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Theme Park:Carowinds (since 2007)
Paramount Carowinds (1993 - 2006)
Carowinds (1973 - 1992)
Address:14523 Carowinds Blvd
28273 Charlotte
Operated by:Six Flags

Carowinds, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, is one of America’s great theme parks. Opened in 1973 and located on the border of North and South Carolina, the park is famous for its vast collection of shows and attractions, including some of America’s finest roller coasters.


Stumbling into Carowinds


Highlights of the Theme Park




The great Inverted Coaster



Copperhead Strike

A surprisingly good launch coaster



Fury 325

The great B&M Hyper



Thunder Striker

The airtime coaster




The awesome Stand-Up Coaster



Woodstock Express

A fun family coaster


Stumbling into Carowinds


I’ve always wanted to go to Carowinds. When the Buzzed Bars Coaster Club announced their Stumble 325 event, I couldn’t wait to finally go to the park. It was a two-day event with lots of cool activities. There was a Fury 325 backstage tour on the morning of the second day and much more. In general, I always enjoy spending time with Gary, Latifa, Matt and all the others. 

Thunder Road

The Thunder Road theme area is named after the wooden roller coaster Thunder Road, which travelled from one state to another and back again. An identical roller coaster can still be experienced today in the sister parks Kings Island and Kings Dominion.


The Intimidator is the classic hyper coaster here at Carowinds. The layout here consists of several camelbacks, which are travelled through at a decent speed, resulting in wonderful floating airtime, i.e. airtime that allows you to lift out of your seat quite smoothly and harmoniously.

After the first drop, the track leads us directly to a hill where we turn right. This is followed by a classic camelback that leads into the big horseshoe turn. After two more airtime hills, we enter the intermediate brake of the ride. Following a short drop and a subsequent ascent, we enter a steep turn. After another drop, we reach the final brake of the ride.

The Intimidator is a really good hyper coaster from B&M, which unfortunately suffers somewhat from the fact that there is a very similar coaster in another corner of the park. Nevertheless, a ride here is incredibly fun, especially at the back of the train, and should definitely not be missed.

Kiddy Hawk

The layout of the Kiddy Hawk roller coaster is a tried and tested classic from Vekoma, but in this case designed as a suspended family coaster. Accordingly, the ride begins with a short curve out of the station, after which the lift hill is already waiting. The ride immediately takes a left-hand bend with a subsequent upward helix, through a short valley and a wide right-hand bend close to the station. Over a hill, you cross the track you have just travelled on, whereupon you lose some height in another helix. After a left-hand bend, the braking section awaits and the journey ends. Here in Carowinds, the ride is unfortunately anything but pleasant, which is why I would advise against riding it.


At the centre of the Carowinds theme park is the Nighthawk roller coaster. It is the world’s first flying coaster, which operated as Stealth at California’s Great America from 2000 to 2003. Here at Carowinds, the coaster initially had a Star Trek theme, but this was abandoned when Cedar Fair took over in 2008. Unfortunately, the ride was out of service when I visited.

Camp Snoopy

Camp Snoopy is the large children’s area at Carowinds theme park. There are a variety of rides for the whole family, including two rollercoasters.

Peanuts Pirates

If you have visited well over 100 theme parks, you will notice certain parallels between the parks from which rules can be derived. One of these is that a park with a Mack Rides sea storm ride cannot be a bad park. Peanuts Pirates is one such ride. As always, the ride is in a class of its own and should not be missed.

Wilderness Run

Wilderness Run is the large family roller coaster from E&F Miller Industries. The large layout not only offers the usual wild curves, but also a large airtime hill right at the start of the ride.

Woodstock Express

The Woodstock Express is the smaller of the two wooden roller coasters at Carowinds. The ride through the compact layout of the purple and yellow painted roller coaster begins after a short right-hand bend with the ascent of the lift hill. Once at the top, it’s straight into the first descent. At approx. 35 mph, we ride through the first valley, after which a turning curve at a lofty height awaits us. After another descent, we race over a small speed bump before crossing the wooden structure and taking another turn on the other side of the ride. Now it’s over hill and dale for a while before we dive into the wooden structure below the first turn and follow its course. Back out in the open, we dive into a small dip, after which we are already on the braking section of the roller coaster and the fun wooden roller coaster ride soon comes to an end.



