Carowinds

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Carowinds
Carowinds Logo.svg
Carowinds aerial view, September 2017.JPG
An aerial view of the park (2017)
LocationCharlotte, North Carolina, United States
Coordinates35°06′10″N 80°56′30″W / 35.10278°N 80.94167°W / 35.10278; -80.94167Coordinates: 35°06′10″N 80°56′30″W / 35.10278°N 80.94167°W / 35.10278; -80.94167
Slogan"Where The Carolinas Come Together"
OwnerCedar Fair
General managerManny Gonzalez
OpenedMarch 31, 1973
Previous namesCarowinds (1973–1992)
Paramount's Carowinds (1993–2006)
Operating seasonSpring through fall
Visitors per year2 million
Area407 acres (1.65 km2)
Attractions
Total56
Roller coasters14[1]
Water rides7[2]
Websitewww.carowinds.com
StatusMarch through December

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 large portion of the park also located in Fort Mill, South Carolina. The park opened on March 31, 1973, at a cost of $70 million. It is the result of a four-year planning period spearheaded by Charlotte businessman Earl Patterson Hall. Owned and operated by Cedar Fair, Carowinds also features a 27-acre (110,000 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.

History[edit]

The original Carowinds logo was used from 1973 to 1992.

Early history[edit]

Carowinds was announced on October 10, 1969, and originally planned on including a large resort which would include a theme park, hotels, a shopping center, a golf course, and an NFL stadium. The name Carowinds was conceived 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. Ground was broken on May 1, 1970, with a planned opening date in April 1972. After numerous construction delays due to weather, the park eventually opened on March 31, 1973. The first season brought in over 1.2 million visitors, but 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 it to Taft Broadcasting in early 1975.

Taft Broadcasting and KECO (1975–1992)[edit]

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, Inc. Taft Broadcasting brought new life to the park with its Hanna-Barbera characters and several rides aimed to appeal to younger guests. Carowinds added its second roller coaster, and first wooden coaster, with the addition of Scooby-Doo in 1975.

In 1976, Carowinds opened Thunder Road, a Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters racing wooden coaster designed by Curtis D. Summers. It was the largest and most expensive ride built in Carowinds' short three years of existence, at a cost of $1.6 million. White Lightnin', a Schwarzkopf launched shuttle roller coaster, opened in 1976. Throughout the remainder of the late 1970s and 1980s, multiple flat rides were added to the park. The Carolina Cyclone was added in 1980, and is the first roller coaster in the world to feature four inversions. In 1992, Kings Entertainment Company was acquired by Paramount Communications.

Paramount era (1993–2005)[edit]

Carowinds logo used during its Paramount ownership

In 1993, the word Paramount was added to the park's name, which became Paramount's Carowinds. Now under Paramount ownership, many rides were based on films from Paramount Pictures, including Action Theater (1993), Drop Zone: Stunt Tower (1996), and Top Gun: The Jet Coaster (1999). The addition of Top Gun: The Jet Coaster became the single largest investment in the park's history at a cost of $10.5 million. After the success of Flying Ace Aerial Chase at sister park Kings Island, Paramount decided to build a clone at Carowinds and opened it in 2003 in the park's children's area. The following year, Nighthawk (then known as Stealth) was relocated from California's Great America and opened as BORG Assimilator in the location previously home to Smurf Island.

On January 27, 2006, the Dayton Daily News reported that the 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 acquired Paramount Parks, including Carowinds.[3]

Cedar Fair era (2006–present)[edit]

Current Carowinds logo

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 signage within the park. In January 2007, a new logo featuring the Cedar Fair icon but lacking Paramount 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. Paramount was dropped from all of the parks after the 2006 season.

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 included 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, formerly known 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 four 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". It also announced that the Wings restaurant would be upgraded. 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 its 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 seven-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 that the Boogie Board Racer, the longest mat racing slide in the Southeast, would open in Carolina Harbor in 2020.[10] Retirement of the Rip Roarin' Rapids ride was also announced, along with the closure of the Dinosaurs Alive! attraction.

