tips for visiting carowinds
tips for visiting carowinds

We got to spend a sunny afternoon in Carowinds after my daughter performed with her middle school band in the Music in the Parks competition. It was quite the way to end the school year. An afternoon with the kids running around the park riding rides, filling up on junk food and having a blast. I had the pleasure of chaperoning these kids. It’s a tough job cheering on band kids and riding roller coasters with them, but someone has to do it.

This was my first visit to Carowinds. My first impression was shock at the amount of roller coasters they have. We were on a short timeline and it was a busy Saturday afternoon at the park so I only got to ride 2 rides.

Here are some things you need to do when visiting Carowinds:

Don’t Trust the App

carowinds app

The estimated wait times on the app are WAY off. The first ride we got in line for was Fury 325. The app told us the wait time was only 20 minutes. Compared to the 45+ minute wait times at Dollywood we thought we were in for a treat. 20 minutes passed by and we were only half way through the line. Our total wait time ended up being 50 minutes. Yikes! Way more than 20 minutes. But I’ve got to say Fury 325 was worth the wait. The terrifying first drop and intense speed and loops had my heart racing. Exactly what you want out of a good roller coaster!

The Kid Roller Coaster Are Actually Pretty Good


You normally think of the kid roller coaster as kind of lame, gear more towards the younger kids. Carowinds actually had some pretty good roller coasters that were good for the kids who wanted to graduate from the little kid roller coasters, but weren’t quite ready for the massive high speed roller coasters. Some of the good kid roller coasters include Woodstock Express, Wilderness Run, Riccochet and Kiddy Hawk.

Fast pass might actually be worth the money

I’ve gone to some parks where it seems like the fast pass riders still have to wait a good deal of time to ride the rides. At Carowinds it seems different. Maybe people don’t buy the fast pass as much because they see the deceiving wait times from the app. Whatever the case, the fast pass riders really get to ride almost immediately.

Military discounts

They have some pretty nice military discounts and even have free days. Check their website for the free days!

Free Pre-k kids pass

Kids 5 and under can get passes for free admission. Most parks I know of have a cut off age of 3 and under. 5 and under is fantastic! If you have younger kids take advantage of this!

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  1. Duly noted!
    I think I’d get the fast pass for any major theme park… waiting in line takes up all the time you’re there and who wants that?!
    thanks for the tips!

  2. Kristine Nicole Alessandra

    I hate long lines too. That is my pet peeve. If I have to wait more than 15 minutes, I turn my back and leave. I like that Carowinds haa a “real” fast pass! Awesome. Oh and the 5 and under is given free admission! I like that! Plus of course, the military discounts they offer. Nice.

  3. Wow, this place looks incredible. There’s so much to do and see there! Looks like a brilliant place to take the whole family

  4. I am working on being patient as I don’t like to wait on lines. I would love to visit this place and I am grateful for your tips.

  5. Loving this place so cool and a lot of extreme rides! I would love to go this place someday awesome photos!

  6. Good you mentioned not to trust the app. The times sound way way off! Love your tips.

  7. that’s a very helpful post. Thanks for the tips girl will share this tips with my friends too

  8. I detest long queues as well. That is my annoyance. In the event that I need to hold up over 15 minutes, I turn my back and leave. I like that Carowinds haa a “genuine” quick pass! Magnificent. Gracious and the 5 and under is sans given confirmation! I like that! Besides obviously, the military limits they offer. Pleasant.

  9. […] Carowinds is a super fun amusement park. It is packed with tons of roller coaster for all ages, games, shows and food. We had a blast visiting Carowinds. You can read more about our trip to Carowinds with our tips here. […]

  10. […] a busy day of traveling, band competition and a hot day at Carowinds we decided we didn’t want to make the 4 hour drive back home. We thought it would be a lot more […]

  11. I am working on being patient as I don’t like to wait on lines thanks.

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