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Carowinds Logo.svg
Carowinds aerial view, September 2017.JPG
An aerial view of the park
Slogan"Where the Carolinas come together"
LocationCharlotte, North Carolina, United States
Coordinates35°06′16.13″N 80°56′22.12″W / 35.1044806°N 80.9394778°W / 35.1044806; -80.9394778Coordinates: 35°06′16.13″N 80°56′22.12″W / 35.1044806°N 80.9394778°W / 35.1044806; -80.9394778
OwnerCedar Fair Entertainment Company
General managerPat Jones
OpenedMarch 31, 1973
Previous namesCarowinds (1973–1992), Paramount's Carowinds (1993–2006)
Operating seasonMarch through December
Visitors per annum2 million
Area407 acres (1.65 km2)
Roller coasters14[1]
Water rides7[2]

Carowinds is a 407-acre (165 ha) amusement park, located adjacent to Interstate 77 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Although it has an official North Carolina address, the park is located along the North Carolina-South Carolina state line, with a portion of the park also located in Fort Mill, South Carolina. The park opened on March 31, 1973, at a cost of $70 million. This was the result of a four-year planning period spearheaded by Charlotte businessman Earl Patterson Hall, who was inspired to build the park by a 1956 trip to Disneyland and a dream of bringing the two states closer together. Owned and operated by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company, Carowinds also features a 27-acre (81,000 m2) water park, Carolina Harbor, which is included with park admission. The park has a Halloween event called SCarowinds and a winter event called WinterFest.


The original Carowinds logo, used from 1973 to 1992.
Carowinds logo used from 2001 to 2006
Current Carowinds logo

Carowinds was originally envisioned as a component of a large resort which would include hotels, a shopping center, a golf course, and an NFL stadium. However, attendance at Carowinds was curtailed by the 1973 oil crisis, and plans for the proposed resort were put on hold. Hall and the other stockholders of the Carowinds Corporation continued to operate the theme park through 1974, though sagging attendance and mounting debt forced the company to sell to Taft Broadcasting in early 1975. Ownership had transferred from Family Leisure Centers – a joint venture between Taft and Top Value Enterprises) – to Kings Entertainment Company, which in turn was acquired by Paramount. The park was purchased by Paramount Communications in 1993 and joined the Paramount Parks family. The park was renamed Paramount's Carowinds in 1993 and later became an asset of Viacom following its acquisition of Paramount in 1994.

The name "Carowinds" was obtained from the park's original theme of the history and culture of the Carolinas, and is a portmanteau of "Carolina" and "winds", in reference to the winds that blow across the two states. Carowinds operates seasonally from late March through December, after the park's Halloween event, "SCarowinds", and the park's Christmas event, "WinterFest."

Sale to Cedar Fair[edit]

On January 27, 2006, the Dayton Daily News reported that CBS Corporation (which split from Viacom at the end of 2005) would be selling Paramount's Carowinds and other parks in its Paramount Parks division.

On June 30, 2006, Cedar Fair Entertainment Company acquired Paramount Parks, including Carowinds.[3]

Although Cedar Fair continued to use the Paramount's Carowinds name through the remainder of the 2006 season, it began to phase out the Paramount name in press releases, the park website, and on signage within the park. In January 2007, a new logo featuring the Cedar Fair icon but lacking the "Paramount" name, was revealed on the park website. The new logo featured the trademark Cedar Fair flags, flying on the letter "I" on the Carowinds name. The other four Paramount-branded parks that Cedar Fair acquired all received similar changes. The "Paramount" name was dropped from all of the parks after the 2006 season.

Cedar Fair era[edit]

Entrance to Carowinds

On August 26, 2013, Cedar Fair announced a $50-million investment plan to expand Carowinds over three years starting in 2014.[4] The expansion includes a $30-million roller coaster, a $2.5-million water slide, a $7-million food complex, and $4 million to improve the park's ticket booths and front areas.[5]

On August 21, 2014, Carowinds announced the addition of Fury 325 for the 2015 season. Designed by Bolliger & Mabillard, the ride is the fifth-tallest roller coaster in the world, after its debut in the spring of 2015 as another component of the park's previously announced "top-to-bottom" expansion program.[6] A new front entrance, replacing the original North Gate entrance of the park, also opened along with Fury 325 for the 2015 season.

