Carowinds Discussion Thread

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Re: Carowinds Discussion Thread

Postby prozach626 » Thu Sep 26, 2019 12:18 am

Chris definitely brought up a good point. Get to the parking gate at least a half hour before Scarowinds starts or you will be waiting for a while. Security at the park entrance was pretty backed up, too.

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Re: Carowinds Discussion Thread

Postby yawetag » Thu Sep 26, 2019 9:40 am

Mike240SX wrote:So, I'll be making the most of my CF Platinum Pass and making my first ever trip to Carowinds/Scarowinds this weekend. I'll be able to go all night Friday, all day Saturday, and all day Sunday (weather dependent), and have budgeted for getting Fight Lane one night and Fast Lane Plus for one of the days. Planning on at least two rides on Fury, Copperhead Strike, Intimidator 232, and Afterburn. Of course, I have a few questions that I'm hoping the locals/employees/frequent visitors could shed some light on:

1. The calendar makes it look like they close the park between regular hours and Scarowinds. If this is true, do passholders need to leave in the downtime?
2. I see there's only 5 haunted walkthroughs, thankfully only one of which is duplicated at KD, my home park. How bad do lines get for the walkthroughs? Would Fright Lane be a necessity? Note that my tolerance for lines is only about 30 minutes these days.
3. Does the Passholder early-entry mornings stop due to Scarowinds? I know it makes no sense, but KD doesn't do Early Entry during Halloween season for some reason.
4. Any places in the park that serve mixed drinks? I'll drink a beer or seven if I have to, but I much prefer some Jack & Coke.
5. Any good places to eat that are on the dining plan? I'm considering getting the All-day dining for like $30 on each of the full days I'll be there, but if the selection is limited or horrible I won't bother. I'm not expecting gourmet food, but at least things that are edible.
6. Guessing the calendar for the water park is accurate, and that it'll be closed despite the 90 degree forecast for this weekend, right? A longshot but I gotta ask.
7. Any of the shows worth seeing? Might be nice to get in some AC for a while during the day.

Thanks in advance.


I went on Friday last week. Here's my answers based on that experience and what I've been told from others. Also including some other tips:

1. They do clear out the park between closing of "regular" day and SCarowinds.
2. We didn't do any of the haunts, but the lines didn't look extremely long for the ones we walked by throughout the night.
3. No ERT in the morning. My guess is that gives Carowinds extra timeto keep the morning crews in the afternoon/evening.
4. There were pop-up alcohol stands in a couple places around the park, in addition to the other permanent bars (Harmony Hall and Blue Ridge Kitchen - there could be others). I can't say with certainty they have mixed drinks, but I'm fairly confident the pop-up one near Hurler had liquor.
5. Harmony Hall and Blue Ridge Kitchen are great. Stay away from the Diner between Hurler and Fury, and the pizza place near the Carousel and Cirque theatre. If you're wanting a burrito, the place near the entrance is good, too. If you like chains, Panda Express and Chick-fil-A aren't bad either.
6. Water park is closed.
7. The Cirque show is great and keeps you out of the sun for about an hour. Not sure if the swing band is still playing in Harmony Hall, but they're good - but very loud. Don't know of any other shows during the day.

Now, tips on SCarowinds, based on my experience last week. May not all be for you, but in case someone else comes along:
- I've heard Friday nights are the best nights, followed by Sunday nights (when that starts) and then Saturday nights. We went on Friday night, and can agree that it wasn't as busy as I've heard it can be. We didn't wait for more than 15 minutes for the several rides we rode. Probably a combination of early-season and after-work made it work well.

- If you're going on Friday night, get to the parking log early. We pulled into the road around 5:15. We were near the front (maybe 6 cars from the locked gate), so you could wait until a little later. When you get into the lot, they're going to take you about a third of the way down before allowing you to get to the parking spaces. Take that turn, then drive all the way back to the front entrance of the park. You'll get an up-close spot, saving you some walking later in the night. The parking lot didn't open until 6:30 for a 7:00 opening, and the security lines and ticket gates didn't open until 6:45, so there is a bit of a mad dash to the entrance once parked.

- Once you're in, walk past the photographers and wait at the stage in front of you. Get close (at the line, but let kids in front of you). The show there is fun and the interaction of some of the actors with the guests was fun to watch.

- If you're with someone who easily scares, get the No-Boo necklace. $12 to make them have a good time. A fun time. If you have multiple who want one, get only one and keep them together. We had been told that actors love to scare non-necklaced people when with the necklaced people, but we didn't get that at all. The actors treated our group as one no-scare group. Great for the kids - a bit of a disappointment for us (both for spending an extra $12 on the second necklace AND not getting scared ourselves).

- All the shows were great BUT Blood Drums near Hurler. Maybe it was the show I watched, but their microphones weren't working, so you couldn't hear hardly any of their percussion over the (already loud) backing-music. They also had a "fire twirler" (quote on purpose). The other shows we watched were much more entertaining and I would suggest them all.

