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Copperhead Strike at Carowinds Launching in 2019

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.

Read next: Six Flags Great America Announces Maxx Force

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News

Time Traveler and Twisted Timbers Now Open

We’ve finally reached that exciting time of year when amusement parks begin opening for the season. The new coasters we’ve heard so much about have passed the final stages of testing and are now opening to their first riders. The first major rides to open in 2018 have been Time Traveler at Silver Dollar City and Twisted Timbers at Kings Dominion. Judging by their POVs, the coasters turned out every bit as good as we hoped they would.

Time Traveler

Branded as the world’s tallest and fastest spinning coaster, Time Traveler is the first of a more intense line of spinning coasters from Mack Rides. The coaster begins with a ten-story vertical drop out of the station and maneuvers through three inversions during the ride.

 

After looking through pictures of the coaster, I was impressed by the attention to detail in the theming, from the queue to the trains.

The experience itself seems to be family friendly but intense enough to attract the thrill seekers. As for the spinning factor, Mack Rides has equipped the ride with an onboard magnetic brake to prevent the rotations from getting out of control—making for a slow glide to one side through each ride element. According to the park, no two rides on the coaster are the same.

Twisted Timbers

Meanwhile, Twisted Timbers at Kings Dominion has also opened, making it Cedar Fair’s first operating coaster from Rocking Mountain Construction.

Image © Guy LaRocca

After a Storm-Chaser-esque barrel roll drop, the the twisted steel snakes its way around the layout in an unbroken sequence of airtime hills and inversions. I knew the finished ride would be longer in length than the original wooden coaster, but the duration of the ride caught me somewhat by surprise when watching the new on-ride POV.

I thought it worth mentioning that Kings Dominion tried their hand at theming the queue. Considering it’s a Cedar Fair park, I’d say they did a pretty good job.

Image © Guy LaRocca

If Time Traveler and Twisted Timbers are any indication of what to expect for this season, 2018 will be a year for coaster enthusiasts to remember!

Are you planning to catch a ride on either coaster this year? Leave a comment below.

Read next: Top New Roller Coasters for 2018