Saturday, April 20, 2024

Carowinds Turns 40

CAROWINDS 40TH ANNIVERSARYCharlotte, NC, USA — On Saturday, June 1, 2013,  Carowinds kicked off their 40th anniversary summer celebration with a birthday party packed full of fun – and cake, the largest ever served on the state line.

When it debuted in 1973, Carowinds was located in the small city of Charlotte and the smaller town of Fort Mill, SC.  In the last forty years as the metropolitan areas have grown and evolved, so has the park.  Its original size of 73 acres has grown to 398 of rides and attractions, including 13 world class coasters, most of which travel at speeds, heights and curves that were unimaginable back in 1973.  Four original rides continue to entertain visitors  today: The Scrambler, The Carolina Goldrusher coaster, Snoopy’s Junction train, and the iconic Carolina Skytower.

Carowinds opened for daily operation on June 2, 1973, to an enthusiastic crowd.  They enjoyed the day in their bellbottoms and mini skirts and have been coming to enjoy the park’s thrills, shows and attractions ever since.


  • Price of admission on this special 40th anniversary day?  $40.
  • Ceremonial ribbon cutting with two people who were at the park opening day- James Henderson, Carowinds’ first official visitor, and  Connie Dorn Rist, Ms. North Carolina 1972.
  • Fort Mill High School marching band opened the park and helped lead the crowd in singing happy birthday as the park cut and share their giant birthday cake.
  • Carowinds worked with Arcadia Publishing to commemorate their anniversary season with a beautiful book featuring a historical collection of photos documenting four decades of thrills.
  • The party kept going with the crew from V101.9 fm.  They led the evening portion of the birthday bash with a performance by the Purple All Star Steppers and a summertime dance party.
  • The World’s Largest Soul Train Line.
  • The park wraped up the celebration with fireworks coordinated to light up the night with the biggest hits of 1973.


  • Special next-day ticket price through the entire month of June.  Come back the next day for only $19.73.
  • The Marvelous Mutts, these talented canines will amaze  with their tricks and speed.
    June 10-16 at the Intimidator infield
  • King BMX Show, riders entertain audiences with their high-flying stunts, flips and power.
    June 27-30 in Cobra Plaza
  • Gradfest, a graduation celebration with dance parties, concerts and more June 14.
  • Return to Pirate Island.  Get ready to set forth with the little ones on a trip for buried treasure and more!  Boomerang Bay July 8-14,
  • Lunch with the Peanuts Gang, interactive character meal puts guests at the head of the table.
    In the Rose Room VIP venue July 15-19.

Joe Kleiman
Joe Kleiman
Raised in San Diego on theme parks, zoos, and IMAX films, InPark's Senior Correspondent Joe Kleiman would expand his childhood loves into two decades as a projectionist and theater director within the giant screen industry. In addition to his work in commercial and museum operations, Joe has volunteered his time to animal husbandry at leading facilities in California and Texas and has played a leading management role for a number of performing arts companies. Joe previously served as News Editor and has remained a contributing author to InPark Magazine since 2011. HIs writing has also appeared in Sound & Communications, LF Examiner, Jim Hill Media, The Planetarian, Behind the Thrills, and MiceChat His blog, takes an unconventional look at the attractions industry. Follow on twitter @ThemesRenewed Joe lives in Sacramento, California with his wife, dog, and a ghost.

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