The Afterburn rollercoaster is the theme park’s large B&M Inverted Coaster. The roller coaster adorns the rear entrance to the park.

The ride on Afterburn begins by entering the lift hill of the roller coaster. Once at the top, we immediately enter a steep curve. After a rapid descent, we enter a huge loop. Immediately afterwards, the ride goes through an equally huge Immelmann into a zero-G roll. This is followed by a very unusual element for an inverted coaster, a Batwing, where we stand on our heads twice and ride through a tunnel shrouded in fog. After a short hill past the station, we enter a corkscrew and, after a curve, the ride’s braking section.

Afterburn is a very good inverted coaster that impresses with its sequence of elements. The ride itself is not quite as powerful as other larger inverted coasters, so you can easily complete lap after lap on this ride.

Boo Blasters on Boo Hill

The interactive dark ride Boo Blasters on Boo Hill was originally opened in 2001 under the name Scooby-Doo! and the Haunted Mansion. Back then, the ride in the Mystery Machine took you through two-dimensional scenes with the characters from the well-known Hanna-Barbera series, in which you could trigger your own effects and unmask the villain at the end. Now there are only ghosts. It’s still very cheesy and well done, but unfortunately Boo Blasters on Boo Hill no longer captures the spirit of the original attraction.

Southern Star

Southern Star is the second Looping Starship I have encountered on my Stumbled Runner Tour. In contrast to the ride in Kings Dominion, the Southern Star takes a little longer to complete the loop. As always, the hangtime is in a class of its own.

Plants vs. Zombies

The interactive theatre Plants vs. Zombies is an interesting experience. Here you play against each other in two teams. Unfortunately, it’s quite easy to lose track due to the large number of players. All in all, a very nice attraction based on the famous video game.

Blue Ridge Junction

Wie gut Cedar Fair seine Themenparks inszeniert, zeigt der Themenpark Blue Ridge Junction. Hier steht neben dem Flying Scooters Mountain Gliders die Achterbahn Copperhead Strike.

Copperhead Strike

Copperhead Strike is a very special coaster from Mack Rides as it represents a turning point in the company’s design process. The coaster surprises with many never before seen features.

This starts with the heartline roll out of the station, which you ride through with a decent hangtime. After a turn we enter the first launch area. After a short stop, we immediately accelerate into an almost circular loop. While we experienced this with a lot of hangtime, the following airtime hill almost catapults us out of the car. As soon as we are back in our seats, we immediately enter an intense corkscrew. After a right-hand bend, the Bayernkurve takes us over hill and dale before we enter the second launch area. This takes us over a hill directly into an airtime hill with a subsequent cutback. After a sweeping turn, we enter the second loop, which we take at a good speed. After a hill through the first loop, the track takes us through numerous changes of direction, a helix and another airtime hill before we reach the brake section of the ride.

Copperhead Strike is Mack Rides’ best roller coaster to date. The track is incredibly dynamic with some truly breathtaking elements. The very original track layout also speaks for itself. All in all a very good coaster.

Carolina Harbor Waterpark

The Carowinds theme park offers a water park, Carolina Harbor, which is included in the admission price. Carolina Harbor has a variety of breathtaking water slides. As these are the only water attractions in the theme park, the park is particularly popular in summer.  Unfortunately, the water park was not open when I visited.

Country Fair

The Country Fair themed area is home to numerous rides, most of which have been touring the European fair circuit for several years. In addition to the Zierer Wave Swinger Zephyr, the area features the Mondial Top Scan Electro Spin, the Mack Rides Music Express Rock ‘n’ Roller and the Vekoma Boomerang Flying Cobras.

Flying Cobras

Originally opened as the Carolina Cobra, this rollercoaster comes from the Geauga Lake theme park, which has unfortunately closed. The Flying Cobras roller coaster has been in the park since 2009. Thanks to the new trains, the rather rough roller coaster is still a pleasure to ride.

Carolina Boardwalk

The Carolina Boardwalk takes us to the beaches of the two southern states. This area is home to three of the park’s most family-friendly roller coasters.

