Cedar Fair Entertainment
Park News - (7/15/17) An interesting development just came up that would affect Canada's Wonderland and Carowinds and the two biggest up and coming parks in the Cedar Fair chain. According to a new article posted to BNN, an analyst at Wells Fargo sent a report to his clients on what they should expect to hear from Cedar Fair very soon. "Management expects to announce details on branded flagged hotel properties in Toronto and Charlotte by year-end 2017".
(3/5/17) Carowinds posted a great picture to Twitter yesterday that I'm borrowing, showing off the new "The Flying Cobras" logo that has been placed on the front of the old Carolina Cobra train. Oh... and it has been confirmed that Whitewater Falls is gone for good. It’s been removed from the latest version of the park map as well.
(6/22/17) Carowinds has confirmed that starting on June 23rd, Cirque Imagine will debut for the season in the Carowinds Theater and run through to Sept. 4th. Daily showtimes are currently set for 3pm, 5pm and 7pm daily, except for Tuesdays when the show will be closed. On Saturdays the show schedule will also change to 1:30pm, 3:30pm, 5pm and 7pm. I saw it last season and was impressed, as this is easily the best show I have ever seen put on at Carowinds.
(4/23/17) Carowinds has kicked off the start of their third annual Taste of the Carolinas special event at the park this weekend, where special food booths are set up all across the park to allow you to sample food, wine and beer from the different regions of the Carolinas. Look for Taste of the Carolinas to take place over the weekends from now through May 14th.
(4/11/17) Carowinds has mentioned in a blog post that while the new area opening this year will take on the County Fair name, the old County Fair area that is still home to the Dodge 'Ems, Yo-Yo and Plants vs. Zombies 3Z Arena and Afterburn will be renamed this season as "Crossroads" as a throwback to another past area of the park that was once called County Crossroads.
(4/4/17) Carowinds will hold a special Easter EGGstravaganza event this year along with a special Easter Sunday Brunch meal.
It’ll be a hoppin’ good time during Carowinds’ Easter Eggstravaganza being held Saturday, April 8 through Sunday, April 16. Guests can enjoy the antics of Eggward the Easter Bunny and Snoopy the Easter Beagle as they hand out Easter eggs filled with goodies; the two will even snap selfies with park goers. Also, for the artsy folks, guests can leave their signature piece on a chalk wall. And if it’s magic you like—you’ll be amazed by Adrian the Illusionist.
Take a break from our thrills to indulge in the first-ever EasterSunday Brunch on Sunday, April 16 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. An array of decadent dishes will be served including: Scrambled Eggs over Cheddar Roasted Breakfast Potato Casserole, traditional Shrimp and Creamy Grits, along with carving board offerings like Glazed Ham, Smoked Turkey and Prime Rib. If you have room for dessert, choose a sweet treat such as Wild Berry Panna Cotta, Coconut Cream Cake or Chocolate Covered Strawberries. Easter Sunday Brunch is not included with park admission and is available for an extra fee.
(3/6/17) Carowinds reports that they are adding six new shows to the park for the 2017 season and have updated their live entertainment page with details about all of the parks new and returning performers and shows.
(2/13/17) So is Whitewater Falls gone? Carowinds has still been mum on the subject, but according to someone who attended a "Winter Warmup" event at the park last week, it was reveled to them that WhiteWater Falls is indeed being removed, though they would not elaborate on what the park intended to do with that particular site going forward. A tweet from the park this past week also included a look the plaza across the bridge, just after you enter, where you can see that the large planter that used to hold a large sign with the Carowinds logo has now been removed to open up that area more. I'm also told that the Panda Express eatery is also moving into the Cool Joe's Cafe building instead, and the old stand site across from Intimidator will be removed to open up that pathway a little more.
Regarding the removal of WhiteWater Falls however... while I'm ok with the ride being given the axe due to low popularity and low-capacity, this now leaves the park with one single water ride in the line up... the Rip Roarin' Rapids, which typically features one of the consistantly longest and slowest moving lines in the entire park. Obviously Carowinds is in dire need of a new water ride of some kind... hopefully a new capacity log ride / flume creation through a themed environment, or even a giant fake mountain much like the beloved Timber Mountain Log Ride at Knott's, but built with all of the cool bells and whistles of today's technology. Now that would be a fun addition for the whole family.
As for the old ride site, the space taken up by WhiteWater Falls could easily hold a small to medium sized compact coaster project about the same size as Nighthawk or the Flying Cobras, or perhaps they could add a new pathway behind BooBlasters to connect the two County Fair areas (new and old) together as one.
(1/31/17) While Carowinds has yet to confirm anything regarding the status of Whitewater Falls a new picture taken inside the park was sent my way, showing off the construction of a new attraction in the foreground, but in the background you can see that the lift hill for Whitewater Falls is all that appears to be left standing of the big splash ride.
