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My friends and I are heading to Carowinds in about a week. We're all super excited, but this will be our first time there - I think it'll also be all of our first times in the Charlotte area. We will only be going to Carowinds on Saturday and driving on both Friday and Sunday afternoons, just to give an idea of how long we'll be in the area for. I know some of you have been to Carowinds before, so I thought it would be a good idea to ask you all some questions we have. 

1. What is a must-eat restaurant in Charlotte? My friends want to go to chain restaurants we have up north (we are currently in Ohio), but I'd love to try somewhere Charlotte-centric. I love BBQ and I know Charlotte has a few hot spots for BBQ, but anything would be awesome! We'll probably be eating dinner and lunch down there. 

2. What's the best restaurant at Carowinds? I've heard good things about the new restaurants, but I'm curious to know where everyone loves to eat there. 

3. What flat rides can we absolutely not miss out on? We are going to ride all the coasters there (except for Wilderness Run), but we aren't super familiar with the flat rides and none of us want to ride anything that'll give us a headache. I'd like to try the Top Scan and swinging ship, but again, I'm not familiar with either of those rides. 

4. How busy is the park on Saturdays? We are looking into Fast Lane Plus, but probably won't buy it until we get to the park just so we can check out the crowds. Do you all think it'll sell out, or are we good to wait? 

5. A few things on Copperhead Strike. Have the lines been crazy long? Has it been acting finicky (breaking down, etc)? When is the best time to ride? Having experienced Steel Vengeance last year, we're pretty used to really long lines and the ride breaking down frequently, but I also wanted to get an idea of how Copperhead's been doing beforehand. 

6. Have any of the other rides been down frequently? I've seen posts that Hurler has been down quite a bit recently, and I'm also willing to bet WindSeeker has been down a lot, too (based on what I've seen on the WindSeekers at Kings Island and Cedar Point). I'm not super worried about the flat rides, but we also want to get all of the coaster credits the park has to offer. 

I can't think of any other questions, but if anybody else wants to chime in with anything I might've missed, feel free! Sorry for having so many questions, I just want to be prepared beforehand and ask other users their thoughts about the park. Thank you all, and we are all really excited about our trip to Carowinds! 

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I can't give you much information, but I can tell you that Copperhead Strike has been breaking down a lot. But, that's probably because it's a new launch coaster and needs to break in. The best restaurants at Carowinds are either Harmony Hall near Intimidator or the new Blue Ridge Country Kitchen near Copperhead Strike. Also, Chickies and Pete's in the Carolina Boardwalk area has good food. That's near Carolina Goldrusher and Carolina Cyclone. The lines for Copperhead Strike have been pretty bad because of the smaller capacity, and the fact that it's the newest attraction. MAKE SURE TO GET A FRONT ROW LEFT SIDE RIDE ON FURY AT NIGHT. IT CHANGED MY LIFE. LOL

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1. Definitely go to a Cookout...it's cheap and good food! 

2. Harmony Hall where you can get literally whatever you want...the new restaurant was okay at best for me. 

3. Definitely ride Mountain Gliders...if Electro Spin is open, do it! 

4. Depends on the weather honestly....I'd expect it to be busy...it won't be KI busy, but it'll be busy.

5. Yes the lines have been long. Opening weekend it had it's issues but wasn't down for long. 

6.  Check https://www.carowinds.com/play/scheduled-ride-closures frequently.

7. Fast Lane Plus is $77...well worth it if you can do so.

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2 hours ago, Creed Bratton said:

1. Definitely go to a Cookout...it's cheap and good food! 

2. Harmony Hall where you can get literally whatever you want...the new restaurant was okay at best for me. 

3. Definitely ride Mountain Gliders...if Electro Spin is open, do it! 

4. Depends on the weather honestly....I'd expect it to be busy...it won't be KI busy, but it'll be busy.

5. Yes the lines have been long. Opening weekend it had it's issues but wasn't down for long. 

6.  Check https://www.carowinds.com/play/scheduled-ride-closures frequently.

7. Fast Lane Plus is $77...well worth it if you can do so.

I just looked up Cookout and it looks awesome! I'll suggest it to my friends. Harmony Hall also seems to be a pretty popular response in the thread. 

Mountain Gliders looks like a lot of fun! I'll definitely try those two out. 

We're hoping the weather is nice; nobody wants to ride Fury in the rain (I've done it on MF before and don't want to relive that experience anytime soon). The Fast Lane Plus price is not that bad either! We'll probably get it no matter what, just so we can ride everything. 

I'll pass the info about Copperhead on to my friends. I'm really, really hoping it's open when we go, but there's always that chance it won't be. It is a new ride, after all. It does sound like many of the issues have been fixed quickly, though, so fingers crossed! 

Thanks for giving me some help! It's much appreciated! 

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A couple thoughts from our first ever trip last weekend:

-Harmony Hall BBQ place was really good.  Had the brisket sandwich and mac n cheese.  Good amount of food.