On August 27, 2015, Carowinds announced that the water park known formally as Boomerang Bay would be expanded and renamed Carolina Harbor in 2016. The Australian theme would be removed and replaced with a Carolina harbor theme. The expansion includes a new six-slide complex, a new wave pool, and several new splash areas for kids.[7]

On August 18, 2016, Carowinds announced the expansion of the County Fair area, with the addition of 4 new rides: Electro-Spin (a mondial top scan), Zephyr (Zierer Wave Swinger), Rock N Roller (Mack Rides Music Express), and Do-Si-Do (HUSS Troika). For the 2017 season, Carowinds also announced that Carolina Cobra would be refurbished and renamed "The Flying Cobras". They also announced that the Wings restaurant would receive various upgrades. Carowinds also announced the return of WinterFest, a Christmas event in November and December, that previously operated in 2005.[8]

For the 2018 season, the park's children's area known as Planet Snoopy, was expanded and converted to Camp Snoopy with the addition of six new children's attractions.[9]

On August 30, 2018, Carowinds announced their biggest investment in park history for the 2019 season. The signature attraction, Copperhead Strike, a double-launched roller coaster manufactured by Mack Rides, is located in the all new 7-acre "Blue Ridge Junction" area, and became the park's 14th roller coaster. Blue Ridge Junction was constructed in the area formerly occupied by Whitewater Falls, Sand Dune Lagoon and Thunder Road's former station. Also included in the investment is the 130-room SpringHill Suites by Marriott, Carowinds' first on-site hotel, and Blue Ridge Country Kitchen, a new dining experience.

In 2019, Carowinds announced Boogie Board Racer, the longest mat racing slide in the Southeast would open in Carolina Harbor in 2020.[10] The retirement of the Rip Roarin' Rapids ride was also announced, along with the closure of the Dinosaurs Alive! attraction.

For the 2020 season, the opening date of the park was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On August 4, Carowinds announced the park would remain closed for the duration of the season with plans to open in 2021.

Themed areas and attractions[edit]

Thrill level (out of 5)[11]
  1 (low)   2 (mild)   3 (moderate)   4 (high)   5 (aggressive)

Celebration Plaza[edit]

Intimidator opened in 2010
Ride Year opened Manufacturer Description Thrill
Carolina Skytower 1973 Intamin A 262-foot (80 m) tall Gyro tower that gives guests a view of Carowinds and Charlotte. It was originally sponsored by and branded as the Eastern Airlines Skytower. 2
Intimidator 2010 Bolliger & Mabillard A steel hypercoaster inspired by stock car racing driver Dale Earnhardt. The 232-foot-tall (71 m) roller coaster travels up to 75 mph (121 km/h). 5
Kiddy Hawk 2003 Vekoma A steel Vekoma 342m suspended family coaster. Formerly operated as Rugrats Runaway Reptar (2003–2009) with yellow track and green supports, and Flying Ace Aerial Chase (2010–2017) with yellow track and orange supports. For its 15th anniversary in 2018, the coaster gained a new name, new color scheme, and new theme. The coaster would be themed to the aviation based on the Wright Brothers from Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Also in 2018 with the transition of Planet Snoopy to Camp Snoopy, the coaster became part of Celebration Plaza and themed outside of the Peanuts/kid themed area. 4
Nighthawk 2004 Vekoma A Vekoma Flying Dutchman coaster. The coaster operated as Stealth at California's Great America before being installed at Carowinds. When moved to Carowinds, it was known as Borg Assimilator (2004–2007) and was themed after the Borg from the television show Star Trek: The Next Generation. The theming was removed when Cedar Fair acquired the park, and the ride was renamed Nighthawk. 5
RipCord 1995 Skycoaster, Inc. A skycoaster formally known as Xtreme SkyFlyer. This ride is an upcharge ride. Guests must pay an additional fee to ride. This ride used to be located were Fury 325 is currently located. In the year 2014 RipCord was relocated right next to the Kiddy Hawk roller coaster. 5


