Guests under the age of 17 will not be allowed into Carowinds’ annual Halloween event, SCarowinds, without an adult chaperone starting this Friday.
The chaperone policy is the Charlotte, North Carolina park’s reaction to a chaotic opening night. Last Saturday, false rumors of shots being fired led to panicked guests running through the park and an early 11 p.m. closure.
Guests told WCNC that multiple fights had broken out between unaccompanied teenagers and criticized Carowinds for a lack of crowd control and security. Carowinds, for its part, put the blame on “unruly behavior by several groups of minors which led to unconfirmed rumors of a threat to guests,” in a statement released after the closure.
The new policy will require anyone 17 or younger to be accompanied by a chaperone who is at least 21 years old to be admitted into the park during SCarowinds events. Adult chaperones will have to stay with the younger guests throughout the visit and any minors found unaccompanied inside the park will be ejected.
Bags are also being banned from the event, with the small exception of bags no larger than 4.5 inches by 6.5 inches containing “only medically necessary items,” Carowinds said. No backpacks, purses, or diaper bags will be allowed inside during SCarowinds.
Carowinds’ chaperone policy is similar to what another Cedar Fair park, Knott’s Berry Farm, instituted in July following a series of violent fights between teenagers. That policy was later expanded to apply to Knott’s own Halloween haunt event, Knott’s Scary Farm.