- October 7th, 2008, 5:58 pm
I too would bet that Dave has been to more than anyone here. And although I haven't been yet this year and didn't go last year, I went every year from 2001 to 2006 and I can certainly believe what he's saying in his TR about quantity over quality.
In 2006, I found it pretty lame. They had most of the park open by this point, with just the stretch of RFD over by the water park unused. I liked having more rides to hit at nighttime, but the scare stuff was simply lacking. In earlier years, they'd have just Top Gun, Thunder Road and Vortex open. Oh, and the log flume one year, which in retrospect was not such a great idea to ride on a cool October night. A year or two they had T-Road closed, and might have had Hurler open then but I can't remember.
In those years with just 3 coasters open, they tended to have 4 haunts, with the one behind the mini railroad in Nick Central usually being the best. The best was always in the picnic shelter behind the mini railroad in the kid's area, with another good one on Smurf Island and a decent-to-good one weaving around the log flume. Another one was 3D psycho clowns / psycho aliens which was also good. The only part of the park open was usually from Top Gun over to the Paramount theater / Vortex area, and County Fair if T-Road was being used that year. All of the area open was pretty well themed. The path to the haunt behind the railroad was done especially well, with some good lighting, use of the fog machines, and sound effects. The sternwheeler was nicely decorated. There were lots of scare-actors running around the paths and the overall mood was very good.
Contrast to 2006, when the haunts seemed watered down, and many of the staples of earlier years were missing. The haunt behind the railroad was OK, but lacking compared to it's previous incarnations. I missed having the spinning tunnel in the 3D maze, which always provided one of the better moments of Scarowinds. The park was well themed in spots, but it seemed very scattered out with some areas feeling very much like Carowinds on a normal day. Bigger was not necessarily better.
It seems they've added even more stuff for this year, which could very well just dilute everything that much more.