Thrilling experience: Carowinds has rides, events for all ages

Night Hawk, a "flying" coaster at Carowinds amusement park, is one of the thrill rides you can expect to experience during your visit there. / Photo courtesy of Carowinds

Commentary by Allison Tate
Times-News correspondent

   It is an unspoken rule that Carowinds, the sprawling amusement park found in Charlotte, is not for the faint of heart. Thrill seekers come from far and wide to the park, which is home to more than eight roller coasters, one Drop Tower and a gigantic water park. If thrill rides make you want to curl into a ball, don’t worry; there is something for everyone.
The most popular coaster, and the newest, is the Intimidator. Inspired by the late NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt, this ride is the longest, fastest and tallest roller coaster in the southeast. The Intimidator stands at the front of the park like a great red beacon to visitors. If you only have one chance to ride, do it at night. The tracks glow red and the view of Carowinds is breathtaking.
If you survive the Intimidator, the Night Hawk roller coaster should be next on your list. Night Hawk isn’t the average thrill ride. After taking a seat and strapping in, there is a sensation of falling backward. This is what sets this coaster apart from the others. Riders do not sit up, they lay down flat on their backs. The Night Hawk literally gives visitors the feeling of flying.
Thunder Road, the oldest roller coaster in the park, is another famous attraction. The all-wooden ride goes through both North and South Carolina. This coaster definitely has an old western feel that sets it apart from the rest of the park.
If you do choose to ride, be prepared to get thrown around in your seat. Wooden rides have a reputation for being bumpy. Carowinds is an amazing getaway for families; with a great variety of thrill rides and family rides, there is surely something for every visitor.
Most height requirements for riders are 48 inches with the Intimidator’s requirement being 54 inches. The park opens at 10 a.m. and closes at 10 p.m. For more information visit or follow on Twitter.

 Allison Tate is a senior at Clover Garden School and a Teens & Twenties writer.


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