Cedar Fair Entertainment
---- THE LATEST BUZZ ----
(9/4/2023) What to Expect from SCarowinds This Year (MORE...)
(8/24/2023) Carowinds - Vortex Update
(8/14/2023) Vortex Spotted Making Test Runs (MORE...)
(8/13/2023) South Carolina Sheriff Seeking Two Guests For Assault & Battery (MORE...)
(8/12/2023) Carowinds Reopens FURY 325 (MORE...)
Park News - (9/4/2023) SCarowinds will launch into spooky mode on Sept. 15 this year and and continue on select nights through to Oct. 29, 2023. This year’s event will feature five haunted mazes including the return of Paranormal Inc. (new from 2022), along with four returning long-time mazes: Depths of Darkness, The Toothfairy, Silver Scream Studios: Condemned and Slaughterhouse: The Final Cut.
The park’s list of Scare Zones this year include: Bloodyard, Harvest FEAR, Ripper Alley, The Harlequin Club, Blue Ridge Roadkillers and The Hollow.
New for 2023 will be the “Procession of Nightmares”, a haunted Halloween style parade of themed floats that will travel through the park at 7:30pm each night and Conjure the Night, an all-new live Halloween spectacle taking place on the Plaza stage near the front of the park.
(8/25/2023) Good news for Carowinds fans as it has been reported that Vortex is now back open.
(8/14/2023) Confirmation was sent in to Screamscape that Vortex was spotted making test runs at Carowinds on Sunday. To my knowledge it did not reopen with riders yet, but I believe this is the first time it was spotted running at all this season. Barring any problems, this should indicate that a reopening is likely before the end of the month.
(8/13/2023) While I haven’t seen any news reports about this yet, the York County, Sheriff’s Office has posted a request on Instagram seeking help finding two individuals wanted for “Assault & Battery by Mod 3rd Degree, stemming from an incident that occurred at Carowinds on Sunday, August 7th, 2023.” Any update to the posting from Friday, August 11th reports that one of the two has since been taken into custody, but they are still seeking the other. So if anyone was at the park that day or has information regarding their location, consider contacting them.
Theme parks should be a safe place for everyone to visit and not a place to be be worried about this kind of behavior from the other guests.
(8/12/2023) Carowinds fans will be happy to know that the park announced that Fury 325 was able to reopen to guests on the afternoon of August 10th after completing various inspections and recertification from the state.
(7/29/2023) Amid reports that a possible “second crack” may have been found on Fury 325 during testing, Carowinds has issued an official statement regarding the matter to social media. The general gist is that Fury 325 is undergoing testing and complete inspections, and still has many steps to undergo before they will reopen it, including a final inspection from B&M, an inspection by a third-party testing firm, and an official inspection by the State’s bureau that oversees all Elevator and Amusement devices.
Under the current review of Fury 325, Carowinds state that “During such reviews, it is not uncommon to discover slight weld indications in various locations of a steel superstructure. It is important to note that these indications do not compromise the structural integrity or safety of the ride. When such indications are found, we conduct non-destructive testing to determine the appropriate remedy. Once a repair is completed, it undergoes inspection and approval before the ride is deemed operational. Additionally, as is customary, we conduct test cycles to ensure its smooth operation before guests are allowed on the ride.”
Now before everyone jumps to conclusions, it isn’t actually uncommon for parks to perform various spot welding to the track and supports of their roller coasters throughout the year as part of their own inspection and maintenance process. With that in mind, I’m not an expert in the field of welding or steel structure repair, but from what I’ve been led to understand is that in general, welding, once complete, should essentially be invisible to the average non-professional eye. So the spotting of any “Weld Indications” on the structure may be when a weld point is now more openly visible, as could possibly be an indicator of a point of stress. These points would then be inspected to determine the problem and the best solution to make the necessary repairs.
So again… don’t panic, this is all part of the process and after suffering from a very public crack that resulted in a complete separation of the support column you can guarentee that the crews involved now are going to be extremely meticulous in the inspection of the rest of Fury 325’s structure. Every nook and cranny on Fury 325, as a world premier coaster, is now being put under the microscope.
