Carowinds is both an amusement park and water park located right on the state line of both North and South Carolina at Charlotte in the north and Fort Mill in the south.
The amusement park opened in 1973 and was the idea of a businessman from Charlotte called Earl Patterson Hall who got the inspiration after a trip he made to Disneyland way back in 1956. His aim was that the amusement park’s location would bring both North and South Carolina closer together. In fact, it was this ‘dream’ that gave the amusement park its name with ‘Caro’ being an abbreviation of ‘Carolina’ and ‘winds’, representing the blowing winds both states shared experiences of.
The amusement park cost $70 million to build and today, it is owned by the Cedar Fair Entertainment Company.
As well as several rollercoasters, there are five thrill rides at the amusement park. Two of the most popular are Scream Weaver which is a large wheel with interconnected gondolas which spins horizontally before tilting vertically sending riders upside down. Then there is the Xtreme Skyflyer which gives you the thrill and sensation of both hang gliding and skydiving simultaneously.
Boomerang Bay is the name given to the water park at the amusement park and it features thrilling water rides such as Pipeline Peak, Platypus Plunge and the Sydney Sidewinder. There are also dedicated water rides for younger children and toddlers at the amusement park with Jackaroo Landing and Kookaburra Bay for older kids and the Kangaroo Lagoon and Wallaby Wharf which is particularly aimed at infants.
The amusement park and water park operate from late March until late October each year. Since 2000, it has gained even more popularity with the introduction of SCarowinds when the entire amusement park and most of its rides are transformed into a haunted theme park on selected nights in September and October.