CHARLOTTE, N.C., Jan. 28, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Besides building the world's tallest and fastest giga coaster, Carowinds announced today a 2015 calendar that includes the largest and most unique array of events ever held at the Thrill Capital of the Southeast.
A new spring event called Taste of the Carolinas will feature the park's new executive chef, as guests can eat, drink and experience the best of what the Carolinas have to offer, including culinary art from nine different regions. Other summer events include a Friday night concert series at Harmony Hall, "Dive In Movies" at Boomerang Bay waterpark and enhanced Easter and Spring Break festivities.
"People have not seen these types of events at Carowinds, and they will love what we've planned for 2015," says Mike Fehnel, Carowinds vice president and general manager.
"Of course we're excited about the thrills from the new Fury 325 roller coaster – and the fact that we'll now have two of the 10 tallest roller coasters in North America," Fehnel says. "But even if you don't like to scream on roller coasters, you'll shout about the wide range of events we have this year that provide many new experiences for all members of the family."
"There will be many reasons why a day at Carowinds will be the best day of summer."
Guests can experience the most exciting season ever with a 2015 gold season pass that provides unlimited visits to Carowinds, as well as free parking, free SCarowinds, early ride times and more. They're available for as low as six easy payments of $16 at www.carowinds.com.
Taste of the Carolinas, which runs Saturdays and Sundays from April 18 to May 17, will feature the best foods of the Carolinas. Parts of the park will be divided into different genres, from wild boar ravioli of the mountains to Calabash seafood of the coast and, of course, BBQ. Each location will offer tasting-sized entrees so guests can venture their way across the Carolinas. The park will also feature craft beer and wine samplings.
There will be plenty of Carolina-grown entertainment, as well as other highlights, including chef appearances, demonstrations and more.
"You will not believe the difference in our food – both the quality and the selection – as we have completely rejuvenated and revitalized our food program here at the park," Fehnel says. "We're proud that food will now be another part of the enhanced Carowinds experience."
The 2015 events schedule includes:
Opening Weekend! -- March 28-29
Let's get this party started! Our 2015 season kicks off on March 28-29 and will be the BIGGEST WEEKEND EVER at Carowinds. We'll have tons of fantastic prize giveaways, awesome music from the area's top performers and much, much more. This is definitely a momentous event you won't want to miss!
Spring Break -- March 30 - April 12
You've been working hard all school year long and it's time to take a break – a Carowinds break! Join us for rip-roaring thrills, unlimited laughs and power-packed fun. This marks the first time Carowinds will be open daily for two weeks when local schools have spring break. With Fury 325, Carowinds will now have two of the 10 tallest roller coasters in North America and a total of 14 – a number only three parks worldwide can top. If you miss opening weekend, this is your opportunity.
Easter Eggstravaganza -- April 3-5
Who's that hoppin' down the bunny trail? It's our own Eggward the Easter Bunny and Snoopy the Easter Beagle! Come to Carowinds during our Easter Eggstravaganza April 3-5 to get your photo taken with Eggward and Snoopy and take part in our eggstra-special activities, crafts and entertainment.
Taste of the Carolinas -- Saturdays and Sundays from April 18 - May 17
It's home grown, y'all! Carolinians know that home is all about food, and this spring, we invite you to Carowinds to eat, drink and experience the best of what we have to offer. At our inaugural Taste of the Carolinas event on Saturday and Sundays from April 18 through May 17, you can get a taste of just why we love it here. Sample culinary art from nine Carolina regions – from wild boar ravioli of the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains to Calabash seafood of the coast – along with recommended pairings of local craft beers and wine. What's more, we'll treat you to Carolina-grown entertainment and special activities. Y'all come!
JoyFest -- Saturday, May 23
One of the country's largest gospel music festivals is coming to Carowinds on May 23. Be blessed and inspired from award-winning gospel musicians Fred Hammond and Tye Tribbett. Tickets are available at ticketmaster.com or at any Ticketmaster location. For more information, visit http://www.joyfest.org/.
Military Days -- May 24-25; July 3-5
Join us as we pay tribute to our brave military service men and women by offering FREE park admission to any active, inactive or retired United States Service men and women with a valid military I.D.
Harmony Hall Concert Series -- Friday nights from May 29 - August 7
After a hard week at work, wind down at summer's social hot spot, Carowinds' own Harmony Hall. On Friday evenings from May 29 through August 7, relax with us on the patio and enjoy fantastic concerts and sensational food and beverage specials.
Rock the Park -- Saturday, June 13
Get ready for the ultimate rock and worship experience at Rock the Park at Carowinds on Saturday, June 13. Award-winning bands Casting Crowns and Skillet will perform their favorite hits and galvanize your faith. Tickets are available at ticketmaster.com or at any Ticketmaster location. For more information visit http://www.rocktheparkfest.com/.
Dive-In Movies -- Saturdays from July 11 - August 15
Come to Carowinds' version of a drive-in movie – a DIVE-in movie! On Saturdays from July 11 through August 15, we'll show family-favorite flicks in our Boomerang Bay Water Park.
Run and Ride -- September 12-13
The thrill of the run and the thrill of the ride – all in one day. Carowinds is excited to present year two of our Run and Ride series, which will have your heart pounding during one of the running events through the park and then your lungs screaming as you take on some of the best roller coasters in the country, including the new Fury 325. With a half-marathon, 10k, 5k, and 1-mile fun run to choose from, there's something for everyone to try. Free park entry for the half-marathon and 10k, and discounts for 5K and 1-mile fun run. Learn more at carowinds.com.
The new events are part of a planned $50 million multiyear investment to bring new life to founder Pat Hall's original vision for Carowinds, which called for giving enjoyment to millions of Carolinians. The park is being revamped from top to bottom to celebrate Carolina culture, including new rides, attractions and food from different regions
The release of the schedule follows previous announcements about two new rides in 2015. The biggest: the Fury 325 roller coaster, which hauls riders 325-feet high – 20-feet taller than the Statue of Liberty – before plunging them down an 81-degree drop at speeds up to 95 mph. Carowinds will also unveil its second tallest ride, the SlingShot. On that ride, up to two people will be catapulted in a capsule, springing 295-feet into the air at speeds up to 60 mph. After some brief weightlessness, riders will zoom back toward the ground, often rotating head-over-heels and bouncing up and down until they come to rest at the launch point.
"Carowinds will be even more of a destination for thrill-seekers, but these new events will give us a chance to appeal to different audiences for different reasons," Fehnel says. "Whether you're a longtime season pass holder or someone new to the area, Carowinds in 2015 will provide the best day of summer."
For more than 40 years, Carowinds has been the place where the Carolinas come together. In 2015, we are excited to debut a fresh, new, and captivating experience for Carowinds -- one that celebrates the best that the Carolinas have to offer. We've got nearly 400 acres packed with more than 50 rides, shows and attractions -- everything you need for creating lifelong memories. Thrill-seekers will get their fix with a total of 14 roller coasters – only three parks in the world have more. Families will delight in the zany rides and activities at Planet Snoopy, featuring Snoopy and the entire PEANUTS™ gang. Everyone will enjoy our spectacular high-energy live shows. When the heat rises, cool down at Boomerang Bay, our 20-acre waterpark with two gigantic wave pools, exhilarating water slides, a lazy river and so much more. Plus, Boomerang Bay is included in your park admission.
Carowinds is owned and operated by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company, a publicly traded partnership that is listed for trading on The New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "FUN." In addition to Carowinds, Cedar Fair owns and operates ten other amusement parks including Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH, three water parks, one indoor water park, and five hotels. Cedar Fair also operates the Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park in California under a management contract.