The only amusement park to straddle a border. Carowinds is located on the North Carolina-South Carolina border near Charlotte, NC and is home to such roller coasters as Nighthawk, Afterburn, and Intimidator. Carowinds was owned by Paramount from 1993 to 2006, when Paramount sold its theme parks to Cedar Fair.
The NC-SC border divides the amusement park almost in half, though it occupies slightly more land in South Carolina. Nighthawk, Carolina Goldrusher, Carolina Cobra, and (most famously) Thunder Road are the only roller coasters to be located in more than one state. The two sides of Thunder Road, a racing wooden coaster, are named North Carolina and South Carolina, though both sides actually have track in both states (the ride's station is in South Carolina and its turnaround is in North Carolina).
Nighthawk, a Vekoma Flying Dutchman is unique in that was the first ever "flying roller coaster." It opened as Stealth at (then-named) Paramount's Great America in Santa Clara, California in 2000. In 2004, it was relocated to (then-named) Paramount's Carowinds, rethemed to Star Trek, and renamed BORG Assimilator. Shortly after Cedar Fair acquired the park, it was again repainted and renamed Nighthawk.
Carolina Cyclone, built in 1980 by Arrow Dynamics, was the first roller coaster in the world to flip riders upside-down four times.
Today, it is overshadowed in the park by the six-inversion Afterburn and in the world by numerous five-, six-, seven-, eight-, and even ten-inversion coasters.
Intimidator, the park's newest coaster as of 2010, now serves as Carowinds's premier ride. Built by Bolliger & Mabillard of Switzerland, Intimidator is themed to the late NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt. It stands 232 feet (71 m) tall and reaches speeds of up to 80 mph (129 kmh). Intimidator is the third B&M hypercoaster to use the new staggered seating (previously seen on Behemoth at Canada's Wonderland near Toronto, ON and Diamondback at Kings Island near Cincinatti, OH) and is the sister coaster of Intimidator 305 at Kings Dominion near Richmond, VA.
Afterburn, a 1999 B&M inverted coaster, opened under Paramount ownership as Top Gun: The Jet Coaster. TG:TJC was the tallest, longest, and fastest of the four Top Gun attractions (the other three being Top Gun at Paramount's Kings Island, an Arrow suspended coaster, Top Gun at Paramount Canada's Wonderland, a Vekoma SLC (Suspended Looping Coaster), and Top Gun at Paramount's Great America, a smaller B&M inverted coaster). After the Cedar Fair acquisition, all the Top Gun coasters were renamed Flight Deck, except Carowinds's Top Gun: The Jet Coaster, which was renamed Afterburn. It is widely considered one of the best inverted coasters in the world.
Each fall, Carowinds becomes SCarowinds for its annual Halloween event.
Prices shown in USD.
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