March 22-23, 2019
Copperhead Strike Debut
I’ve lived in NC for nearly a decade now.In that time, my home park of Carowinds has added 3 major steel coasters, 4 new thrill rides, a slew of new kiddie rides, and have renovated and refurbished nearly the whole park. And they don’t seem to be finished yet. But in 2019 the park followed up their 2015 addition of Fury with Copperhead Strike, a Mack dual launched inverting coaster. I’ve been excited for months to check it out, and finally it was time.
I hate Season Passholder nite. I wanted to get off work early, but that didn’t happen. I knew it would take me at least 90 minutes in Friday evening Charlotte traffic to get from work to Carowinds. Its like that every year. I had flashback to Fury, though, and even though the line was super long, the capacity on a 3 train B&M Giga is pretty good, so the line lasted about 90 minutes or so. That was not to be the case this time.
I arrived at the park around 7 PM. The parking lot was packed. There is a strong Season Pass base in Charlotte. Once I finally got parked in the nearly full parking lot I made my way to the front gate since South Gate wasn’t open. Then I waited in line again to get through security. THEN I finally got into the park and ran to the restroom before heading towards the newly added Blueridge Junction. Coming around the corner I could hear the entertainment and see the entrance to the new area. It flows so nicely from the recent addition of County Fair.
May 14, 2004
I’d known for months that I would be able to hit Carowinds in May as I was going to be in N.C. for the weekend of the 14 so I made plans with my good friend (and then roommate) Jon to go with me again like we did last year. Months of planning (and finding out they would finally be getting a Star Trek themed coaster) came to a head, though, in May, as plans changed fairly drastically. The origional plan called for Jon to head out to N.C. and spend the week with friends, and he and his friends would be meeting me on Friday at the park, after which he’d head back to Salisbury, N.C. with me for the weekend.
As the beginning of May rolled around, though, Jon realized that he lacked the funding to travel to N.C. for a day, much less a week, so I was without a riding partner as all my other friends weren’t going to be able to make it till Friday evening. That same week Andy messaged me on CoasterBuzz to let me know that he too would be hitting Carowinds on the 14th, and wanted to know if I wanted to meet up for some rides, and of course I said yes. We spent the 2 weeks before making plans over instant messenger and phone. Finally it was the day before the trip. I called and made final plans to meet Andy at the front gate. We were to meet at the park, but if one of us got there signifigantly early, that person was to get in line for BORG, and we’d meet up after we both rode.
The morning came, and promptly at 4 am I woke up, got ready, went to town to gas up, and at 5 am headed out from the tiny town in WV where I reluctantly called home for the North Carolina sun. I had planned to stop at 6am for breakfast in WV, but the place I had wanted to get biscuits from hadn’t opened yet. I put off breakfast for a while, and decided to head for the interstate.
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For a 6 month period in 2003 I picked up a new home park. But alas, due to work and cash restraints I wasn’t able to visit during the regular season. That is why I’m glad Kennywood had Phantom Fright Nights as an option in October or I wouldn’t have had a chance to go to the park for the first time, and have a final coaster trip for 2003. I’d had a rough day. Prior to Kennywood, I had spent a few days with my parents, but got a late start from their house to where I was living, a 3 hour trip. Then I got stuck in traffic because of Bridge Day, a large festival in WV. It took an extra hour to get home, so I was really late picking my roommate Jon up.
I had to get directions to Kennywood from their web site, because I hadn’t been to Pittsburgh in over 20 years and don’t remember a thing about it as I was a toddler. But the trip from Fairmont, WV to Kennywood was an easy and fairly quick drive . Though we got a bit lost between Pittsburgh and West Mifflin, we stopped for directions, and easily found the park once we were pointed in the right direction.
After parking we paid for our ticket and headed in. The park (what I could see of it in such darkness) looked really nice. I do wish it had been light up a bit more, though, as I didn’t know my way around. The first thing we headed to was Phantom’s Revenge.