Cedar Fair Entertainment
---- THE LATEST BUZZ ----
(2/242/2024) More Notes About Hurler's 30th Birthday Update
(2/23/2024) Is Carowinds Teasing the "Thooseies" Again?
(2/8/2024) Carowinds is Making A Big Change To SCarowinds This Year
(12/16/2023) Hurler Under Refurbishment (MORE...)
Park News - (2/24/2024) I’ve got a quick update regarding the playful comments this past week from Carowinds that the park is RMC’ing their Hurler wooden roller coaster, with RMC in this case standing for “Routine Maintenance by Carowinds”. According to a reader, it seems this little in-joke stemmed from an interview Carowind’s Director of Maintenance did with the Coaster101 Podcast. During this interview he mentions that Carowinds is now one of the few parks out there that features an in-house team able to re-construct and re-profile wooden coasters.
For those keeping track, it is also worth mentioning that Hurler is turning 30 this year, having opened way back in 1994 as part of a whole mini expansion area themed to the film, Wayne’s World, back when the park was known as Paramount’s Carowinds.
(2/23/2024) Is Carowinds teasing the coaster enthusiasts? In a recient blog post on the official website, the article talks about how Hurler has received some new track, in the form of how the park’s maintenance team has rebuilt the Hurler’s back curve. While it goes on to talk about how the wooden coaster’s track uses 9 layers of overlapping wood, earlier on in the article there is an “RMC” tease inserted.
The headline “Wooden Roller Coasters Receive RMC” is highlighted in RED and below that paragraph it says that “All rides and attractions undergo Routine Maintenance by Carowinds”. Again… RMC…
We all know Hurler’s clone at Kings Dominion was converted by RMC into “Twisted Timbers” for the 2018 season, so some are wondering if Carowinds is dropping a very early hint about their future intents for the wooden coaster. Of course, the also just spent a good bit of capital in rebuilding that entire rear turn-around, which isn’t something they were likely to do if they were bringing in RMC to transform it next year, so I’m thinking they’re just having a little fun teasing the “Thoosies”.
(2/8/2024) Interesting news came unexpectedly this week regarding some future event changes at Carowinds this year. Keep in mind that the park opens for the season this year on Saturday, March 9, 2024, however there will be a special Passholder Preview night event on March 8 from 4pm to 10pm.
As for the big change? SCarowinds is no longer going to be a separately ticketed event in 2024. According to the official site, “In the past, SCarowinds was a separately ticketed event. Not this year! If you’re already at the park for our daytime Tricks and Treats activities, you can continue the frightful fun without leaving the park.”
So for those who like to enjoy the park for the whole day, you wont have to leave and come back later for the Haunt to kick off, it will just transition from daytime operations into Haunt mode as the sun sets and the monsters are unleashed into the park. For those who’ve gone to the haunt at Kings Dominion before, this is how that park has typically always done it and it does work well, but a major reason Kings Dominion never tried to make their Haunt an extra ticket event was because Busch Gardens Williamsburg also included their Haunt event for free as part of a full day experience in that park, so they had to offer a similar experience.
So look for SCarowinds to take place on select nights between Sept. 13 and Oct. 27, 2024. Other than that, only the usual big holiday events are posted right now, with no info about any planned food festivals or other themed events we’ve seen offered in the past, such as Grand Carnivale.
(12/16/2023) A reader sent in a photo taken at WinterFest showing off a large section of Hurler that has been torn down to the ground to be rebuilt. From the look ov the photo, this would be the entire large turn locateded furthest away from the station. I seem to recall that the turn located a little closer may have also recieved some extensive re-tracking last fall or winter, but based on how rough Hurler has been over the past couple seasons, I’m not surprised it has come down to this extreme of a rebuild. I also seem to recall that the first big turn after the first drop was also rebuilt from the ground up about 4 years ago or so.
(10/26/2023) Carowinds has posted a good number of new rides that will be closing early for off-season maintenance. Previously dates were only listed for Nighthawk and Windseeker (already closed), with Intimidator to follow on Nov. 6th.
Now you can add Beagle Scout Acres, Carolina Cyclone, Carolina Goldrisher, Drop Tower, Electro-Spin, Hurler, Scream Weaver, Flying Cobras, Wilderness Run and Woodstock Express to the list, all of which will close down until Early 2024 starting on November 17, 2023.
(10/25/2023) Cedar Fair has changed their mind about offering year-round operations at three of their parks after just switching over to weekend operations during the colder months just last year. This list would include Carowinds, California’s Great America and Kings Dominion.
The official word would seem to be that all three parks failed to attract enough attendance on those new dates, which are mostly weekends in January, February and some of March. However, based on guest reactions from those who did attend on those dates, guests frequently reported encountering those parks with what appeared to be a limited staff, a good number of rides unable to operate (due to a mix of limited staffing or maintenance closures) and a couple of days where the weather was just too iffy and the parks opted to close early for the day.
Of course, all of these reasons were also anticipated to happen when Cedar Fair first announced that these parks would be switching to year-round operations, so I’m not entirely surprised by this move. After all, even in Los Angeles where competitor Six Flags operates Magic Mountain year-round, but only on weekends in the colder months of the year, that park also suffers from many of these same issues, but in an environment that typically offers better weather.
Now if any Cedar Fair park was going to have a good go at it, I’d give the nod to California’s Great America, but the park’s attendance numbers have always been a little limited, and some potential guests may be less likely to visit with a pending permanent closure looming by 2033, limiting the number of new attractions we might see added there. Carowinds stood a chance as well of making it happen, but as I live in the region, the off-season weather can be a little fickle… sunny and warm one day and freezing cold, feeling like snow is about to fall the next. So the success of off-season weekends at Carowinds would definitely be something that varied from year to year. Kings Dominion in Virginia is a bit further North and East from Carowinds, so I’d expect even colder weather with a greater possibility of snow.
So according to the park schedules posted for the months after WinterFest, look for Carowinds to open for the 2024 season on March 9 where it will begin Fri/Sat/Sunday operations, and California’s Great America and Kings Dominion will begin weekend operations two weeks later on March 23rd.
(10/15/2023) As we approach the end of the year, just a fair warning to Carowinds guests that now that the park is trying to operate year round, many rides will begin closing for their annual refurbishment while the park is still open. According to Carowinds website, Nighthawk is already closed until “Early 2024”, and it will be joined by WindSeeker starting October 16th (usually so the tower can also be decorated with lights for WinterFest) and Intimidator will also close until Early 2024 starting on November 6th.
(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.
(8/13/2023) 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.
2024 - Nothing is known at this time...
???? - 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?