Carowinds is bringing back the 1950s with vintage rides and a Christmas event. During the spring, the theme park delves back to the past with four vintage rides as it opens its new County Fair section of the park. The rides are the result of an initiative by Cedar Fair Entertainment Co. (NYSE: FUN) CEO Matt Ouimet tobring antique rides from Europe and the United States to the company’s theme parks.
“They will be very recognizable rides. It’s playing to nostalgia and just having fun,” Ouimet told The Los Angeles Times last year about the plans to distribute the restores vintage rides to the company’s amusement parks. One of the rides that Carowinds is install is called the Rock ‘N’ Roller. It’s “a staple of any county fair,” says Laresa Thompson, Carowinds public relations manager. “Rock ‘N’ Roller is a fast-paced circular ride that will send guests round and around, up and down as high energy tunes and spectacular lighting round out this awesome experience,” Thompson explains.
The holiday event at Carowinds will be called WinterFest and it premiers in November 2017. It will include a 70-foot-tall Christmas tree.
Carowinds and PopCap Games, creator of some of the world's most beloved video game franchises, and an Electronic Arts Inc. studio are leading the charge as innovators in the amusement park industry by announcing a new digital experience. Carowinds will open the world's first intra-active 3-D game experience, Plants vs. Zombies™ Garden Warfare: 3Z Arena, in spring 2016 - adding to the park's family line-up of thrills for all ages.
Plants vs Zombies Ride
The new attraction, exclusive to Carowinds, will be based off the Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare franchise - a hilarious and over-the-top shooter videogame series that drops you into a crazy, all-out battle between plants and zombies in their fight for suburbia. The newest release from the franchise, Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2, will also launch spring 2016 and for the first time, zombies have taken over and plants are on the attack. Players will be able to join the battle with new characters including Super Brainz, a zombie super hero who thinks he's an 80's action movie star, and Citron, a bounty-hunting orange from the future.
An intra-active experience means the game allows players to interact with the opposing team's screen. Guests will step inside the state-of-the-art Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare: 3Z Arena complex decked with 3-D technology, massive screens, surround sound and motion-based seats, to enjoy outrageous and imaginative encounters with their competition. Teams will compete in the Plants vs. Zombies universe during an almost five minute backyard battle, where they'll shoot screens with blasters and track their scores as they go.
Additional information on Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare: 3Z Arena includes:
- 68 motion-based seats equipped with hand-held laser devices
- Nearly 3,600 square foot arena
- Two 14'6" x 26' screen with independent 5.1 surround sound
- The attraction will run approximately ten times per hour to accommodate between 600-700 guests.
- Players will be able to purchase photos in the Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare: 3Z Arena retail store
- Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare: 3Z Arena will be located inside a transformed Action Theater, in the County Fair section of the park
Thunder Road is gearuing up for its final ride. The wooden roller coaster will carry its last guest on July 26 after 39 years and nearly 40 million rides, according to a Carowinds news release. The ride is being retired to make room for future park growth which is part of a more than $50 million multi-year investment plan.
“Everything that you see, we're doing for our guests,” spokeswoman Laresa Thompson said. “This is what our guests have asked for. We heard you, we're listening.” The park added Fury 325, along with 900 more parking spaces and officials said to expect more surprises soon.
The states of North and South Carolina were a big buzz today as Carowinds unveiled their world record breaking coaster Fury 325. Media and coaster enthusiasts arrived to a beautiful scene as Fury 325 wound its way across and under the new entrance area of the park. The new entrance garners a new and refreshing entrance for guests as they arrive glancing into the eyes of the riders on the coaster. As you walk across the bridge, you can watch the train dive under you into a tunnel and come out behind you as it races back to the station.
Fury 325 opened with speeches from the VP and GM of Carowinds welcoming everyone, a speech from Rob Decker explaining how the ride came about and finished up with the ribbon cutting ceremony. Fireworks and a confetti shower opened up the ride as the first rider auction winners boarded the first train. The ride was an instant hit as riders were screaming for joy and thumbs were raised high in the air.
The day finished up with rides on Intimidator and the new Slingshot and a dinner with all the new items the park will be offering this season. Fury 325 is sure going to be a dream for coaster enthusiasts and will be a boom for the Carolinas.
