You will float like a butterfly. It will sting you like a bee. You may start with your hands in the air and your eyes open.
But after 3 minutes and 25 seconds of ups and downs, twists and turns you will likely have your eyes closed, hands grabbing whatever they can and you’ll be screamin’ like a kid.
Those are the reactions to Carowinds newest roller coaster, the Fury 325 – and that’s just from the video simulation shown Thursday as the park unveiled its latest attraction.
Fury 325 will be among the tallest and the fastest roller coasters in the world. It will pass over and below a new park entrance six times, involving even those too terrified to ride the coaster which will reach 95 mph.
“This is not a Carolina story, this is not a national story. This is an international deal. People will come from all over to ride this coaster,” predicted Chip Siectko of American Coaster Enthusiasts.. “It’s going to be insane.”
Hundreds of invited guests packed the park’s Harmony Hall dinning hall for the announcement. Some were officials and business leaders fromSouth Carolina and North Carolina, but most were diehard coaster enthusiasts who have been following clues as to what might happen at Carowinds for the past several months.
Fury 325 will be the 14th roller coaster at the park, which bills itself as the Thrill Capital of the Southeast.
Fury 325 will become the new park icon. At 325 feet – 32 stories – tall it will tower over almost everything else at the park and be seen for miles. The tamer Windseeker, which debuted in 2012, is 301 feet tall and spins people in circles at 30 mph.
Fury 325’s 6,602 feet of track is suspended over eight acres of the park and likely will cross the state line.
After the 325-foot climb, riders will drop almost vertically – actually its an 81 degree drop.
There’s a barrel turn that’s 190 feet tall, S-curves, horseshoe turns, a dive underneath the park’s new visitors’ bridge, camel-back hills that gives riders “air time,” and a double helix maneuver where the train turns back on itself.
The only thing that the Fury 325 won’t do is turn riders upside down. That should be a plus as “people aren’t ready to go upside down,” Siectko said.
Fury 325’s capacity is 32 passengers. Riders must be 54-inches tall.
Roller coaster enthusiasts said the Fury 325 will be one they’ll ride again and again. The experience, they said, will vary depending if you’re in the front or the back, left or right side, of the train.
Park officials did not release the cost of the coaster, noting it was part of a multi-year commitment to spend $50 million improving the park. They also did not release ridership expectations, other than to note the Fury’s hourly capacity is 1,470 riders.
Mike Fehnel, the park’s new general manager and vice president, said the Fury 325 and other improvements will provide a totally new Carowinds experience.
“Theme parks always need to rebrand and this will give people new reasons to come,” he said.
Other improvements include the new visitors’ plaza, entry gate and continued revamping of the park’s food menu. Carowinds opened Harmony Hall this summer where park guest can get a variety of handmade, fresh meals.
More rides will be announced soon. A clue to what’s coming was offered by John Taylor, director of marking, who said the next announcement will be a “bigger splash.”