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News & Rumors

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CAROWINDS
Charlotte, NC
Cedar Fair Entertainment

 

 

 

 

----    THE LATEST BUZZ    ----
    (3/18/2023) Rides Testing at Aeronautica Landing (MORE...)
    (3/16/2023) Carowinds Sets Opening Date for Aeronautica Landing (MORE...)
    (2/12/2023) Carowinds Shows Off New Carousel Horse and Hover & Dodge Cars (MORE...)
    (2/4/2023) Aeronautica Landing Construction Update (MORE...)
    (11/6/22) Permit Reveals Final Unnaounced Aeronautica Ride Is a WindstarZ (MORE...)

 

Park News - (11/2/22) Carowinds has already posted a list of what major rides we should expect to remain closed throughout the winter months for off-season rehab work. The lists includes The Flying Cobras, Carolina Goldrisher, Drop Tower, Hurler, Intimidator, Vortex, Wilderness Run, Windseeker and Woodstock Express. Most of these are expected to be closed between now and mid November, and will remain closed through to the first part of March 2023.

 
    (10/26/22) Carowinds has posted a list of the attractions that will be open during WinterFest this year, and there are some surprising new additions on the list. You can go through the entire list of attractions here, but the major attractions that will be open include:
    Afterburn, Boo Blasters, Carolina Cyclone, Copperhead Strike, Flying Cobras, Ricochet, Fury 325 and Nighthawk. And yes, you read that night… Fury 325 will be open for WinterFest for the first time ever. (Provided it doesn’t get too cold…)
 
    (10/20/22) In an interesting new development, Cedar Fair announced earlier this week that starting in 2023 their Carowinds and Kings Dominion theme parks would be moving to a new year-round schedule in 2023. Traditionally, both parks have typically been staying open on weekends through the Christmas season as part of the WinterFest event, and then closed for January, February and the first half of March before opening on weekends once again for the following season.
    According to the announcements both parks will now be open on Weekends (weather permitting of course) all year round instead of closing down entirely. Keep in mind that a lot of the park’s normal “off-season” maintenance will still have to be performed during this time period, so expect for a larger than normal number of rides to be closed during this time period. This would likely include all the water rides at Kings Dominion (because Carowinds doesn’t have any) and if the weather drops below 40 you can expect a number of big coasters to also close down.
    But that’s just all part of year-round operations for any theme park anyway, so it’s awesome to see these very popular parks extend their season, which is sure to be appreciated by their local fan-base and especially the passholders who will now have even more days to enjoy the parks than ever before.
    Normally Cedar Fair has only had one park in the company with year-round operations, which would be Knott’s Berry Farm in Southern California who is open daily. So it isn’t without a small bit of irony that while Cedar Fair is adding two more parks to have year-round schedules, Six Flags just downgraded their only year-round park with daily operations to now have weekend only operations in the winter months, even though it is located only an hour’s drive from Knott’s Berry Farm.

 

icon_STOP2023 - Aeronautica Landing - (3/18/2023) Video clips showing off a few of the new rides at Carowinds new Aeronautica Landing can be seen testing on the “Carowinds Fans Only” Facebook page. Carowinds is preparing for the land’s grand opening, with a media event slated for April 6th and the public opening set for Friday, April 7th.
 
    (3/16/2023) Carowinds has announced that their new Aeronautica Landing area will be ready to open on Friday, April 7th. I can’t wait to see it for myself.

 
    (2/12/2023) Carowinds fans… the park tweeted out a couple of fun images the other day, one showing off a new 100th Anniversary carousel horse that is being added to the ride, along with a peek at one of the new themed bumper cars coming to the new Hover & Dodge ride in Areonautica Landing area later this year, as the park celebrates its 50th Annviersary.
    So wait… I can hear your mind spinning and clicking… if it is the park’s 50th Anniverary, how is the Grand Carousel turning 100? Easy… because The Grand Carousel had a life long before coming to Carowinds, having been build way back in 1923 by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company, labeled as #67 out of just 87 ever built. Apparently #67 has a bit of a colorful history as well, starting off life in Evansville, Indiana in ‘Pleasure Park’ before being moved to Mesker Park in 1936. Ownership of the ride passed through many different family hands before it was sold along with a few other rides in 1973 to James Figley who was a “Director of Ride Development” for Kings Dominion. It seems there was a bit of fight with the citizens and city of Evansville to keep it, but in the end the ride was disassembled, stored (and likely restored a bit) for about five years before installing it at Carowinds as part of a park expansion in 1979.
    Today, the park’s Grand Carousel is unique in the world, as it was a rare design when first built, one of only 5 in that style. Over the years, three of the other siblings were destroyed in fires, and the only other one is said to be in storage somewhere, making the Grand Carousel the only carousel of its kind currently in operation in the entire world. PTC carousels are quite rare anyway, and out of the 87 ever produced, only 29 are still in operation, with five of them still in operation at Cedar Fair theme parks, including #44 at Kings Dominion, #76 at Valleyfair, #79 at Kings Island and #87 at Canada’s Wonderland.