For more than 40 years, Carowinds has been the place where the Carolinas come together. It’s where the Tar Heel State and the Palmetto State meet. It’s where families and friends bond over thrilling rides and entertainment. Carowinds will now unite its storied history with its future as the standard for thrills by unleashing Fury 325, the world’s tallest and fastest giga coaster.
Fury 325 will simulate the wild, daring and spontaneous flight of the hornet. The new ride will be visible from uptown Charlotte, renewing the park’s skyline and serving as a symbol of changes to come. Fury 325 is part of a planned $50 million dollar multiyear investment to bring new life to founder Pat Hall’s original vision for Carowinds. The park will be revamped from top to bottom to celebrate Carolina culture including new rides and attractions, signature Carolina food offerings and entertainment. Opening in Spring 2015, Fury 325 will be the centerpiece of a new 8.2 acre main entrance plaza that includes a state–of–the–art ticketing and season pass processing area and expanded guest service facilities.
“Starting with Fury 325, we plan to make Carowinds a destination for thrillseekers to celebrate the Carolinas,” says Mike Fehnel, Carowinds Vice President and General Manager. “The new ride will build on the heritage of the park, creating new memories and traditions for our loyal fans and future guests from around the world.”
Riders will board into three 32–passenger open air trains and begin their ascent to the top of a 325–foot (over 30 stories) hill. This immense hill is followed by an exhilarating 81 degree first drop. Like an angry hornet chasing its target, Fury 325 will race through a series of hills, curves and quick transitions while reaching speeds of up to 95 miles per hour. Riders will speed along 6,602 feet of track during the nearly three and one half minute ride.
“The tradition of the park is so important to those who have grown up here,” says Fehnel. “It’s long overdue that we gave our fans a new energy surrounding Carowinds, which will build on our legacy as the premiere entertainment destination for generations of Carolinians.”
Those who can’t wait until Spring 2015 to experience Fury 325 can take a virtual ride atcarowinds.com/fury325 where they can also check out photos, virtual renderings, ride stats and more. This Fall, fans can purchase a 2015 season pass or renew current season passes for the lowest price of the year at carowinds.com. Fury 325 is designed and manufactured by Bolliger and Mabillard (B&M) of Monthey, Switzerland, a recognized industry leader in roller coaster development and the same firm that brought Vortex to Carowinds in 1992, Afterburn in 1999, and The Intimidator™ in 2010.
Cedar Fair issued a press release on Monday, August 1 announcing that they have now purchased 61 acres of land adjacent to Carowinds. The company stated that “This land acquisition will enable the Company to achieve future development and expansion of the facility.” The plot of land purchased is the area located between the park’s parking lot, I-77, and the mall across from Carowind’s entry road.
Cedar Fair spokeswoman Stacy Frole told WCNC that while there were no specific expansion plans right now, having the land opens up lots of opportunities. Having this land could mean expanding the park and water park into the current parking lot, while moving the parking lot further back, shortening the long entry road, and possibly even moving the entrance gate. Some others speculate that the new land would allow Cedar Fair room to also build a hotel and resort, which were part of the original plans for Carowinds when the park was first built.
Matt Ouimet, Cedar Fair’s new President, stated in the press release “We are thrilled about the growth opportunities this land will provide for future development of Carowinds, as well as the increased beneficial economic impact it will have on both Mecklenburg and York counties” (the NC and SC counties the park straddles). This could also help facilitated Cedar Fair’s plans to make Carowinds the “Cedar Point of the South,” as it has stated in the past.
On a related note, Carowinds has begun dropping hints and promoting their announcement for what’s coming in 2012. Initially, during the weekend of the parks Coaster Stock event, wooden stakes with “HUSS GF” appeared in the open field near Intimidator, causing much hope and speculation the park would finally get a badly needed flat ride. Those stakes have since disappeared, but now the park is doing a different marketing campaign.
Now, the park has been posting QR codes to scan throughout their website, each of which reveals part of an image. All the images have been put together in a “windy” looking banner that reads “Voiceless it cries, Wingless flutters, Toothless Bites, Mouthless mutters, Fun soars to new heights…August 24” Based on this and the look of the banner, most speculation seems to be that the park may be receiving its very own Windseeker for the 2012 season, but we’ll know for sure on August 24.
