Cedar Fair Entertainment
Park News - (8/4/18) Good news for Carowinds... after being closed for weeks, and even taken apart, a reader reports that the Surfer Swell waterslide is now back together and was even open for guests as of Friday. No word on if it looks like anything was changed or not.
(7/16/18) Carowinds dropped some new details about this year's SCarowinds event, confirming the event dates (select nights Sept. 14 through Oct 28) will feature two brand new scare zones and instead of a new maze... they are putting a 'terrifying twist' on an old classic with Silver Scream Studios: Condemned. The new scare zones will be called The Hollow (Twisted pumpkin creatures) and DeadMan's Landing (Pirates). As for the later, a picture was sent in showing off crews building a large pirate ship scenic prop near the base of the first drop of Fury 325.
(8/3/18) I'm told that Carowinds had closed their Surfer's Swell waterslide shortly after the start of the waterpark's season. It has sat closed all season long and now crews have even removed a portion of the slide, the tight turn from that leads from the loading area into the drop. Anyone know more about what went wrong here and why they are having to rebuild it? It should be interesting to see if there are any changes made when they put it back together.
Also, check out the latest teasers for the park’s new 2019 coaster project just added.
(7/4/18) It may be too soon to announce anything, but Carowinds seems to have updated their page for the SCarowinds Halloween Haunt event which looks to be listing the same five haunted mazes as last year: Depths of Darkness (New for 2017), Silver Scream Studios, Slaughterhouse: The Final Cut, Urgent Scare and Zombie High. While no new Haunts are indicated yet for this year, they do list three new Scare Zones to come along with three returning Scare Zones: Blood Yard, Fleet Street (formerly London Terror) and Mass Acres.
(6/26/18) Carowinds had a bit of a bad day on Friday afternoon as a car caught fire in the parking lot and spread to destroy 11 cars in total before the fire department could put out the blaze. Thankfully there were no injuries, but the cause of the fire is still under investigation.
(6/6/18) Carowinds made the news over the weekend when one of their bumper cars caught fire in the middle of the afternoon. The flames were quickly put out by an employee, and the car was empty when the incident took place, so no one was injured. The faulty car has been pulled, the rest of the ride inspected and has already reopened. (Follow the link to catch a photo of the car while it was on-fire.)
(2/21/18) According to this local news report a second new hotel is on the way to service the Carowinds area. Construction on a new 120-room TownePlace Suites by Marriott is expected to begin this fall next door to the Cracker Barrel restaurant near the park. With Carowinds themselves also building a new similar sized hotel property, I would expect that the room rates in the area could become a bit competitive in the near future, especially with the older properties.
(2/2/18) Interesting news from Carowinds came out over social media this week. Their Vekoma family suspended coaster, Flying Ace: Aerial Chase is getting a brand new paint job with new colors and a new appropriate name for the park… so say hello to Kiddy Hawk. As you can see in the pictures below it now has sand colored supports and a nice light-blue track.
This is actually the third name and color scheme for this coaster. It opened back in the Paramount days (2003-2009) with green supports and yellow track as the Rugrats Runaway Reptar. Once Cedar Fair took over and removed all the Nickelodeon references to the land, it became Flying Ace Aerial Chase (2010 - 2017) with yellow track again, but with orange supports.
2018 - Camp Snoopy - (2/10/18) The local news take a peek inside Carowinds to give us out first look at some of the new Camp Snoopy attractions and renovations, as well as moving of the park's carousel over to the Vortex plaza.
(8/16/17) Carowinds has confirmed the addition of Camp Snoopy to the park in 2018, a transformation and upgrade to the existing Planet Snoopy area that will include six new attractions, reimagined themeing, new dining options and more.
The list of new rides include: The Camp Bus (Zamperla Crazy Bus), Peanuts Trailblazer (Mini Whip), Kite Eating Tree (Bounce Tower), Woodstock Whirlybirds (Tea Cup Ride), Pigpen’s Mud Buggies (Bounce Around) and Beagle Scout Acres (A big outdoor play area with climbing structures and more).
Based on the artwork it looks like some existing attractions may be moved, or even removed to make room. It was already confirmed that the Carousel is moving to the Vortex plaza area on the other side of the park. The park also confirmed on Facebook that the Woodstock Gliders will be moved to a new location as well. The old Woodstock Whirlybirds (helicopter ride) is being removed, and the station area will become home to the new Beagle Scout Acres, which may also see the removal of the ancient Yacht Club ride. The new tea cup version of Woodstock Whirlybirds will be installed just past the Peanuts Pirates rides.
