Cedar Fair Entertainment
Park News - (5/30/13) Carowinds will celebrate the park’s 40th Birthday this Saturday (June 1st) offering admission to guests for just $40 and there will be cake. A big one that will be shared for free for the first 400 guests. Special events will happen throughout the day ending with a fireworks show at 10pm.
ride's track and structre as needed.
As part of the celebration new entertainment has been added to the park throughout the summer. The Marvelous Mutts will perform June 10-16 in the Intimidator infield, King BMX Show from June 27-30 in Cobra Plaza, Gradfest on June 14, Return to Pirate Island in Boomerang Bay July 8-14, and interactive Peanuts character meals from July 15-19.
(4/29/13) Good news for Carowinds fans, I’ve heard that Windseeker has now reopened.
(4/9/13) I’m happy to report that both sides of Thunder Road are operational, though the park is only running both on the more crowded days right now it seems. Both sides seem the same in regards to having the final couple of hills before the brake tunnel still needed to have the track replaced, as they are quite bumpy compared to the much improved ride experience found on the rest of the coaster. Speaking of bumpy rides... I’ve also heard that for some reason the Blue train on Hurler seemed to be giving a much better ride than the Red train.
As for Windseeker... it still is not open, but was seen being raised up and down the tower on most days this past week. If your wondering, the new Evac platform is said to be stored over behind Nighthawk, probably next to the Asylum haunted house structure.
(4/5/13) According to a quick reader report, during a recient visit to the park, Thunder Road was only running one track all day, so we aren’t sure if this was a staffing issue or if the other side may not be ready. While the overall experience seems to have improved from the off-season rehab, they report that during their ride on the one side that was running (the water park side), the last two hills before returning to the station do not appear to have been replaced yet, and there is a very noticble transition as the train moves from the smooth newer track sections onto this old and still very rough patch of track.
(3/29/13) A few quick notes I obtained while talking to Carowinds offiicials earlier today. For starters, wish Carowinds a happy 40th Aniversarry this season. You will be glad to know that the rehab on Thunder Road was completed on time and the coaster will open with the rest of the park. This also parks the end of the 5 year rehab plan for the ride, as they have now rebuild all of the
As for Windseeker, the ride's rehab and testing of the new evacuation platform system is not yet complete, so Windseeker will not open along with the rest of the park. They did not have a date set for it, but only said that they were hoping it would be approved to reopen in the near future.
(3/28/13) The Fast Lane system at Carowinds will be split in two this year, offering regular Fast Lane passes (starting at $35) as well as new Fast Lane Plus passes (starting at $45). The only difference between the two is that access to Nighthawk and Intimidator is only included in the Fast Lane Plus tickets.
(3/11/13) Source tell me that every Cedar Fair park with a Windseeker ride have also taken delivery of one of the same new Evac Platform contraptions that we saw pictures of at Knott’s Berry Farm last week. The new Cedar Fair policy on this is that the park’s can not run their Windseeker rides unless they have an Evac Platform in working order and ready to go. (For example, I’m told that Kings Dominion already has their platform and is keeping it stored nearby in the old Hypersonic station area.) With the platforms in place, we should seen the Windseekers ready to run on opening day at most Cedar Fair parks. (Canada’s Wonderland, Carowinds, Cedar Point, Kings Dominion and Kings Island).
(1/10/13) Carowinds confirmed on their Facebook page that Joe Cool’s Driving School attraction will be removed to make way for Dinosaurs Alive. “We loved Joe Cool's Driving School as well! Believe us when we say it was a hard decision! That area has the most tree's to make the dino's feel at home.”
2013 - Dinosaurs Alive and Dinosaurs: Giants of Pategonia 3D - (3/29/13) Thanks to our friends at Carowinds, Screamscape was invited to the media preview for Dinosaurs Alive earlier today. (You may have caught a few photos sent out over Twitter if you follow us.)
This walk through tour of animatronic dinosaurs has replaced the park's rear private event / picnic area back next to Afterburn as well as the old kiddie car ride, filling in the available space between Afterburn, the rear half of Intimidator and the Woodstock Express.
I like how the park has converted the old barn themed gift shop just down the hill from Afterburn into the new entrance and gift shop for Dinosaurs Alive, changing the theme of the area for the better.
