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Afterburn Roller Coaster at Carowinds Mini Review
Carowinds Roller Coasters

The Afterburn coaster at Carowinds includes lots of inversions.

© Arthur Levine, 2010. Licensed to About.com.
Straddling the North and South Carolina borders, Carowinds in Charlotte has an impressive collection of roller coasters. While the following collection of mini reviews doesn't include all of the Carowinds roller coasters, it does provide a rundown of most of the major ones. Note that the reviews are based on my visit to the park in 2010 (when the flying coaster, Nighthawk, was not operating). Your mileage may vary.

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About.com Theme Parks Rating for Afterburn (0=Blech!, 5=Wahoo!): 4

Carowinds Afterburn Up-Front Info

  • Type of coaster: Steel inverted
  • Thrill Scale (0=Wimpy!, 10=Yikes!): 7
    Powerful positive G-forces, lots of inversions
  • Height: 144 feet
  • Top speed: 62 mph
  • Number of inversions: 6
  • Track length: 2956 feet
  • Height requirement: 54 inches
  • Ride time: 2:47 minutes

A thrilling ride with a great layout, Afterburn is among the best inverted coasters I've had the pleasure to hoot and holler my way through. Like many inverted coasters, Carowinds' thrill machine includes lots of inversions and huge bursts of positive G-forces. Unlike too many inverted coasters, which turn riders's noggins into human pinballs, Afterburn mercifully does NOT deliver much over-the-shoulder-restraint headbanging.

Once known as Top Gun, when Carowinds was a Paramount park and featured movie themeing, the coaster has retained its fighter-pilot inspiration. Afterburn's barrage of dives, tumbles, twists, and other elements play like a series of acrobatic aerial maneuvers. With wild views of trainloads of passengers' dangling feet flipping, er, head over heels, the coaster is as much fun to watch as it is to ride.

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