We are finally finished with homeschooling! Our last full day was May 28, and then we worked on a final newsletter project on Monday, the 31st. The newsletter was about my son’s 5th grade year that we mailed to family. June 1st was our first official day of summer break and we spent the day at Carowinds, an amusement park 2 hours away. I purchased a season pass for both my son and me. I use to go to Carowinds as a kid and I have many great memories there. Much has changed with more thrill rides and a water park added. The roller coasters are fun, but the ride choices are limited if you don’t like roller coasters.
Cedar Fair bought Paramount’s Carowinds back in 2006 and gradually changed things for the better. Under Paramount, Carowinds was starting to go downhill. When I was last there in 2008, the kiddie land was themed based on Nickelodeon TV shows and many of the characters weren’t popular anymore and outdated. This year, Cedar Fair updated the kiddie land to the Peanuts and Snoopy theme. I loved it! I felt like a kid again. My son loved it, too, because he is a Peanuts fan (coming from my influence, of course). The Peanuts are iconic and like Mickey with Disney World, won’t go out of style.
As we drove through the entrance to the park, my son spotted the new thrill ride, the Intimidator, and he insisted we ride it immediately. The ride borders the huge parking lot, and there was no missing it. I didn’t have time to think about the ride, as I was concentrating on parking and getting inside the gate to get our season passes. I said, “OK”. I mean, how bad could it be?
Photo from here.
After we were inside, we got a park map, located the Intimidator, and proceeded in that direction. I noticed something unusual as we arrived; there were hardly any people there! Picking a weekday right after a holiday proved to be a tremendous advantage. There was absolutely no waiting in the lines for rides throughout the day. For example, if no one was in our que to get on the ride after returning to the station, we could ride again. My son rode the Woodstock Express three times in row! BUT, this unusual circumstance to not wait in line proved to be a disadvantage when riding our first ride, the Intimidator. Why? Here’s why. I’m sure if we had to wait in a long line, or even a short line, we would have had more time to consider just what we were getting into. I am certain we would have backed out. Instead, we walked right up to the station and within seconds got in the seat. The seat was designed like a race car driver seat, but with no seat belt or shoulder harness. There was only a lap bar in a shape of a steering wheel that pressed down snuggly between your legs. This was it? This was going to hold me and my poor child sitting beside me?
Photo from here.
I didn’t have time to consider what was ahead. One never really thinks about falling out of the seat because everyone returns from the previous trip. That’s always a good sign, right? In a surreal moment, we begin to approach the 232 ft. climb to the top. I’m afraid of heights and I closed my eyes. I knew they would remain closed during the entire ride. Then, we got to the top and I braced myself for the 211 ft. drop, which seemed like the longest drop of my entire life! As we approached each turn and drop, my body rose off the seat and my legs pressed up against the steering wheel that I was gripping. It was miraculously holding me in, and thank God my son was still in his seat!! It seemed the ride was never going to end. It was the longest 3 minutes and 33 seconds EVER!
When we finally slowed down before returning to the station, my son and I breathed a sigh of relief that it was over. Feeling stunned, we asked each other, “What were we thinking?” We were just thankful that we survived and we vowed that we would NEVER ride the Intimidator again! The name definitely IS what it says!
A series of POV videos are posted on the website, but here is one I have posted from YouTube.