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Re: Carowinds Discussion Thread

Postby Mike240SX » Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:46 pm

Back from my first night at (S)Carowinds. Initial thoughts:

-Mazes were kinda meh; not enough scareactors. though at least they were grouping people instead of sending lines straight through. Did 4 of the 5, without Fright Lane. Longest I waited was about 20 minutes; Urgent Scare looked to be 30-45 by the time I got to it, and since that theme has been done at KD/Dorney in the past, I decided to skip it.
-Got on my first Intamin 2nd gen drop tower...quite impressive. It felt for a moment that it wouldn't stop falling.
-Didn't feel like waiting in any other lines after making a 6 hour drive to get here, so I didn't go on any other rides, figuring I'd save that for tomorrow when I've got Fast Lane.
-Half of the employees I encountered seemed like they hated their life. What happened to "Southern Hospitality"?

I did learn however that apparently on weekends, they close the park at 5, force everyone out, and then re-open it as Scarowinds. That doesn't seem to bad on its own...but FL/FL+ passes purchased during the day are not valid for that night. I get they need to make money, but that is seriously messed up and has soured me on the park greatly, especially since they're charging full price for FL during the day when the time of use has been cut in half.

That said, I'm still keeping an open mind, and we'll see how tomorrow goes. Fury, Afterburn, and Copperhead better blow me away.
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Re: Carowinds Discussion Thread

Postby coasterbill » Sat Sep 28, 2019 5:50 am

When a park closes and reopens later on it’s common sense and standard practice that your skip-the-line pass is no longer valid. There may be some exceptions to this around the world but it’s not the norm. They cleared the park and reopened it for a hard ticket event. It’s essentially a new operating day.

They explain this very clearly when you buy it on the website.

890D9B8D-7FC3-467E-9319-83C973556521.jpeg

Mike240SX wrote:Fury, Afterburn, and Copperhead better blow me away.

:lol: Or what? The park doesn’t owe you anything. I don’t know how to say this without being so direct and it’s not my intention to start a conflict but if go in without such a entitled attitude you’ll probably have a lot more fun. I’m just being honest here... if you’re going in with that attitude you’re going to have a miserable day.
Last edited by coasterbill on Sat Sep 28, 2019 5:59 am.

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Re: Carowinds Discussion Thread

Postby Mike240SX » Sat Sep 28, 2019 6:04 am

That is a common practice? My apologies then; this is my first time encountering a park that kicks people out and then "re-opens" the same day. I still think they shouldn't be charging full price when the pass is only valid for half the day.

And yeah, I was kinda pissed when I wrote that. I'm going in to the day with a completely open mind and we'll see how it goes. :)
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Re: Carowinds Discussion Thread

Postby Arthur_Seaton » Sat Sep 28, 2019 6:08 am

Mike240SX wrote:That is a common practice? My apologies then; this is my first time encountering a park that kicks people out and then "re-opens" the same day. I still think they shouldn't be charging full price when the pass is only valid for half the day.

Knotts' does that for their Halloween events. Six Flags (Magic Mountain, at least) doesn't.

Fingers crossed today's a good day!

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Re: Carowinds Discussion Thread

Postby Mike240SX » Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:19 pm

In short, yeah today was a lot better. Temperature was manageable up until 3 (when I left), minimal crowds. Fury is a kickass ride, and Copperhead was a lot of fun if not super-intense. I did splurge for FL+ but ended up not needing it except for a few rides (Fury, Nighthawk, Flying Cobras come to mind).

Probably won't go back tonight for Scarowinds again, since I hit all of the Halloween stuff last night, but I'll probably go back tomorrow morning for some more rides on Fury and Copperhead before it gets too crowded/hot.

Full trip report/review coming soon.
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Top 10 Steel: Maverick, Skyrush, Intimidator 305, Fury 325, Banshee, Millennium Force, Raptor, Superman: The Ride (SFNE), Top Thrill Dragster, Big Bad Wolf
Top 10 Wood: The Beast, El Toro, Phoenix (Knoebels), Boulder Dash, Thunderbolt (KW), Mystic Timbers, Comet (Hershey), Hercules, Shivering Timbers, Jack Rabbit (KW)
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Re: Carowinds Discussion Thread

Postby chschris1 » Thu Oct 03, 2019 1:08 pm

^^^Yeah Scarowinds was really disappointing this year. I probably won't go again and I'll save up for Halloween Horror Nights in Orlando next year.

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Re: Carowinds Discussion Thread

Postby Coastard69 » Thu Oct 03, 2019 2:04 pm

Was looking at booking a trip to Carowinds the weekend after Thanksgiving to finally get my Fury credit. Saw they don't operate Intimidator or Fury during Winterfest...Does anyone know why they don't operate their signature attractions during Winterfest?
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Re: Carowinds Discussion Thread

Postby bgtlover » Thu Oct 03, 2019 7:57 pm

Coastard69 wrote:Was looking at booking a trip to Carowinds the weekend after Thanksgiving to finally get my Fury credit. Saw they don't operate Intimidator or Fury during Winterfest...Does anyone know why they don't operate their signature attractions during Winterfest?


Winterfest is meant to be a family winter fun event. Not a thrill ride event. It's the same with all of the Cedar Fair parks (outside of KBF since that's a year-round park). They actually have a hard enough time staffing the event as is. Having more open would be more of a headache. If Carowinds would ever truly go year round (even if it was weekends only between NYE and early March), I could see them having more rides open during Winterfest.
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