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Carowinds among top 10 fun amusement/water parks

Roller coaster riders enjoy Carowinds’ new Fury 325, the world’s tallest and fastest giga coaster, during media day on March 25. The train races through hills and curves at speeds up to 95 mph.
Roller coaster riders enjoy Carowinds’ new Fury 325, the world’s tallest and fastest giga coaster, during media day on March 25. The train races through hills and curves at speeds up to 95 mph. dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

The Travel Channel today listed Carowinds among the top 10 amusement and water parks for 2015.

The list was compiled by Robb Alvey (of ThemeParkReview.com), Erin Gifford (Kidventurous.com), Bert Kreischer (host of Travel Channel’s “Trip Flip” program ), Arthur Levine (theme park expert for About.com) and Lissa Poirot (FamilyVacationCritic.com).

The press release announcing the list said of Carowinds, “Standing at 325-feet high, the new Fury 325 roller coaster at Carowinds is among the five tallest coasters in the world. Taller than the Statue of Liberty (305 feet), the Fury 325 sends riders racing up, down and around turns at 95 miles per hour. If you want even more heart-pumping action, Carowinds has nine other roller coasters that offer drops, loops, turns and spins – both forward and backward.”

The Fury 325 has been in the local news for twice stalling in April, due to ride sensors. The Observer reported last week that ‘The ride has more than 450 sensors and, to date, has given more than 250,000 rides,’ (Carowinds general manager Michael) Fehnel said. He did not say what caused the ride's malfunction but said the roller coaster was ‘operating exactly as it's designed to.’ ”

In a March 26 ride review by Observer Entertainment Editor Theoden Janes, the Fury 325 was explained like this: “Riders will board one of three 32-passenger open-air trains and ascend to the top of a 325-foot hill (over 30 stories), followed by an initial 81-degree drop. The train races through hills and curves at speeds up to 95 mph.”

The other nine top parks named by The Travel Chanel:

Aquatica, SeaWorld’s Waterpark, Orlando, Fla.

Disneyland, Anaheim, Calif.

Knoebels Amusement Resort, Elysburg, Pa.

Knott’s Berry Farm, Buena Park, Calif.

Schlitterbahn (water park), New Braunfels, Texas

Six Flags Magic Mountain, Los Angeles

Six Flags White Water, Atlanta

Splashin’ Safari Water Park, Santa Claus, Ind.

Wet ’n’ Wild Hawaii, Kapolei, Hawaii

Travel Channel did not indicate if the order of listings reflected a relative rank. Carowinds was the second park on the list, after Aquatica, SeaWorld’s Waterpark.

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