Carowinds: Visit #4
By: Kevin Michaels
June 25, 2015

Today is our final day at Carowinds Amusement Park and there is an event today; Carowinds Investor Day! We got to the park a little after it had opened, so the gates are a little more crowded than we have seen over the past few days.

Fury 325, a little crowded but not bad

My original plan was to marathon Fury 325 for the day but because of the extreme heat, I just wasn't able to do it. We did get our 5 rides in on Fury 325. Our plan for the day is to stay long enough to get our two free meals with the All Season Dining and get in some rides in between before heading out to Tennessee to visit Dollywood tomorrow!

Carowinds: Visit #3
By: Kevin Michaels
June 24, 2015

Time for another day at Carowinds and it's another hot day in the Carolinas. I know that Fury 325 is going to be our first stop of the day, so let's get rolling.

Fury 325, 5 rides in a row

Like I've said all week, we picked the right time to come to Carowinds because Fury 325 is and has been a walk on all week. We got 5 rides in a row this time. We wound up in rows 7, 3 & 2. The ride had technical difficulties at this point and we were stopped on the return platform for a short period of time. The mechanics had come right up to the ride back in motion.

Carowinds: Visit #2
By: Kevin Michaels
June 23, 2015

It's another hot day, but it's another great day to be at Carowinds! We didn't get to the park for opening but we got to the park around 1pm. We decided to go right to Fury 325 and make that our first stop for the day. We plan on purchasing a sports bottle so we can get unlimited drink refills for the day but before we do that, let's ride Fury 325.

No cups, no loose articles, no bags in the station

As I mentioned yesterday, you cannot have any cups, bags or loose articles in the station at Fury 325. I don't like it when theme parks do this because if you come to a park on a busy day and there is a 1-2 hour line and you are stuck there without a drink, it can be a safety hazard. They have a water fountain in the queue line and you can bring a throw away drink, but that's about it.

Carowinds: Visit #1
By: Kevin Michaels
June 22, 2015

This is our first visit to Carowinds during the 2015 operating season. We had visited Carowinds in 2014 and we were told; "Don't visit this year, visit next year." I said screw it, let's visit both years. Why not, right?

All new entrance to the park!

As we pulled up to the park, it looked completely different. Even the toll booths to get into the park were updated and relocated. The main entrance to the park is an awesome sight as Fury 325 (The park's newest roller coaster) not only goes above the entrance, but below it in a tunnel! This place has really stepped up it's game and it actually has a Cedar Point feel to it as the entrance is similar to that of Cedar Point's. Looks like we're in for a good day!

Carowinds: Planning a trip to Carowinds?!
Written by: Kevin Michaels

Are you planning a trip to Carowinds down in the Carolinas? Here are a few tips from the Theme Park Maniacs! During the 2014 operating season, we visited Carowinds a total of 3 times in a 3 day span and these are some tips that we learned during our experience at the park!

Get a Hotel!

If you're from out of state like we are, get a hotel! There are plenty of hotels right by the park but we had gone through Priceline.com and found a hotel called Comfort Suites University in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Ric Flair Country, Wooooo!)

Carowinds: What's New in 2015?!
Written by: Kevin Michaels

Carowinds is undergoing a few positive changes for the 2015 operating season! First and foremost is the arrival of Fury 325, a roller coaster manufactured by Bolliger & Mabillard, this will be the tallest giga coaster and non launched coaster in the world!

At a height of 325 feet, Fury 325 will bring you to top speeds of 95 MPH! This beast is currently scheduled to open up in the Spring of 2015!

Carowinds: Yo Yo
Manufactured by: Chance Morgan

Yo Yo is a classic swing ride at Carowinds. This is a perfect ride for families to enjoy together. The unique experience you will feel on this ride as compared to the typical Waveswinger ride is that the chairs rock as the ride goes which makes you feel like you are a YOYO!

Yo Yo opened up at Carowinds in 2008 and was manufactured by the Chance Morgan company!

Carowinds: Woodstock Gliders
Manufactured by: Bisch Rocco Flying Skooters

The Woodstock Gliders is the same ride as the Flying Eagles or the Lake Erie Eagles from Cedar Point. This ride will spin you around but the key here is that you can move your fin to control how high you fly in the sky!

