Specific Type: Wooden, Triple Out & Back
Back in 1993, Paramount had just recently purchased a group of parks, including Carowinds, Kings Island, Kings Dominion, and Canada’s Wonderland. After making some management and infrastructure changes, the new ownership group was ready to start making capital investments into its parks, using its movie and TV brands as themes for rides. In 1994, Paramount decided to add an expansion to Carowinds, breaking ground behind the back-dwelling Carolina Cyclone for a new section to be called, and themed after, Wayne’s World. While this expansion saw the removal of the parks old monorail, it saw the addition of a brand new wooden coaster, the Hurler.
Designed by Steven Schaeffer and built by the International Coasters Inc (ICI), the coasters layout was based on Thunder Run at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom, has been famous for its air-filled hills, but excessively rough turns. Though ICI never designed another coaster, theHurler wasn’t exclusive, with an exact clone of the ride and similar Wayne’s World expansion taking place at its sister park, Kings Dominion.
The queue originally started over by the parks Xtreme Skyflyer attraction and wound through the structure encompassed by the train’s out-and-back layout, and resided next to a Wayne’s World car which had “hit” a fire hydrant. The addition of a go-kart track and the lack of a long queue over the years have since rendered it useless, and the queue has been rerouted to enter next to the exit pathway. The queuing area was originally set up to look like a movie set inside a giant sound studio, and TVs throughout broadcast messages to guests and kept them entertained. Much of this themeing was removed over the years, and the weakening Wayne’s World theme was finally removed from the area just a couple of years after Cedar Fair took over the former Paramount Parks.
The ride itself begins with a quick 180-degree turn to the right (the train never makes a left-hand turn on the entire circuit) to line the train up for the lift hill. After ascending 83-feet up into the air, the train then turns 180-degrees to the right again, dipping down into the turn and pulling up for the first drop. Here, the bottom drops out, and the train plummets 80 feet to the ground, hitting speeds of up to 50 mph, and blasting through the on-ride photo into the rides first, flat, heavily banked, 180-degree right-hand turnaround. The train then flies over a series of three airtime hills, with the second being the highest, before hitting another low, flat, heavily banked turn. The track then straightens and flattens out briefly, lining the train up for set of double bunny hills, which have a slight “double-down” feel to them. Pulling up and out of the second hill, the train makes its only elevated turn, executing a fan curve turnaround to the right. This particular turn has become well known over the years for its somewhat violent slam as the train begins the maneuver. Exiting the fan curve, the train then pops over another bunny hill, enters its final flat, right-hand turnaround, and pops over one final low hill before hitting the brake run.
Over the years, the rides “flat” turns have caused the ride to take a significant beating, with re-tracking occurring many times over the years. Despite the inherently rough nature of the coaster, many still rode for the excellent airtime it provided. For the 2010 season, the park introduced a trim brake at the bottom of the first hill. While it has significantly reduced the roughness of those turns, it has also eliminated the majority of the airtime. If a happy medium between rough and airtime-producing can be found utilizing the trim, the ride may have another life left in it, otherwise, poor design may lead to its demise—much like a coaster with a similar attribute, Hercules at Dorney Park.
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