In other news, answers regarding the season-long closure of Vortex were sent my way. According to Screamscape sources, Vortex is in the middle of a planned upgrade for the ride that will see a new control system installed. “All of the ride’s sensors, PLCs and wiring is being replaced.” Unfortunately, this is where the comparison to last year’s long closure of Nighthawk comes into play, as this planned upgrade for Vortex was originally expected to be completed months ago. The blame has been placed in a number of directions ranging from late parts arrivals, the work taking longer than expected as well as more resources and hours being put into the launch of Aeronautica Landing. The later makes sense too, since two whole rides had to be installed and opened after the rest of that new land opened. The good news is that things are moving forward, so hopefully we’ll see some progress on Vortex soon.
Speaking of progress... sources have also confirmed that Carowinds is bringing in Sally Corp to work on Boo Blasters in the very near future. Rumor has it that in addition to all the scenic elements getting some new paint and a nice refresh, an entirely new targeting system may be installed.
(7/27/2023) One thing I noticed during my brief visits to Carowinds this season was that Vortex, (the park’s B&M Stand-Up Coaster) was always closed. I had not thought to inquire more about it, assuming it would reopen eventually, but according to other reports, it seems like Vortex has yet to open this season at all. This is sounds familiar at all, it does seem to be similar in nature to how Nighthawk was closed for the majority of the 2022 season before they were eventually able to open it.
In the case of Nighthawk, the long standing rumor was that the coaster, a rare Vekoma Flying model, was in need of special parts that were hard to come by. This makes me wonder if perhaps Vortex, an older model coaster model as well, may be suffering from similar supply chain issues this year. Anyone know more?
Speaking of attractions in disrepair… during my rides this season on Boo Blasters, I had to bad luck to come across a number of malfunction items in the dark ride, as well as a completely broken gun on both dates. I had just thought that maybe it was just my poor luck at first, but I’ve also been hearing some complaints from others about the ride experience as well. On the positive side, we’ve heard a rumor that help may be on the way before too long to perform some kind of repairs and upgrades to the dark ride, possibly in time to premier these upgrades during SCarowinds. Stay tuned!
(7/14/2023) Lots of progress from Carowinds over the past two days as cranes arrived to support the track while the broken support on FURY 325 was removed on the first day and the new support put into place on the second.
I’ve got to admit that the speed and efficiency in which this has all happened has been extremely impressive! If you think of everything that had to happen between Carowinds and B&M, including the manufacturing of the new support at the plant in Ohio, shipping it down to North Carolina and having crews on site and ready to go to install right away has been amazing to see.
(7/7/2023) Carowinds has issued an official statement regarding the status of FURY 325. Follow the link to read the whole announcement, but the main points expressed are:
Carowinds and B&M have now conducted a full inspection of the ride’s entire track, supports and foundations to determine the cause of the fracture. Carowinds and B&M will remove and replace the existing support column. The new column is being fabricated at this time and is expected to arrive at Carowinds sometime next week. After which it will be installed and the ride will undergo an extensive series of tests and inspections before it will reopen. At this time these is no ETA as to when that might be.
(7/1/2023) A quick word of warning for anyone planning a trip to Carowinds this year… FURY 325 is now closed and there is a good chance it could be closed for the remainder of the season. While FURY 325 was in operation yesterday some Carowinds fans noticed that one of the track supports outside the entrance of the park had cracked and broke at the top, near where it connects to the track spine. It was reported to the park and FURY 325 was shut down.
Based on other photos and a video clip (see below) this was a complete break, as you can see the track move a few inches as a loaded train passes through this area just before it was shut down. The design and engineering of the ride allowed for the remaining support structure in the area to pick up the slack, but clearly those sections would also now be under increased stress.
Carowinds has yet to make a statement regarding the situation, but I can fully well imagine that staff from B&M are preparing to board planes to Charlotte for a full re-inspection of the entire FURY 325 roller coaster to determine the best course of corrective action. While new supports could be manufactured and installed, with a new footer(s) if needed in this area, B&M could also decide that they should redesign the support system in this area as well. Either way, I see FURY 325 remaining closed for a lengthy period of time.