Carowinds did not open for normal operation during the 2020 season as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.[11][12] The park hosted a new holiday event, however, called "Taste of the Season" from November 21 – December 20, 2020.[13] The event featured food, live shows, and other holiday activities throughout the park, as well as a select number of amusement rides.[13][14] The park returned to normal operation in May 2021.[15]

Themed areas and attractions[edit]

Celebration Plaza[edit]

Intimidator opened in 2010
Ride Year opened Manufacturer Description
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.
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).
Kiddy Hawk 2003 Vekoma A steel Vekoma 342m suspended family coaster. It 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. The coaster became part of Celebration Plaza and themed outside of the Peanuts/kid-themed area when Planet Snoopy transitioned into Camp Snoopy in 2018.
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.
RipCord 1995 Skycoaster, Inc. A skycoaster formally known as Xtreme SkyFlyer. This ride is an upcharge ride, where guests must pay an additional fee to ride. This ride used to be located where Fury 325 is currently located. In the year 2014 RipCord was relocated right next to the Kiddy Hawk roller coaster.

Crossroads[edit]

Ride Year opened Manufacturer Description
Action Theater 1994 Iwerks 2016: Home of Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 3Z Arena. A 3D intra-active experience developed by PopCap Games, Electronic Arts, and Alterface Projects, puts 2 teams against each other in a 5-minute backyard battle. Previous attractions: Days Of Thunder, James Bond 007: License to Thrill, The 7th Portal 3D, SpongeBob SquarePants 4-D & Dinosaurs: Giants of Patagonia.
Afterburn 1999 Bolliger & Mabillard An inverted roller coaster featuring six inversions. Formerly known as Top Gun: The Jet Coaster (1999–2007).
Boo Blasters on Boo Hill 2010 Sally Corporation An interactive dark ride where guests shoot at targets to collect points. The building was originally a theater that housed a variety of shows. It was previously known as Scooby-Doo's Haunted Mansion from 2001 to 2009.
Dodg’ems 1979 Majestic Rides A classic bumper cars attraction. Formerly known as Autodrome (1979–1981) & PT Bumper's Dodgem (1982–?).
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.
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 holidays.
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.

Carolina Boardwalk[edit]

Sign for Carolina Boardwalk
Ride Year opened Manufacturer Description
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.
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 is also the first roller coaster to cross state lines (North Carolina & South Carolina).
Ricochet 2002 Mack Rides A steel wild mouse roller coaster that has intense turns and drops.

Carousel Park[edit]

Ride Year opened Manufacturer Description
The Scrambler 1973 Eli Bridge A classic Twist ride. It was originally named Kaleidoscope.
Vortex 1992 Bolliger & Mabillard A steel stand-up roller coaster. It was the South's first stand-up roller coaster.
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.
The Grand Carousel 1979 Philadelphia Toboggan Company An antique carousel, PTC #67. Originally located in Planet Snoopy before the 2018 season.

County Fair[edit]

Ride Year Opened Manufacturer Description
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).
Electro Spin 2017 Mondial A Top Scan that sends riders through a freely rotating orbit through the air on its floorless gondolas. It opened as part of the new County Fair area in 2017.
Zephyr 2017 Zierer A swing ride that suspends guests as the ride rotates in a circular, wavelike motion. It opened as part of the new County Fair area in 2017.
Rock 'N' Roller 2017 Mack Rides A Musik Express that plays rock and roll as guests spin around and around. It opened as part of the new County Fair area in 2017.
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 speed and elevation increase. It opened as part of the new County Fair area in 2017.

Thrill Zone[edit]

Fury 325 opened in 2015
Ride Year Opened Manufacturer Description
Fury 325 2015 Bolliger & Mabillard A 325-foot (99 m) giga coaster that is the tallest in the world to use a traditional chain lift. It reaches a maximum speed of up to 95 mph (153 km/h), making it tied for the sixth fastest in the world alongside Steel Dragon 2000.
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).
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.
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.

