Cedar Fair Entertainment
---- THE LATEST BUZZ ----
(11/6/22) Permit Reveals Final Unnaounced Aeronaughtic Ride Is a WindstarZ (MORE...)
(11/2/22) Carowinds Winter Ride Rehab List Posted (MORE...)
(10/26/22) Carowinds Adds Some Surprising Additions To WinterFest Rides List (MORE...)
(10/20/22) Carowinds Going To Year Round Operations in 2023 (MORE...)
(10/9/22) Nighthawk Has Finally Reopened At Carowinds (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 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.
(10/9/22) It may have taken all season, but sources have confirmed that Nighthawk at Carowinds finally opened for the first time in 2022 to riders on Friday and Saturday. Better late than never I guess.
(9/23/22) As expected the new Chaperone Policy for SCarowinds is now in effect. According to the official posting on the website, all park guests who are 17 and under “must be accompanied by a chaperone who is at least 21 years old” in order to gain admission into SCarowinds. The Chaperone much present a valid government issued ID as proof and may accompany no more than four guests at a time.
They must accompany their party during entry and remain inside the park during the entire visit, and be available by phone throughout their stay. Guests ages 17 and under inside the park who are unaccompanied by a chaperone “will be subject to ejection”.
In addition to the Chaperone Policy the park has also updated their bag policy. “Guests may not bring bags of any kind, including purses, backpacks, or diaper bags, into the park during SCarowinds.” The only bags permitted are for those guests “who require health accommodations” and they can bring a bag no larger than 4.5” s 6.5” that contains “only medically necessary items” into the park.
(9/20/22) In what sounds a lot like a repeat of exactly what happened at Knott’s Berry Farm over the summer, Carowinds was forced to close early on Saturday night when “unruly behavior” from dozens of park guests attending the park’s after dark “SCarowinds” Halloween event caused the entire park to erupt in utter chaos. Fights broke out throughout the park, reportedly from a number of underage guests, and it wasn’t long before panic set in and cries that someone had a gun, or that shots were fired spread like wildfire through the park. Guests reportedly began to run towards the exits, others chose to find places to hide to escape scenes of rampaging crowds trampling each other.
The official story from the park and local police after the fact was that there were no shots fired at all, it was just the rumor spreading that something had happened was enough to cause a park wide panic.
When essentially this same thing happened to sister park, Knott’s Berry Farm over the summer the park put a ban on unsupervised minors from attending the park on busy days, which then was extended to cover the entire run of that park’s Halloween event. Much of the industry has been watching to see if Cedar Fair was going to extend these same rules to their entire chain of theme parks in time for this year’s Halloween events, but they did not.
That will all change this week as Carowinds has confirmed to the local news that a new chaperone policy will be put into effect this week, with the exact details to be released sometime later TODAY. I would expect they will put the exact same policy in place that has been running at Knott’s Berry Farm since mid-July.
The rules for Knott’s Berry Farm prevent all minors from visiting the park without having a supervising guardian aged 21+ with them, AT ALL TIMES. Each guardian can only oversee a maximum of three minors. If minors are found roaming the park without their chaperone, they are ejected from the park. From what we’ve heard, this new policy has been a game-changer for the park, eliminating the vast majority of their security issues caused by poor guest behavior.
More on this new policy once Carowinds announces their own version.
2023 - Aeronautica Landing - (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 “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?