Ride Year opened Manufacturer Description Thrill
Action Theater 1994 Iwerks 2016: Home of Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 3Z Arena. A 3D intra-active experienced developed by PopCap Games, Electronic Arts, and Alterface Projects, puts 2 teams against each other in a 5-minute backyard battle, where they'll shoot screens with blasters and track their scores as they go. Previous attractions: Days Of Thunder, James Bond 007: License to Thrill, The 7th Portal 3D, SpongeBob SquarePants 4-D & Dinosaurs: Giants of Patagonia. 2
Afterburn 1999 Bolliger & Mabillard An inverted roller coaster featuring 6 inversions. Formerly known as Top Gun: The Jet Coaster (1999–2007). 5
Boo Blasters on Boo Hill 2010 Sally Corporation An interactive dark ride where guests shoot at targets to collect points. Originally, the building was a theater that housed a variety of shows. It was previously known as Scooby-Doo's Haunted Mansion from 2001 to 2009. 2
Dodg’ems 1979 Majestic Rides A classic bumper cars attraction. Formerly known as Autodrome (1979–1981) & PT Bumper's Dodgem (1982–?). 4
Southern Star 1986 Intamin A Looping Starship thrill ride. Formerly known as Frenzoid. The ride was removed by Paramount at the end of 2005 for Boomerang Bay (now Carolina Harbor) expansion. It returned in 2007 in a new location nearby. 4
WindSeeker 2012 Mondial A 301-foot (92 m) tower swinger ride that spins to music and a light show. It was the tallest ride ever built at Carowinds until the opening of Fury 325 in 2015. It is turned into a Christmas tree of lights during the holiday season. 4
Yo Yo 2008 Chance Morgan A swing ride that currently occupies the spot where Whirling Dervish, the park's original Wave Swinger, was located. It was relocated from Geauga Lake. 3

Carolina Boardwalk[edit]

Sign for Carolina Boardwalk
Ride Year opened Manufacturer Description Thrill
Carolina Cyclone 1980 Arrow Dynamics A steel roller coaster featuring two vertical loops and two corkscrews. It was the first roller coaster to feature four inversions. 5
Carolina Goldrusher 1973 Arrow Dynamics A steel Mine train roller coaster. It was the first roller coaster at Carowinds and is only one of three original rides still operating. It's also the first roller coaster to cross state lines (North Carolina & South Carolina). 4
Ricochet 2002 Mack Rides A steel wild mouse roller coaster that has intense turns and drops. 4

Carousel Park[edit]

Ride Year opened Manufacturer Description Thrill
The Scrambler 1973 Eli Bridge A classic Twist ride. It was originally named Kaleidoscope. 3
Vortex 1992 Bolliger & Mabillard A steel stand-up roller coaster. It was the South's first stand up roller coaster. 5
SlingShot 2015 Funtime A reverse bungee ride that catapults riders nearly 300-feet into the air at speeds up to 62 miles per hour (100 km/h). SlingShot is an additional charge attraction. 5
The Grand Carousel 1979 Philadelphia Toboggan Company An antique carousel, PTC #67. Originally located in Planet Snoopy before the 2018 season. 1

County Fair[edit]

Ride Year Opened Manufacturer Description Thrill
The Flying Cobras 2009 Vekoma A standard Boomerang model roller coaster. The train is pulled up the lift hill backward and then released down the hill forward into a cobra roll and vertical loop before repeating the journey in reverse. It was relocated from Geauga Lake where it was known as Mind Eraser (1996–2003) & Head Spin (2003–2007). Formerly known as Carolina Cobra (2009–2016). 5
Electro Spin 2017 Mondial A Top Scan that sends riders through a freely rotating orbit through the air on its floorless gondolas. Opened as part of the new County Fair area in 2017. 5
Zephyr 2017 Zierer A swing ride that suspends guests as the ride rotates in a circular, wavelike motion. Opened as part of the new County Fair area in 2017. 3
Rock 'N' Roller 2017 Mack Rides A Musik Express that Rock N’ Rolls guests around and around, up and down as high-energy tunes and spectacular lighting complement the experience. Opened as part of the new County Fair area in 2017. 3
Do-Si-Do 2017 HUSS A Troika that sends guests flying through the air and gliding up, down and around as three giant arms rotate riders in different directions – all while increasing speed and elevation. Opened as part of the new County Fair area in 2017. 3

Thrill Zone[edit]

Fury 325 opened in 2015
Ride Year Opened Manufacturer Description Thrill
Fury 325 2015 Bolliger & Mabillard A giga coaster loosely themed around Charlotte's nickname the "Hornet's Nest" with a height of 325 ft (99m), making it the tallest giga coaster and fastest non-launched roller coaster in the world, reaching speeds of up to 95 mph making it the sixth fastest in the world. Fury 325 is the tallest ride ever built at Carowinds and was the single largest investment in the park's history up to that time. 5
Drop Tower: Scream Zone 1996 Intamin A drop tower ride with a height of 160 feet (49 m) and a drop of 100 ft (30 m). It was originally named Drop Zone: Stunt Tower (1996–2007). 4
Hurler 1994 International Coasters, Inc A wooden triple out and back roller coaster. Originally themed to Wayne's World when the park was owned by Paramount. 4
Scream Weaver 1979 Anton Schwarzkopf A Schwarzkopf Enterprise ride. It was originally located in the original County Fair area, where it was known as Meteorite. 4