While most of us have never seen this kind of thing happen before, a few comments online indicated that a similar issue happened several years ago to B&M’s “Silver Bullet” inverted coaster at Knott’s Berry Farm in that ride’s Cobra Roll area.
(6/21/2023) Carowinds has confirmed that the Grand Carnivale celebration event will return to the park for the third year in a row for a 14-day run between June 24th and July 9th, 2023.
Culinary enthusiasts will embark on a delightful journey around the world, indulging in more than 15 mouthwatering creations from five different countries. In 2023, guests will have the opportunity to savor new menu offerings from China, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. Each country's menu presents three authentic culinary creations. As part of Carowinds' Grand Carnivale, guests can enjoy five signature cocktails and two non-alcoholic mocktails, with the option to be served in a souvenir pilsner.
Be mesmerized by the nightly Spectacle of Color parade at 8:00 p.m., featuring 80 captivating performers, vibrant music, and stunning costumes. The parade showcases seven authentic floats, created by Kern Studios directly from New Orleans, La., including a float with eight selected Carowinds' in-park guests.
Guests can embark on an exciting Passport to Adventure by visiting Carnivale Central and joining Alligator King, Mardi P. Gras, for a virtual journey around the world. Scan the QR code in each country, take photos with Mardi's friends, and delve into their cultures to earn stamps. Upon completing the adventure, receive a grand prize to commemorate the global experience.
(6/20/2023) If you follow Screamscape on our social media channels, you’ve already seen this, but on Friday evening we were invited to visit Carowinds for the evening as part of their 50th Celebration. This included a viewing of the new Brad Ross International Star Illusionist magic show, which was pretty darn awesome. Ross performs his take on a number of classic magical illusions, and even while sitting near the front of the the theater, the act was flawless and stunning. Look for Brad Ross to perform 5 days a week (dark on Wednesdays and Thursdays) now through August 6th. While video or flash photos are not allowed, we were encouraged to take as many still photos as we wanted, so I’ll share a collection below.
Carowinds is also offering several new food items for the summer season which can you find at various locations throughout the park. This includes a number of desserts (cupcakes, birthday cake, a special 50th funnel cake, etc) along with other yummy dishes like the Carolina Goldrusher Cheeseburger, the Stateline Smokehouse Pizza and a special 50th Anniversary IPA from Sycamore.
Putting the proverbial frosting on the cake, Carowinds will also end each night from now through August 6th at 10pm with a big nighttime spectacular that blends music, fireworks, an army of drones filling the sky and more!
(4/30/2023) Carowinds reports that their Camp Wilderness Resort cabins have received “major renovations” this season and has posted some pictures of the cute cabin interiors on their IG feed. Check it out below!
(4/22/2023) A fun follow-up about the kid who got himself stuck in a giant Claw machine at Carowinds last week has been posted to CNN. According to the report the unnamed 13-year old who climbed inside via the prize-chute to try and steal a free squishy-prize has now found himself banned from the theme park for the next year.
(4/21/2023) In the fallout of incidents involving teens over the last two weekends, first at Worlds of Fun and then at Kings Island this past weekend, Cedar Fair is now rolling out new Chaperone Policies for most of their parks that should go into effect starting this Saturday.
The new policy going into effect at Carowinds states that anyone 15 years of age or under will now need to be accompanied by a chaperone, age 21 or over, to remain in the theme park after 4pm. The chaperone must have a valid photo ID and remain with their group throughout their stay. Guests 15 and under found in the park without a chaperone will be asked to leave.
(4/20/2023) Fun times at Carowinds this week, when a 13-year old boy somehow crawled inside the prize chute and got trapped inside a giant claw machine at the theme park. Staff were quickly alerted so they could get him out… but no word on if anyone attempted to win him as a prize first.
(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 40º 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.
2023 - Aeronautica Landing - (6/12/2023) For those wondering, it looks like the new Windstar ride at Carowinds is nearly finished being assembled, based on a FB video shot on Sunday afternoon during a rain storm. Hopefully the park will have to ready to open sometime before the end of the month.
