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I've only been once but some of my friends go frequently and I know someone who used to work there, so here's my advice:
It's not going to be very crowded on a weekday. On weekends you'll probably have some lines, but most of the people in the park are most likely gonna be at Carolina Harbor.
Fury, Intimidator, and Afterburn are the must rides. Everything else is worth the credit but pretty lame, so you will probably find yourself riding the same three rides over and over.
And most importantly, do not overhype the park before you go. Don't get me wrong it's a great park, but it's not quite the quality of KD, KI, or CP like some people say.

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When we went last summer Woodstock Express went down while we were in line. Rather than leave the area, my mom suggested we ride Peanuts Pirates. I was skeptical as it seems like such a kiddie ride, but it was actually a lot of fun. And by 'we' I mean my 19 year old self, my 17 year old brother, my 21 year old sister, and my 51 year old dad. So, yea, give it a shot because it's certainly not just a kiddie ride. We all enjoyed it.

I'd also echo Sythe's comments about hype. Going down I felt like a lot of people said it's an awesome park. Sure, it's not bad, but I personally feel CP, KI, and KD are all superior.

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10 minutes ago, King Ding Dong said:

That's interesting.  Thinking about a weekday trip this summer and was leaning towards Carowinds.   So KD is better?  How about NJFTP?  What would your order of preference be?

I say go to KD when i went it was fun compareing KD to KI and also how fun the rides are, go weekday  I305 typically has zero to 10 minuet wait 

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Carowinds never has busy days, you should be fine whenever you are planning to go, as said above, do not overhype the park, I don't want to sound like that I'm saying it's an awful park, but your top three is pretty good, Fury is my personal number two, just don't overhype the ride (I found it extremely overrated my first few rides), Intimidator is good, but Diamondback is better (In my opinion, but I noticed Intimidator is a bit smoother than Diamondback if that interests you) Afterburn is a very good invert, but unlike most people I don't see the love for this one, I much prefer Montu or Banshee, then your one and dones are Nighthawk: it'll be the only coaster with a line, though when I went on a Saturday in July I got on in 5 minutes, and it was as great as I expected, awful, I don't know what the chain did between Firehawk and Nighthawk, but the ride is a terrible coaster, Vortex is also pretty bad, anyway hope you have a great trip!

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12 minutes ago, Joncars05 said:

Do not skip Woodstock Gliders. I feel like my wife and I almost broke the ride snapping those gliders. 

Do they still allow snapping? I know other scooters at Cedar Fair parks banned snapping a year or two ago.

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Do they still allow snapping? I know other scooters at Cedar Fair parks banned snapping a year or two ago.

Yes. When I was down there this year people were snapping multiple times! It was even encouraged by the ride ops!
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I personally like Carowinds more than KD. It isn't the size of Kings Island or Cedar Point but there are lots to enjoy at this park. 

I will ride everything at least once so give all the rides a chance...even if it looks "boring". Ricochet is one of my favorite Wild Mouse rides. 

Peanuts Pirates in Planet Snoopy is a suprisingly fun ride! Don't skip it - I'm so glad @chugh43 had us ride it! 

The park has charming decorations and theming in different areas. 

On some spring days they have both Music in the Park and Education Days happening - there may higher than normal weekday crowds. After that though, weekday crowds are really light.

The food options at Harmony Hall are impressive and worth a visit. 

If you like taking pictures, Dinosaurs Alive gives you great sight lines for Intimidator and a different view of After Burn.

Carolina Harbor looked amazing when I walked through last season. The upgrades and redesign really makes their water park stand out. 

Finally, I would say to just go and have fun. If you go and expect to have a fun day experiencing a new park, you'll be fine. 

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18 hours ago, jcgoble3 said:

Do they still allow snapping? I know other scooters at Cedar Fair parks banned snapping a year or two ago.

Surprisingly they did when we were there 2 years ago. It was incredible. I hope they still allow it because the newer models at KI and CP are much harder to snap, IMO.

 

I'll jump on board and say I liked Carowinds more than KD last time we were there. Carowinds park was DEAD. We went during two weekdays in late June. We left the park for lunch each day for 2 hours and we still were able to ride Fury 20+ times, Afterburn in the high teens, and Intimidator in the low teens. 

My advice would be to right Nighthawk first as when we went Afterburn was a complete walk on. Fury never extended more than 7 minutes, and intimidate was about a 5 minute wait when it was busy. Nighthawk was a 35 minute wait 30 minutes after the park opened. Other than that enjoy the laidback atmosphere. The employees were great when we were there. I cannot speak on the water park as we didnt visit it when we were there. But from the looks of it I would say over half of the crowd that was at Carowinds was in the water park for the majority of the day. The lines looked pretty long. Either way if you go enjoy your trip. Its a really nice park.

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