Blue Ridge Junction[edit]

Ride Year Opened Manufacturer Description Thrill
Copperhead Strike 2019 Mack Rides The first ever double launch coaster in the Carolinas with five inversions. Located within a new themed 7-acre area as part of the park's largest investment in its history. 5
Mountain Gliders 2005 Bisch-Rocco A Flying Skooters ride where the suspended passenger tubs would spin around a vertical axis. It previously was located in Planet Snoopy as Woodstock Gliders, and Danny Phantom's Phantom Flyers when the area was known as Nickelodeon Central. It was in storage during 2018 for Camp Snoopy expansion.Then in late 2018 the park announced the return of these as mountain gliders.Originally built in 1935 for Coney Island Amusement Park in Cincinnati, OH, it later moved to Kings Island where it operated as Flying Eagles from 1972–2004. 3

Camp Snoopy[edit]

Ride Year Opened Manufacturer Description Thrill
Beagle Scout Acres 2018 This climb and play area features 8,000 square feet of interactive play elements and lots of shady spots for parents to rest. Opened in 2018 as one of 6 new Camp Snoopy attractions. 1
Camp Bus 2018 Zamperla A bus themed mini flying carpet ride. Families soar up, down and all around with the Peanuts Gang. Opened in 2018 as one of 6 new Camp Snoopy attractions. 2
Charlie Brown's Wind Up 1973 Zamperla A miniature swing ride. Formerly known as Top Cat's Swing Time & Backyardigans Swing-a-long. 1
Flying Ace Balloon Race 1987 Zamperla A flying balloon ride. Formerly known as Boo Boo's Balloon Race, Boot's Balloon Race & Peter Potamus' Magic Flying Balloons. 2
Kite Eating Tree 2018 Zamperla A mini drop tower. This ride takes you 20 feet to the top of the tree and gently brings you back down. Opened in 2018 as one of 6 new Camp Snoopy attractions. 2
Peanuts Pirates 2005 Mack Rides Heinrich Mack K.C, A Seesturmbahn (Sea Storm Ride) with rotating pirate ships themed to The Peanuts. It was relocated from sister park Canada's Wonderland where it was once known as The Great Whale of China. Formerly known as Flying Dutchman's Revenge. 3
Peanuts Trailblazers 2018 Zamperla A mini whip ride. Rev up your engines for a ride on this off-road adventure where you whip around and around in your car with the Peanuts gang. Opened in 2018 as one of 6 new Camp Snoopy attractions. 2
Pig Pen's Mud Buggies 2018 Zamperla A jump around ride. Take an adventurous spin in your all-terrain vehicle where you’ll be bounced up, down and around. Opened in 2018 as one of 6 new Camp Snoopy attractions. 2
Snoopy vs. Red Baron 1973 Chance Rides A small plane ride themed to Snoopy. Formerly known as Dastardly and Muttley in their Flying Machines & Tommy's Take Off. 2
Snoopy's Junction 1973 Crown Metal Products A miniature train ride. Originally opened with the park in the Country Crossroads section (now Crossroads) as Shortline Railroad. In 1975, the ride was moved to a new home. This train ride was formerly known as Flintstone Express, Yogi's Jellystone Garden & Dora the Explorer's Azul Adventure. 1
Wilderness Run 1998 E&F Miler Industries Take a high-speed taxi ride through Lucy's neighborhood. On this junior-sized roller coaster, riders climb a 15-foot (4.6m) lift hill before the remainder of their city chase begins. The downward bank turn and series of airtime bumps make for a taxi ride that kids of all ages can enjoy! Formerly known as Taxi Jam (1998–2004), Hey Arnold's Taxi Chase (2005–2009) & Lucy’s Crabbie Cabbie (2009–2017). 2
Woodstock Express 1975 Philadelphia Toboggan Company A junior wooden roller coaster. Formerly known as Scooby Doo, Scooby Doo's Ghoster Coaster & Fairly Odd Coaster (2005–2009). 4
Woodstock Whirlybirds 2018 Zamperla A mini teacup ride themed to Woodstock. Riders spin and twirl along in teacups dressed up as bird nests. Opened in 2018 as one of 6 new Camp Snoopy attractions. 2

Carolina Harbor[edit]

