Carowinds, A Carolina Amusement Park – A Day of Excitement for Everyone!
Many times when our family is looking for our next adventure, we constantly run into one barrier. That barrier is this; something everyone will enjoy. Besides my husband and I, out three children are 15, 11, and 5, with the oldest two being boys and our youngest a girl. Often times what the boys want to do our daughter can’t do because of her size or she simply doesn’t quite understand yet the more sophisticated things. On the other hand, sometimes our guys often echo things like “Mom, this is for little kids”. Carowinds is a true North AND South Carolina Amusement Park, bringing excitment to all ages!
Carowinds, an amusment park partly in North Carolina and partly in South Carolina, has become our game changer. It literally offers something for everyone. Mention Carowinds at our house and excitement and high fives are everywhere!
By his own admission, my 15 year old is an adrenaline junkie. The higher, faster, bigger something is, the more he likes it. His brother is not to far behind him and was stoked that last summer he finally hit a good growth spurt to join his brother on many of his adventures!
As soon as we walk through the gates of Carowinds, without fail, the boys say “Let’s hit Fury!” Fury 325 is the newest roller coaster at Carowinds. It features a height of 325 feet while blasting riders along its steel rails at up to 95 miles per hour! It is the tallest and fastest Giga Coaster in the world! It was voted best new ride of 2015 and was voted the best steel coaster in the 2016 Golden Ticket Awards. If our boys thumbs up, belly laughs and smiles are any indications, they agree 100 percent! Even though we have visited before, our oldest rode Fury six times this visit! One quick tip, though it is great anytime, after dark is AMAZING!
Just a short walk from Fury 325 is one our boy’s favorite rides, Scream Weaver. While it originally opened in 1979, it still draws a crowd and doesn’t disappoint those seeking a great ride! Once Scream Weaver gets up to speed it sends its riders into an upside down orbit! Definitely a great ride for those seeking a thrilling ride!
As mentioned earlier, Fury 325 holds the title of best steel coaster in the world, but did you know Carowinds is the only amusement park in the world that has TWO of the top ten? Intimidator is a thrill all of its own while paying tribute to the racing roots that run deep in the Carolinas. With just over a mile of steel track and speeds of up to 80 miles an hour, this will be one you will want to ride time and time again! In fact, our boys kept getting on and off again! By the time they were done, they had rode it seven times with four of those times them getting off and going right back on as soon as they could! It is a great ride and one you will not want to miss!
In the middle of the park stands a blue and yellow giant called Nighthawk. It is a coaster that begins by reclining riders on their back. With its many turns and inversions, over half of the ride allows riders the sensation of feeling like they are flying. If you have ever wondered what it was like to be Superman, this is the ride for you! A little secret for all the moms as well, under Nighthawk there is a walkway that offers some great action shots if you are hanging out with a little one while the big kids play.
These are a few of our favorites, but there is still so much more for the bigger kids. From Vortex (the roller coaster that allows you to stand), Drop Zone (get ready for a great view and a quick stop at the bottom), Afterburner (another large roller coaster), or WindSeeker (a 321 foot tall swing with amazing views) there are som many choices and so many thrills you will be guaranteed to thrill even those looking for the greatest excitement!
We also enjoyed the music set up throughout the park. While we were there, the Carolina Fest was going on. Musicians from all over were set up in different areas of the park for us to sit and enjoy or listen to as we walked past. Check out other events that Carowind’s has coming up HERE.
For the Little Kids
But what about the little guys? That is where Camp Snoopy comes through in a HUGE way! Camp Snoopy is the newest feature in Carowinds and it was designed with the little ones in mind!
Our daughter is five. She could not wait to get back to Camp Snoopy. To be honest, with my husband making sure we watch all the Charlie Brown Specials at holidays, I think he was a little excited too!
Camp Snoopy features several rides for the younger kids and several rides that their older siblings or parents can enjoy with them, as well.
As soon as we entered Camp Snoopy, immediately our daughter asked “Can I ride the swings? I really want too!” So off we went to Charlie Brown’s Windup. Once the ride begins, the individual swings begin to go around bringing lots of smiles and giggles with each spin!
One thing that made this trip special for us was that our little girl “stepped up her game” as her older brothers would say. The last time she was there, she was a little apprehensive about riding the rides without Mom or Dad but boy were things different this visit! She could not wait to ride Peanuts Trailblazers. I was expecting that I would get to ride with her this time since her dad had rode with her on our last visit. Instead, she happily told me she was gonna ride by herself since she was a big girl! Maybe not a big deal for many folks but for her, she really opened up and stepped out of her box! As Trailblazers whipped her around each corner, the smiles and laughs brought priceless memories for our family. She even threw her hands up in the air numerous times! Not only did she ride Trailblazers by herself, but she also went looking for Wilderness Run!
Wilderness Run is a small rollercoaster with a 15 foot hill before a series of smaller hills. On our last visit, after a little persuasion, she got on it with her dad but held tight and said she didn’t want to do it again! On this visit, she ran to it by herself the first time and then once she realized her brothers were near by, she invited one of her brothers to go for a ride on the “cool ride” with her! Seeing them laugh and enjoy each other was sooo sweet!
Just across the way is another new feature our family loves, Beagle Scout Acres. This 8,000 square foot area provides space for your child to run, climb slide, and play! Possibilities here are as big as their imaginations! Even better, there are plenty of nice shady places for tired moms and dads to catch a quick breather while keeping an eye on their little ones!
Yes, Camp Snoopy is designed for the little ones, but don’t be fooled, the big kids enjoy it too! One of our daughter’s favorites from our last visit was the Peanuts Pirates! She is pretty good at talking her brothers into doing about anything and so she got her brothers to skip out on a roller coaster and come ride with her! Each time they came by my way, they were all laughing and having a great time! They really liked how when the ships rotate, they could see each other! They boys pretended as though they thought our daughter was pushing a button to make them spin (she wasn’t) but each time they would say don’t push the button, those of us watching would hear her big belly laugh!
There are several other great rides in Camp Snoopy as well. From Woodstock Whirlybirds to Snoopy’s Junction, the Kite Eating Tree (think, a kids version of Drop Zone) to Woodstock Express (a bigger roller coaster for little guys) kids both young and old will have a blast! Even with all those rides, still the best part; you can meet the whole Peanuts Gang! That’s right Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus, and the rest of the gang can be spotted at different times in the park! We even saw some of the characters roaming through Camp Snoopy from time to time! Let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want to give Snoopy a big hug!
Maximize Your Time in the Park with Past Passes
If you really want to maximize your time at Carowinds, I would consider the Fast passes, as well. Our family had never done them before but we did on this trip and I can tell you, they worked as advertised! With some of the bigger rides the lines at times can get lengthy (I mean who would want to ride the world’s best rollercoaster Fury). With a Fast Pass, your wait time is cut down to a bear minimal! Our oldest son even told my husband, “Dad I feel like a VIP. Everyone keeps wondering how I am getting to the front of the line!” With Fast Pass you can really make an already great day even better!
Don’t forget to check out Carolina Harbor and Camp Wilderness. Oh, and you will LOVE the all day dining plan! Check out more detailed information by clicking on the names!