Copperhead Strike Taking Shape at Carowinds (and the Gliders’ Return!)
Since Granny’s Epic Secret at Carowinds was revealed to be Copperhead Strike on August 30, lots of eyes have been on the construction site adjacent to Carowinds’ County Fair, which will become Blue Ridge Junction in 2019.
Today, Coaster101, along with several other members of the Charlotte-area media, were invited to take a “Hard Hat” construction tour of the area, and got “up close and personal” with Copperhead Strike while it is under construction.
The Gliders’ Return to Carowinds!
After several days of teasing on social media, Carowinds let us know that their Bisch-Rocco Flying Scooters attraction, formerly known as “Woodstock Gliders” in Planet Snoopy (and “Flying Eagles” at Kings Island and Coney Island prior to that) will be returning to the park after a one-year hiatus. The attraction was removed from Planet Snoopy as the area was transformed into Camp Snoopy for the 2018 season.
Located adjacent to Copperhead Strike, the Flying Scooters will now be known as “Mountain Gliders,” and feature a theme that fits in well with the surrounding “Blue Ridge Junction” area.
Many of the angles of Copperhead Strike below were taken from the ride’s new concrete pad.
Ride operator booths are starting to take shape, along with the fence line and queue areas.
Up close and personal with the concrete pad.
And now, in my best Michael Buffer voice…“Ladies and Gentlemen! Welcome to the main event!”
Copperhead Strike Construction Photos
From the Mountain Gliders Concrete Pad, we got great views of the progress that has been made on Copperhead Strike Construction.
The station for Copperhead Strike and transfer track/storage area are both under construction.
Copperhead Strike’s Station
An I-Beam is lowered into place.
The transfer track will be located over these concrete columns.
Copperhead Strike starts with a Jojo Roll out of the station…
Makes a 180-degree turn…
…goes into a Granny Byrd’s shed (under construction, perhaps by Calico Architectural, utilizing Miami Lumber Co. lumber)
…which will house the first launch (the area covered in plastic)
…which will go from 0-42mph in 2.5 seconds, into the first loop. (Which is expected to be completed today or tomorrow.)
Loop supports, waiting for track.
Led by Carowinds Director of Maintenance Steve Jackson, we then were able to get a little closer to the track.
Track coming out of the first launch.
Heading down the first straightaway to the first loop.
Brake run before the transfer track.
Station Under Construction and columns for Transfer Track
Inside the track of the first launch.
Heading towards the loop.
Slightly closer loop under construction.
Underside, heading towards the loop.
I was somewhat busy taking photos, but I overheard the following information during interviews that other media members were having with Carowinds park staff.
- Construction is still “on-time,” despite being delayed a few days by the Hurricanes that have come through the Carolinas.
- Track and parts are coming in daily, and everything is expected to be on site at Carowinds within a month.
- The track is supposed to be completed during the winter, with testing expected to begin in January, weather permitting.
- Probably the best news I heard all day, the plan currently is that Copperhead Strike and all of Blue Ridge Junction will be OPEN for Winterfest, starting in 2019. (These things obviously can change, but that’s great news!)
While Copperhead Strike and Mountain Gliders are the main focal points for the enthusiast community, they’re not the only construction going on at Carowinds as we approach the end of SCarowinds, beginning of Winterfest, and (before you know it) the 2018-2019 off-season.
Carowinds is currently in the process of constructing dorms for their associates, which are scheduled to open next year.
Springhill Suites by Marriott
Carowinds’ first on-site hotel, Springhill Suites by Marriott at Carowinds, is also under construction, and scheduled to open in 2019.
A big “Thank You!” to Carowinds for having us out today! We can’t wait to ride Copperhead Strike next spring!
We’re going to attempt to keep up with Copperhead Strike construction this off-season, so stay tuned to Coaster101 for more! (And make sure you’re following us on social media — Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are all /coaster101