(1/23/17) Is Carowinds removing Whitewater Falls? That's the hot question this week for the theme park that sits on the border between North and South Carolina. Eagle eyed fans noticed something interesting in a video clip the park posted last week showing off the installation of one of the new rides. In the background of the shot a crane can be seen that appears to be in the Whitewater Falls area, and by pausing the video it does appear as if some of the flume's drop may have been removed. Adding fuel to the fire is the fact that when you pull up the official Carowinds website, the Whitewater Falls attraction is no longer listed on the park's list of rides.
Screamscape reached out to Carowinds PR for a comment on the issue last week, but as of this moment, we have yet to receive any response at all about the status of Whitewater Falls.
2017 - County Fair / Four New Flat Rides / WinterFest - (2/13/17) A video preview and construction site tour of the new County Fair area can be seen below, posted by Charlotte Stories, shot during an on-site tour last week.
(1/18/17) Carowinds has sent out a couple of pictures showing off the progress on installing two of the park's four new rides this week: the Rock N' Roller and Electro-Spin. In other park news they also announced that Dockside Fries will get a facelift with new themeing, and in addition to your favorite snacks they will add corn dogs and fried corn to the menu. The nearby restroom will also undergo renovations and additional patio space will be added in the County Fair section of the park as well. They've also posted some footage from the Electro-Spin install to YouTube (see below) as well as posting some pictures to Twitter showing off the all new repainted train cars for The Flying Cobras. Each car has been painted a new and unique color, and are now ready to have some custom themeing added as well.
Looking good Carowinds! Oh... one more thing I forgot to mention previously. Carowinds has also confirmed that the popular Cirque Imagine show from last summer will return again for 2017 which is great news, as I reviewed it last year as being the best live action show Carowinds has ever had.
(8/19/16) A quick update on the 2017 Carowinds additions... starting with the whole issue of the NEW "County Fair" and the new identity crisis. You see, the area back where Thunder Road used to sit has been known as the County Fair, and this is also the home to Plants vs Zombies, Yo-Yo, Dodg'ems and the Southern Star rides, as well as the big collection of midway games. (On a side note: I've never been certain if AfterBurn was part of County Fair or if it was part of Carolina RFD, but that's another issue...)
Based on the new concept artwork the park has released showing off the location of the new flat rides, which are described as being part of County Fair, all four of the new rides are actually going into the Carolina RFD area between the Wings restaurant and Carolina Cobra coaster entrance.
Speaking of the Carolina Cobra... it's geting a makeover and a new name as well. In 2017 the coaster will be called "The Flying Cobras", themed to a flying aerial stunt show act.
I'm also not sure what will become of the existing Yo-Yo ride. It seems a little odd to have two swing rides in the park, though they are slightly different from each other, but there may be a chance that Yo-Yo could possibly stay.
(8/18/16) Carowinds has confirmed that four classic flat rides are coming to the park in 2017… instead of the five that were leaked to the media earlier this year. The four rides will be part of a renovated “County Fair” section of the park that is also supposed to offer new special food offerings as well. The four new rides will be:
Do-Si-Do - “a super-fun spiraling adventure that will send guests flying through the air- gliding up, down and around as three giant arms rotate riders in different directions.” I’m assuming this is the Troika.
Electro-Spin - “a sense of being airborne in free-rotating, floorless gondolas while being suspended and flipping upside down up to 63 feet above the ground!” This has got to be the Mondial Top Scan.
Rock ‘N’ Roller - “a staple of any County Fair, is a fast-paced circular ride that will send guests round and around, up and down as high energy tunes and spectacular lighting round out this awesome experience.” This would be the Mack Music Express.
Zephyr - “a classic family swing ride, will suspend riders as it rotates in a circular, wavelike motion providing remarkable views of the park.” Aka: Wave Swinger
They don’t spell it out, but we can assume the Zephyr will replace the current Yo-Yo ride, and unfortunately it looks like they opted to send the fun Huss Breakdance that was one slated for Carowinds off to another park instead.
The second half of today’s announcement confirms that WinterFest will arrive at Carowinds in late 2017. The event will transform the park into ”a spectacular winter wonderland filled with magnificent displays of lights and holiday décor.”
“Midway Merryment will fill the paths of the park with melodious song and dance. Guests will also get to meet some of their favorite holiday characters, including Jack Frost and the Sugar Plum Fairy.”
“Christmas crafts and activities will be available for the entire family. From ornament decorating and feeding Santa’s reindeer, to making cookies with Mrs. Claus and ice skating on Snowflake Lake, guests will be fully immersed in the Christmas fun.”
“Holiday themed LIVE shows will be a must-see during this extravaganza. With Christmas musicals and the nightly lighting of our 70-foot tall Christmas tree- little kids and big kids alike are sure to be amazed.”
“Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tree Lot will set up shop in Planet Snoopy. Guests can walk the lot and meet Linus and Charlie Brown from the PEANUTS gang.”
All this plus amazing holiday food offerings as well when WinterFest kicks off in November 2017, and all the fun will be included with your purchase of a 2017 Gold Season Pass.
(7/2/16) Winterfest... longtime fans of Carowinds and other Cedar Fair parks may recall back in 2005 I believe, back when Paramount Parks was calling the shots, Carowinds and Kings Island opened up briefly around the Christmas season for a small holiday event called Winterfest. The history of Winterfest at Kings Island went back even father where it was held for about a decade between 1982 and 1992, before returning once again in 2005. Cedar Fair bought the Paramount parks in 2006 however and quickly brought an end to the Winderfest rebirth, canceling the late 2006 events at both parks. Well, as the famous saying goes, "Winter is Coming..." or something like that.
How so? According to a Screamscape reader visiting Carowinds on Thursday, they came across a gathering of park managers moving through the park in discussion. Following along they claim they heard the group mention interesting words like "Christmas" and "eleves" several times, pointing at various locations and suggesting ideas of where things could be placed, including lots of talk about a "post office". While I hate to jump to a conclusion... it does sound as if a proposal to bring back a "Winterfest" style event could be in the works. Stay tuned...
2018 - Vortex Floorless Conversion - Rumor - (12/15/16) As much as I was hoping this wouldn't happen, Screamscape sources tell us to get your last rides in on Vortex in 2017, because at some point before the season is over Vortex will shut down early and begin work to convert it into a B&M Floorless coaster experience instead, with all new colors and a new name for when it reopens in 2018.
Once Vortex joins the ranks of Stand-Ups converted into Floorless models, there will only be four B&M Stand-Ups left in operation, all of which at Six Flags parks: Riddler's Revenge (SF Magic Mountain), Apocalypse (SF America), Georgia Scorcher (SF over Georgia) and Green Lantern (SF Great Adventure).
(9/1/16) I’m really REALLY hoping this isn’t the case, as Carowinds deserves something better than this in my opinion, but the rumor on the wind right now is that Vortex could be converted into a Floorless coaster for the 2018 season. Don’t get me wrong… I love B&M Floorless coasters, but they are designed to be much bigger, faster, have many more inversions, and far more interesting inversions (a Zero-G-Roll especially) than what a converted Vortex can offer.
I’d much rather see Vortex removed and replaced by an all new creation.
With that said however, I’m hearing that the change may be inevitable unless the West coast conversion of their Vortex coaster into Patriot bombs in a big way.
2019 - Hurler Hybrid Conversion - Rumor - (7/13/17) Carowinds fans should keep an eye on what is going on at Kings Dominion with the Hurler’s sister coaster. The ride is in the middle of an extensive transformation being handled by Rocky Mountain Construction (RMC) who are transforming it into a new creation that will use their iBox track system, coming a hybrid wood/steel coaster creation.
According to our sources the long term plan is to do the same thing to Carowinds Hurler coaster and reopen it in time for the 2019 season. The work process is a bit longer than the time it takes to build a new coaster on an empty plot, as they have to carefully remove only the parts of Hurler that they don’t want to keep and then built the new creation on top of some of the existing structure, while rebuilding other sections entirely from the ground up. With that in mind, I’d expect that 2017 could be the last season we see Hurler operate if they plan to reopen it in 2019, so be sure to get your last rides in while you still can on Hurler.
(10/17/16) Carowinds fans may want to consider that The Hurler may soon find itself on the chopping block, as the Hurler clone built at Kings Dominion sat closed for all of 2016, and was just announced by Kings Dominion as being closed for good with a 'Rest In Peace" video posted to their instagram. (Make the jump to our Kings Dominion page to see the details), but the bottom line is that the message ends with a tease about how it could return in 2018. One of the popular industry trends right now being a company named Rocky Mountain Construction coming in and turning old wooden coasters into "hybrid" style ride creations that keep the wooden structure, but use a new steel beam track system, and often adding new twists, turns and even inversions.
It is suspected that this is what may be in the works for Hurler at Kings Dominion, and if this proves successful, there is always a chance Cedar Fair could opt to double-down and do the same thing to Carowinds' own Hurler in 2019 or 2020. There is one caveat I have about this whole thing taking place at Carowinds. If Carowinds were to transform Hurler into a hybrid coaster, then the park would no longer have a full sized wooden coaster experience in the park, only the kiddie sized Woodstock Express. Kings Dominion can get away with transforming Hurler because they will still have Rebel Yell and Grizzly, as well as their own Woodstock Express. The destruction of Carowind’s Thunder Road racing coaster is still very fresh in the minds of the local market, who may not take kindly to Hurler being changed... as rough as painful as Hurler is to ride these days.