Carowinds – Crown Rating

Our second-ever Crown Rating is for the only park in the United States to be located in two states. Carowinds, located near Charlotte, NC, has the unique claim to fame that their coasters cross from one state to another. However, what does the park offer beyond that exciting idea? Let’s give them a rating.

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The Coaster Kings Crown Rating currently features five (5) categories. In each category a park can score one (1) thru five (5) possible crowns. The more crowns, the higher the score. The average amount of crowns awarded among the categories creates a final overall rating: the Crown Rating.

This Kings Entertainment Corporation-turned-Paramount Parks theme park was acquired by Cedar Fair in 2006 along with four sister parks throughout North America. Cedar Fair saw potential in the medium-sized park and cleaned up the park a bit; they also added a variety of major coasters that draw in today’s crowds. Let’s take a look at each category:

Starting off with the park’s enviable coaster collection, it should be no surprise that we rated it high. With one of the World’s best reviewed roller coasters (Fury325), a Hyper Coaster, a Flying Coaster, classic loopers, well-loved Inverted Coaster, a Launch Coaster, family coasters and more, Carowinds is a great destination for a coaster lover.

When it comes to Non-Coasters, the landscape is looking bleaker than ever. Carowinds retired their major water rides, which only leaves a 4D theater, a fairly friendly lineup of flat rides. Do we love the park’s flat rides? Yes. Is their non-coaster lineup much to write home about compared to other parks around the World? Definitely not.

Carowinds is home to some seasonal entertainment but lacks attractions such as walk-throughs, gardens, or other curiosities. However, unique for Carowinds is their Carolina Harbor water park, which is included with admission. The water park was relaunched in 2016 with a variety of your typical Cedar Fair water park must haves. This is a pretty major attraction for the park that helps it secure three (3) crowns in the “Other Attractions” category.

Next up is Food & Beverage. On a global scale, you can’t expect too much from F&B at US chain parks. While the food at Carowinds isn’t necessarily bad, it really lacks some of the must-haves for us. This includes a table service restaurant or a selection of bars. The park has decent selection of food options, including an indoor food court, but it’s not enough for a high score.

Atmosphere for a park encompasses everything from cleanliness to operations, landscaping and overall vibe. For Carowinds, we consider all to be quite good. A visit to Carowinds offers a clean and pleasant product with nice polish everywhere you go. Much like parks like Kings Island, Canada’s Wonderland, Kings Dominion and California’s Great America, these ex-Paramount parks have cleaned up nice and are worthy of a visit.

When rating Carowinds on a global scale, there are 2 main categories that stand out and that keep bringing us back to the park, the atmosphere and the collection of impressive coasters. Beyond that, the park could use some improvement elsewhere to make the experience higher-end and better rounded, an overall score of three (3) Crowns is not bad however.

Thank you for checking out this Crown Rating! With a backlog of 800+ theme parks we’ve visited, we’ve got plenty more coming your way. Let us know on our social media channels what park we should be rating next!

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