 
    (2/4/2023) Screamscape was invited to attend a construction tour of Carowind’s new Aeronautica Landing, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend due to work obligations. From what I’ve been able to glean from other reports, the new themed area is still very much under construction at this point. Given the weather so far in 2023, it has been very cold and annoyingly wet, causing construction delays all over the region and not just at Carowinds. Still, some of the new rides are already in place on their pads that were poured ahead of time, so much of the mud and dirt around the area that still needs to be addressed is just the walkways and final landscaping aspects that would be handled last anyway. For now Carowinds is simply saying that Aeronautica Landing will be ready sometime in Spring 2023, but my best guess is that it won't be until the later half of April or May. I’m also hearing rumors that the opening of at least one of the new rides (possible the WindstarZ) may not happen until shortly after the land opens, but without any solid dates on anything at this point, I’d take that with a gain of salt.
    I did come across one video of the tour on YouTube which you can see below.

 
    (11/6/2022) A building permit posted on Facebook reveals that the unannounced 6th ride coming to Carowinds’ upcoming Aeronautia Landing in 2023 will be a “Windstar Ride”. This would be the 5th new ride, along with a rethemed version of the park’s bumper cars filling out the six ride lineup of Aeronautica Landing.
    The Zamperla WindstarZ attraction offers a family friendly spin-around flat ride experience in vehicles often themed like hang-gliders, allowing the riders feet to dangle below them in the open air.

 

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(8/11/22) Carowinds has announced their expansion plans for the 2023 season, which will celebrate the park’s 50th anniversary along with a unique limited-time special event celebration. At the center of the celebration will be the launch of the all new Aeronautica Landing section of the park, “a tribute to the Carolina’s spirit of invention, exploration, and aviation, where guests can immerse themselves in the history and future of flight.”
    Set to open in Spring 2023, Aeronautica Landing will feature five new themed attractions, as well as the “rethemeing of an existing ride”, for a total of six rides in the new land. The land will also feature two new and one upgraded dining venue, with the new restaurant featuring a craft beer bar and patio, along with the refreshing of an existing location and other new snack locations. The area will also feature a new game zone with four new midway games, including an acrobatic challenge and a rethemed basketball challenge.
    While a list of the new rides was not released, concept art shows off five of them:
Air Racers (Zamperla Air Race), Air Walker (Zamperla Disk’O), Gear Spin (Zamperla NebulaZ),  Gyro Force (a Trabant style ride) and Hover and Dodge as the name of the re-themed Dodgem bumper cars. No information has been given as to what the sixth ride will be, though I would guess that the location make take over the site of the former Southern Star which has just been removed.
 
   
(8/6/22) In addition to Carowinds closing the Plants vs Zombies, Southern Star and Yo-Yo attractions, I’m told that the park has also closed their Dodgem bumper cars as well. Since these were not mentioned in the previous social media announcement as departing attraction, I’m pretty sure they will return next season.