Looks like the Pigpen’s Mud Buggies, Camp Bus, Kite Eating Tree and Peanuts Trailblazer rides will be installed in a group near the current site of the Woodstock Gliders, starting just to the right of the entrance to the Woodstock Express wooden coaster. Looks like the old Space Race ride will be removed as well to make way for these new rides.
2019 - New Coaster - Under Construction -
(8/9/18) A reader sent in a couple of quick pictures showing off dark colored coaster supports that are now on-site at Carowinds for the 2019 coaster.
Meanwhile CoasterStudios has posted a video shot on-site showing off the same supports, along with a look into the construction site progress as of this week.
(8/3/18) A couple new teasers were sent out on Twitter by Carowinds today... one featuring an interesting advertisement for Calico Architectural along with a phone number that plays a message that backs up the August 30th announcement date.
Below that is the next installment of Granny's Epic Secret recipe.
(8/2/18) The latest tweet from Carowinds drops more of the same style hints we've been getting about what's Granny's been cooking up... along with a date... August 30th. Looks like we have our announcement date for Carowinds.
(7/2718) Carowinds put out the next part of Granny’s Secret Recipe, but really only added that you start off “by rolling ingredients into copper pot”.
(7/23/18) The latest details on Granny's Secret Recipe were revealed on Twitter late last week, adding a couple more new numbers to the mystery. So far we've had what looks like an overall ride time of 2:24 and trains that hold 16 passengers. Now we've got three "ingredients" to the recipe... 3255 hand picked berries, 530 teaspoons of sugar, and 2 spoonfuls of granny's secret ingredient. Best guess, we're looking at a 3,255 foot track length with two launches... but I've no idea what the 530 may represent just yet.
For a quick size comparison, 3,255ft is longer than Hurler (3,157ft), Afterburn (2,956ft), and Nighthawk (2,766ft), but much shorter than Intimidator (5,316ft) and Fury 325 (6,602ft), so this will be the 3rd longest coaster in the park when it opens.
(7/16/18) A reader sent in a couple of great construction pictures from Carowinds this week, showing off the site of the 2019 coaster project. In addition, Carowinds has been firing new details onto their social media platforms all about #GrannysEpicSecret confirming a 2minute 24 second ride experience with 16 seat trains so far. But all these new hints about Granny's farm are including a lot of possible snake references, so perhaps the Copperhead Strike name that was trademarked may be for Carowinds after all. So far there are hints saying things like "Watch outt - it packs a bite!", a sign buying scrap metals with "Top Dollar Payed For Copper", another warning of venomous snakes and reptile repellent, and a laughable ad for "Big Mock's Excavation and Building" who specializes in "Wagons, bobleds, flumes". Gotta love that one since prior to now, Mack Rides (which is actually pronounced "Mock") was known mostly for their bobsled coasters and flume rides.
One other line of thought I was pointed to... despite the more obvious snake reference, a ton of these hints point towards a possible moonshine theme as well, much like the previous two rides removed from the site being used: White Lightning and Thunder Road, the later of which started off with racing coaster cars themed as a moonshine runner hotrod racing a Sherrif car. Meanwhile copper tubing was heavily used in the creation of moonshine stills, where farmers would use their excess corn crops to create a little home-brewed 'Shine on the side for extra money, and we from several posters on the wall at the Byrd's farm is famous for their huge corn crops. So all this talk of Copperhead Strike just might possibly be the name of Granny's famous 'Shine. The funny thing about making moonshine is that those illegal home operations, if left unattended for too long, came with the danger of a possible explosion if enough of the flammable vapor was put under enough pressure... which could also be used as a possible theme to explain the coaster's launch system technology.
Now I'm just spinning my wheels here, trying to imagine all the "what-ifs" that could come to pass... but that's half the fun. Stay tuned... I'm sure more hints are coming our way, including the next piece of Granny's Epic Secret to be revealed on Thursday morning.
(7/9/18) Carowinds is at it again and has posted yet another funny teaser to the 2019 construction wall, this one for "Centurion Motor Oil" with a background graphic lifted from the retired Mean Streak logo at Cedar Point.
(7/7/18) Carowinds has placed yet another fun poster on the 2019 construction wall... once that I was happy to suggest myself not too long ago, advertising "Whyte Lightning" spark plugs... "Dependable - Reliable - Arrow Dynamic". A great little chuckle reference to the park's old White Lightnin' launched coaster... but that was a Schwarzkopf shuttle looper, not an Arrow Dynamics ride. Oh well... a nice nod just the same... now who says Lightning can't strike twice, huh?
Well played Carowinds... well played...
