Everything you need to know about Carowinds

Everything you need to know about Carowinds

Carowinds from above. Photo: Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

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The roar of coasters. The smell of funnel cakes. The hot sun beating on your shoulders as you stand in line. We’ve missed it all in the year and a half that the pandemic kept Carowinds closed.

Need to know: The amusement park opens Saturday, May 22, but you’ll have to wait until June 12 for the Carolina Harbor waterpark.

  • Reservations are required so book your tickets in advance.
  • Masks aren’t required if you’re outdoors and/or fully vaccinated. Be sure to bring a mask for any unvaccinated member in your party when going indoors or whenever social distancing isn’t possible. (Read more on Carowinds’ COVID-19 policies here.)

Cost: Day passes cost $42 (or $35 if you enter after 3pm). You can also opt for a season pass, which costs $99 and includes unlimited visits.

  • Fast Lane pass: Season Fast Lane passes are sold out, but you can add one onto a day trip for $65 to spare yourself the time spent standing in line for every ride.

The rides: Carowinds has over 50 rides at varying thrill levels. Scan Carowinds full list of rides here and sort by attraction type, thrill level, minimum height and fast lane accommodations.

  • Kid-friendly: There are a number of kid- and family-friendly rides, including the Flying Ace Balloon Race and the Kiddy Hawk coaster.
  • The coasters: Carowinds is home to 14 roller coasters, including the world’s top-rated steel coaster, Fury 325. Copperhead Strike is the park’s newest coaster.
carowinds copperhead strike

When Copperhead Strike opened in 2019, I rode next to the Observer’s Théoden Janes (left) who kept a straight face throughout the entire ride as a joke. The video’s pretty funny.

Food: Grab food from any of Carowinds’ 30 food stalls and restaurants, including the newest addition: a milkshake booth called Shake Central.

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  • Fun fact: There are three food stalls dedicated to funnel cakes so you can grab one almost anywhere in the park.

Entertainment: The park has five options for live performances, including the kid-friendly Peanuts Party show and country and bluegrass music from The Ramblers.

Getting thereIf you’re coming from Charlotte, take exit 90 off I-77.

  • Parking: $15 if you purchase online in advance, and $20 day of. Parking is included in a season pass.


More questions? Head straight to the source. Here’s Carowinds’ FAQ page.

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