Amusement park in the United States

Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
Status Operating
Opened March 31, 1973
Owner Cedar Fair
General manager Pat Jones
Previous names Paramount's Carowinds
Area 122 acres

Carowinds is a theme park located on the state line between North and South Carolina, in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Fort Mill, South Carolina. The park officially opened on March 31, 1973.


Aerial view of the park in 2017

Carowinds opened on March 31, 1973, at a cost of $70 million, after a four-year planning period led by Charlotte businessman Earl Patterson Hall, who was inspired to build the park by a 1956 trip to Disneyland and a dream of bringing the two states closer together.[1] In 1975, the park was sold to Kings Entertainment Company after the Carowinds Corporation declared bankruptcy. The purchase marked a shift in the park's strategy as the ownership of the Carowinds Corporation was much more family oriented, with the new owners initially adding a clone of the Scooby-Doo wooden coaster found at other Kings Entertainment parks. The main turning point for the park was when they added Thunder Road in 1976, officially marking their new ownership as a park for thrillseekers and families. Later, in mid-1992,[2] the park was sold to Paramount Communications alongside all of the North American holdings of the Kings Entertainment Company. After the Viacom-CBS split in 2005, the parks were handed to the CBS Corporation who was seeking to sell their parks. They found a buyer in early 2006, and sold Carowinds to Cedar Fair Entertainment Company alongside the entire Paramount Parks chain. The properties were officially transferred under Cedar Fair management on June 30, 2006.[3]

On August 4, 2020, the park announced that it would not operate at all in 2020 due to challenges associated with the coronavirus pandemic regarding the legal dubiousness since the park operated on the state line.[4] The announcement of a complete closure during 2020 was soon proven to be false, as on November 18, 2020, the park announced a limited run Taste of the Season event, operating a limited selection of rides, with the focus of the event being mainly on a selection of food items.[5]

Roller coasters


Name Manufacturer Type Opened Status
Afterburn Bolliger & Mabillard Inverted March 20, 1999 Operating
Carolina Cyclone Arrow Dynamics Sit-Down March 22, 1980 Operating
Carolina Goldrusher Arrow Dynamics Hybrid March 31, 1973 Operating
Copperhead Strike Mack Rides Launched March 23, 2019 Operating
Flying Cobras Vekoma Shuttle March 28, 2009 Operating
Fury 325 Bolliger & Mabillard Giga March 28, 2015 Operating
Hurler International Coasters Wooden June 4, 1994 Operating
Kiddy Hawk Vekoma Inverted March 22, 2003 Operating
Nighthawk Vekoma Flying March 20, 2004 Operating
Ricochet Mack Rides Wild Mouse March 23, 2002 Operating
Thunder Striker Bolliger & Mabillard Hyper March 27, 2010 Operating
Vortex Bolliger & Mabillard Stand-Up March 14, 1992 Operating
Wilderness Run E&F Miler Industries Kiddie 1998 Operating
Woodstock Express Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters Wooden 1975 Operating


Name Manufacturer Type Opened Closed Fate
Flying Super Saturator Setpoint Suspended April 1, 2000 August 2008 Scrapped
Thunder Road Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters Wooden
April 3, 1976 July 26, 2015 Scrapped
White Lightnin' Schwarzkopf Launched
May 14, 1977 October 16, 1988 Relocated to Gold Reef City