-Avoid Papa Luigi's pizza.  It was one of the most bland and tasteless pizza's I have ever had.

-The Carolina Skytower is a really good after lunch/dinner attraction.  Really great views!

-Fury, Fury, Fury!!!!!!!

-Definitely ride Intimidator.  It looks like Diamondback, but it has some really nice features, especially what happens after that first drop!!

-Definitely get back to Copperhead Strike first thing in the morning.  We had like a 5 minute wait first thing in the morning.  During the afternoon it was like 2 hours.  We went back around 7-8 pm, and it was only about 20 minutes, so maybe hit it up again then.

Hope you have a great trip!!!

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On 4/5/2019 at 8:36 PM, chad_1138 said:

A couple thoughts from our first ever trip last weekend:

-Harmony Hall BBQ place was really good.  Had the brisket sandwich and mac n cheese.  Good amount of food.

-Avoid Papa Luigi's pizza.  It was one of the most bland and tasteless pizza's I have ever had.

-The Carolina Skytower is a really good after lunch/dinner attraction.  Really great views!

 -Fury, Fury, Fury!!!!!!!

-Definitely ride Intimidator.  It looks like Diamondback, but it has some really nice features, especially what happens after that first drop!!

-Definitely get back to Copperhead Strike first thing in the morning.  We had like a 5 minute wait first thing in the morning.  During the afternoon it was like 2 hours.  We went back around 7-8 pm, and it was only about 20 minutes, so maybe hit it up again then.

Hope you have a great trip!!!

Sounds really good! Brisket and mac and cheese is always a good choice. We'll probably eat at Harmony Hall while we're there, based on all the people recommending it. 

The Skytower sounds fun. I skipped out on the one at SeaWorld Orlando last time I went and I never had the chance to ride the Cedar Point one, so I'll bring it up to my friends. 

Fury, Fury, Fury! My 50th credit! Intimidator or Copperhead will be my 49th. Copperhead will probably be our first ride there, just so we can avoid the lines. 

Thank you! Sounds like you had a great trip, too! 

On 4/5/2019 at 9:45 PM, KI FANATIC 37 said:

Cookout is great. There is a place called Culvers right beside Carowinds (literally when you pull out of the parking lot). It is a great fast food place like Cookout I always get when leaving Carowinds. 

 

I hope you have a great trip!

Culvers sounds really good. I have a friend in Wisconsin who swears by it, so we might hit that up for a late night snack. And thanks! 

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Hi all, just replying back to this thread with another question. 

We are still going on our trip; however, the forecast says there will be rain all day Saturday. My friends have been discussing buying FLP, but I want to hold off on it until we get to the park. I should be fine waiting until then, right? I really don't think it's going to sell out and I'm not even sure if we'll need it. 

The weather should also keep the crowds away, correct? I've been to KI on a rainy day and it was dead the entire day. I assume the same applies to Carowinds, even on a Saturday? 

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I would suggest to never buy Fast Lane online before actually seeing the crowds in person whether at the beginning of the day or during the day. You could buy online and truly not need it. 

The weather could keep the crowds away, however, if it's warm enough I'd say there is a chance it'll still be busy. 

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4 hours ago, Creed Bratton said:

I would suggest to never buy Fast Lane online before actually seeing the crowds in person whether at the beginning of the day or during the day. You could buy online and truly not need it. 

The weather could keep the crowds away, however, if it's warm enough I'd say there is a chance it'll still be busy. 

Yeah, I've started to have a mindset like this. It seems like most of the time, the lines are average enough where you don't really need FLP; it is helpful during Halloween Haunt, though. My friends wanted to get it because this would probably be our one time at Carowinds for a while, but I don't feel like dropping 80 bucks if I don't need it. 

It is supposed to be 78 or so, but they were also calling for storms in the area. I guess we won't know what the weather looks like until we head down to Charlotte. 

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11 hours ago, Creed Bratton said:

I would suggest to never buy Fast Lane online before actually seeing the crowds in person whether at the beginning of the day or during the day. You could buy online and truly not need it. 

 

7 hours ago, fromkingstocedar said:

Yeah, I've started to have a mindset like this. It seems like most of the time, the lines are average enough where you don't really need FLP; it is helpful during Halloween Haunt, though. My friends wanted to get it because this would probably be our one time at Carowinds for a while, but I don't feel like dropping 80 bucks if I don't need it. 

This is the mindset to have... Wait to see if it's worth it before dropping the dough... Is it worth 80 bucks to skip a 3 train wait???

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I was at Carowinds today and the crowds were great.  I ended up with three rides each on Copperhead Strike and Fury within the first hour.  I would expect a Saturday to be busier but if you get there at park opening it should help.  They also have 30 minutes of ERT on Copperhead Strike on Saturdays if you are a platinum pass holder.

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