(7/2/18) Carowinds has put up the first two teaser signs on the construction walls for their new 2019 coaster as well as posting them to Twitter along with a peek through a knothole in the wall. So what do we know?
They seem to be pushing a "farm" theme so far, specially claiming that the construction is for the expansion of the "Byrd Farm", known for their sweet corn. There is a little more text below that is hard to make out, but along the bottom line, one item really stands out... a mention of the Miami River Lumber Co.
In fact they mention them twice... as they are a main feature of the second poster on the wall that serves as an ad for the Miami River Lumber Co. stating that "We Build Barns" who are offering their services to the Carolinas if anyone is looking to buy custom "wooden barns, sheds, or fences". Gaze at the bottom and they do mention they are "temporally sold out of Southern Yellow Pine" until next season, which I believe is often the preferred lumber for wooden coaster makers... and fitting since the 2019 project will be steel. But the one lower line seems very ominous... "Our Lumber is obtained by means of vengeance".
Hmmmm... let that one sink in and for the less traveled coaster lovers out there who are still scratching their heads, the Miami River Lumber Co. was created as a major theme behind the creation of the Mystic Timbers wooden coaster that opened at Kings Island last year, which seemed to imply there was a curse upon the company that led to some rampant overgrowth taking over that entire section of the park. This led to a freaky animated announcement video... along with the creation of "The Shed" at the end of the ride, including a several months' long teaser campaign to determine exactly what was going to be in that shed. (You can see the Kings Island teaser here)
So with this all in mind... it does seem to paint the image of Carowind's 2019 project in an interesting light as something that could end up being themed as slightly sinister and possibly cursed. I'd also say that this kind of makes me think that Copperhead Strike name that was trademarked by Cedar Fair is also not for the Carowinds 2019 project.
(6/6/18) I came across an interesting fan video that shows off what appears to be a fairly accurate computer animated rendering of the new 2019 coaster coming to Carowinds. Check it out below.
(5/28/18) Don't say Screamscape didn't tell you first about this several weeks ago. Now the latest addition to Carowinds, sitting in the fenced off area for the 2019 project parts, clearly confirms that the new coaster will be from Mack Rides. Good things are coming soon from our friends in Germany. I can't wait!
One other item that I've discussed in social media, but not here on the site is a possible name for this coaster. I'm not pleased with this myself, if this is indeed the name for this new coaster at Carowinds, but the fact remains that Cedar Fair did file trademark paperwork back in early April to use the name "Copperhead Strike" for a future attraction. Keep in mind that the trademark was filed by Cedar Fair and not Carowinds, so the name Copperhead Strike could be used for any new attraction coming to any park in the entire chain in the future. Copperhead snakes are found in the Carolinas but also in states that are home to other Cedar Fair parks like Worlds of Fun, Kings Dominion, Kings Island, Cedar Point and Dorney park.
It's an ok name to me... though when I first saw it, my first impression was that it was the name for a new waterslide and not a coaster. It is also worth mentioning that not every trademark name filing gets used, and rides do tend to change names as they progress. Classic case in point: Fury 325 was originally going to be called Centurion... and you can add to that fact that Cedar Fair currently still has the active trademark for the name Centurion in their possession, as they did not drop it when they decided to switch gears and rename the ride Fury 325 to go along with the local hype that the local NBA team, the Charlotte Bobcats, were being renamed as the Hornets that same year.
If it were me... I'd love to see the park bring back the White Lightning name once again, maybe as White Lightning II, along with the typical taglines about "Who says lightning doesn't strike twice?" And why not? The new coaster looks like it will occupy a section of the site where the former White Lightning coaster used to sit, it also marks the return of having a launched coaster in the park once again, with the last one being the original White Lightning. Plus if the layout holds true, the new Mack coaster will have TWO launches during the layout, making it perfect for a bit of word play in the marketing. Come on Carowinds... just think about it.
(5/19/18) Project Alpha appears to be moving forward at Carowinds now, with the arrival of materials for the project now taking place in a fenced off temporary storage area they've set up in the parking lot between the South gate and waterpark entrance. A reader was kind enough to send in pictures of the items already in storage.
(5/10/18) Good news, I'm told that Carowinds has more than one webcam, and they just switched the feed of the one on the website to an alternate. Meanwhile the one tracking the 2019 construction site is still live and can be found by clicking here.
(5/9/18) Unfortunately sometime earlier this week Carowinds had turned their live webcam to face towards the Skycoaster and away from the 2019 construction site. Hopefully they will return it back to the previous view in the near future.
