Carowinds Discussion Thread

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Re: Carowinds Discussion Thread

Postby tndank » Fri Jan 10, 2020 9:12 pm

VF15 wrote:Monster Jam: Thunder Alley is coming to Carowinds from March 21 through April 19. This pretty much confirms March 21 as Opening Day.


The passholder preview page was found earlier this week. It's 3/20 and grand opening is 3/21. Open for Spring Break week of April 6.

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Re: Carowinds Discussion Thread

Postby bgtlover » Sat Jan 11, 2020 2:51 am

Canobie Coaster wrote:
Lightning Rod wrote:I’m making plans to go to Carowinds for the first time in July 15-17. Right now I’m planning to stay at the new SpringHill Suites by Marriott at Carowinds for two nights. Has anyone stayed at the new hotel yet? I’m curious I book the room through Orbitz was $389 for two nights and I was wondering is it worth it? Also is the hotel within walking distance to the park? When I’m done with Carowinds on Friday night I’m driving straight ten hours north to Cedar Point staying then staying at Breakers for 3 nights.


It's worth noting Carowinds is off a highway with no crosswalk. If you're across the street, you should take an Uber even though the distance isn't far...unless you like playing Frogger.


The new hotel is on property. They have a safe pedestrian walkway to the entrance of the park from the hotel. However, anything across Carowinds BLVD would apply to your statement.

tndank wrote:That hotel price is crazy. The Comfort Inn may be closer to the gates. If not, it's very close. Save yourself some money. You're going to be at the park all day. You just need a bed and bathroom for a few hours each day. Comfort Inn has some food and an waffle maker in the morning, too. The Comfort Inn is also closest and easiest to the interstate as well.


The new hotel (Springhill Suites) is closer to the park entrance (North Gate/Main entrance), it's right across from it in fact. It is more expensive though.
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Re: Carowinds Discussion Thread

Postby bert425 » Sun Jan 19, 2020 3:17 pm

ok. . so. . . depending what happens with planned trips, on our radar possibly is a trip that would include Carowinds.

I've done the basic, basic research, and plan would most likely include 2 1/2 full days at the park, with a 2 night stay at tho Springheel Suites on site.

likely, would be purchasing the Silver Carowinds Season pass - only good until Labor Day, but we'd only do this one visit, and this would be cheaper than buying individual day tickets, and allow us to pop into the park a bit for a 1/2 day if we decide. being a pass holder, would also give a discount on the Hotel.

so that's the main focus. . . . BUT. . what I'm wondering is what else is in that area to do?

are there any decent parks fairly close to Carowinds, that we could fold into this trip (and by fairly close, I mean less than a 3 hour drive).

what touristy, or Cultural sites are nearby? I know there are a few things, and we love History/cultural and touristy stuff.

i will do the research, but a good start is always to ask on TPR messageboards for advice before starting.

it's all gonna depend on what the year ends up looking like what kind of Trip my Spouse and I do together. . as noted, this is an option (as is Manhattan for a few days to do Broadway shows/Coney Island), or California to do Universal & maybe Disney. . . .or, if no other offer uses up my vacation, a nice Cruise).

but I've only been to Carowinds once, and I enjoyed it immensely. This was before Copperhead Strike too, so am really interested in checking that out.

what say you, fellow TPR folks? what's in the area that could make this our trip for 2020?
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Re: Carowinds Discussion Thread

Postby coasternut79 » Mon Jan 20, 2020 7:06 am

^Parks within 3 hours would be Dollywood and SFOG (both are on the outer edge of that).

A cool place to visit is the Whitewater Center. There's tons of stuff to do there and if you're not into it yourself you can always hang out and watch. They have events with live music and craft beer there a lot during the summer.

There's the Nascar hall of fame if you're into that.

Charlotte Knights baseball uptown.

Those are just a few off the top of my head.

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Re: Carowinds Discussion Thread

Postby rxtimbo » Mon Jan 20, 2020 7:13 am

Is there a coaster club for the Charlotte area? Just moved here from Texas and would like to get involved with one.

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Re: Carowinds Discussion Thread

Postby VF15 » Mon Jan 20, 2020 8:46 am

The 2020 operating schedule has been released.
https://www.carowinds.com/explore/calendar-and-hours

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Re: Carowinds Discussion Thread

Postby chschris1 » Tue Jan 21, 2020 9:33 am

bert425 wrote:ok. . so. . . depending what happens with planned trips, on our radar possibly is a trip that would include Carowinds.

