Share thoughts, photos, and reviews from visits to Carowinds or any other amusement park
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By shane235
It's a little late, but I decided to post this after all. My Dad and I went to the Pigeon Forge area for the first time on a weekend during spring break; hoping that there would be few crowds since rain was forecasted, we completely forgot that it was Good Friday.

We arrived at Dollywood, and decided to walk rather than wait in line for the tram, so we started off. It wasn't long before we realized that the parking lot was a lot larger than we expected, and it actually wrapped around the entire park. At last we arrived, and scanned the tickets that we got from Winter Warm Up. We entered the park and took a left towards the "coaster-half" of the park, and we soon noticed how packed the park was. We passed Thunderhead because of a long line, and we decided to ride Mystery Mine. Sadly, it was closed. We walked around a bit, and eventually decided that all the lines were going to be long, so we might as well suck it up and wait for one.

The first ride of the day ended up being FireChaser Express. After waiting an hour, we finally got on. It was a very fun ride, but it was definitely aimed towards children. The launches were fun, and actually a bit more forceful than I expected. The theming was great, and the track was "adventurous" and twisty. I'm not sure if it was worth an hour wait, but it was fun.

Next we got in line for Wild Eagle. The estimated wait time was 1 hour, but we were pretty sure that it was going to go quicker than that since we were already in the station within 30 minutes. We were wrong. We waited in the station for another 30 minutes, watching the crew ever-so-slowly dispatching trains. However, the ride itself was very fun. Being my first wing coaster, I thought it was very cool and unique, although a bit short of a ride.

My Dad and I then split ways because he wanted to see some of the Festival of Nations performers and I wanted to continue riding coasters. I next went to Tennessee Tornado, which was quite faster and intense than I expected. It was a fun ride, and one of the best Arrow Loopers I have been on (although I still think Loch Ness Monster at BGW is better). The main drop into the tunnel really took me by surprise. It seems a lot larger in real life than in videos.

I made my way back down the left half of the park, and noticed that Mystery Mine was still closed, so I decided to ride Thunderhead. Wow. By far the best wooden coaster that I have been on (then again, I haven't been on many). It was very bumpy, but what can you expect from a wooden coaster. I sat in the back seat, and I was flung around so much that I felt like jelly by the end. It was a great ride, and I hope Carowinds gets a quality wooden coaster sometime in the future.

Next I went to barnstormer, and I got on almost immediately because of being a single rider. It is a very fun flat ride, and I also think Carowinds would benefit from something similar to it... If only it had better capacity. After that I rode Blazing Fury, which in my opinion was pretty bad. It was very uncomfortable, cramped, and a bit boring. It could use some nicer trains and a bit more theming.

I met up with my Dad and ate lunch while he told me about the shows. Apparently they were good shows, but a bit to "Americanized" to seem real. For example, there were Peruvians playing with Peruvian instruments, but it was amplified and had an electronic sound to it, and sadly they sang popular American songs in English instead of authentic Peruvian songs.

We decided to go ahead and get wet, so we rode Dare-Devil Falls and Mountain Slidewinder. Both were very fun and unique! Both of them have interesting habits of getting some people soaking wet and leaving some people perfectly dry.
P.S. Don't sit in the back of Mountain Slidewinder if you want to stay dry.

I convinced my Dad to ride Thunderhead with me in the front row, and it was a blast! I liked it a lot better in the front rather than the back.

We were disappointed to find out that Mystery Mine was going to be closed all day, but we made another lap around the park; I rode Dizzy Disc, we toured Dolly's travel bus, walked through the museum at the front of the park, and left for our hotel.

The next morning, we got up early, ate breakfast and made our way to the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster. We got there about 30 minutes early and bought our tickets. At about 9:45 (it opened at 10) they called us over to be the first riders of the day. The coaster was very long, fun, and scenic, which made up a great ride. Altough I almost hit a squirrel on the way down, it was cool to fly around close to the ground (which makes you feel as if you are going a lot faster than normal).

In the end, it was a great trip. I am a bit disappointed that I did not get to ride Mystery Mine, but I hope that I can go back next year to ride it and "Shot Rod" (or whatever they name their new ride). I did get to see some construction, and I hope they get a nice launch coaster like the rumors say. :D

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