Carolina Goldrusher

Carolina Goldrusher is the classic mine train roller coaster at Carowinds. The ride first takes you past the roller coaster’s siding before heading up the first lift hill. Once at the top, the ride begins with a long straight into a right turn. As the speed increases, we enter a long helix. We approach the second lift at a leisurely pace. The track continues into a long straight and then a fast downhill helix. After a short climb, the track drops down into a tunnel. A final climb leads directly into the braking section of the ride, where our fun ride soon comes to an end.

Carolina Cyclone

The Arrow looping roller coaster Carolina Cyclone was the first roller coaster with four inversions. The layout was later built by Vekoma under licence several times in Europe, where it can be experienced in theme parks such as Efteling and Gardaland. Here at Carowinds, the ride is a little faster, but also a little bumpier.


Ricochet is the classic wild mouse rollercoaster from Carowinds. It is not quite as dead-braked as is often the case in America and therefore offers quite a pleasant and fast-paced ride. Due to the low capacity, there may be longer waiting times, which is why a visit in the early morning hours is recommended.

Carousel Park

The Carousel Park gets its name from the Grand Carousel. This area is also home to the Vortex Stand-up Coaster and the classic Scrambler flat ride.


The Vortex roller coaster has been at the front of the park since 1992. After its sister ride of the same name at Great America in California, it is the third roller coaster made by B&M.

The ride on Vortex begins with the coaster’s lift hill. Once at the top, a steep turn leads directly into the loop of the ride. After a sweeping hill, we enter an intense helix. This is followed by a descent that takes us into the corkscrew. Finally we pass through two figure of eight turns before reaching the braking section of the ride.

Vortex is a really nice coaster. The stand-up coaster not only offers excellent ride characteristics, but also a very intense but not overcrowded layout. All in all, a great roller coaster.

Thrill Zone

The unfortunately rather generic Thrill Zone themed area contains the theme park’s biggest thrill machines. In addition to the Hurler and Fury 325 roller coasters, you will also find the large Drop Tower and the fantastic Schwarzkopf Enterprise Scream Weaver.


The Hurler is one of the most unpopular wooden coasters in the world. After a big drop, the layout leads through a long straight and then into a right turn close to the ground. This is followed by three hills, which are ridden rather gently. Another bend is followed by two more hills. A turning bend leads into another hill. This is followed by the final turn which brings us into the braking section of the coaster.

The ride characteristics of Hurler are good, but the layout is incredibly boring. Almost nothing happens here. Especially when compared to Kings Dominion’s Twisted Timbers, which used to have the same layout, you can see how much potential there is hidden within the raw track layout. While one of the rides is now at the top of the rankings, the other is rotting away in the basement. It would be nice if Cedar Fair would give this ride the RMC treatment as well.

Fury 325

Few roller coasters at Carowinds are as iconic as B&M’s Fury 325 Hyper Coaster, which graces the park’s entrance. The 325-foot-tall coaster has an unusual layout for the manufacturer, relying almost exclusively on fast turns instead of hills.

The ride on Fury 325 begins as soon as you enter the lift hill. After reaching a height of 325 feet, it’s time for the big drop. At 95 mph we pass through the first valley. Shortly afterwards we turn right onto a large hill. After several left and right turns, we reach the big turn, which is very reminiscent of a clef. After a long descent, another hill awaits, which is quickly conquered. The track now takes us over a classic airtime hill and into a very close to the ground helix. After two more hills and turns we reach the final brakes of the ride.

Fury 325 is a fantastic roller coaster. The very fast layout with the great turns speaks for itself. Even though the coaster doesn’t rely on airtime, it still has some really nice airtime moments, which are more memorable than on Intimidator thanks to the consistently high speed. In short, Fury 325 is by far one of the best roller coasters in America.

Pictures Carowinds

Conclusion Carowinds

I really enjoyed my visit to Carowinds. The park has a great atmosphere and a very solid rollercoaster portfolio. Although I could have done everything in one day, I was very happy to have a second day available. The visit was also more than worthwhile for the Stumble 325 event organised by the Buzzed Bars rollercoaster club.

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