Included in the price of admission to Carowinds is access the 27-acre Carolina Harbor water park. Based on a Coastal Carolina theme, it features 15 rides and attractions. Originally opened as Ocean Island in 1982, the water park has also been known as Riptide Reef (1989–1997) WaterWorks (1997–2006), and Boomerang Bay (2007–2015). On August 27, 2015, Carowinds announced an expansion for the area that added five additional attractions and resulted in the name changing to Carolina Harbor.[12][13]


Carowinds re-introduced WinterFest for the 2017 season. This seasonal holiday event features the park decorated for the Christmas season, a tree lighting, Christmas carolers, homemade crafts, a parade, and select rides. The park previously had Winterfest in 2005 when owned by Paramount.


SCarowinds logo.jpg

In September 2000 the park introduced SCarowinds an annual Halloween attraction, SCarowinds is presented on select nights in September and October, as well as the first weekend in November. The park is open with The Great Pumpkin Fest starring Snoopy and rest of the Peanuts gang throughout. The Great Pumpkin Fest ends at 5:30pm, and reopens as SCarowinds at 7pm with the powerful sorcerer demon of SCarowinds himself The Overlord.[14] The experience includes numerous haunted attractions and incorporates most of the existing park rides into a nightmarish experience. The SCarowinds Halloween Haunt is recommended for ages 13 and up, but any age is permitted for admission.


The Paladium is an outdoor amphitheater located at Carowinds. It opened in 1975 and was the Charlotte area's premier outdoor concert venue until the opening of Blockbuster Pavilion, now PNC Music Pavilion, in 1991. It lost most of its major acts to the Uptown Amphitheatre at the NC Music Factory (now the Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre at AvidxChange Music Factory) when it opened in 2009, and now hosts mostly Christian bands. Admission to the Paladium is separate from admission to Carowinds.

In 1992, the Paladium hosted Chapel Hill's James Taylor. Bon Jovi played to a sold-out crowd at the Paladium in 1993 during a stop on their I'll Sleep When I'm Dead Tour. It had Virginia's Dave Matthews Band in '93, UK's Depeche Mode in '94, Athens GA's B-52's in '94, Johnny Cash in '95, Billy Ray Cyrus in '95, Blues Traveler in '96, UK's Duran Duran in 2000, Weird Al Yankovic in '00, Atlanta Christian rapper Lecrae in 2014 (for Rock the Park), and Skillet in 2015.

Fast Lane[edit]

Fast Lane is a limited-access line queue system offered for an additional charge at Cedar Fair amusement parks. Visitors can purchase access, which includes a wristband that allows them to bypass standard lines in favor of shorter ones at many of the parks' most popular attractions. Fast Lane Plus is a more expensive, higher-end version that includes several additional attractions.[15]

Carowinds Festival of Music[edit]

The annual Carowinds Festival of Music allows music students to play in public performances and receive comments and ratings from nationally recognized adjudicators. Bands, choirs, show choirs, and orchestras can all play for ratings. Plaques and ribbons are awarded for performances which receive ratings of superior and excellent.[16]


  • Camp Wilderness Lodge: Luxury cabins that offer four bedrooms and three bathrooms, and a great room. In addition, guests will find a kitchenette, dining area, wrap around porch with rocking chairs and an outdoor grill and patio.
  • Camp Wilderness Cabins: Two bedroom cabins surrounding a pool, tennis court, and tram stop.
  • Camp Wilderness RV Sites: Camp Wilderness features RV, Pop-up and Tent Sites and can accommodate RVs up to 40 feet in length. The paved RV sites feature full hookups with water, sewer and electric.
  • SpringHill Suites at Carowinds: 130-room SpringHill Suites by Marriott hotel, the official hotel for the park. Construction on the hotel began in March 2018. Carowinds owns and operates the hotel, becoming the first Cedar Fair-owned franchised hotel. The hotel opened in November 2019.[17]