The Woodstock Gliders is said to be over 70 years old, according to the Carowinds website. Originally known as the Phantom Flyers, this ride opened up at Carowinds in 2005!

Carowinds: Windseeker
Manufactured by: Mondial

Windseeker is the giant swing ride at Carowinds. This giant swing is a 301 foot ride that will give you the best view of the park. Are you brave enough to climb aboard this 301 foot monster as it will spin you at top speeds of 30 MPH at the top of the park?!

The Windseeker was manufactured by Mondial and opened up at Carowinds opened up in March of 2012!

Carowinds: White Water Falls
Manufactured by: O.D. Hopkins

White Water Falls is the big splash down boat ride at Carowinds. Rides like this are normally pretty fun but this one is a bit dated.

On a hot day, you'll want to head over to White Water Falls and hope that you get soaked on this ride to cool off! This ride will bring you down a 45 foot waterfall with the potential to get you drenched by the end of the ride!

Carowinds: Southern Star
Manufactured by: Intamin

Southern Star is a swinging ship ride at Carowinds. Not only will this ship rock you back and forth but it will bring you upside down as well!

Southern Star was originally opened up and named Frenzoid in 1986. This ride was removed in 2005 for Boomerang Bay but reopened in 2007 as Southern Star!

Carowinds: Slingshot
Manufactured by: Funtime Rides

Slingshot is an up-charge attraction at theme parks all around the world. This ride has two giant towers with cables that support a "ball" in the center of it. Slingshot will launch you straight up into the sky and you will have a feeling of weightlessness until you come free fall dropping back down to the earth!

The Slingshot ride is manufactured by a company called Funtime and it launched at the park during the 2015 operating season! This particular Slingshot will launch you almost 300 feet into the sky at top speeds of 60 MPH!

Carowinds: Scream Weaver
Manufactured by: Schwarzkopf

Scream Weaver is Carowinds version of the Enterprise. This version looked and felt a little more dated than the ones at the other theme parks, but it still performed very well.

This ride will spin you around at a high speed and lift you up into the air as it spins. The Scream Weaver has so much intensity to it that you can actually feel the pressure in your entire body. This one seems to go a lot faster and higher than the Enterprise.

Carowinds: Scrambler
Manufactured by: Eli Bridge Company

The Scrambler is a classic amusement park ride. The thrill of this ride is the illusion that you will be crashing into one of the oncoming cars but instead you come "that close!" This ride will spin you and whip you before spinning you around again.

The Scrambler was manufactured by the Eli Bridge Company and opened up at the park back in 1973.

Carowinds: Rip Roarin' Rapids
Manufactured by: Intamin

Rip Roarin' Rapids is the River Rapids ride at Carowinds. Climb aboard this 6 person boat and take an adventure through the River Rapids at Carowinds Amusement Park. Is it too hot for you on a hot summer day? Use the Rapids ride to cool off because chances are, you'll come off wet!

This Rapids ride was manufactured by Intamin and opened up at the park back in 1982. The original rafts were manufactured in house by Carowinds but after an accident, they went with the rafts created by Intamin!

Carowinds: Ripcord
Manufactured by: Ride Entertainment Group

Rip Cord is Carowinds version of the Dare Devil Dive or the Sky Coaster! This ride was originally called the Xtreme Skyflyer but was later renamed to Rip Cord.

Rip Cord is 153 feet high and what this ride does is you get into a vest and are lifted up 153 feet high by a cable and once you get to the highest point? You pull your cord and go flying through the air like a free spirit!

Carowinds: Peanuts PIRATES
Manufactured by: Mack Rides

Peanuts Pirates is a children's ride in the Planet Snoopy section of the park. This ride is very similar to Musik Express but instead it features pirate ships. The difference between this and Musik Express is that the cars are Pirate Ships that you sit in. While the ride is in motion, the pirate ship turns around periodically.

This ride was opened up at the park during the 2005 operating season and it was manufactured by a company called Mack Rides.

Carowinds: Drop Tower
Manufactured by: Intamin

The Drop Tower at Carowinds is a smaller version of Drop Tower compared to the other Cedar Fair Parks. This particular one is considered to be a "Giant Drop" and it will bring you as high as 174 feet with a 100 foot drop at 56 MPH! Drop Tower was manufactured by Intamin and opened up at Carowinds in March of 1996.

