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“Over priced, loud, dirty, rip-off!!”
Review of Carowinds

Carowinds
Ranked #11 of 180 things to do in Charlotte
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: A mecca of family fun, this 105-acre theme/water park features rides that thrill and live entertainment.
Erwin, Tennessee
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Over priced, loud, dirty, rip-off!!”
Reviewed June 3, 2014

Multiple band aids in pool, goose feces ALL around the lazy river, prices have increased on EVERYTHING and not correctly reflected on website, construction has parking and part of park shut down. I regret buying season passes- $500 down the drain! Wish I had of just gone to Dollywood or beach!

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank nutheadmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Great fun, bad attitudes”
Reviewed June 3, 2014

My wife and I went to Carowinds yesterday and honestly, we had a blast. However, there were so many things that made us shake our heads. First, some advice for the prospective visitor:
1) Go on a weekday. We went on Monday and the longest we waited in line was 15 minutes and that was the first ride when you enter the park at about 11am. All other rides, we literally only had to wait for the car to get back from the last ride.
2) Buy the all day dining pass if you plan on being there all day. It was $30 for the pass. When we entered the park, we realized that ALL lunch/dinner options were at least $15 so 2 trips made it worth it. Plus, you get to eat every 90 minutes and not worry about dropping a bill on your meals.
3) Come prepared for ANYTHING. The merchandise in the park is far too expensive for you to have to buy something if you forget it. We forgot flip-flops and had to spend almost $30 on 2 very cheaply made (styrofoam) pairs.

Now, the good:
The rides are awesome. My wife and I had a total blast. The wave pool is clean (as clean as expected for a public pool) and the park is maintained very well. The park is HUGE so there's a lot of walking but the rides are all relatively close together.

But the bad:
Where do I begin... Well, I guess the first thing would be the staff. All around, there was a piss-poor attitude all day long. Every single associate we came across had a "who flung poo" look on their face and acted as if we had crushed their dreams by requiring any sort of assistance. After paying over $50 per person to visit a park, I would expect some decent customer service.
In addition to the park staff, the lifeguards were awful. Well, one in particular. My wife and I were cuddled up to each other in the pool (as newlyweds do), both feet touching the bottom, hands around waist, and we were "blown" at by this lifeguard who told us to "separate ourselves" from one another. Now, I could MAYBE have understood if we were the only ones and they had something against PDA or they thought we might accidentally drown each other (?) by doing this.... but there were probably at least 6 other couples in the water doing the exact same thing (some teenagers, some adults) that were never spoken to. On top of that, we witnessed people fake drowning each other and horsing around in the pool who were not spoken to. We don't normally pull the discrimination card... but it was quite obvious what was going on here.
The last thing about the staff... we stopped for a last bite to eat before leaving, at around 6pm at "Wings" and we caught, red handed, the girl behind the counter making faces at us. Really? We're gay, not blind.
Now, the food. It's terrible. I know I said to buy the dining pass... but that's just to save you money. If you go on a day where you were able to park close to the park entrance, leave, eat, and come back. You can get better food at McDonald's. Also, the dining pass only covers certain places. On our day, half of them were closed. But it seems they all have the same kinds of food anyway. Oh and don't even try to hit up a food joint after 5 because most of them are already closing. Why? Beats the hell out of me. The park is open till 8 but 75% of the places to get food in the park locked their doors at 5pm.

All in all, will we come back? Yes, we will. But we will be much more educated on how to go about Carowinds as a whole the next time we do. And we certainly won't expect a smile from anyone.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
7 Thank SimplyBekah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level 6 Contributor
134 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“If customer service matters to you....”
Reviewed June 3, 2014

This is not the place to be. I believe there are cattle that are treated better than we were. Stood in line for 45 minutes to get my kids a meal only to get to the window and have the employee say that it was time for her break and I needed to get to the back of the next line. I turned around and looked at the line next to be and realized that it would easily be another 45 minute wait. I looked at her and asked if she had lost her damm mind. Before I knew it there were security guards next to me telling me I had cursed and threatened an employee. A 5'4 single woman with three little girls under 12 and we were a threat. Before it was all over I was told they would be calling the Charlotte Police Department to come remove us if I would not leave immediately. My girls were all terrified and crying. Overgrown boys playing at security is never a good thing. I never used profanity but I guess one word was all it took. Never mind what set off the chain of events.

