Carowinds is honoring “50 years of Carolina fun” throughout 2023, including a new aviation-themed land and a host seasonal events as part of the park’s 50th anniversary celebration.
Vintage aerial photo of Carowinds
All images courtesy of Carowinds
As part of its 50th anniversary, Carowinds will debut Aeronautica Landing later this spring (date TBA). The park says the new land is “inspired by the spirit of adventure and innovation that made world history in the Carolinas.” After all, North Carolina was “first in flight,” as the state’s license plates denote.
Aeronautica Landing includes new experiences, incliuding Air Racer, Gear Spin, Air Walker, and Gyro Force. These flat-ride, non-coaster attractions promise to celebrate flight as they send guests into the air and over the park. The land is also home to Hover & Dodge, a reimagining of the park’s bumper cars.
Air Walker, one of the new rides in Carowinds’ Aeronautica Landing
Seasonal Events Throughout Carowinds 50th Anniversary Year
No matter the season, Carowinds’ calendar is filled with special events, including the return of Grand Carnivale on Jun. 24-Jul. 9, 2023, a summertime festival featuring international food and music.
In autumn, Carowinds celebrates the season with the Great Pumpkin Fest, offering family-friendly Halloween fun with the Peanuts gang on Saturdays and Sundays from Sept. 16-Oct. 29, 2023. After sundown, Scarowinds abounds on select nights Sept. 15-Oct. 29, 2023, with scare zones, mazes, and shows.
The Great Pumpkin Fest
To cap it all off, WinterFest returns Nov. 20, 2023 through Jan. 1, 2024. The holiday event features breathtaking lights, specialty food, ice skating, and a nightly parade.
50 Years of Carolina Fun
Carowinds officially opened on Mar. 31, 1973. The park will be open on its actual 50th birthday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
While Carowinds hasn’t announced any specific happenings for the birth date itself, guests will find touches of 50th anniversary fun throughout the season. For example, the Carolina Goldrusher, an opening-day ride, will debut a gold train this year in honor of the half-centennial.
Carolina Goldrusher’s new 50th anniversary train
Where the Carolinas Come Together
Carowinds is located on the state line between North and South Carolina, close to Charlotte. Its longtime slogan, “where the Carolinas come together,” rings true as the park commemorates five decades of operation.
Cedar Fair purchased Carowinds from Paramount in 2006, placing the park under the same corporate roof as the likes of Cedar Point in Ohio and Knott’s Berry Farm in California, among others. Over the years, Cedar Fair added high-profile coasters like Fury 325 and The Intimidator, filling out Carowinds’ impressive skyline and attracting thrill-seekers near and far.
Planning Your Visit for Carowinds 50th Anniversary Celebration
In years past, the park closed during the winter months before opening for the season in the spring, but new for 2023, Carowinds is open year-round. Daily tickets start at $34.99.
Different tiers of season passes begin at $105. Passholders receive free parking and unlimited visits to Carowinds and its connected water park, Carolina Harbor.
To plan your visit, head to Carowinds’ official website.
Boogie Board Racer at Carolina Harbor, Carowinds’ water park
Work at Carowinds
Carowinds is also currently hiring for its 50th anniversary season. The hourly pay rate begins at $15, with roles available in admissions, lifeguarding, food, merchandise, ride operations, and security. To inquire, visit the park’s hiring website.