- July 25th, 2017, 11:22 pm
Visited the water park for the first time in about 4-5 years. It's gonna take me a while to get used to the names not being Australian. And speaking of things that still feel Australian (though I doubt authentic), Tidal Wave Bay still looks a bit like Bondi Beach. The architecture of the wave house doesn't really have that Coastal Carolina vibe that Surf Club has. A change of signage and a paint job could really help, but as of now, it's still Bondi Beach.
Anyways, here's my scorecard for Carolina Harbor:
Hurricane Falls: It's still a ton of fun and I would welcome another family raft slide like it.
Coastal Currents: So I don't really have any thoughts on the actual ride itself, but GODDAMN there were a lot of hornets. Rounding the curve under Hurricane Falls, there were like 9 billion of them swarming there. I don't know if they have a nest but the park needs to fix that pronto!
Surfer's Swell: This was new to me as I didn't have a pass in 2014, and my family never visited the water park in 2015/16. But my god this thing is amazing! The drop was reminiscent of a tornado slide and the wall.... it felt like we were beyond vertical. This is my new favorite slide.
Dorsal Fin Drop: My first ever toilet bowl slide and it was fun enough, but the experience was massively overshadowed by its next door neighbor.
Pirate's Plank: Not a lot of rides scare me at amusement parks anymore. Fury's drop doesn't faze me and Drop Tower isn't as shocking as they used to be. However, both of those rides have something to hold onto, something to hold you in.
This thing was terrifying.
Every video I've seen, every travel channel special I watched, they all lied to me. They totally underscored the terror of drop-capsule slides. I mean I loved it, don't get me wrong, but that is by far the scariest thing I have ever been on.
All in all, Carolina Harbor was great. It had charm, super thrilling slides, and a decent selection of music. But those hornets. Those giant-ass hornets are bad enough on their own, but when you get 6 QUINTILLION of them buzzing 5 feet away from you while you float half-naked in a pool, you do not feel safe.
Later, we went into the dry park. Here's my scorecard:
Electrospin: This is truly one of the best rides in the park. I put it up in the ranks of the three B&M's in terms of how fun it is.
Goldrusher: 5x So I was with my uncle and cousin, and my cousin does not do anything above 50 feet. So we rode this 2x earlier in the afternoon, then 3x in the evening since there was no line. I love the ride but it got kinda stale towards the end.
Ricochet: 2x I HATE this thing now. Little bastard gave me a migraine. It felt like the drops pulled out too fast and the valleys were pretty narrow to begin with, so it was a very unpleasant experience. Not to mention the brakes. I still have a soft spot for the ride, and I hope they keep it for families with small children, but in the future I will avoid Ricochet like the plague.
Rock 'n' Roller: This ride has always been consistently fun, and it's looks like it's going to become a new classic.
Do-Si-Do: So the first time I rode this thing (last month), I thought it was a snooze. I don't know what changed, or if I sat in a higher-moving arm, but the ride was awesome! Like an aerial version of Scrambler.
Fury 325: The thing I've noticed with the rattle is that it's more pronounced the closer to the front you sit. So row 5 had a pretty mild shake, but it was pretty much a non-issue compared to row 2. The ride was great and the airtime was phenomenal.
Flying Ace Aerial Chase: As long as Planet Snoopy's getting an upgrade, can we get a new train? The ear-boxing was pretty bad towards the end.
Boo Blasters on Boo Hill: It's still a fun dark ride but I'm kinda over it. Wouldn't mind Triotech.
Dodgems: Bumper cars are bumper cars, what can I say? Though it, along with the rest of the old county fair could use a facelift.
**Plantz vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 3Z Arena: So apparently the ride is no longer in 3D, or so we were told by the ride operator. I don't know if they just ran out of glasses or what, but the 3D glasses are what made the experience. Not having them kinda ruined the immersion. Anyone know what happened?
Woodstock Gliders: I still can't snap, but it was alright.
Woodstock Express: 2x Fun as always, it's the best coaster in Planet Snoopy.
Peanuts Pirates: Best ride in Planet Snoopy until I can figure out how to snap those gliders. I think I might like this more than Rock 'n' Roller actually, not to say that Rock 'n' Roller is bad. Carowinds' flat collection is just starting to look stronger.
I stand by my comment that the County Fair section feels like something in a destination park. It has so much charm, and there's a certain magic that it has that feels almost Disney-like. The theming itself isn't something you'd find in Orlando, there's no debating that, but the props, the lights, the pavers, and the music all come together perfectly to create an amazing and cohesive experience. If Carowinds can replicate this magic throughout the entire park, it will be an entirely different league than it is at the moment. The same goes for Carolina Harbor, the newer section looks amazing, and if that's the standard for the rest of the water park in the future, then I'm all for it.
This park in 10 years is going to be something special.