Intimidator was a great addition to the park, joining Afterburn to provide Carowinds with two excellent coasters. The rest of the coaster lineup consists of two woodies, a stand-up, a boomerang, Arrow looper, Vekoma Flyer, and a mine train.
Carowinds won big points with the enthusiast community when Woodstock Gliders were relocated from Kings Island and the park decided to encourage guests to fly them to their potential. Other intense rides are Drop Zone (Intamin Drop Tower), Southern Star (Looping Starship), and Scream Weaver (Enterprise).
The park has four sit-down restaurants with air conditioning: Country Kitchen (specializing in fried chicken), Joe Cool Cafe (kid friendly), Jukebox Diner (50's style with burgers and grilled chicken), and Wings (pizza, chicken tenders, burgers, salads, and beer). There are plenty of other quick-service options. Chick-Fil-A and Panda Express and the two franchisees in the park with limited menus. If the typical offerings don't appeal to you, maybe the breaded shrimp/fish or pulled pork at Outer Hanks will.
The season kicks off in early April with mostly weekend operation until Memorial Day. Then the park is in full swing until late August when the park scales back to mostly weekend operation again through the end of October.
Established Seasonal events
Scarowinds occurs on Fridays and Saturdays from mid-September to Halloween. For the last couple of weekends in October the park is open on Sundays for the event.
Access & Location
Carowinds is located south of Charlotte along I-77 right at the North Carolina/South Carolina border.
Camp Wilderness is part of Carowinds and has RV sites, cabins, and a tent/pop-up area. Guests can purchase discounted tickets to the park.
The park lists preferred hotels on their website. There are a Comfort Inn, Sleep Inn, and Best Western all within one mile of the park, which makes it possible to walk in and avoid the parking fee.
Virtual Queue Options
Shows include a "Charlie Brown Hoedown" and "Snoopy Rocks on Ice." "Snoopy's Starlight Spectacular" is a nighttime walkthrough area with lights and music.
Carowinds is a “nice” theme park straddling the border of North and South Carolina. Intimidator and Afterburn provide a very good 1-2 punch, with the rest of the coasters being mediocre or average, at best. The grounds are attractive, and there are pretty decent offerings for kids (including a water park). Woodstock Gliders are standout flyers as the ride ops encourage snapping. The recently rethemed shooting dark ride is also well done.
This park has a few good rides such as Itimidator, Afterburn, Thunder Road and the Gold Rusher. However, the park has detoriated so much in atmosphere and theming since it was built. Almost all the water has been removed, and the original, well-thought theming is now random and meaningless. It is a 1-time visit park and a park for locals.
I have heard quite a few things about Carowinds being uninspiring. Although inferior to Kings Dominion, I still really liked this park! Afterburn is one of the better inverts out there, IMO. I232, although not mind blowing by any means, is very fun and reridable. Nighthawk, love it or hate it, is very beautiful and excellently placed. The Carolina theming and charm is inconsistent, but effective enough. The kiddie area is quite large, and the back car of Woodstock's Express can actually provide some descent airtime. Do keep in mind that, although all popular coasters were running two or more trains, the less popular ones were running single trains, so you may have to wait longer than it appears. Do not pass this park up!
I've been going to Carowinds since the early 90s. In that time it's become a bigger, better park. Two of the three B&Ms are some of the best they've designed (Afterburn and Intimidator), and Vortex isn't the worst standup out there. The other coasters go from meh (Goldrusher, Cyclone) to pretty good (Nighthawk, Ricochet, Carolina Cobra). The waterpark is pretty good, but could use some more slides. It's usually very crowded.
What the park desperately needs is shade, more flat rides, and to ditch the painful Hurler. Food options are a bit better here than other Cedar Fair parks, and the layout of the park is easily navigable.
Carowinds is a very nice park situated on the border of North and South Carolina, and we really enjoyed our visit there. The park has a nice layout, and is landscaped rather well. However, considering how hot the area can get, there were some areas that were in dire need of some shade. Food was decent enough, albeit with the typical inflated prices. The flat ride selection was good, and with just a few additions would be great. As for the coasters, Carowinds boasts 2 home runs in Afterburn and Intimidator. Afterburn is the best invert I've ridden to date, and Intimidator is one of my favorite hypers, with plenty of air to be had. Only complaint from a coaster standpoint - they are in dire need of a good wooden coaster!
Carowinds is one of those parks you have to visit at least once. The only standout coaster is Afterburn and by far is one of the top inverts in the world,, my #2 in fact. They have a lot of older rides and a head banging standup. Their racing woodie is neat as you get to travel to a different state that when you started.
For a CF park they lack in flats but they keep it up well. Vekoma's finest flier has a nice setting, the ride, not so nice ;) Actually it wasn't that bad. Take a trip, and for you NASCAR fans, visit the hall of fame downtown.
When it comes to parks in the South, Carowinds doesn't have the coaster collection of Six Flags over Georgia or the charm and atmosphere of Dollywood. However, it's still a nice park with some solid coasters and nice thrill rides. The park isn't as big or sprawled out as Kings Island or Kings Dominion, but it shares many similarities with these parks. It's a nice regional park, nothing amazing, but worth a visit if you're in Charlotte.
Carowinds is a nice park located in Charlotte, NC with a decent collection of coasters. The park is usually fairly clean and has decent operations but only has 2 coasters that I consider to be above average, Intimidator and Flight Deck. On my last visit Thunder Road was also running surprisingly well. The park is a nice regional Cedar Fair park, but nothing to go too far out of the way for.
