters I have ever ridden, and the lap bars are extremely open and free. And despite the terrible capacity, they were running 4 cars and dispatch quickly, so I ended up riding it three times in total.
4. Georgia Scorcher is widely regarded as one of the best Stand-Ups and I definitely agree. I think, overall, I still prefer Riddler's Revenge due to its sheer size and wonderfully unique layout, but I would say Scorcher is the most "comfortable" Stand-Up. I am an advocate for the center two seats on B&M Stand-Ups (see my list of tips a few pages back), but I rode on an edge seat both times and still find this coaster incredibly smooth. Also love the color scheme. I hope they don't convert this to a Floorless. I think it is excellent as is.
5. Batman is, well, a Batman clone. It felt exactly the same as the other two I've ridden. That being said, I do LOVE these rides. They are very high up on my "Invert list."
6. Superman felt like the other Superman I've ridden (SFGAdv), however this one is... messy. To start, the ride never ran more than one train. It was open, then closed, then open, then closed all throughout my time here. Many of the seats on the train were closed off, and the operators had to MANUALLY lock and unlock several of the restraints (which, on a flying coaster, was a little unsettling). Overall I enjoyed the ride and its terrain interaction, but I really hope it becomes more reliable and efficient in the future. I only rode this once because trying to get on it (even with Flash Pass) was a royal pain in the a$$.
7. Blue Hawk was much better than I was expecting, thanks to those great restraints. The color scheme is wonderful and it ran quite smoothly, however there were a few moments on the ride where it threw you around quite a bit. I can see why Ninja was so hated. It's also very foreful, and those head choppers are CRAZY in the front row!
8. Scream Machine was fine. I didn't ride in a wheel seat and it wasn't smooth by any means, but I think I was also expecting it to be much rougher. It ran one train all day, so I rode once with my Flash Pass and didn't bother again.
9. Dahlonega Mine Train was cool. I wasn't expecting three lift hills. Felt like most other mine trains, although that final drop in the back seat was surpising!
I guess that turned out longer than I was expecting, but I just thought I'd share. Sorry for no photos. I didn't take too many worth sharing since I was busy riding all day. To those who made it this far, thanks for reading! I overall love this park's coaster collection quite a bit. Throw in a Free Spin and maybe a launched coaster in the future and you have a top Six Flags park.
^OMG I totally forgot to mention Monster Mansion. YES! We rode it and loved it. Totally bizarre in every way. It didn't feel like we were in a Six Flags park. I can't believe I forgot to mention that. That was definitely a hidden gem of the trip!
Nice to hear from someone else that didn't find GASM terrible and that likes Schorcher.
Sadly I don't think Superman will get any live anytime soon. The trains need a serious overhaul and it feels like they are limping it along until they decide s replacement.
That said I did find the manual operation unsettling, just sad. Seriously cuts down the throughput as loading takes 2-3x as long as it should. I wonder if the other bay is even operational. It'd sure help when the lIne is 90+ minutes.
Interestingly enough, they were doing the same with Superman the day I was there over Spring Break (April 2nd). They had the one train with at least 6 seats that were locked/closed off for riding. This on top of one train operation made a wait from the bottom of the steps about 30 minutes (and it opened literally 5 minutes before I got in line that day at about noon). It was messing up groups of 3 or 4 for sure (one row had 2 seats blocked). I was informed recently in a Facebook group that they were running 2 trains and the one I rode was either fixed or taken out of operation for maintenance. I guess this was not the case those days (Sunday & Monday).
So interesting enough I will probably be moving to Georgia in the next couple of months so my new park will be SFOG. I just want opinions how it feels to Carowinds. I went to SFOG long ago and just looking for some honest thoughts about the park. I appreciate it. I have been reading the post for this for a long time so I get the gist of it all. But just want some more feedback
carowindsman wrote:So interesting enough I will probably be moving to Georgia in the next couple of months so my new park will be SFOG. I just want opinions how it feels to Carowinds. I went to SFOG long ago and just looking for some honest thoughts about the park. I appreciate it. I have been reading the post for this for a long time so I get the gist of it all. But just want some more feedback
I recently visited both parks literally back to back. Went to Carowinds on Friday and Saturday, then SFOG on Sunday and Monday. You said you wanted honest thoughts...
SFOG is nice and definitely better than other SF parks, but I still think Carowinds is a vastly better park. It's more than just rides: Cedar Fair parks are just more well-run. The food lines are actually manageable, food service is always good and efficient, the food itself is better (ya'll have Harmony Hall!). Operations are better at Carowinds. You can pretty much expect all coasters to be running at Carowinds any day throughout the summer. I greatly prefer Carowinds and honestly almost every other Cedar Fair park to SFOG, expect maybe Dorney or CGA.
However, I do think SFOG's ride line-up is more well-rounded. At Carowinds, there is a pretty large drop off after the "big 4." There are several bad coasters at Carowinds: Hurler, Vortex, Nighthawk, Cyclone... they're all mediocre-to-bad coasters. At SFOG, I don't think there is a bad coaster in the park. I enjoyed all of them and they have some excellent "underdogs" like Mind Bender, DDD, and Blue Hawk (I'm sure you read my post above). There are some slight advantages to SFOG, but overall I would much rather visit Carowinds again. It's just a less frustrating experience. Six Flags does some things well, but a lot of their operations and services just make you roll your eyes and say "I wish I were at Carowinds" lol.
Sorry if that seemed negative. You asked for honest. I really do like both parks, but Carowinds is just so much less stressful to visit. And, well, Fury. Yeah. Fury...
Luckily the parks aren't *that* far from each other! (at least from the perspective of us west-coast people)
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