Cedar Fair is at it again, introducing the American motorsport of NASCAR in the form of a coaster at yet another park, this just days after Kings Dominion announced Intimidator 305. The park on the map for this latest installation is Carowinds, under the same name, though without the 305.
Carowinds version of Intimidator will be built by Bolliger and Mabillard instead of Intamin, using a hyper coaster to get the point across. The L-shaped layout shall start by lifting riders 232 ft. above terra firma before plummeting 211 ft. at 74 degrees to a top speed of 75 mph. Seven air time hills are present to represent the seven NASCAR championships that the real Intimidator, Dale Earnhardt Sr. racked up in his impressive career before his death at the 2001 Daytona 500 in 2001.
Also included among the features of the 5316 ft course will be a s-curved 2nd drop, a hammerhead-like maneuver dubbed the panoramic u-turn, and a twisted, hilly helix finale. As with Cedar Fair's previous B&M hypers, Diamondback at Kings Island and Behemoth at Canada's Wonderland, the trains will be the 4 across staggered seating, meaning the two outside seats shall be set just behind the 2 center seats. A stockcar-like impression shall adorn the front as well as the Intimidator's infamous 3.
As the thirteenth coaster at Carowinds, Intimidator shall be the largest. In fact, the first four drops will be larger than any other coaster at Carowinds. Intimidator is also Carowinds 3rd coaster built by B&M, the other two being Afterburn and Vortex. The grand opening is set for spring of 2010.
After Geauga Lake closed at the end of 2006, it was assumed that most of the rides worth saving were going to be distributed to other Cedar Fair properties. This was the case with X-Flight at Kings Island as Firehawk, Dominator by the same name at Kings Dominion, and Thunderhawk at Michigan's Adventure. Now yet another ride is set to re-debut.
Carowinds was chosen to be the home of the boomerang coaster formerly known as Head Spin. With the ride set for dismantling, the ride was apparently destined for North Carolina. The sky blue track has been noted around the park.
Also noted were various boxes and teasers in the park. On the Carowinds website, the statement was 'Some worship these, others fear them'. Now that September 10th has come around, the ride has been officially revealed under its new name, Carolina Cobra.
As with many standard boomerang models, Carolina Cobra will start backwards up a 45 degree incline topping off at just under 12 stories, or 116 ft. The ride is dropped through the station, tackles a cobra roll and a loop before coming upto a similar hill, only to be lifted forwards, and the disorienting inversions taken backwards. It shall reach a top speed of 47 miles per hour.
Carowinds is no stranger to relocated coasters. The park's flying coaster, currently named Nighthawk, was moved from California's Great America, where it was under the name Stealth. It appeared on the Carolina estate as BORG Assimilator under Paramount ownership, and has been renamed yet again as Nighthawk under Cedar Fair. Carolina Cobra shall be the park's twelfth roller coaster.
Prepare to boldly go where no man has gone before at Paramount's Carowinds in 2004. That's because the park has announced the first Star Trek-themed coaster, to be named BORG Assimilator when it opens this spring.The flying coaster is currently under construction at Carowinds after being relocated across the country from Paramount's Great America of California, where it opened in the year 2000 as the world's first flying coaster with the name Stealth.Completely rethemed and given a new lime and black color scheme, riders will board the coaster on an island in the center of a lake located in Paramount's Carowind's Paramount Plaza section, before boarding a train in lay-down position and climbing the tallest lift in the park, at 115 feet in height.A half-roll sends passengers into the 'flying position' as the first of four half-inversions and three complete inversions during the experience.
Carowinds has announced that the park will be receiving a Vekoma Flying Dutchman coaster from California's Paramount's Great America, which formerly operated under the name Stealth after opening as the first ride of its kind in the world on April 1st, 2000.Located in Carowinds' Paramount Plaza section, the coaster will swoop through 2,766 feet of steel track while riders lie prone to the track above or below and are sent through several inversions and half-inversions.A new name for PC's flying coaster will be made official before the beginning months of next year.