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Good afternoon/evening/morning/whenever you're reading this all,

For my 30th birthday I elected that my initial long awaited ride on Fury 325 was necessary, as such the day after spending several hours in Scotts Addition with co-workers Saturday, I arose in the morning obviously a little hungover but I did the smart thing and chugged 3 bottles of water before bed. No headaches until the very end of the night thankfully. I booked a night at the Spring Hill Suites on-site. I had not been to Carowinds since 2012 when the most recent addition was Wind Seeker and it's been fascinating watching Cedar Fair dump money into the park starting the year after I moved to this side of Virginia (literally Fury 325 went up the year I moved away from my hometown of Christiansburg, 2 hours from Carowinds). Then there was the multiple years of my coaster riding being very limited due to a variety of reasons I've mentioned enough on this forum to bring up, that being said after riding so many incredible B&Ms this year with the changes I made I wanted to finally experience the giant giga the park the closest to where I grew up built as well as their exciting Mack launch coaster Copperhead Strike.

After the 4.5 hour drive I arrived to Carowinds at 1pm and walked with utmost haste to Fury 325. I was astounded by the thing it was simply massive and it has quite the presence at Carowinds especially walking in. I encountered one of the few changes over the last 9 years I did not care much for at Carowinds right away. A rather lengthy queue. I can certainly see why Cedar Fair decided to invest a lot of money in this park with its location. Fury is certainly incredibly popular. There was going to be no walk ons on Fury yesterday without biting the bullet and buying Fast Lane, which I did for the Scarowinds section. After the line (which I thought it was funny the switchbacks have to endure the loud giant lift chain motor every cycle), I noticed Fury probably has what I would say is one of the most stressful boarding sequences I've encountered on a roller coaster. The ride operators hound you to get through the gates and close them after like an absurdly short time then hound you to put your seatbelt on. I appreciate Carowinds efforts to speed up dispatches for sure. I did find some of the ride operators to be a tad excessive and naggy about these procedures but I certainly understand the purpose. Intimidator was rather similar in this regard as well only it actually has bins which I can imagine the GP love to bring up to employees.

On to the ride itself. My first ride I have to admit I was relatively underwhelmed, my opinion did improve significantly by the end of the day after a front row ride and several rides in the back. The first ride I rode in row 5 and the girl next to me wrapped her leg around mine as we were descending the drop which is incredibly distracting from that moment I have to admit. This ride is largely rather euphoric for a roller coaster. I was trying to fight my ranking of it above I305 for Virginia bias for some reason and the fact I305 has been the most friendly to me of any roller coaster out there for my size by a substantial margin I can't deny the fact I could ride Fury 325 significantly more than Intimidator 305. The transitions on Fury 325 are crazy in the four across seating, the airtime holds well, the ride is low to the ground in several sequences and really does not lose any of its speed but unlike Intimidator 305 the ride does not absolutely kill me of energy and is much more relaxing and I certainly prefer the clamshell restraints. The front row ride did me in with this ride. It basically just melts your face off up there. I will note it did not get into my top 3 in fact I slot it at #5 and Kings Dominion can breathe easy because I find myself still preferring Twisted Timbers mostly for the constant ejector air. I cannot wait to ride Fury again it is certainly a ride I want to marathon the heck out of one day. I got 8 laps and man I love this thing. It's like if you injected all the steroids and super soldier serum from the marvel cinematic universe into Apollo's Chariot which is a ride I have significant sentimental attachment to being my 4th coaster.

Next ride of note was Copperhead Strike. I came in with relatively neutral expectations. I have always really enjoyed launch roller coasters so I figured this one would be no exception. I thought it was odd people were comparing this so much to Cheetah Hunt because I personally find both of them extremely different on the surface and experience wise besides both being launch coasters. The launches are certainly as everyone says but honestly the quality of this ride itself makes this irrelevant to me when I look at it. Now I prefer other launches on other launch coasters for sure but this ones layout just blew me. It's not my favorite launch coaster that would go to the batshit insane black intamin I rode in Florida as that is currently my favorite roller coaster. I have to comment on the jojo roll. I honestly don't care for it. Every time I would go through that thing my thighs would hit the restraint in a way that felt just awful and it would also show up on the ejector moments but those are so fun I didn't care. Maybe when I lose more size it won't be a concern. I love the restraints and seats on this thing otherwise they are VERY comfortable. The layout if you ask me is very strong. The hangtime moments, ejector airtime, and rapid transitions along with the mid-launch over the hill make this ride fantastic. The "meandering around" sequences I honestly didn't find pervasive to my enjoyment of the ride and thought the pacing was fine throughout that. All in all Copperhead Strike GREATLY exceeded my expectations for sure. It was fantastic and definitely #2 at Carowinds. I sure hope Cedar Fair loves these Mack launch coasters because I want more in the US.

I also rode Intimidator and Afterburn which are rides I have ridden before. I have to say my opinion of Intimidator has improved significantly. I got two front row rides and a random 5th car ride. The airtime on Intimidator is not to be understated especially in the front row. It rose in my B&M Hyper rankings to be behind Mako and Candymonium leaving Nitro and Apollo's Chariot as the bottom two. I really enjoyed my Intimidator rides. Afterburn is fascinating to ride after riding Montu recently. They are VERY similar in fact the first several elements are largely the same. Montu has a much better second half though without question. I will note that I do think Afterburn is more intense than Montu. I'm not quite sure what it is Afterburn just feels like it's just packing on the positive Gs. The batwing DEFINITELY felt more intense than Montus. I felt like we got just yanked through that! Also it's cool they put larger rider seats in the 6th row would be cool if Alpengeist could join the club on that.

Some other notes on Carowinds, yeah you can definitely tell Cedar Fair has been dumping money in especially if you haven't been recently like me. I honestly felt like I enjoyed the park a lot more than Kings Dominion which is not something I used to be able to say as before Fury 325 only Afterburn and Intimidator were not enough to make Carowinds that interesting to me ESPECIALLY before Intimidator I was not a huge Carowinds fan. Now it's my 2nd favorite Cedar Fair park and I really appreciate how much pride they take in their park. The top 4 is very very strong. I could ride all of those rides all day. After that the drop off is objectively pretty bad but those 4 rides can be satisfying for hours honestly. Scarowinds I skipped most of the mazes I went down there for the coasters and paid for Fast Lane so I decided to do just one maze. Also, I really want KD Harmony Hall. Now. Build it KD. Anyway Carowinds will definitely be a once a year park for me going forward no question. Thank you for reading!
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