Name Manufacturer Type Opened
Air Racers Zamperla Air Race 2023
Air Walker Zamperla Disk'O 2023
Boo Blasters on Boo Hill Barbisan Tracked Dark Ride 2001
Camp Bus Zamperla Junior Flying Carpet 2018
Carolina Skytower Intamin Observation Tower 1973
Carousel Philadelphia Toboggan Company Carousel 1979
Charlie Brown's Wind Up Zamperla Junior Chair-O-Plane 1973
Do-Si-Do HUSS Troika 2017
Drop Tower: Scream Zone Intamin Drop Tower 1996
Electro Spin Mondial Top Scan 2017
Flying Ace Balloon Race Zamperla Balloon Race 1987
Gear Spin Zamperla NebulaZ 2023
Gyro Force Chance Rides Trabant/Satellite 2023
Hover & Dodge Barbieri Dodgems 2023
Kite Eating Tree Zamperla Junior Drop Tower 2018
Mountain Gliders Bisch Rocco Flying Scooters 2005
Peanuts Pirates Mack Rides Sea Storm 2005
RipCord Sky Fun 1 Inc. Skycoaster 1995
Rock 'n' Roller Mack Rides Superbob/Musik Express 2017
Scrambler Eli Bridge Company Scrambler 1973
Scream Weaver Schwarzkopf Enterprise 1979
SlingShot Funtime Slingshot 2015
Snoopy's Junction Crown Metal Products Miniature Railway 1973
WindSeeker Mondial Star Flyer 2012
Zephyr Zierer Waveswinger 2017


Name Manufacturer Type Opened Closed Fate
Black Widow Eyerly Aircraft Company Polyp 1973 1987 Unknown
Blackbeard's Revenge[6][7] Arrow Dynamics Madhouse 1985 1999 or earlier Unknown
Carowinds and Carolina Railroad Crown Metal Products Miniature Railway 1972 1977 Locomotive relocated to Neverland Ranch
Dodgem Barbieri Dodgems 1979 2022 Remodeled to Hover & Dodge
Flying Dutchman Intamin Flying Dutchman 1973 1984 Scrapped
Oaken Bucket[8][9] Rotor 1973 Unknown
Rip Roarin' Rapids Intamin River Rapids 1982 2018 Scrapped
Skyway Unknown Ropeway 1973 1981 Scrapped
Snoopy's GR8 SK8 Chance Rides Falling Star 1990 2013 Scrapped
Southern Star Intamin Ranger 1986 2022 Scrapped
Surfer Unknown Tagada 1973 Unknown Unknown
Whirling Dervish Zierer Waveswinger 1979 2000 Relocated to Paramount's Great America
Whitewater Falls Hopkins Shoot The Chute 1988 2016 Scrapped
Wild Bull Schwarzkopf Bayern Kurve 1979 1998 Scrapped
Wagon Wheel Chance Rides Trabant/Satellite 1975 1980 Unknown
Wild Thornberry's River Adventure Arrow Dynamics Log Flume 1973 2008 Scrapped
Yo Yo Chance Rides Chair-O-Plane 2008 2022 Scrapped


  1. "Carowinds Promises Its Visitors A Lot". The Charlotte Observer.
  2. "Paramount to buy 4 theme parks for $400 million". United Press International;. 31 July 1992. Retrieved 19 April 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  3. "MEETING WITH POTENTIAL LENDERS RE: ACQUISITION OF PARAMOUNT PARKS FROM CBS". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. ?? June 2006. Retrieved 19 April 2021. {{cite web}}: Check date values in: |date= (help)
  4. "A Message from Pat Jones, Vice President & General Manager of Carowinds". Carowinds. {{cite web}}: Unknown parameter |archive= ignored (help)
  5. "Your Guide to Taste of the Season". Carowinds. 18 November 2021. Retrieved 19 April 2021.
  6. "Carowinds expending $1 million to add to its theme park". The Times and Democrat. 1985-03-17. p. 12. Retrieved 2023-12-26.
  7. "Make a splash on Super Saturator, Carowinds' interactive roller coaster". The Charlotte Observer. 2000-03-31. p. 97. Retrieved 2023-12-26.
  8. "Carowinds construction on schedule". Fort Mill Times. 1972-07-13. p. 7. Retrieved 2023-12-26.
  9. "How To See Carowinds? Try A Clockwise Tour". The Charlotte News. 1973-05-30. p. 45. Retrieved 2023-12-26.

External links

Amusement parks operated by Cedar Fair