The ride review

Drop Towers are always fun rides and this one is no different. Once you are raised to the top of the ride, take a deep breath because you never know when you will be dropped!

Carowinds: Dodgems
Manufactured by: Lusse Brothers

Dodgems is Carowinds version of the Bumper Cars. These Bumper Cars are a very old school version in that they look very old and drive very slow compared to the bumper cars in other theme parks such as Cedar Point.

Dodgems was opened up in March of 1979 and manufactured by the Lusse Brothers and was originally called Demolition Derby.

Carowinds: Character Carousel
Manufactured by: PTC

The Character Carousel is a merry go round at Carowinds. This particular Carousel was built in 1923, making it the oldest ride in the park! There are a total of 68 horses on this traditional Carousel ride. The Carousel was manufactured by PTC and it opened up at Carowinds in March of 1979.

The ride review

We rode on this Carousel ride and while it wasn't the fastest or longest Carousel, the ride operator sure did bring a lot of fun into it.

Carowinds: Carolina Skytower
Manufactured by: Intamin

The Carolina Skytower is the observation tower at Carowinds. This 262 foot tall structure will bring you to the top of Carowinds and give you the best view in the park! This ride operates much like the Hershey Kissing Tower at Hershey Park.

The Carolina Skytower was manufactured by Intamin and it opened up at the park on March 31, 1973!

Carowinds: Boo Blasters on Boo Hill
Manufactured by: Sally Corporation

Boo Blasters on Boo Hill is an interactive dark ride designed for families to have fun competing against one another in this target game.

Boo Blasters was previously a Scooby Doo Haunted Ride but was rebranded as Boo Blasters on Boo Hill after Cedar Fair purchased the park from Paramount.

Carowinds: Vortex
Manufactured by: Bolliger & Mabillard

Vortex is a steel stand up roller coaster at Carowinds manufactured by Bolliger & Mabillard. This stand up coaster opened up at the park back in 1992. Vortex was B&M's third roller coaster and it was preceeded by Batman the Ride from Six Flags Great America and another stand up roller coaster named Vortex, located at California's Great America.

This stand up roller coaster will bring you up a chain lift hill to a height of 90 feet and it will reach top speeds of 50 MPH with a total of 2 inversions; a vertical loop and a corkscrew.

Carowinds: Visit #3
By: Kevin Michaels
July 14, 2014

Click here for photos from 7/14/14!

It's Monday and this is our third and final visit at Carowinds this season! Thus far, we have been pleased with the park, the staff, the rides and everything else except for the extreme heat but it is the southeast so what can we do? We got to the park early for the early ride time but they didn't have early ride time today. We didn't know this, otherwise we would have waited a half an hour to come but we're here already.

Carowinds is a Cedar Fair amusement park in the Carolinas. I say the Carolinas because this park is actually considered to be on the border of North and South Carolina. July 2014 actually marked our first visit to Carowinds. In talking to people about this park, I've heard that it is only worth a trip for a day or not worth going to at all. People have told me that it is just a smaller version of Kings Dominion.

The featured rides at Carowinds are: Intimidator, not to be confused with Intimidator 305 at Kings Dominion. Although both rides have the same theme, the roller coasters were both built by different people and are considered to be two different types of coasters. Intimidator at Carowinds is a Hyper Coaster manufactured by B&M. It will bring you up to 232 feet high with a 215 foot drop at a maximum speed of 75 MPH.

Intimidator is currently the number one ride at Carowinds but there are rumors of a new Giga Coaster being put in at Carowinds to debut next year. Nothing is confirmed about this coaster, but we've heard that it is going to be a big deal. We've heard some of the employees at the park say that it is going to be over 325 feet tall and will go upwards of 100 MPH. These are just rumors and nothing is confirmed about this right now. I would expect Cedar Fair to announce their new ride for Carowinds by the end of the summer.

Other featured rides at the park include the Nighthawk, which is a "lay down" roller coaster manufactured by Vekoma and another B&M coaster called Afterburn. Afterburn is a steel inverted roller coaster that opened up on March 20th in 1999. Afterburn is very similar to Batman the Ride at the Six Flags parks but it does go at a little bit of a higher speed than Batman the Ride.

