My first stop, of course, was The Intimidator -- to make sure that I did not lose my courage by lollygagging around the massive park. This ride was inspired by the late Dale Earnhardt, Sr., who was killed in a NASCAR race in 2001 in Daytona Beach, Florida. I must admit that at first the yards and yards of rounded steel which twists and turns many times as well as goes way up into the air is a bit intimidating. Believe me when I say this as I am a former U.S. Army Paratrooper that has completed more than 20 jumps from a perfectly good aircraft while in flight. Surprisingly the wait only took less than 25 minutes as the staff was pretty efficient in getting folks on and off of the coaster. They had these huge fans that sprayed a mist of cool water on you while in line and I thought that was way cool and thoughtful. As I approached the loading zone I could not help but to experience a slight increase in my heart rate and blood pressure, but fear was not present.
You could tell that some of those young had people done this before as they took their shoes off before boarding and knew exactly where to stand to get the best seat(s). To my dismay, and being a rookie, I was seated at the tail end of the ride and next to a kid who stated that it was his 12th time riding. Must be nice being that young again I thought. Of course, us older folks know how to get it right the first time, therefore ending the need for a return trip. For example, that young boy told me that he closed his eyes the first time so I made sure that I was going to keep mine open so as not to miss anything. Oddly, the first drop is the scariest part of the ride which goes extremely quick and smooth. My fear was compounded by the fact that I and this kid were the last two amoeba's to go over the top after literally hanging by the seats of our pants while watching the other riders climb over 200 feet
in the air.
^^^Back to Top
All in all it was quite a memorable - yet fast - experience that most young folks will indeed have to do over and over again like my new young friend. And if you go during the dog days of summer - In July
- that water mist is certainly a cool treat while waiting in line.
Added to the 400-acre theme park
(which opened in 1973) for 2019
is the first double launch roller coaster
known as Copperhead Strike
which simulates a harrowing chase of getaway cars speeding through rolling farmland while thrusting riders via two launches through over a half mile of steel on a winding ride. The thrilling ride provides its daring passengers with an intense low-to-ground experience that includes 16-1930's passenger trains
and a Jojo roll
at the onset followed by a 360-degree loop
, five inversions
, twists, turns, flips, and an unforgettable hang time loop. The ride is situated in the Blue Ridge Junction
which is fashioned after the easy-going mountain region of North Carolina
. The innovative ride was manufactured by a German
company called Mack Rides
that is recognized as a leader in roller coaster development.
In the works is a brand new 130-room SpringHill Suites hotel
that will also house a dormitory for regional and international travel and tourism students; which is scheduled to open in late 2019
is currently home to 60 rides
to include 13 world-class rollercoasters
and a top-rated 26-acre water park
known as Carolina Harbor
. The park is currently owned by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company
(NYSE:FUN), a publicly-traded partnership that owns and operates 11 amusement parks
, two outdoor and one indoor water parks
, as well as four hotels
Want to go?
Schedule a group visit here!