Carowinds: Explained – Part 2

Carowinds: Explained – Part 2

October 20, 2019 24 By Bernardo Ryan


Make sure to check out part 1 of this 2 part
series by clicking the ‘i’ button in the top right corner of your screen. Despite its humble and troubled beginnings,
Carowinds has grown to become the large scale amusement park it is today. Attracting roughly 2 million visitors each
year, it’s now home to a collection of over 50 unique attractions, including a total of
16 roller coasters! After the debut of Nighthawk is 2004, Carowinds
once again changed hands. Prior to the beginning of the 2006 season,
Paramount made the announcement that they would be selling their entire theme parks
division, which included Carowinds. In June of the same year, the Cedar Fair Entertainment
Company acquired all of the old paramount parks and quickly began the process of rebranding. As a result, for the 2007 season, Paramount
Carowinds returned to the simple ‘Carowinds’ name; while many rides across the park were
both rethemed and rebranded. Though, the years following the handover saw
little change. However, Cedar Fair had big plans for the
future. 2009 saw the debut of Carolina Cobra, now
Flying Cobras, a Vekoma Boomerang coaster relocated from the closed Geauga Lake. While the 2010 season resulted in multiple
redevelopments and investments. Firstly, the children’s area of the park
was rethemed and improved, becoming Camp Snoopy, a new land themed to the famous Snoopy characters. Scooby Doo’s Haunted Mansion was also refurbished
into Boo Blasters on Boo Hill, updating the previous Paramount Era theme. And finally, for the beginning of the 2010
season, Carowinds constructed their biggest roller coaster yet. Intimidator, a Bolliger and Mabillard hypercoaster
opened to the public, at the huge cost of 23 Million USD. This ride sees guests climb 71m / 232ft high,
before being subjected to an array of airtime hills in which they experience the sensation
of total weightlessness. On top of this, the ride is loosely themed
to NASCAR racing, which can be seen through the attractions plaza, and its name: ‘Intimidator’ – the nickname of famous NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt. Naturally, the beginning of the new decade
saw investment slow down. In 2012 Carowinds constructed WindSeeker,
a 92m 300ft tall Mondial swing ride. This was followed only a single year later
by an announcement of big plans for the future. In August of 2013, Cedar Fair stated that
they would be investing 50 Million USD into expanding the park over three years, starting
in 2014. This included a 30 Million USD roller coaster,
a 2.5 Million USD water park expansion, a 7 Million USD food complex, and 4 Million
USD upgrade to the park’s entrance areas. Carowinds quickly got to work. Throughout most of 2014 construction began
on the park’s largest attraction to date. In March of 2015, Fury 325, the world’s
5th tallest roller coaster at the time, opened to guests. As its name suggests, the ride takes guests
up 325ft 99m high, before subjecting them to a steep 81 degree drop. After this, guests navigate a mixture of turns,
quick transitions and airtime hills – including a fly-over and pass-under the parks main entrance
pathway. The beginning of the 2015 season also saw
the debut of the renovated and vastly improved entrance area, which now provides great views
of Carowinds’ tallest roller coaster. Fury has also been received the Golden Ticket’s
best steel roller coaster award for the last four years running, showcasing its huge success. After this, Carowinds continued to roll out
their big plan. Next was the opening of the park’s state
of the art dining facility, Harmony Hall. This flagship eatery is home to a range of
cuisine, including pizzas, quesadillas, pulled pork sandwiches and much more. While 2016 saw the debut of the water park
expansion and the new name Carolina Harbor. 2017 on the other hand resulted in the construction
of 4 new attractions, including Electro-Spin, a mondial top scan; Zephyr, a zierer Wave
Swinger; Rock N Roller, a MACK rides music express; and Do-Si-Do, a Huss troika. This was followed by the construction of 6
new children’s rides for the Camp Snoopy section of the park, further expanding their
family line-up. In August of 2018 Carowinds announced their
biggest investment in park history. They stated that a brand new signature attraction,
Copperhead Strike, would open in an all new area of the park, Blue Ridge Junction. 7 months later, in March of 2019, Copperhead
Strike, a MACK Rides Multi-launch coaster, debuted to the public. Unlike their previous attractions, it features
a quirky storyline and theming throughout the ride area. After completing a jojo roll out of the station,
guests come to a stop to watch a brief preshow, before launching out of a barn straight into
the ride’s first vertical loop. The rest of the ride experience is made up
of a mixture of tight twists, turns and even a 2nd launch. Copperhead Strike has drastically helped to
diversify Carowinds line-up, re-introducing a launched roller coaster to the park. On top of the wide collection rides, Carowinds is also home to a range of events throughout the season. Visitors can watch spectacular fireworks on
the 4th of July, or even attend Scarowinds, a spooky halloween event. Throughout October, guests can experience
multiple terrifying mazes, walk through creepy scare zones, or even be frightened by roaming
actors. And in addition to all this, visitors get
to ride roller coasters in the dark. Several months later, at the end of the year,
Carowinds is also host to the recently introduced Winterfest event. Held during December, guests can get in the
festive mood thanks to millions of shimmering lights, an ice skating rink and a range of
winter-y holiday foods. What originally started off as a casual amusement
park for the locals, is now on course to become a full destination resort. With Carowinds first ever on-site hotel nearly
complete, and a range of quality attractions to keep guests occupied, the park’s future
is very bright. Cedar Fairs dedication to adding new and exciting
additions each year has seen the park improve drastically over such a short space of time. It’s likely that because of this, Carowinds
will not only attract more visitors, but also begin to become a multi-day destination for
tourists around the world. Did you enjoy these videos? If so, consider subscribing to both my channel,
Coaster Bot, and to Coaster Studios, the co-producer of this short series!