I've done the basic, basic research, and plan would most likely include 2 1/2 full days at the park, with a 2 night stay at tho Springheel Suites on site.

likely, would be purchasing the Silver Carowinds Season pass - only good until Labor Day, but we'd only do this one visit, and this would be cheaper than buying individual day tickets, and allow us to pop into the park a bit for a 1/2 day if we decide. being a pass holder, would also give a discount on the Hotel.

so that's the main focus. . . . BUT. . what I'm wondering is what else is in that area to do?

are there any decent parks fairly close to Carowinds, that we could fold into this trip (and by fairly close, I mean less than a 3 hour drive).

what touristy, or Cultural sites are nearby? I know there are a few things, and we love History/cultural and touristy stuff.

i will do the research, but a good start is always to ask on TPR messageboards for advice before starting.

it's all gonna depend on what the year ends up looking like what kind of Trip my Spouse and I do together. . as noted, this is an option (as is Manhattan for a few days to do Broadway shows/Coney Island), or California to do Universal & maybe Disney. . . .or, if no other offer uses up my vacation, a nice Cruise).

but I've only been to Carowinds once, and I enjoyed it immensely. This was before Copperhead Strike too, so am really interested in checking that out.

what say you, fellow TPR folks? what's in the area that could make this our trip for 2020?



I would say 1.5 days at Carowinds is plenty. I think 2.5 days there would be overkill at this point. With the way CF is taking Carowinds that will change but as of now 1.5 days will be plenty of time to do everything especially if you go on weekdays.

With that said, Dollywood is going to be the closest park at about 3.5 hours away. I would definitely shorten your time at Carowinds and spend more time at Dollywood. If you have already been to Dollywood a lot, SFOG is about 4 hours away and is a great park too.

Charlotte isn't really a mecca for great things to do tbh. I have been there many many times and it lacks for me. If I were you I would go to Carowinds for a day or day and a half, drive towards Dollywood or the other half of the second day and stay in a cabin in the woods for a few days and do Dollywood/mountain excursions. Pigeon Forge is the definition of touristy. Its as flashy and cheesy as it comes. It's basically Myrtle Beach in the Mountains. I like to get out of that area for a bit and actually see the beautiful nature around the area and go for hikes/waterfall watching etc.

Quick google searches will find you plenty of things to do near Dollywood that will be way more worth your time than spending to much time in Charlotte.

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Re: Carowinds Discussion Thread

Postby bert425 » Tue Jan 21, 2020 10:15 am

^ one thing to keep in mind: I'm with someone who 1) can't ride most of the big coasters/rides & 2) isn't super mobile, even tho he'll have his cane.

2 1/2 (if we're staying on property) gives enough time to slowly make our way around the park, and get plenty of rerides on things I want to ride. On at least 1 day, fast lane likely would happen too.

he's a big NASCAR fan, hence staying by Charlotte for at least a couple of days. Thought there was more "cultural" stuff there.

but if not, can possibly do something like fly into Charlotte, and do NASCAR museum, then head to Carowinds Hotel (check in spend some time in park at night), then full day at Carowinds, and then the next morning after checking out, and then driving to Dollywood for a 2 day stay there. Cabin woudln't happen. . much more likely to stay onsite at the DreamMore hotel for 3 days.

thanks for the input (you too Coasternut). . it' s on the "plan" as an option depending on what happens with the schedule for the year.
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Re: Carowinds Discussion Thread

Postby jarmor » Tue Jan 21, 2020 10:41 am

It is a lot of things to do in Charlotte that isn't park related. I wouldn't expect anyone but a local to be able to give you some examples. You really can't listen to a coaster person when it comes to local things to do lol, I would google things to do or look at events going on in the area via FB.
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Re: Carowinds Discussion Thread

Postby hoppedup » Wed Jan 22, 2020 5:51 am

The Whitewater Center can be enjoyable if only for the people and activity (rafting, kayaking, ziplines) watching. It's $6 a car to park and you can wander around and check out the sights and people watch without any additional fees. If there is a music event, it can be really cool. There is a decent restaurant on site with a nice draft selection. https://usnwc.org/

There is plenty to do around Charlotte and on the way to Dollywood. I recommend a driving tour of Cades Cove since you will be right there and can get some great scenery with little effort. The Great Smoky Mountain Railroad https://www.gsmr.com/ is also a good choice on the way to Dollywood. It makes a stop at the Nantahala Outdoor Center where you can enjoy a riverside lunch before heading back. I recommend the open car for better sights and sounds.

If your SO is a big NASCAR fan, you can also tour Charlotte Motor Speedway and many of the race shops in the area as well.

I've stayed at all 4 Choice Hotels properties at that exit. I'd personally opt for something across the street. The SpringHill Suites is close, but it is not as convenient as Breakers for taking a break, IMO. Unless those rates come down, I'd stay elsewhere. The Comfort Inn is also a fine choice on that side of the road.
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