During our visit to Carowinds, we have been welcomed with open arms. Our first day in the park, we were noticed and recognized by a member of management named Mike. Mike was previously the GM at Dorney Park and had remembered us from there. He greeted us and welcomed us right into the park and treated us with full respect. As crazy and silly as we can get, all of the employees around the park smiled and laughed at us as we joked with them and did our best to make their day. Our visits to the park were on very hot days and that is not an easy work environment for these employees so we did what we could to brighten their day.

In my opinion, Carowinds is a very good theme park and we cannot wait to return to the park next year to see what they have to offer with their new roller coaster.

Some perks at the Park

If you are a season pass holder, you can receive discounts on merchandise and some other things around the park. In addition, you will be granted early entry into the park for an extra 30 minutes before the park opens to the public on select dates and weekends only. We headed directly to the Intimidator to get as many rides in as we could before the park opened to the public.

All Day Dining

Cedar Fair parks now have what they call "All Day Dining." For $29.99 plus tax, you can eat all day long and the best part of it is, you can eat every 90 minutes. What we do when we go to Cedar Fair Parks is purchase one All Day Dining pass and share a meal every 90 minutes. Our visit to Carowinds, we had three people so every 90 minutes we stopped to grab a quick bite. The first part of the day, you will be a bit hungry but later on? You'll be stuffed. If you're anything like us and would like to save money, this is the best way to go. At Cedar Point, we went with the All Season Dining, which gets us two meals each time we visit. Carowinds currently does not offer this type of deal. All Day Dining is the best way to go.

Souvenir Sports Bottles

Just like many of the other theme parks around the country, you can purchase Souvenir Sports Bottles at Carowinds. If you purchase them at the park, they will start out at 14.99 plus tax for one bottle. If you purchase two, the price will drop down to 12.99. For 3 or more, you can get them for 9.99 each. The perk? Day of purchase only, you can get free refills all day long and after that, you can get refills for just 99 cents. This is just a tip from a Thirsty Theme Park Maniac. If you are going to return to the park and use your Souvenir Cup, you can get refills for just 99 cents but think about this; if you are going to get more than 10 refills, then you may as well just buy a new cup and get free refills all day long.

We are thirsty people and we drink A LOT, especially on a hot day. We've had some very hot days during our visits to Carowinds and if you purchase a soda, it can get watered down and flat very quickly. So what we did on each of our visits to Carowinds was purchase new Souvenir cups so that we could get our free refills for the day. We live by our motto; PEE, RIDE, REFILL, REPEAT...

Some of the other Cedar Fair Parks offer a 5 dollar "recharge" of your cup, instead of having to purchase new cups. What this means is that for 5 dollars, you can use your same up and get unlimited refills all day long. To some people, 99 cents sounds like a better deal but if you are in the park from open to close, the chances of you getting more than 10 refills is pretty high. At Carowinds, if you are just one person going into the park and purchasing a cup, head over to their website and you can buy the cup for $9.99. In the park, one cup will cost you $14.99.

If you purchase a cup online, you will not have to wait for it to be delivered. What will happen is you will print out a form and take it to the park and they will issue your cup the day you visit the park.

Cedar Fair Platinum Pass Perks

If you plan on going to multiple Cedar Fair Parks, you owe it to yourself to get the Platinum Pass. The pass itself can cost up to 200 dollars but that will get you into all of the Cedar Fair Parks and parking will be paid for at all the parks. This year alone, we have visited Dorney Park, Cedar Point, Kings Island, Kings Dominion and Carowinds and have taken full advantage of the Platinum Pass. If you visit the websites for each of the parks, there are certain discount days where you can bring a friend in at a special discount or get a set discount for your friend on ANY of their visits.

Back in June when we went to Kings Dominion, we were able to get two of our friends into the park for only 16 dollars each as they were still running the Father's Day Special!

Where does Carowinds Rank??

Of the Cedar Fair Parks that I have been to, here is my current ranking...

1. Cedar Point
2. Canada's Wonderland
3. Kings Dominion
4. Kings Island
5. Carowinds
6. Dorney Park