(5/4/18) While Carowinds has yet to make any kind of announcement regarding their 2019 plans, and probably won't until we are well into the Summer season, our readers did notice that the park has now adjusted their official webcam to now point right into the heart of the new construction site. Check it out.
(4/27/18) Who's ready to know what Carowinds has up their sleeves for the 2019 season? As I said before... no... this is not the transformation of Vortex into a Floorless coaster. And no... this is not the conversion of Hurler into another Twisted Timbers style hybrid coaster experience... though I'm sure that particular plan may still be in the works for a future season. Oh... and no... this is not a new wooden coaster either.
According to Screamscape's exclusive sources, Carowinds will be getting a brand new launched steel coaster experience unlike almost anything else in the country. Yes, I did say launched... and I'll say it again, because this will be a DOUBLE LAUNCHED monster of a coaster that is expected to be from the geniuses at Mack Rides.
This is somewhat new territory for Cedar Fair, who hasn't worked with Mack very much on the coaster side of things thus far, but Mack Rides has really been rising up to become a major player in the coaster scene in the last few years following the creation of Blue Fire Megacoaster at Europa Park in 2009. To date, I think the only launched Mack coaster installed in the US was the family friendly Manta at SeaWorld San Diego, but in the past three years they've installed some incredible rides elsewhere around the world like Helix at Liseberg, Star Trek: Operation Enterprise at Movie Park Germany, Capitol Bullet Train coaster at Motiongate Dubai and very soon Icon will open at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
So I'm happy to report that Carowinds will be the next step in this legacy of awesome coasters... but wait... there is more. Would you believe that I believe we have a drawing that should show a fairly close rendition of the 2019 coaster's layout? While I'm not sure exactly where in the park it will go, I took into consideration the removal of the old White Water Falls ride last season, mixed with the current demolition taking place to remove the Sand Dune Lagoon kiddie pool area from the waterpark. Mix this new open land in with the remains of the former Thunder Road station area and you've got a pretty good size piece of land that can perfectly hold this new coaster, placing the station and queue area in the same general area where Thunder Road's old station was. Take a look at Screamscape's exclusive concept art and overlay of the layout over an aerial image of Carowinds and see what you think.
As far as the ride goes, it is difficult to know where most of the inversions are located, other than a pair of vertical loops that lie at the end of each launch track, but there also appears to be a large and tall tophat looking element that I believe would rise up and over the new queue/entrance area next to the Plants vs Zombies building. So far I'm just guessing... as this could also be some kind of inversion, but I get the feeling this may end up being more like a tophat style or overbanked hill element, kind of like the one right after the launch on Blue Fire. Also, as weird as it seems, the track almost appears to perform a little barrel roll inversion as soon as it leaves the station itself, before rounding the corner the first launch... not unlike what Hydra does at Dorney Park before the lift hill. I see a couple of other locations where inversions may also be possible, so my best guess is that this coaster will have somewhere between 4 and 6 inversions.
For all the latest information, please keep checking Screamscape as we will be covering this project as it develops.
(4/15/18) It has come to my attention that a few other sites out there are predicting that Carowinds may be planning on adding a new GCI wooden coaster to the park. To this I say... "nope". Or at least not from what I've been told... which unfortunately I can't spell the beans about just yet... but I can confirm that according to Screamscape sources the previously mentioned Project Alpha-Digital is indeed a new coaster. As in... BRAND NEW... not a plan to remodel an existing one like Hurler or Vortex.
I hope to be able to share more in the near future, so stay tuned, because the future is indeed very exciting for Carowinds.
(3/2/18) It seems Carowinds is already working on other plans for 2019 besides their new hotel. The park has filed project plans in early February with York County for something called “20180359 - 2019 Project Alpha - Digital”, described as a “Grading Plan” that is currently under review. There is little information to go on, other than the basic description that says, “Demolition, grading and erosion control associated with proposed foundations designed by others to support future development.”
While at first you might think that this could simply be for the newly announced hotel project… it isn’t. These plans were filed with York County, South Carolina and not with Mecklenburg County in North Carolina where the new hotel project is located. With that in mind, this has to be a 2019 project for the South Carolina side of the park, which if I had to guess may have something to do with either: Carolina Harbor, the current Dinosaur’s Alive site, or the former White Water Falls (shoot the chutes) flume site.
The park will open for the 2018 season later this month, so just something to think about while strolling around looking for hints of what’s to come. For those wondering, both Vortex and Hurler, both the subject of rumored future plans, are both located on the North Carolina side.
