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August 4, 2007
Straight Outta Linwood Tour
Having a season pass and a drive to travel more in 2007 had gotten me to a host of new places, and not just theme parks. My grandmother had wanted to North Carolina to check up on her house the week of August 3-12, and since I had a season pass, I opted to spend some time on Saturday at Carowinds. After arriving Friday nite we had breakfast with my Aunt at IHop on Saturday, rode around Salisbury, visited friends, then had lunch with my aunt, a friend, and my cousin & her husband, who had recently gotten married. After we got back to my grandmother’s home I changed and headed out to Carowinds.
I missed my exit to I-77 to Carowinds, and ended up on 485 around to Carowinds. I was trying to figure out how far from Carowinds I was, but once I got back on I-77, I was right there. I realized quickly that the parking lot was WAY TOO CROWDED. Add in that it was really hot & humid, and I knew I wouldn’t be doing much riding. But that was okay; I had other plans to fill my time. I had noticed a while back that Weird Al was going to be in concert at Carowinds this weekend, and flirted with the idea of going, but decided it wasn’t to be since I had plans the next 2 weekends after the concert. But when my grandmother wanted me to take her down, and since driving Ms. Lucy means she always foots the bill, I decided I’d sneak away to Carowinds anyway. Just before we left for the trip, I got a season pass email ‘reminding’ me of the concert, and that I could get tickets as a Season Pass Holder for $10.
So I got to the parking space, alllllll…the way over at the other end of the parking lot by the south gate and went in. Top Gun was right there, but the line was at least 2 hours long, so I decided I’d head over to the box office, buy my concert ticket, and ride some other rides I didn’t get on earlier in the season. EVERYTHING had a line. Restrooms, rides, shops, food stalls. The only thing I had instant access to was an ATM. Then I arrived at the front gate. No line to get in the park as everyone was already there, but the line to get a ticket to the concert was around 30 minutes. Yikes. Oh well, I got my ticket and was surprised at where they put me. I would have paid $14 for closer seats if there were any, but I ended up in the second section back, isle seat. Good enough for a total of $20 to park and get in the concert. My next stop was near the back of the park, so I re-entered Carowinds and headed for Ricochet. Man, the park was crowded. I picked up water on the way, which was a good thing, because the line for Ricochet was around 40 minutes. I figured I might as well wait.
Ricochet–When I did finally get on, I was in a full car. I still get frightened on wild mouse coasters. I always feel like I’m going to go over the edge. It’s unnerving. But at least it still has some affect on me, unlike many other coasters. I wish I’d been by myself only because I didn’t want to crush the tiny teen beside me.
Next I walked over to to Hurler, but it was down. So I decided to head over to Top Gun instead, since Thunder Road was also closed for maintenance. The line was way shorter than when I arrived. Top Gun is one of the best inverted coasters out there so I got in line, which was at the bottom of the stairs into the station.
Top Gun The Jet Coaster–The last few times I’d ridden Top Gun, it was running very well. There was amazing airtime on the hop over the station, and the ride is paced very well, I love it. Theres good hang time in the loop. I still can’t believe they sent this ride to Carowinds.
I wanted to ride another coaster ride, but I also kind of wanted to watch the Nickelodeon Celebration Parade at 7 PM, which was just before the concert was scheduled to start. I got a Jolly Rancher drink and eventually got some food, but when I got up to the front of the park they were allowing people into the Amphitheater, so I headed in to my seat instead. Then I waited. And Waited. And WAITED. The concert started at 8pm and lasted 2 hours. Weird Al was really great. He did ‘Fat’, ‘Eat it’, ‘White & Nerdy’, and many, many more. This was my first Weird Al concert, and I knew I’d see him more in the future.