  • 1973: Carowinds opens on March 31; the Monorail is still under construction and opens later. Original theme areas: Plantantion Square, Contemporary Carolina, Frontier Outpost, Pirate Island, Indian Thicket, Country Crossroads and Queens Colony.
  • 1974: Country Kitchen is added; Whirling Well (Chance Rotor); picnic areas open. The Double-Decker Carousel is removed from the park at the end of the season and placed in storage.
  • 1975: Paladium Amphitheatre; Happy Land of (themed area) featuring Scooby Doo coaster; Surfer (Tagada); Wagon Wheel (Chance Trabant); Waltzer (Schwarzkopf spinning ride).
  • 1976: Thunder Road; 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge Carowinds and Carolina Railroad removed.
  • 1977: White Lightnin' (Schwarzkopf shuttle loop coaster) in Pirate Island (entrance in Country Crossroads); Whirling Well renamed Oaken Bucket and moved to east midway.
  • 1979: County Fair area added. Meteorite (enterprise); PT Bumpem's Auto Stunt & Thrill Show (bumper cars); Whirling Dervish (wave swinger); Wild Bull (Bayern Kurve); Carousel.
Southern Star, originally added in 1986
  • 1980: Carolina Cyclone was added in Frontier Outpost.
  • 1982: Rip Roarin' Rapids; Ocean Island (water park).
  • 1983: Cable Skyway removed.
  • 1984: Smurf Island (themed area).
  • 1985: Blackbeard's Revenge (mystery house).
  • 1986: Frenzoid, a looping Viking ship was added.
  • 1987: Expansion of Hanna-Barbera Land with three new rides; Old Jalopies antique car ride removed; Oaken Bucket removed.
  • 1988: WhiteWater Falls added; White Lightnin' coaster removed; Black Widow (thrill ride) removed.
  • 1989: Riptide Reef water park; Expansion of Paladium.
Hurler, added in 1994
  • 1990: Gauntlet (shooting star, later renamed GR8 SK8).
  • 1991: Expansion of Paladium; Speedway Cars removed.
  • 1992: Vortex was added in the Carolina Showplace section of Carowinds.
  • 1993: Action Theater was added in the County Fair section of Carowinds. Paramount Communications buys Carowinds, King's Dominion, Kings Island, Great America, and Canada's Wonderland.
  • 1994: Wayne's World (later renamed Thrill Zone) section with Hurler and Carowinds Monorail removed.
  • 1995: Xtreme Skyflyer was added in the Wayne's World (later renamed Thrill Zone) section of Carowinds.
  • 1996: Drop Zone: Stunt Tower (later renamed Drop Tower: Scream Zone) was added in the Wayne's World (later renamed Thrill Zone) section of Carowinds.
  • 1997: WaterWorks water park is added.
  • 1998: Taxi Jam (Later renamed Lucy's Crabbie Cabbie), TV Road Trip (Later renamed Joe Cool's Driving School), and Chopper Chase (Later renamed Woodstock's Whirlybirds).
  • 1999: Top Gun: The Jet Coaster (Later renamed Afterburn) was added in the County Fair section of Carowinds.
  • 2000: SCarowinds; Flying Super Saturator (steel coaster) is added.
  • 2001: SCOOBY-DOO's Haunted Mansion (later renamed Boo Blasters at Boo Hill); WaterWorks expansion; Stan Lee's 7th Portal 3D (feature in Action Theater); Whirling Dervish (swing ride) removed.
  • 2002: Ricochet is added and Carolina Crossroads area is re-themed to Carolina Boardwalk.
  • 2003: Nickelodeon Central, featuring Rugrats Runaway Reptar (New Vekoma Jr. SLC), Wild Thornberrys River Adventure (Formerly Powder Keg Flume), and Rocket Power Air Time (Formerly Gauntlet); SpongeBob SquarePants 3D (feature in Action Theater); Carolina Sternwheeler (Original Ride) riverboat removed.
  • 2004: BORG Assimilator (later renamed Nighthawk) Flying coaster added.
  • 2005: Nickelodeon Central expands into Animation Station, featuring Phantom Flyers (relocated from Kings Island as Flying Eagles), Flying Dutchman's Revenge, Little Bill's Cruisers, Dora the Explorer Azul's Adventure (Formerly Yogi's Jellystone Tour) and Frenzoid removal begins in September.
  • 2006: Frenzoid was removed. WaterWorks was rethemed and renamed to Boomerang Bay and converting the old Frenzoid lake into a heated lagoon. Thunder Raceway Go-Carts was built in the Thrill Zone. The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera (feature in Action Theater) was also added. Paramount Parks is sold to the Cedar Fair Entertainment Company for 1.24 billion dollars.
  • 2007: Frenzoid was put back in as Southern Star in County Fair section. The price for a single day ticket dropped for the first time ever. Carolina Skytower was repainted to look like an American flag.
  • 2008: A second wave pool named Bondi Beach added along with cabanas in Boomerang Bay. This added 20 acres (81,000 m2) to the park making it 112 acres (0.45 km2). Geauga Lake's Yo Yo swing ride was also added in the title County Fair section. Flying Super Saturator only operates on the Boomerang Bay operating calendar. Thunder Road now runs both sides going forwards again. The Flying Super Saturator is removed from the park in August.
  • 2009: Carolina Cobra, a Boomerang roller coaster featuring new trains from Vekoma, opens in the former location of the Nickelodeon Flying Super Saturator. Carowinds rebuilds more sections of Thunder Road. Nighthawk was repainted with yellow track and navy blue supports. Hurler receives some re-tracking. Scarowinds returns for its tenth year. Wild Thornberry's River Adventure removed for a new attraction. Dora the Explorer Azul Adventure's track is also modified.
