“It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas” as Carowinds Prepares for Winterfest

In past years, after the monsters of SCarowinds finished terrifying the midways of Carowinds around Halloween, it meant that the park would settle down for a long winter’s nap, until reopening the following Spring. Not this year, though.

Carowinds is “hauling out the holly” this winter with the return of Winterfest to the state line. With preparations in full swing, we were able to stop by the park this week to see how Carowinds is quickly transforming into a Winter Wonderland before Winterfest begins on Friday, November 24.

The Winterfest decorations begin before you even enter the park gates, as Santa and his reindeer look to be readying for take-off on Fury 325’s “fly-over” of the entrance path.

Christmas decorations have started to appear in Carowinds main entrance area, Celebration Plaza, including the 70′ tall Christmas Tree that straddles the North Carolina-South Carolina state line. During Winterfest, there will be a nightly Tree Lighting during Winterfest, every night at 5:30pm, as long as live entertainment in front of the tree.

Park guests will be able to get a little ice skating in on Carowinds’ temporary ice rink, Snowflake Lake, located near Intimidator and Harmony Hall.

Winterfest Decorations at the Ready.

These reindeer were part of a new “ring toss” game specifically for Winterfest. Looks like there will be a winner every time!

Not all of the SCarowinds props needed to be put away for Winterfest, as pieces from the Fleet Street Scare Zone are being repurposed as scenes from the Charles Dickens’ holiday classic, “A Christmas Carol.” We even heard that Ebeneezer Scrooge himself may make an appearance at Winterfest.

Over in Planet Snoopy, giant lights are everywhere, along with several winter Peanuts scenes where guests can take photos. Many of Planet Snoopy’s attractions will be open during Winterfest, including the Character Carousel, which will be relocated for the 2018 (more on that later!)

Over by Dinosaurs Alive, there are some elves who have taken up residence in the park, and even some of the Dinosaurs in the park are getting in on the Holiday Festivities.

Glad to see that even Boocifer decorated his home for the Holidays. The Gazebo and Reindeer topiaries out front are a nice touch!

One thing you might have noticed is that a majority if not all of the buildings in Carowinds have added strands of white lights outlining their roofs. These will remain year-round, giving Carowinds a much more vibrant night-time feel during the regular season.

Many of Carowinds’ dining outlets will be receiving new Holiday Overlays, complete with a traditional and non-traditional holiday fare. The Wings Restaurant will become Dasher’s Diner and feature menu items including the Roast Beast Burger, Monte Kristo Kringle Sandwich and spicy cranberry wings.

Fair Fries will become Sugar Plum’s Fairy Fries, and will feature fried fruit pies and fried oreos, along with more traditional Fair Fries cuisine of Corndogs and Fries.

For a full list of Holiday Dining Options at Winterfest, Click Here!

Carowinds’ new County Fair area will transform into the Coca-Cola Polar Bear Plaza during Winterfest. Many of the decorations are still in progress, but will feature the classic Coca-Cola holiday imagery of Santa Claus and Polar Bears. The familiar Red and White colors of Coca-Cola also make an appearance in the overhead lights, which even during the day, looked impressive.

All four of the new County Fair Rides — Rock N Roller, Electro Spin, Do-Si-Do, and Zephyr, are scheduled to be open during Winterfest.

Ricochet will be open during Winterfest, and received a new festive color-changing lighting package on the ride’s marquee.

These stalls, which housed games during the Great Pumpkin Fest, will make up Artisan Alley, featuring local crafters and artisans.

There are thousands of white lights inside of Carowinds’ covered tunnel. The park is reportedly using over 5 million lights total for Winterfest across the park.

Who invited all these penguins?


Carowinds has announced that up to 16 attractions will be operating during Winterfest, in addition to Slingshot and Ripcord, two attractions that require an additional fee. For the full list of attractions click here!

There will also be 12 unique entertainment options at Carowinds’ Winterfest. For a full list, click here!


Winterfest begins on Friday November 24, and takes place select nights through Saturday, December 30 from 5:00pm-10:00pm.

(The easiest way to convey this is Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from November 24 to December 10, Every Night from December 15-23, Closed Christmas Eve and Christmas, and open from December 26-30. (For the full Winterfest schedule, Click Here.)

For more information about Winterfest, be sure to visit Carowinds’ website, and follow the park on Facebook and Twitter. (And for the “foodies” who are reading this, make sure you’re following Carowinds’ Executive Chef Krzysztof Siuta on Twitter, as he provides some Winterfest Menu Sneak Peeks!)

Are you ready to be simply having a wonderful Christmas time at Winterfest? (Okay, that last attempt to force a Christmas Song lyric in was a bit of a reach.) Let us know in the comments below!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays!

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1 Response

  1. Zachary says:

    Meat. Wish I could go.

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