Carowinds Amusement Park Just Made A Big Change To Its Operating Schedule

Fury 325 roller coaster at carowinds
(Image credit: Cedar Fair)

A big part of the reason that so many theme parks and amusement parks can be found in the Southern United States is because the weather there tends to be better year round. This means parks like Universal Orlando Resort or Walt Disney World can remain open year round, barring the occasional hurricane of course. Similar parks in other parts of the country, especially where it snows, but even just in places where it gets cold, frequently operate on a seasonal basis, closing for several months of the year. North Carolina’s Carowinds used to be one of these parks, but not anymore. 

Previously, Carowinds closed after the holiday season and was shuttered for about three months, usually reopening in mid to late March. The park announced this week that it would not shut down at the end of the year and will be open January 1, 2023 and will remain open for the rest of the year. 

This is certainly good news for fans of the park who will now have more opportunities to visit. It’s also likely good news for the employees at Carowinds who won’t find themselves out of work for three months out of the year. And it will almost certainly be good news for the park’s bottom line as an amusement park sitting empty isn’t making anybody any money. 

The park, which actually straddles the border between North Carolina and South Carolina, will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2023, making it the perfect year to make this major shift, as the birthday party is likely to bring even more visitors than usual. Carowinds will also unveil a new part of the park, Aeronautica Landing, dedicated to celebrating the area’s history of flight.

It will certainly be interesting to see how this new year round schedule works. The area where Carowinds is located can certainly be hit with significant winter weather, the sort that could potentially close the park temporarily. Managing that weather, getting the park back to working order after a significant storm, and dealing with guests whose plans to visit may change due to weather, will all be new things the park will have to learn how to deal with. There’s also the question of how many people will even want to visit Carowinds in January, though one assumes the park has done the research necessary to be reasonably sure that the audience is there. 

Carowinds is owned by Cedar Fair, which faced a takeover bid from SeaWorld earlier this year. In the end the bid to purchase Cedar Fair was unsuccessful, though considering the number of locations across North America that Cedar Fair has, it's not surprising they were an attractive target.

The company owns several amusement parks and water parks across the country including popular destinations like Cedar Point, King’s Island, and Knott’s Berry Farm. While certainly a more regional destination than places like the Disney or Universal parks, Carowinds has some top tier attractions, including Fury 325, which was recently voted the top steel roller coaster in the world.  

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.