Blue Ridge Junction[edit]

Ride Year Opened Manufacturer Description
Copperhead Strike 2019 Mack Rides The first double-launch coaster in the Carolinas, with five inversions. It is located within a new themed 7-acre area as part of the park's largest investment in its history.
Mountain Gliders 2005 Bisch-Rocco A Flying Scooters 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; in late 2018, the park announced the return of these as mountain gliders. They were originally built in 1940 for the Coney Island Amusement Park in Cincinnati, OH, before being moved to Kings Island where they operated from 1972 to 2004.[16][17]

Camp Snoopy[edit]

Ride Year Opened Manufacturer Description
Beagle Scout Acres 2018 A children's play area featuring multiple interactive elements spanning 8,000 square feet (740 m2). It opened in 2018 as one of six new Camp Snoopy attractions.[18]
Camp Bus 2018 Zamperla A bus-themed mini flying carpet ride featuring Peanuts characters. It opened in 2018 as one of six new Camp Snoopy attractions.
Charlie Brown's Wind Up 1973 Zamperla A miniature swing ride. It was formerly known as Top Cat's Swing Time & Backyardigans Swing-a-long.
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.
Kite Eating Tree 2018 Zamperla A mini drop tower for kids that gently drops riders 20 feet (6.1 m). It opened in 2018 as one of six new Camp Snoopy attractions.[18]
Peanuts Pirates 2005 Mack Rides A Seesturmbahn (Sea Storm Ride) with rotating pirate ships themed to Peanuts. It was relocated from sister park Canada's Wonderland where it was once known as The Great Whale of China. It was formerly known as Flying Dutchman's Revenge.
Peanuts Trailblazers 2018 Zamperla A mini whip ride that opened in 2018 as one of six new Camp Snoopy attractions.[18]
Pig Pen's Mud Buggies 2018 Zamperla A jump around ride that opened in 2018 as one of six new Camp Snoopy attractions.[18]
Snoopy vs. Red Baron 1973 Chance Rides A small plane ride themed to Snoopy. It was formerly known as Dastardly and Muttley in their Flying Machines & Tommy's Take Off.
Snoopy's Junction 1973 Crown Metal Products A miniature train ride. It 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.
Wilderness Run 1998 E&F Miler Industries A junior-sized roller coaster ride. It was formerly known as Taxi Jam (1998–2004), Hey Arnold's Taxi Chase (2005–2009) & Lucy's Crabbie Cabbie (2009–2017).
Woodstock Express 1975 Philadelphia Toboggan Company A junior wooden roller coaster. It was formerly known as Scooby Doo, Scooby Doo's Ghoster Coaster & Fairly Odd Coaster (2005–2009).
Woodstock Whirlybirds 2018 Zamperla A Woodstock-themed mini teacup ride that opened in 2018 as one of six new Camp Snoopy attractions.[18]

Carolina Harbor[edit]

Included in the price of admission to Carowinds is access to the 27-acre Carolina Harbor water park. Based on a Coastal Carolinian theme, it features 15 rides and attractions. It 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.[19][20]

WinterFest[edit]

Carowinds re-introduced WinterFest for the 2017 season. This seasonal holiday event features seasonal holiday decorations, tree lighting, Christmas carolers, homemade crafts, a themed parade, and select rides. The park previously had Winterfest in 1983 when owned by Taft Attractions and again in 2005 when owned by Paramount.

SCarowinds[edit]

SCarowinds logo.jpg

In September 2000 the park introduced SCarowinds. It is an annual Halloween attraction and is presented on select nights in September and October, as well as the first weekend in November. The experience includes numerous haunted attractions and incorporates most of the existing park rides into a nightmarish experience.

Paladium[edit]

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 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.[21]

Carowinds Festival of Music[edit]

The annual Carowinds Festival of Music allows music students to perform in public, receiving 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 that receive ratings of superior and excellent.[22]

Timeline[edit]

1970–1979
  • 1973: Carowinds opens on March 31; the Monorail is still under construction and opens later. Original theme areas: Plantation 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.
1980–1989
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 Palladium.
1990–1999
Hurler, added in 1994
  • 1990: Gauntlet (shooting star, later renamed GR8 SK8).
  • 1991: Expansion of Palladium; 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.
2000–2009
  • 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 the Carolina Crossroads area is re-themed to Carolina Boardwalk.
  • 2003: Nickelodeon Central, featuring Rugrats Runaway Reptar (New Vekoma SFC), 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 the 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.
2010–2019
  • 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).[23]
  • 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 Ripcord and is relocated to Nighthawk Lake.[24] 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.[25] 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.[26] Woodstock Express and Afterburn are repainted and Thunder Road, which operated for 39 years, closes permanently on July 26, 2015.[27] Carowinds surpasses an annual attendance of 2,000,000, becoming the fifth most-visited Cedar Fair park. The 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.[28] Papa Luigi's Pizza is remodeled.[29] 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;[30] Carolina Cobra is repainted and renamed to The Flying Cobras, and is rethemed to represent an airshow; Drop Tower repainted;[31] Panda Express relocates to Joe's Cool Café, with old location demolished;[32] 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.[18] 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 its regular season due to the COVID-19 pandemic and later re-opens in November for the Taste of the Seasons holiday event. Intimidator is repainted.
  • 2021: Boogie Board Racer, originally announced for 2020, debuts as the Southeast's longest mat racing slide. Grand Carnivale, also originally announced for 2020, debuts.

