Carowinds rides have come and gone over the 40+ years that the park has been open. As time goes by even some of the most popular rides have to be taken down, whether it be because of cost, mechanical issues or something else entirely such as making way for new rides.
Built over the boarders of both North and South Carolina, Carowinds was meant to bring the two states closer together because of its shared place on the state lines. At the cost of $70 million it was created by businessman Earl Patterson Hall after being inspired by a trip to Disneyland.
In the 40+ years the park has been open rides have come and gone, even park icons have come and gone, take a trip down memory lane…
Carolina Sternwheeler 1973 – 2003
The Sternwheeler was a park icon that many wanted to remain in the park, even if only stationary. This ride would take up to 400 passengers would take you by each of the park’s 7 themes areas, music was provided on board by the Dixieland Band. As the water was only six feet deep the boat wasn’t actually floating, it simply travelled on a rail below the water. It was removed to make room for Nighthawk, why the boat wasn’t kept as decoration we don’t know.
Carowinds Rides Of The 80’s And 90’s!
Carowinds Monorail 1973 – 1994
The 2 mile long Monorail travelled through the park, over the parking lot, through a heavily wooded area and back over a small man made lake before re-entering the park. There was once talk of building a Disney style hotel for the Monorail but these plans never materialised. The ride was dismantled in 1994 and bought by Preferred Vacations who planned to reassemble the ride at a resort in Acapulco, Mexico.
Flying Super Saturator 2000 – 2008
A much more recent roller coaster having only opened in 2000, the Flying Super Saturator was the first roller coaster of its kind. It allowed riders to dump water on the crowds below as well as ways for the riders to get wet. The designers of the Flying Super Saturator were even awarded an innovation award for their design and creation of the ride. However, even with its awards the roller coaster couldn’t save itself as it was too costly and finally closed its doors in 2008.
Old Jalopies 1973 – 1987
The Old Jalopies (Hillbilly Jalopies) were gas powered cars that looked like old country jalopy cars and took you for a scenic ride through some woods. In 1987 the were removed to make way for the White Water Falls, which still uses the same queue station as the Old Jalopies.
White Lightnin’ 1977 – 1988
White Lightnin’ was built at a cost of $1.1 million dollars and was located in the Country Crossroads area of the park. It catapulted riders through the loop at 53 MPH, before stopping on the incline and rolling back in reverse through the loop. Unfortunately the ride was dogged with mechanical issues and so ‘cost’ was the reason for its closure in 1988.
The Powder Keg / The Wild Thornberry 1973 – 2009
The Powder Keg or Wild Thornberry took riders on a 1,700ft flume ride and was one of the more popular Carowinds rides, lasting almost 30 years. It was located in the Queen’s Colony area which was later re-branded as the ‘Old World Marketplace’ in 1982 and ‘Nickelodeon Central’ in 2003. The name ‘Powder Keg’ was changed to ‘The Wild Thornberry’ to fit in with the theme of the area, if finally closed in 2009 to make way for the new hyper-coaster “Intimidator”.