We didn't expect to find such an adrenaline inducing attraction in the Carolina's, particularly in Charlotte, but the "Thrill Capital of the South East" title that accompanies Carowinds Amusement Park is a title well earned.
Is it a coincidence that there are exactly 13 roller coasters on site? Perhaps, but your inner superstitions may come to surface while inverted at 80 MPH on the Afterburn, Cobra or Intimidator. Don’t worry, the rides have an amazing track record for safety and if you are completely risk averse, Lucy’s Crabby Cabbie will suit your needs just fine. If roller coasters aren’t enough to satisfy true extremists, Carowinds offers other pulse pounding attractions such as the Drop Tower or Extreme Sky-Flyer where smiling faces hoisted 153 feet into the atmosphere quickly turn to pale expressions of fear when they pull the rip cord and plunge into a 50 foot free fall at 60 MPH. Awesome. Thrills aside, there are of course many other family friendly rides available to ensure that all generations have a blast.
Our favorite experience at Carowinds came from Aussie inspired Boomerang Bay. The waterpark portion of this favorite Charlotte attraction draws crowds from all over North America where one can enjoy a full day at the beach without actually being at the beach, and probably have more fun in the process. This manmade ocean extravaganza includes two very realistic wave pools – the 25,000 sq ft Great Barrier Reef and the 600,000 gallon 34,000 sq ft Bondi Beach – in addition to waterslides that will have you echoing screams through person sized plastic tubes as you shoot out and splash into the playful liquid surface below. The Crocodile Run is our suggestion for ending off the activities portion of your day at Carowinds and Boomerang Bay, as it takes park visitors down a leisurely 1,000 foot river path, literally crossing state lines, soaking up the Carolina sun (weather permitting) in the process.
Outside of the thrills, Carowinds offers up a bevy of seasonal entertainment that includes Charlie Brown & the Peanuts gang inspired live shows, fireworks, and even an ice skating show. Shopping at Carowinds offers much more than traditional amusement park gift shops with the mouth watering Carolina Candy store, Crave surf shop, Personali-Tees and the Rock Shop just to name a few of the retail outlets available and themed towards everything you can find and imagine at Carowinds.
Finally, as the perfect complement to the wide variety of adventures, games, shows and shopping bliss, the food and dining selection at Carowinds is downright ridiculous (in a good way!). Enjoy crispy fried chicken at the Country Kitchen, take the kids to the Snoopy themed Joe Cool Café, soak up nostalgia at 50’s styled Jukebox Diner, get your fingers and lips messy at Wings, and spend the edges of the day replenishing your inner fuels by attempting to decide which walk up eateries (corndogs, pizza, fries, ice cream, etc…) you should indulge in. The food options alone are a good enough reason to pay admission into this Amusement Park and return on numerous occasions.
Carowinds has swept us away!