 

2024/2025/2026 - New Coaster / New Land - SPECULATION ONLY - (7/10/22) I don’t do this often, but occasionally I have ideas about the future and what could possibly happen. This is no rumor, this is not leaked info from a source, this is just purely my thoughts about what may be next for Carowinds in 2024. To begin with, this involves the site of the former Rip Roarin’ Rapids attraction which closed in 2018. The site has been entirely silent ever since the closure, with the only reported work taking place was to build a temporary haunt for SCarowinds in the attraction’s former queue. Meanwhile the only current rumor associated with this site thus far is a new one claiming that some early demolition or site clearing may finally be taking place to remove portions of the old Rapids ride.
    Given the nature of the site however, it is a literal forest, full of dense greenery and many mature trees that were allowed to grow up all around the former Rapids ride that served it so well over the years. I’d love to see this kept as much as possible and used to incorporate into a new land and major attraction that could go here.
    My wish and theory is also based on the past actions of Cedar Fair adding major roller coasters to other parks in the chain that were similar in nature to what they’ve added to Carowinds over the past 10-15 years. In particular, if we look at Cedar Fair’s history of adding B&Ms to their parks within this timeframe, there is somewhat of a pattern. This starts with the addition of three HyperCoasters to the parks, starting with Behemoth at Canada’s Wonderland in 2008, followed by Diamondback at Kings Island in 2009 and Intimidator at Carowinds in 2010.
    This trio was followed by the purchase of a series of 5 more B&M coasters that started with Leviathan (Giga) at Canada’s Wonderland in 2012, GateKeeper (Wing) at Cedar Point in 2013, Banshee (Inverted) at Kings Island in 2014, Fury 325 (Giga) at Carowinds in 2015 and Valravn (Dive Machine) at Cedar Point in 2016.
    At this point there was another small pause, but work between Cedar Fair and B&M started up once again in Canada with the opening of Yukon Striker (Dive Machine) in 2019 followed by Orion (Giga) at Kings Island in 2020. At this point we all know what happened next, with many of the chain’s parks staying closed for much of 2020 and half of 2021, putting many future construction projects on hold. As we start to re-enter more normal times, most of these projects will be coming back to life once again, which likely includes whatever major new coaster was being planned to replace the demolished Volcano: The Blast Coaster at Kings Dominion.
    Carowinds is also expected to be in line for another big coaster around sometime as early as 2024 and based on past projects and my own best guess, I’m thinking we could very well see a themed Dive Machine, likely a little bigger and longer than Yukon Striker, appear on the site of the former Rip Roarin’ Rapids. Even better, if they can keep as much of natural landscaping in place to create an environment where the Dive Machine could run wild past trees and streams, and maybe include a tunnel or two, this could be a phenomenal ride. I’d also love to see the first drop go down into an underground tunnel themed like a mine-shaft or something.
    Now I’m going to dream a little, and envision this site as something much more. A multi-year project that Carowinds could really be proud of going forward. The next step… lets add a new flume ride to the park right here. Since Carowinds no longer has a single water ride, wouldn’t it be nice to have a new flume ride running through the woods and under the new Dive coaster?  Maybe they could repurpose the existing terrain of the old Rapids lift hill to create the drop for the flume ride. (Just an idea).
    Beyond that? I’ll have to mention the perfect theme I have in mind for this new land, which would be to theme it after North Carolina’s famous Blue Ridge Parkway. Being located on the NC side of the park it would be fitting, and they could make references to the state’s major famous natural landmarks here, such as Grandfather Mountain, Chimney Rock, the Linn Cove Viaduct bridge and of course Linville Falls. The latter would be a perfect theme for that Flume Ride I talked about.
    Of course if Carowinds really wanted to take this to the next level, adding in a high end Flying Theater attraction to the area to magically wisk guests away to see all these national wonders would serve as a great family attraction for those not ready to take on the thrills of the Dive coaster. It would be easy to make space for this kind of “Carolina Soarin’” flying theater project if they removed the perpetually empty Carowinds Paladium amphitheater right next door.
    From speculation to dreaming up a major new expansion… what do you think should happen here?

 

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Track Record

Carowinds
Charlotte, NC
Cedar Fair Entertainment

Abbreviation: PC (old)
Size: 398 Acres

Newest Developments:
2021 - Boogie Board Racers

2019 - Copperhead Strike

2018 - Camp Snoopy

2017 - Country Fest / Winterfest

2016 - Carolina Harbor, Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare Z3 Arena, Cirque Imagine and Starbucks

2015 - FURY 325 & Slingshot

2014 - Surfer’s Swell / Dorsal Fin Drop / Harmony Hall

2013 - Dinosaurs Alive

2012 - Windseeker

2011 - Snoopy’s Starlight Spectacular & Nights of Fire

2010 - Intimidator, Planet Snoopy & Boo Blasters

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