  • 2010: Intimidator: A 232-foot-tall (71 m), 5,316-foot-long (1,620 m) Bolliger & Mabillard hyper coaster replaces Wild Thornberry's River Adventure. Planet Snoopy replaces Nickelodeon Central, featuring Snoopy's Space Race, a small flying jet ride. Carolina Cyclone is repainted blue, yellow and orange. Scooby Doo's Haunted Mansion becomes Boo Blasters On Boo Hill, with new special effects; all connections to Hanna-Barbera's Scooby-Doo have been removed. Carowinds rebuilds more sections of Thunder Road. Carowinds starts replacing pavement with brick pavers to help reduce heat flow from walkways.
  • 2011: Snoopy's Starlight Spectacular, a million-dollar nighttime walk-through light and sound experience featuring the Peanuts characters. Snoopy's starlight spectacular utilizes light, sound, and motion to create a full sensory experience. Snoopy's Starlight Spectacular runs from May 28 to September 4 in the County Fair and the Planet Snoopy sections of the park. Vortex receives a new red track and grey support paint scheme. Ricochet receives a touch up paint job. Work continues on Thunder Road and Hurler's rehab and work continues on replacing pavement with brick pavers to help reduce heat flow from walkways. Carowinds has also expanded the park by 61 acres (250,000 m2).[18]
  • 2012: WindSeeker, a 301-foot-tall (92 m) thrill ride opens, Fast Lane added, Joe Cool's Driving School and Southside Pavilions close.
  • 2013: Dinosaurs Alive!, a walk-through Dinosaur Exhibit; Dinosaurs: Giants of Patagonia 3D (feature in Action Theater); $50 million expansion announced on August 26, to include multiple new attractions, concessions, games, and 285 jobs. This places Carowinds as the fourth largest Cedar Fair park.
  • 2014: Two new slides were added to Boomerang Bay: Surfer's Swell and Dorsal Fin Drop. New Harmony Hall marketplace is built in the Intimidator field, replacing Snoopy's GR8 SK8. Chick-fil-A moves into the former Country Kitchen building and a new restaurant, "Chickie's and Pete's" replaces Outer Hanks, and Auntie Anne's takes over Plaza Funnel Cake. The former Chick-fil-A is renovated into Funnel Cake Emporium. Xtreme Skyflyer is renamed to Ripcord and is relocated to the Nighthawk lake.[19] Ricochet repainted. Go-Karts are removed and land clearing begins for a future roller coaster. Toll Plaza is removed and a new one is built further away from the park. The Plantation House entrance closes.
  • 2015: Fury 325 debuts along with a new 8.2-acre (3.3 ha) main entrance plaza which was opened in association with the new coaster.[20] Sling Shot, a new ride that catapults riders nearly 300-feet into the air at speeds up to 60 mph (97 km/h), was also added to the park in 2015.[21] Woodstock Express and Afterburn are repainted and Thunder Road, which operated for 39 years, closes permanently on July 26, 2015.[22] Carowinds surpasses an annual attendance of 2,000,000, becoming the fifth most-visited Cedar Fair park. Mini Golf course is removed.
  • 2016: Boomerang Bay water park is expanded and renamed Carolina Harbor. Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 3Z Arena, an interactive 3D game, debuts in Action Theater. Cirque Imagine becomes the new feature at the Carowinds Theater.[23] Papa Luigi's Pizza is remodeled.[24] Southern Sidewinder and Whitewater Falls are removed.
  • 2017: Carolina RFD becomes County Fair with four new rides (Electro-Spin, Zephyr, Rock 'N' Roller, and Do-Si-Do); Old location of County Fair becomes Crossroads;[25] Carolina Cobra is repainted and renamed to The Flying Cobras, and is rethemed to represent an airshow; Drop Tower repainted;[26] Panda Express relocates to Joe's Cool Café, with old location demolished;[27] New Game Card system is added for all games; WinterFest returns from November to December 2017. Woodstock’s Whirlybirds, Woodstock Gliders, Snoopy’s Space Race and Snoopy’s Yacht Club are all removed.
  • 2018: Planet Snoopy becomes Camp Snoopy with the addition of six new attractions, and a complete re-theme of the area.[28] Flying Ace Aerial Chase is repainted and renamed to Kiddy Hawk. The Carolina Showplace section of the park is renamed Carousel Park to fit in with the new carousel location. WinterFest becomes a permanent seasonal event. Carowinds' first hotel, SpringHill Suites by Marriott, is announced and begins construction for a 2019 opening. Land clearing of the former White Water Falls attraction begins for future expansion. Rip Roarin’ Rapids is “retired”.
  • 2019: Copperhead Strike, a Mack double launched roller coaster, opens in the new Blue Ridge Junction area of the park. Woodstock Gliders is renamed Mountain Gliders and returns to the park. The Wings restaurant is converted and expanded into Blue Ridge Country Kitchen with new food offerings. Burrito Cafe is renamed Carowinds Cafe. Dinosaurs ALIVE! closes permanently on August 18.
2020 present
  • 2020: A portion of Woodstock Express is retracked. The park does not open for the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • 2021: Boogie Board Racer, originally announced for 2020 debuts as the SouthEasts longest mat racing slide. Grand Carnivale, also originally announced for 2020 debuts.


