Carowinds lies on the border between North and South Carolina. Fury 325, its tallest rollercoaster at 325ft tall, crosses the state line as it traverses its track at speeds of up to 95mph.
|Opened||31 March 1973|
|Season||March to December|
|Nearby||Dollywood (154 miles)|
Six Flags Over Georgia (225 miles)
Camden Park (244 miles)
Lake Winnepesaukah (244 miles)
Kings Dominion (271 miles)
Carowinds spans the border between North and South Carolina, and is named after the winds which famously blow across the two States.
The park is owned by Cedar Fair, and features a massive collection of rollercoasters - it really is the coaster capital of the Carolinas.
Carowinds' largest rollercoaster, the ginormous Fury 325, crosses the state line and upon opening became the fastest non-launched rollercoaster in the world. It was built just five years after Intimidator, another giant hyper coaster from Bolliger & Mabillard which itself towers over 230 feet and reaches speeds of 75mph.
The park was originally conceived as a way of bringing North and South Carolina closer together, and featured an overarching theme based on the culture and history of the Carolinas. Carowinds is split into several sections, some of which continue that original theme.
Celebration Plaza is the entrance area and features Carolina Skytower, a 262 foot tall observation tower, together with the aforementioned Intimidator plus Nighthawk, a rather uncomfortable Vekoma flying coaster. The small Carousel Park hosts the park's Grand Carousel and leads to Thrill Zone with Fury 325 and Hurler, the park's only wooden coaster. Next to Thrill Zone is Carolina Boardwalk, which features the coaster trio of Carolina Goldrusher (an Arrow Mine Train), Carolina Cyclone (a classic Arrow coaster featuring two vertical loops and two corkscrews), and Ricochet (a Wild Mouse from Mack Rides).
The Flying Cobras, a Vekoma Boomerang, can be found in County Fair together with a small collection of flat rides. Crossroads plays host to Afterburn, a 1999 B&M Inverted Coaster, the standard WindSeeker common to Cedar Fair parks, and the interactive dark ride Boo Blasters on Boo Hill. Carowinds' children's section is Camp Snoopy, which features a large number of family friendly rides.
With its multitude of rollercoasters, Carowinds is a big park with a lot of attractions to cover. It has a large amusement park vibe much more than an immersive themed attraction. While not as in-your-face as some parks, it is at times a graceless sea of concrete. Not every attraction is spectacular but the ones which are, such as Fury 325 and Intimidator, are world-class.
Wooden out-and-back rollercoaster
Built in 1980 as the world's first rollercoaster with 4 inversions
The park's first rollercoaster, a mine train ride opened in 1973
Vekoma Boomerang, formerly known as Carolina Cobra
B&M Stand-Up coaster
Wild mouse rollercoaster
Observation tower giving views over Charlotte and into the two Carolinas
Suspended family rollercoaster