Ok, so we have 2 rides that are worth riding and riding again, Afterburn and Intimidator. Carolina Cobra is okay, but is too ordinary. Carolina Cyclone is too rough and boring. Carolina Goldrusher is too boring for a good mine train. Hurler is too rough. Nighthawk isn't that good. Thunder Road is boring. Vortex just sucks. There is a lack of thrill rides too. However, there is a good amount of family/kids rides. Overall, lackluster park that definitely needs improvement.
Carowinds is my 6th Cedar Fair Park, but it definitely has its own character. The concept of being built on the state line is very interesting, and really makes the park unique. Intimidator and Afterburn are both great rides- Afterburn really is an invert like no other, and gives an extremely intense ride with interesting inversions. The other coasters range from decent (C. Cyclone and Cobra) to... not (Hurler). The Flyers being turned into a game was great, though a longer cycle would be nice. Operations were average. BBQ was tasty and well priced. Didn't see any shows. Planet Snoopy is nice to hang around, overall park atmosphere is ok. Bonus points for real season pass lot.
The park itself is compact and nicely laid out. I enjoyed InTRIMidator and Afterburn the most out of the bunch, with Carolina Cobra stealing third place. Beyond that, the rest of the lineup was mediocre at best. The woodies were disappointing clones of rides at KD and the steel lacked much diversity outside of the stars. The operations was also a mess, with one instance of a train getting cleared without the board operator signaling on the microphone. With this being a company trip, I was almost entirely embarrassed to see this happen.Overall, a fine cred stop, but nothing to write home about.
More charming than most Cedar Fair parks I've been to!
Carowinds felt a lot less corporate than the other Cedar Fair parks I've been to, in that it had a lot of shade toward the back of the park. The coaster lineup is decent, with Intimidator and Afterburn stealing the show, but many others throughout the park. In fact, Carowinds might have too many coasters for its size.
Carowinds is a rather nice park that is perfect for a family outing. Planet Snoopy is very well done as it has a good selection of rides both kids and parents can ride together. It also helps that it's nicely shaded, which Carowinds lacks in some areas of the park.
Even though Intimidator will entice you I would highly suggest hitting Nighthawk first thing in the morning due to slow loading, which is unavoidable on flying coasters. Intimidator is a great ride and is also a people eater so your wait will not be long.
Afterburn is the star attraction here and is, IMO, the best inverted coaster B&M has created.
I haven't been to Carowinds lately, or lets put it this way...I've been to SCarowinds the past 3 years, but have not been to the park during the day in a few years. It is a great park for families, with a few thrill rides for the thrill seekers. I have always enjoyed coming to this park, as it is getting better every season.
I went into this park expecting the usual Cedar Fair homogeny but was pleasantly surprised. While it does have so many of the typical Cedar Fair qualities, I somehow felt Carowinds was a small cut above the rest. It seems to possess some of the "intangibles" that other CF parks lack.
The coasters: Afterburn is easily one of B&M's best, Intimidator is great, and Vortex is surprisingly fun. The rest range from fair to poor. Carowinds may not blow you away, but you'll probably have fun anyway.
Carowinds is a decent park with a good selection of rides, but as far as coasters go they really have too many. While their collection gives them an excellent set of rides, as well as quite a bit of variety, they really only have two standout coasters: Afterburn and Intimidator. Afterburn is one of the best Inverted coasters, and Intimidator, while a weak mega, is still better than many other coasters. The park's non-coaster attractions are mostly standard rides.
I stopped by this park on my way back from Florida in 2009 because of its location. I was not impressed by it at all. The park gets very humid, which isn't great if you're not used to NC's climate like me. The coasters were not very smooth, and were frankly fairly boring. The best ones there are the woodies in my opinion. I'd only recommend this park if you're a Platinum Pass holder and the park's along your travel route. It doesn't take long to get all the credits.
I was fairly underwhelmed with Carowinds, though my only visit was pre-Intimidator. Having been going to Kings Dominion my whole life, I felt Carowinds was kind of a smaller version of KD, a park I'm not that fond of anyway. It took me about 4 hours to scrape up the many credits, reride a few good rides (Drop Tower and Afterburn), and I quickly got bored and left. That being said operations were solid, it's very cool how the park is in two states, and it is a great "local" park.
The park is attractive in a homogenized sort of way. I would add Nighthawk to Intimidator and Afterburn as the park's top tier coasters, though you always have to wait forever to get a ride on Nighthawk. The remaining coasters are forgettable, but at least they don't suck. Nice, big upcharge skycoaster/skyflyer. Maybe I've been lucky but I've always experienced good customer service here.
Adding Intimidator in 2010 was the shot in the arm this park needed--it now has two very good or excellent coasters (the other is Afterburn). CW does have a good selection of non-coaster rides and nice landscaping, but it could use more shade and better food offerings. All in all, this is a nice park that's improving.
The first thing I think about when I think of Carowinds is how pretty it is. Lots of shade and nice landscaping. Intimidator and Afterburn are both great rides and their coaster line-up is pretty solid (although I LOATHE Hurler.) As mentioned earlier, the flyers here are amazing. This is where I learned to snap! Planet Snoopy is very nice as well. The kids-themed area is HUGE, and offers a lot of shade for tired parents.
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