First and foremost, PerryDPlatypus has hit the nail directly on the head. Carowinds personnel need to be better trained on both on the rides and at the concession stands.
Let's start with the prices. Parking is $15, Preferred parking $20 - ludicrous, considering the price you pay just to get in the door, without any discounts. We purchased our tickets (4 adults) online for $39.00 per person plus the service charge of $5.99. This was suppose to be the price of a child's admission for everyone who attends the park through the end of May. Good deal, I think. However, once we arrived, it was clear that the park was very crowded and if we were going to get on enough rides to make it worth the price, we would need to purchase the Fast Lane passes. To be able to ride the two best coasters, the Nighthawk and the Intimidator, you need to purchase the Fast Lane Plus - these upgrades were $50 per person when you purchase 4 or more. So here we are another $200 later and find out the Nighthawk is down for repairs!! WHAT?
They didn't know that when they sold us the Plus passes??? Why not? They also don't tell you that it's not valid for the Thunder Road coaster. Huh? This just isn't right! For the record, Thunder Road is not that great any way. It gave me a headache.
For the most part the ride operators on the day we attended appeared to be thankfully, both efficient and sufficiently trained. I was a bit aggravated when several times we were ignored in the Fast Lane line for more time than I felt necessary considering we paid the extra $200 for the passes. I also remember one ride in which the operator seemed to have a lack of care when it came to securing passengers into their seats. We're talking roller coasters here, people! We need to be strapped in securely!
Now on to the concessions. These people REALLY need to be trained. My husband and son waited in line to get pizza and breadsticks for 20 minutes, then got to the front and guess what? No bread sticks, the pizza was $6 a slice and water was $3 a bottle. I can literally buy a CASE of water at Walmart for less than $3! Total ripoff! Since there were no bread sticks, which really puzzles me, (how do you have dough for pizza and not bread sticks?) I was off to find a pretzel. As I arrived a man stuck his head out the little window and yelled at the people in line that the Icee machine was down, so we might as well all get out of line. What? I don't want an Icee, I want a pretzel! "Oh" was the reply, "I have a pretzel." Big mistake...what I got was an old stale pretzel for $4.79. Ridiculous!
The lesson here is, bring your patience, and brings lots and lots of money. You won't have any trouble spending ALL of it.