Summer 2019 - Resort Hotel - (2/14/17) Carowinds has announced that they will break ground on a new on-site hotel at the edge of their property. It will be a 5-story 130-room "SpringHill Suites Charlotte at Carowinds" that will offer a pool, fitness counter, an outdoor seating area with a fire pit and even a small bar... all within easy walking distance of the park. The new hotel is expected to open in Summer 2019 and will "operate as a Marriott franchise - owned and managed by Carowinds"
While the exact site is not mentioned, I'm assuming this will be located in that far North-Eastern corner of the property, to the right of the toll plaza as you enter, set up in the corner next to the freeway.
(8/7/17) According to a new filing submitted to the city of Charlotte by Carowinds, the park is asking to have a 24.16 acre site that sits next to the I-77 freeway rezoned from an Industrial "I-2" zoning to an "I-1" zoning. From what I've been able to dig up, the main difference that the park would gain from the switch to an I-1 zoning is that it would allow for the site to be used for Hotels, Retail/Restaurants as well as Theaters which are not permitted under an I-2 zoning.
Now this is an interesting development, as we posted just a few days ago about how we should be expecting Cedar Fair to announce new on-site hotels to be built at the Carowinds and Canada's Wonderland parks. Looks like Carowinds is taking the necessary steps needed to make this happen.
I've posted the site map from the document here for reference and overlaid the site in question over an aerial image of the park's property.
(7/15/17) An interesting development just came up that would affect Canada's Wonderland and Carowinds and the two biggest up and coming parks in the Cedar Fair chain. According to a new article posted to BNN, an analyst at Wells Fargo sent a report to his clients on what they should expect to hear from Cedar Fair very soon. "Management expects to announce details on branded flagged hotel properties in Toronto and Charlotte by year-end 2017".
???? - Vortex Floorless Conversion - Rumor - (9/1/16) I’m really REALLY hoping this isn’t the case, as Carowinds deserves something better than this in my opinion, but the rumor on the wind right now is that Vortex could be converted into a Floorless coaster for the 2018 season. Don’t get me wrong… I love B&M Floorless coasters, but they are designed to be much bigger, faster, have many more inversions, and far more interesting inversions (a Zero-G-Roll especially) than what a converted Vortex can offer.
I’d much rather see Vortex removed and replaced by an all new creation.
With that said however, I’m hearing that the change may be inevitable unless the West coast conversion of their Vortex coaster into Patriot bombs in a big way.
2019/2020 - Hurler Hybrid Conversion - Rumor - (7/13/17) Carowinds fans should keep an eye on what is going on at Kings Dominion with the Hurler’s sister coaster. The ride is in the middle of an extensive transformation being handled by Rocky Mountain Construction (RMC) who are transforming it into a new creation that will use their iBox track system, coming a hybrid wood/steel coaster creation.
According to our sources the long term plan is to do the same thing to Carowinds Hurler coaster and reopen it in time for the 2019 season. The work process is a bit longer than the time it takes to build a new coaster on an empty plot, as they have to carefully remove only the parts of Hurler that they don’t want to keep and then built the new creation on top of some of the existing structure, while rebuilding other sections entirely from the ground up. With that in mind, I’d expect that 2017 could be the last season we see Hurler operate if they plan to reopen it in 2019, so be sure to get your last rides in while you still can on Hurler.
(10/17/16) Carowinds fans may want to consider that The Hurler may soon find itself on the chopping block, as the Hurler clone built at Kings Dominion sat closed for all of 2016, and was just announced by Kings Dominion as being closed for good with a 'Rest In Peace" video posted to their instagram. (Make the jump to our Kings Dominion page to see the details), but the bottom line is that the message ends with a tease about how it could return in 2018. One of the popular industry trends right now being a company named Rocky Mountain Construction coming in and turning old wooden coasters into "hybrid" style ride creations that keep the wooden structure, but use a new steel beam track system, and often adding new twists, turns and even inversions.
It is suspected that this is what may be in the works for Hurler at Kings Dominion, and if this proves successful, there is always a chance Cedar Fair could opt to double-down and do the same thing to Carowinds' own Hurler in 2019 or 2020. There is one caveat I have about this whole thing taking place at Carowinds. If Carowinds were to transform Hurler into a hybrid coaster, then the park would no longer have a full sized wooden coaster experience in the park, only the kiddie sized Woodstock Express. Kings Dominion can get away with transforming Hurler because they will still have Rebel Yell and Grizzly, as well as their own Woodstock Express. The destruction of Carowind’s Thunder Road racing coaster is still very fresh in the minds of the local market, who may not take kindly to Hurler being changed... as rough as painful as Hurler is to ride these days.