As with the other Dinosaurs Alive attraction elsewhere in the Cedar Fair chain of parks, there is a $5 admission fee to see them, for both regular park guests as well as passholders. That said, I do have to wonder more about the long term strategy of this concept, as unlike bigger parks in the chain like Kings Island or Cedar Point, Carowinds market seems to be very driven by the parks numerous season passholders. While they may pay to see it once for the curisioty factor, I'm not sure how many repeat visits it will get from them at $5 a pop.
Now there is nothing at all wrong with the attraction itself. It boasts featuring over 30 lifesized animatronic dinosaurs, moving well beyond the names I was familiar with and showing off many other species that were new to me. Your self guided stroll through the land of the giants will take anywhere from 30-60 minutes, allowing you time to pause to take in the details, read the signs and learn a little something in the process. In the middle of it all they even have a huge sand pit where kids can take small shovels and brushes and uncover embeded dinosaur bones. The dinosaurs are kid friendly in general, and while they can be loud at times, they don't really make any threatening moves towards the guests. If you aren't sure how well your small children will handle it, there is an animated dino in the gift shop that you can expose them to before you commit to buying a ticket.
In addition to Dinosaurs Alive, Carowinds has converted the Action Theater into a 3D Theater, removing all the old moving seats and replacing them with benches. Free for everyone, the theater is now showing Dinosaurs: Giants of the Patagonia 3D, a roughly 23 minute long film experience. The theater holds around 150 people now and they are planning to hold showings roughly every half hour throughout the day. The film itself features fantastic computer animation brought out into the third dimension via the same REAL-D 3D projection and glasses system you'l find in many real world movie theaters today. It is clear they put some fancy new hardware into the theater as well as the projected images are colorful and super crisp, and the audio system is full and very rich. The film is well done, so I do recommend a visit here on your next visit to the park.
(2/18/13) Screamscape sources tell us that we can say goodbye to the Spongebob 3D ride in the old Action Theater as a new 3D Dinosaur film is expected to be added to the park in 2013, along with Dinosaurs Alive. I wonder if this will be the same Dinosaurs: Giants of the Patagonia 3D film added to a few other Cedar Fair parks so far.
(9/24/12) Carowinds has confirmed that they will add Dinosaurs Alive for the 2013 season, featuring a collection of 32 animatronic dinosaurs with the largest being a 60 foot long, 40 foot tall Ruyangosaurus. Dinosaurs Alive will take up 5 acres and is expected to cost an extra $5 per person to see, just like the other Dinosaurs Alive attractions installed at other Cedar Fair parks. I’m not exactly sure of the location just yet, waiting to find out more.
I’m also wondering if there is a chance we could see something else new added to the park as well, to be announced later. I’d hate to think that Dinosaurs Alive would be the only new addition to the park if it costs extra to see it. Both Kings Island and Kings Dominion added their Windseeker rides the same year that they installed Dinosaurs Alive. Cedar Point added new waterslides to their waterpark with their Dinosaurs Alive and Dorney Park added Stinger, a new roller coaster, to the park with Dinosaurs Alive. Adding only Dinosaurs Alive, an upcharge attraction, would be a disappointing way to celebrate the parks 40th anniversary in 2013.
2014/2015 - New Coaster - (5/6/13) I’ll file this as a very WILD rumor for now, but I did hear a very early whisper claiming that Carowinds may be on the short list of parks under consideration to get a B&M Wing Coaster in 2015. Cross your fingers… but this falls in line somewhat as Carowinds is due for a new coaster in either 2014 or 2015 as it will have been a good number of sinces since the park opened their last coaster, Intimidator back in 2010. If they decide to put the next Wing coaster somewhere else, Carowinds may receive a smaller coaster project instead for 2014.
Future Expansion Plans - (8/3/11) For the record, Carowinds has states that with the new 61-acre addition, the park’s total size is a comfortable 398 acres. According to Screamscape spies Carowinds is working on plans to develop their own resort hotel on some of the new property next to the freeway in about two years, along with an attached Famous Dave’s BBQ restaurant, which would be the first in North Carolina.
(8/2/11) In a surprise announcement Cedar Fair has announced the completion of a 61 acre land purchase for Carowinds. The new land purchased is actually pretty much all the available land between the park at the freeway starting next to the Plaza Fiesta mall building and going around to just behind the Season Passholder parking lot. (You can see it in the official map, highlighted in light blue.) Not exactly prime land for adding new rides for the most part… but a perfect site for a future hotel if they chose to build one. Or a perfect way to expand the main parking lot to allow for an eventually future closure of the old South entrance to the park, where the could expand the park out to take over that whole rear section of the parking lot (alongside Thunder Road) that remains unused except on the most busy days.