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Boomerang Bay". Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  3. ^ "Press Releases :: Cedar Fair Entertainment Company". Archived from the original on 2006-07-28. Retrieved 2011-05-22.
  4. ^ Frazier, Eric (August 26, 2013). "Carowinds plans $50 million expansion". Charlotte Observer. Archived from the original on August 27, 2013. Retrieved September 18, 2013.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 30, 2014. Retrieved September 30, 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ Théoden Janes (21 August 2014). "Carowinds to get one of the world's tallest, fastest coasters". McClatchy Company. Archived from the original on 22 August 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  7. ^ "Welcome to Carolina Harbor | Carowinds". Archived from the original on 2015-08-29. Retrieved 2015-09-03.
  8. ^ "Carowinds readies to open 'County Fair,' updates classic attractions". heraldonline. Retrieved 2019-03-20.
  9. ^ Yoder, Marissa (2017-08-16). "Expanded kids area and Pre-K pass to debut at Carowinds next spring". WWAY TV. Retrieved 2019-03-20.
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ Kulmala, Teddy (August 27, 2015). "Carowinds announces major waterpark expansion, new slides". The Herald. Retrieved December 21, 2015.
  13. ^ Janes, Theoden (August 27, 2015). "Carowinds expanding its water park in 2016". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
  14. ^ "SCarowinds Halloween Haunt Hours". Carowinds. Retrieved August 17, 2014.
  15. ^ "Carowinds Fast Lane". Carowinds. Retrieved April 28, 2015.
  16. ^ "Carowinds Festival of Music :: North and South Carolina's Themed Amusement Park". Retrieved 2011-05-22.
  17. ^
  18. ^ Celeste Smith, Eleanor Kennedy. "Carowinds buys 61 acres for expansion". Charlotte Observer. Archived from the original on 2012-05-31. Retrieved 2011-08-02.
  19. ^ Worthington, Don (September 7, 2013). "Carowinds announces 2 new water slides for 2014". Charlotte Observer. Archived from the original on September 21, 2013. Retrieved September 9, 2013.
  20. ^ "Carowinds to Reach Exciting New Heights". PR Newswire. August 21, 2014. Retrieved September 7, 2014.
  21. ^ Worthington, Don (February 1, 2015). "Carowinds' upgrades focus on 'business of making memories'". The Herald. Retrieved September 28, 2015.
  22. ^ "Carowinds-Facebook". Carowinds. April 11, 2015. Archived from the original on September 28, 2015. Retrieved September 28, 2015.
  23. ^ Carowinds,com. Carowinds Retrieved 10 February 2016. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  24. ^ Carowinds [@Carowinds] (20 January 2016). "Papa Luigi's will also be opening 2016 with a fresh new look! 🍕😋" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  25. ^ "Carowinds Park Map 2017" (PDF).
  26. ^ "Instagram post by Carowinds • Jan 31, 2017 at 8:46pm UTC". Instagram. Retrieved 2017-03-29.
  27. ^ "Carowinds on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2017-03-29.
  28. ^

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