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/news/2018/08/30/new-roller-coaster-to-be-part-of-carowinds-largest.html
  2. ^ "Boomerang Bay". carowinds.com. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  3. ^ "Press Releases :: Cedar Fair Entertainment Company". Cedarfair.com. Archived from the original on 2006-07-28. Retrieved 2011-05-22.
  4. ^ Frazier, Eric (August 26, 2013). "Carowinds plans $50 million expansion". The 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". charlotteobserver.com. McClatchy Company. Archived from the original on 22 August 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  7. ^ "Welcome to Carolina Harbor | Carowinds". carolinaharbor.carowinds.com. 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. ^ "Mat Racing Slide | Boogie Board Racer | Carowinds' Carolina Harbor".
  11. ^ "Cedar Fair Updates Its Calendar for 2020 Park Operations". www.businesswire.com. 2020-08-04. Retrieved 2020-08-10.
  12. ^ "California's Great America, Carowinds, and other Cedar Fair parks to remain closed for 2020; Others closing early". Attractions Magazine. August 4, 2020. Retrieved August 10, 2020.
  13. ^ a b "Carowinds to reopen for special holiday event".
  14. ^ "Your guide to Taste of the Season". Carowinds. Archived from the original on November 19, 2020.
  15. ^ Johnson, Kimberly (May 20, 2021). "Carowinds Set To Reopen For 2021 Season This Weekend". Patch Media. Retrieved June 30, 2021.
  16. ^ "Coney Preview". The Cincinnati Enquirer. April 28, 1940. Retrieved July 12, 2021.
  17. ^ "Flying Eagles". kicentral.com. Retrieved 2021-07-12.
  18. ^ a b c d e f "Camp Snoopy". Carowinds. Archived from the original on June 25, 2018.
  19. ^ Kulmala, Teddy (August 27, 2015). "Carowinds announces major waterpark expansion, new slides". The Herald. Retrieved December 21, 2015.
  20. ^ Janes, Theoden (August 27, 2015). "Carowinds expanding its water park in 2016". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
  21. ^ "Carowinds Fast Lane". Carowinds. Retrieved April 28, 2015.
  22. ^ "Carowinds Festival of Music: North and South Carolina's Themed Amusement Park". Music.carowinds.com. Retrieved 2011-05-22.
  23. ^ Celeste Smith, Eleanor Kennedy. "Carowinds buys 61 acres for expansion". Charlotte Observer. Archived from the original on 2012-05-31. Retrieved 2011-08-02.
  24. ^ Worthington, Don (September 7, 2013). "Carowinds announces 2 new water slides for 2014". The Charlotte Observer. Archived from the original on September 21, 2013. Retrieved September 9, 2013.
  25. ^ "Carowinds to Reach Exciting New Heights". PR Newswire. August 21, 2014. Retrieved September 7, 2014.
  26. ^ Worthington, Don (February 1, 2015). "Carowinds' upgrades focus on 'business of making memories'". The Herald. Retrieved September 28, 2015.
  27. ^ "Carowinds-Facebook". Carowinds. April 11, 2015. Archived from the original on September 28, 2015. Retrieved September 28, 2015.
  28. ^ "Amusement Park Charlotte, North Carolina & South Carolina | Carowinds". Carowinds,com. Carowinds. Retrieved 10 February 2016.
  29. ^ Carowinds [@Carowinds] (20 January 2016). "Papa Luigi's will also be opening 2016 with a fresh new look! 🍕😋" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  30. ^ "Carowinds Park Map 2017" (PDF).
  31. ^ "Instagram post by Carowinds • Jan 31, 2017 at 8:46pm UTC". Instagram. Retrieved 2017-03-29.
  32. ^ "Carowinds on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2017-03-29.

External links[edit]