(5/15/2023) According to posts on social media, the central base and motor assembly for the new Gyro Force ride coming soon to Aeronautica is now installed. Still no sign of the ride vehicle itself just yet. Closer to the entrance to the land, the sign/logo for the new Windstar ride has also been installed.
(4/7/23) Carowinds, which is celebrating turning 50 this season, invited Screamscape to attend the opening of their new themed AERONAUTICA LANDING area. In short, this is an awesome addition that breathes new life to a section of the park that had really lost its purpose with the removal of Thunder Road back in 2015. This is no longer the case as Aeronautica Landing manages to bring in a new themed zone to the park, as well as tying in the theme of the nearby Afterburn (formerly Top Gun) inverted roller coaster in as well. On top of that, it also ties all this together with the Carolinas history with man's dream of taking to the skies in flight.
I’ve got more pictures and videos to come, but for now check out a quick reel below that shows off a lot of what Aeronautica Landing has to offer right now. Also know that more is coming! Currently Aeronautica Landing features 4 attractions, but two more are still on the way, which I believe will arrive by late Spring or Early Summer. In the end, five of the six rides here will be entirely brand new creations for the park, along with one returning but completely refurbished take on a classic.
The returning favorite is Hover and Dodge, which was formerly known as the Dodgem bumper cars attraction. This time around the arena has been completely refurbished to offer an awesome new high-tech look to it with a cool sound system and lighting package, along with a fleet of brand new bumper cars. The addition of a female announcer voice before and after the ride cycle mixed with the music during and during the unload/loading process, my son commented that it was giving him vibes of the Overwatch video game now, in a very good way. If Hover and Dodge look this great in the daytime, it’s going to absolutely sparkle and glow when the park is open after dark.
Up next is Gear Spin, an incredibly themed new Zamperla Nebulaz ride that is as much fun to ride as it is to watch. As you might expect, due to the design of the ride, loading times may be a little slow at first, but the ride experience is worth it. While Gear Spin has a big ride look, the sensations of the ride are not too intense, making this a perfect ride for the whole family to enjoy as you rise and fall, both forwards and backwards through-out the ride cycle.
Past Gear Spin and the array of fun midway games the next ride you’ll encounter is Airwalker, a Zamperla Disk’o ride, but instead of the standard “disk” shaped car, the park has opted for the “Skater” shaped car which features six rows of inward facing seating, themed like a airplane. Don’t let the gentle rocking ride fool you, as the spinning car mixed with the rocking motion of the half-pipe create some intense G-force sensations. The restraints here are simple lap bars making this a ride suitable for your entire family.
At the far end of the land is Air Racers (Zamperla), where riders are strapped into four passenger aerobatic planes that will perform inversions while spinning you around the central shaft. Just as it looks from the ground, the focus is all about the aerobatic action and thrills here. A quick word of warning here however, as the restraint system looks very similar to Gear Spin, Air Racers is a bit harder to fit into for riders with large upper body proportions. The seat-belts are long on both rides and easy to fit into, but on Gear Spin the restraint can be pushed down manually to help bigger riders squeeze in enough for the sensors to approve that you are locked in. Air Racers however features restraints that come down automatically and then try to lock you in. This apparently doesn’t allow for the ride ops to help squeeze you in a little more, so unless you fit by the automated process, you’ll be asked to climb back out again, even if you have seat-belt slack. So when those restraints come down, suck it all in as best as you can.
As for the two remaining rides that are still missing in action there is Gyro Force and Windstar. The Gyro Force area is entirely set up currently with theming and queue in place, and is just awaiting the arrival and placement of the actual ride which will be a classic Trabant style ride experience where riders seated on a large disk shaped car rise and fall as the disk spins with the action. Gyro Force is located near where the old exit of Thunder Road used to be, while the new Windstar will take the place of the former Southern Star ride near the front of the land. Windstar will place riders seated in pairs onto a hang-glider themed flying vehicle for a family friendly spin around the sky.
(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.
(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 “retheming 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?