I had spent $50.00 dollars a ticket to get in because there was a concert that night. Carowinds - $200.00, my family - $0.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
10 Thank MyRiverSong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Middletown, Delaware
Level 6 Contributor
201 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 244 helpful votes
“SOME GOOD COASTERS BUT SLOW LOAD TIMES MAKES THIS PLACE A DRAG”
Reviewed June 3, 2014

On our way back from Disney World we decided to make a stop at Carowinds. We bought a Platinum Season Pass for the Cedar park circit and Carowinds was included in the package. Being Roller coaster enthusiast Carowinds had some good ones, their version of The Intimidator is better than King’s Dominion mostly because of the waist harness used there gives you the feeling you could fly out of the coaster. Night Wing was cool and our first laying down coaster, we enjoyed After Burn also.

Like all of these parks associated with Cedar, they’re all pretty similar with a couple of unique coasters to their park. That doesn’t mean that some parks aren’t better than others. We usually have good luck with lines as we know to go as soon as they open, but after the morning hours we found that the operators at this park were slow and it took forever to get on some of these rides. There were several break downs too. In fact we waited in one line for a close to an hour when it broke down and then returned to it when it reopened. The line moved like molasses and when we reached the loading dock it was maned by one person who was handicapped. I’m all for equal opportunity, but only if they are up to the job at hand. When we sat in the coaster car the seats were tight and the operator couldn’t get the restraint to close. If a ride has size restrictions there should be a seat tester at the front of the line. We waited in line twice for a total of 2 1/2 hours for this coaster and couldn’t ride it! I’m sure if the operator had help the restraint would have closed, but there was no helpers on this ride and the design was extremely insufficient as on restraint mechanism was used for three cars. Meaning that if there is one big person in your car the other 5 people will be adjusted to that persons size leaving way too much room for the smaller people to fall out. I’ve never seen a restraint like this and it is a dangerously poor design no matter how you look at it.

The food is standard food these places expensive and mediocre. $23.99 for a bucket of "crabby" fries give me a break. I mean Disney World is like a bargain hunters dream by comparison. I can order a gourmet Burger with Lobster on it there for around $18.00 and eat it in a beautiful restaurant with top notch service. Here I get some old bay seasoning on some fries (no crab) through a dirty take out window.

Overall it was a good park, but seriously insufficient in keeping up with the pace of it being moderately crowded. I would never go here during busy times as it would be a complete wast of time. Expensive? They all are, but the Platinum Pass is worth it if you can get to more than 4 on the circuit. So far we’ve been to 5 different parks with 2 visits to two of them. Some of the parks include their Halloween nights too, so we have gotten our moneys worth. I should mention that this pass included free parking which is $15.00 per day per park. That cost for us so far would have been $105. The P pass cost $186 for the year so do the math we’re saving a bundle.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Carbs88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“It is worth a visit, just make a budget and stay on it.”
Reviewed June 2, 2014

Carowinds is not Disney and it is not Bush Gardens and it is not a Great American theme park but it is not a waste of time to visit either. I went on a Sunday and waited no longer than 20 minutes for any ride all day. Now I went with two teenagers who despite my warning, waited for close to an hour to ride Nighthawk but one of them said it was the funnest ride they rode all day. This is the coaster that you lay face down in to ride. I'm a pretty experienced rider and nothing ever did to me what the Intimidator did to me. You are not ready for what lays ahead of you when you ride it for the first time, the first drop feels like its 5 times bigger than any other coaster you've been on, and the next couple of minutes are just drops and floating out of your seat like youve never experienced. The hair was standing on my legs when it finally came to a stop and after we had walked a bit I decided I needed to take a seat. Now After Burner is a totally different ride. It's just a big old series of flips and screws and shard whipping turns. I could ride that for hours straight. I'm still deciding which one I would call the best, it depends on what you like, surprise or thrill. The other coaster are standard coasters that I've ridden a thousand times, they were worth the 20 minute wait and put a charge into you for a bit. The water park gets busy and the lines for the slides are waaaay to long after about noon time, so go early and get it done then hit the rest of the park. In the park you will pay dearly for everything. 4 dollars for a vending machine coke, 2 dollars to shoot a basketball one time or 5 dollars for 3 shots. Souvenirs are priced to sell unlike to food which is priced beyond expectations. There is a large crowd of season pass holders, you can just tell, and I can only guess the prices are set to compensate for the free entry they get basically. Eat before you get there, and if you plan to stay all day, make the biggest part of the plan, taking an hour to leave and go outside of the park to eat and use a cleaner bathroom.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank gambler516
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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