Carowinds is reversing its decision not to reopen in 2020 and will instead offer a hard-ticket holiday experience on select dates starting November 21. 

The Carowinds Taste of the Season: An Outdoor Holiday Experience will offer “dozens of sweet and savory tastings, festive themed areas, live shows, and popular rides throughout the park,” according to a park press release. While the park did not mention specific attractions that will be open, Coaster101 reported that three roller coasters — Ricochet, Afterburn, and Copperhead Strike — will be available during the event. 


As with other parks during the pandemic, Carowinds will be instituting plenty of new safety measures designed to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus. These include:

  • Requiring guests to complete a pre-visit health screening declaration 24 hours before coming to the park; 
  • Undergo a temperature screening;
  • Wearing a face mask throughout the park, with masks not allowed to have exhalation valves or vents;
  • Physical distancing markers in queues
  • Additional hand sanitizer stations

“The safety of our guests and associates is always our top priority and our guests can be confident they can visit Carowinds and have fun safely,” Pat Jones, vice president and general manager at Carowinds, said in a press release. “Our health and safety protocols align with CDC guidance and we incorporated information from company and industry health and safety experts, along with our state and local government officials. We couldn’t be more ready and excited to welcome guests back to the park for this wonderful holiday celebration.”

Advance reservations will also be required to manage capacity. Season passholders can make reservations beginning November 9, while single-day tickets will go on sale on November 11. Entry will be guaranteed for guests at Carowinds Camp Wilderness or SpringHill Suites by Marriott Charlotte at Carowinds. 

The park is also hiring seasonal workers to fill food and beverage and security positions for the event.

According to the Carowinds calendar, the event is scheduled to run for 12 select nights, from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., from November 21 through December 20. 

The 400-acre park that straddles the North Carolina-South Carolina border has been closed since WinterFest 2019 wrapped last December. Parent company Cedar Fair said in August that Carowinds would not open at all in 2020. The park initially stuck by that stance when, on Sept. 30, North Carolina moved to Phase 3 of its COVID-19 reopening plan, which allows amusement parks to operate outdoor areas and attraction at 30 percent capacity.

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