Yesterday was a big day for coaster announcements, but Six Flags wasn’t the only chain unveiling their plans for next year. Carowinds announced Copperhead Strike, a wild new launch coaster from Mack Rides. With two launch sections and five inversions, the coaster will treat riders to a spaghetti-bowl of twists and turns when it opens in 2019.
Over the summer, the park teased the ride’s stats by releasing small components of “Granny’s Secret Recipe” each week via Twitter.
As it turns out, Granny and her famous jam are a key part of the ride’s theme. Riders will head to the copperhead-ridden farm where she runs operations only to find that Granny has more than jam up her sleeves—and they’d better get out of there quick before they’re caught by the moonshiners. After taking in the details of a themed shed (sound familiar?), riders will be launched from 0–42 mph into the rest of the course.
Copperhead Strike will feature five inversions, including a slow jojo roll out of the station, two loops, a corkscrew, and a cutback. Midway through the layout, the train will launch a second time and reach a top speed of 50 miles per hour while traversing a bunny hill.
While the layout features some intense-looking turns, it looks like “hangtime” will be the ride’s specialty, with several of the inversions taken at an unusually slow speed. Watch the on-ride POV for Copperhead Strike below:
Carowinds has been lacking a good launch coaster for years, and that’s one of the things that stood out to me during my 2015 trip to the park. It looks like they set out to build the Maverick of the South, and since Cedar Fair has all but ditched Intamin due to unfortunate reliability issues, Mack Rides was the obvious manufacturer of choice. As a huge fan of Maverick at Cedar Point, I’m curious to see how the Mack Rides design compares in terms of intensity and overall layout.
In terms of theming, it’s interesting to see the third iteration of Cedar Fair’s farm/shed storyline. With the Copperhead Strike shed placed early in the layout, riders will catch a glimpse at the coaster’s theme while awaiting the launch. This seems like a much better placement for the shed than the anticlimactic finale on Mystic Timbers.
Between Copperhead Strike, Maxx Force, and West Coast Racers, 2019 is shaping up to be a great year for launched coasters. One thing is for sure—I’ll have a really hard time deciding which park to visit next year.
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