The much anticipated day has finally arrived and Fury 325 officially opens! With a big bang, I might add. But first, let’s back up a moment and start from the beginning.
The grand opening of the world’s tallest and fastest traditional-lift roller coaster conveniently fell on 3/25/2015. While the day started out dreary it didn’t hamper any spirits.
The new pedestrian bridge that connects to the parking lot is sure to offer some fantastic views of Fury 325 as riders fly underneath.
I predict that this element will catch some riders by surprise.
Not only did they build Fury 325, Carowinds built a brand new entrance for 2015. It is a lot more spacious and will allow for smoother traffic flow.
There are many photo moments waiting to be captured throughout the entrance plaza.
In case you weren’t aware, the North Carolina/South Carolina border passes right through the park including the main entrance. It is marked by a concrete line that runs through the entire area.
The state line marker continues to the bus/RV parking lot. This also provides some great views of Fury 325.
The plaza has a contemporary feel but it doesn’t seem out of place at Carowinds.
The placement of the signs fit well with the styling of the entrance.
The stone columns really dress up the entrance and the LED sign is done well.
For those of you interested in the entrance scanners, here you go.
Carowinds rolled out the red carpet for us.
Charlie Brown was on hand to great all the guests.
And there are brand new restrooms to complete the entrance.
As an added touch, the counties of each state are named in brick on either side of the pathway.
Even from the back, the front entrance has a photogenic quality to it.
The Purrcussion Drum Line was on hand to bring add spirit to the occasion.
As well as other entertainment.
Some celebrities were on hand such as Charlotte Knights mascot, Homer the Dragon…
…and Carolina Panthers mascot, Sir Purr.
As you enter Thrill Zone, you can see where Fury Fever is taking over.
Even Dippin Dots Fury green offering a new Fury Freeze this year.
The former Rock Shop is now Thrills Shop.
And there is a new Coca-Cola marketplace in Thrill Zone.
But this is the star attraction for today!
The anticipation builds as the final test runs are completed.
Fury 325 stands tall and proud on this important day.
It won’t be long until we get some Fury of our own.
The crowds build waiting for the ceremony to begin.
Just a quick side note while we’re in the area…Jukebox Diner is sporting some bright new flags this season.
History is about to be made and hundreds are on hand to bear witness.
Mike Fehnel, Carowinds’ Vice President and General Manager opens up the ceremony.
He receives ‘video calls’ from notable people including the governor of North Carolina, Pat McCrory.
Other officials and politicians speak and the media catches every word.
Then John Taylor, Carowinds’ Director of Marketing, joins in applauding the winners of the first rider’s auction.
Combined, they raised $18,320 for the Cam Newton Foundation.
Laresa Thompson, Carowinds’ Public Relations Manager, gets the crowd fired up with a Fury 325 cheer.
Mike poses with his Fury 325 scissors. Those would go nicely in my collection.
It’s official! Fury 325 is now open!
The confetti settles, the fireworks end, and now the fun begins!
The winners of the first riders take off.
This train was special to many of us. Money was raised to purchase seat #1 of train #1 in honor of a dear friend Max Cannon who passed away this year. It was left empty in his memory.
The media was excitedly getting riders’ first reactions as they exit Fury 325.
Look at those seats just waiting to be filled.
The station has some nice lighting effects on both sides, by the way.
More riders are excited to get their first experience on Fury 325.
Fury 325 is a beast. The speed you attain from an 81 degree drop from 325 feet in the air is an unbelievable 95 mph!
Fury 325 throws you into the first turn which gets you setup for some great air time.
This brings you towards the new front entrance of Carowinds.
Where you’ll rush past onlookers…
…and fly overhead as you travel through 6,602 feet of track.
At the turn around you’re rewarded with some awesome lateral airtime before plunging under the bridge.
The great location of this turn around will lead to many great action shots.
Then, just as quickly, the train is gone from the entrance where riders will experience some good laterals and great air time on their way back towards the station.
As riders navigate the rest of the track they have some surprises in store but I’ll leave those for you to enjoy on your own.
Through the course of its circuit, Fury 325 travels through both North and South Carolina.
As riders enter the brake run their minds are filled with anticipation of the next ride – or fear and hope to never ride Fury 325 again. It’s relentless!
But pay heed to this sign.
I missed zipping up a pocket and lost a camera.
You exit the ride through a great little gift shop, The Hive at 325.
There are many great Fury 325 photo opportunities.
This is not something you see very often.
In Harmony Hall they had a great ice sculpture celebrating Fury 325.
The food was simply amazing. What’s even more amazing is that all of this will be served at Carowinds this year, either on the regular menus or at Taste of the Carolinas. Incredible! You HAVE to taste this food.
We got to ride on Fury with the live band that was providing entertainment.
Thank you, Carowinds, for a great day! Fury 325 is one awesome coaster and you have to get out there and ride it! It is sure to blow your mind!