As you can see from that post we popped into Carowinds for a few minutes last weekend. I figured I'd write up a really abbreviated post on that since spending any actual time on this would mean that the report was more time consuming than our actual visit to the park.
Brit's family lives about 15 minutes away and we don't get to see them that often so we just popped in for about an hour as they had no interest and nothing really runs anyway. We've been there in the past and I really enjoy their lights, but on this trip we were really just there to get our first rides on Copperhead Strike and we left before it was even dark to meet everyone for dinner.
I've done enough sh*tting on Carowinds for their crazy weather policies so I'll ignore that and just talk about the few things that were actually open. Anyone with a free day in the Carolinas this time of year should put Dollywood or Six Flags over Georgia in their GPS though but if you're in the area and have a few hours to kill, the lights are nice and the two coasters that are running are both very, very good. This isn't really a Winterfest review though, just think of this as my VERY BELATED Copperhead Strike review for the six people who haven't been on it yet.
We got there right at opening and made our way straight back to Copperhead Strike. My first impression was that the ride area looks really nice and the queue features some of the best theming you could really expect from Cedar Fair. The ride was a complete walk-on as the park had just opened so we hopped in the front row.
I haven't actually been on a Mack looper before and for whatever reason my expectations were pretty low but I need to eat some crow on Copperhead Strike. This is a really f*cking good ride.
The jojo roll out of the station is awesome. It sort of reminds me of the barrel roll on Impulse at Knoebels which I consider to be the best part of that ride but it's even slower and even better. The restraints serve to make this thing completely awesome.
The shed is cute. It's not amazing theming but it's really good for Cedar Fair and while the launch itself is notably unimpressive the loop that follows it is one of the best parts of the ride. The hang time is great and (once again) the restraints make it ten times better as you pretty much fall out of your seat in a super-fun way.
The hill that immediately follows the loop is an honest-to-god ejector hill that might be the best part of the ride. I don't know why, but I never expected that from this thing. It's crazy and wouldn't be out of place on a ride like Maverick. OMG!
The jojo roll, loop and following hill are the best parts of the ride and after that it does go into some tamer (but still fun) elements for a bit. The corkscrew, second launch and second loop are all fun but definitely dial it back a little. Following the second loop though the ride dives to the right and picks up the pace again with a bunch of fun laterals and some nice pops of air. That entire section is a blur but it goes on for awhile and it's a lot of fun. Don't expect Intamin-intensity here but don't expect a B&M floorless either... it's sort of a middle-ground between those two where it's crazy and aggressive but doesn't feel like it's actively trying to kill you either.
Following our first ride, we scored two more rides in the back row without having to get up. I actually prefer it back there as the hang-time is better in the loop and you can see the cute little show elements in the launch shed a little bit better but you should try both if you can.
I definitely underestimated this ride. While I'm not telling anyone to book a plane ticket to come and ride it (unless you want an excuse to ride Fury in which case book it immediately) but I'd be thrilled to see more of these things pop up. It's a pretty unique (at least in the US) ride with some super-fun elements and tremendous hang-time.
After we got our fill of Copperhead Strike we decided that we couldn't leave without taking a few spins on our favorite fighter jet so we made our way over to Afterburn.
Eventually we finally got over to the coaster and I can 100% confirm that it's still one of the best inverts in America and possibly the world. We rode in the front because the park was empty and we could, but immediately (without having to leave the station) jumped in the back for two more rides.
Afterburn is basically Montu-lite with a super forceful batwing and a bunch of other snappy, fast-paced and awesome elements throughout. Copperhead is great but this is the star of Winterfest and probably the best thing in the park not named Fury.
Somehow that was pretty much the end of our quick trip but we did hit Harmony Hall on the way out where I grabbed a Copperhead Strike IPA which was quite tasty. I really like this Cedar Fair trend of having special brews for this coasters and I hope it continues. I also ALMOST hope that their insane beer jail policy continues because it's hilarious
Our brief visit had come to a close but we really enjoyed Copperhead Strike and it's always nice to ride Afterburn. See you soon, Carowinds... preferably when Fury is open.