Thrilling good time: Carowinds has rides, food & fun for all ages

By Rachel Teseneer
Times-News correspondent

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The Intimidator, named for NASCAR great Dale Earnhardt, is one of the roller coasters at Carowinds. [Photo courtesy of Carowinds

   CHARLOTTE — Summer break is here and there’s no better way to spend a day free of school than at Carowinds.
The theme park has roller coasters and rides that cross state lines into South Carolina. There are classics like the wooden roller coaster Hurler, which can be a good warm-up roller coaster for those   unsure of riding. Another classic and more mellow ride is Carolina Goldrush, which takes riders briefly underground.
The three most thrilling and intense coasters are Afterburn, The Intimidator and Fury 325. Afterburn is themed to look and feel like a fighter jet, as its previous name of Top Gun would imply. Afterburn   reaches speeds of 62 miles per hour, has multiple loops and inversions, and a drop of 113 feet. The Intimidator is fashioned to honor late NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt and features seven drops, reaches   80 miles per hour and goes 232 feet high.
For the those seeking extreme thrills, there is Fury 325. Crossing over state lines, this roller coaster is beautiful just to see in action, let alone experience firsthand. This coaster reaches 92 miles per hour   and has a height of 325 feet. The longest coaster of its kind, Fury 325 is 1.25 miles long. Though the size and speed is intimidating, riding Fury 325 is an experience like none other.
There are plenty of rides just for kids located at Camp Snoopy. Carolina Harbor is perfect for those looking for a water park experience.
Options for food abound. Sweets, such as funnel cakes and ice cream are practically around every corner. Franchises such as Chick-fil-A and Panda Express are at the park. Other areas for park-made   food are also available like the burger and fry diner, Jukebox. Harmony Hall Marketplace also has more traditional theme park foods, like burgers and pizza, and provides barbecue as well.
No matter what theme park experience you’re looking for, Carowinds is sure to have something for you.

Rachel Teseneer is a rising junior at N.C. State University in Raleigh and a Teens & 20s writer.

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