4 Reasons Why the Carowinds PEANUTS Celebration May be the Best Time to Visit The Park
Earlier this season, Carowinds quietly added three additional weekends in November to their operating calendar. In the time where Carowinds typically closed to transform from “Scary to Merry” in between SCarowinds and WinterFest, the park announced a new fall event for 2019, the PEANUTS Celebration.
The PEANUTS Celebration, while not a new concept for Cedar Fair parks (Knott’s Berry Farm and Valleyfair! also host similar events), was a first-of-its-kind event at Carowinds. Having never really experienced the park in early November (mainly because previous operating calendars prevented it), I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. However, after experiencing it first hand with several members of the Coaster101 team, I can safely say that the PEANUTS Celebration may be one of the best times of the year to visit the park. Here’s four reasons why.
Typically reserved for appearances in Camp Snoopy, PEANUTS decor was a common theme throughout Carowinds during the PEANUTS Celebration. Everywhere you looked in Celebration Plaza and Blue Ridge Junction, there were PEANUTS Characters, references to the classic Charles Schulz cartoon strip, and yellow and black bunting, paying homage to Charlie Brown’s signature shirt.
There were multiple photo opportunities, including iconic elements from the PEANUTS Comic Strip, like Lucy’s Psychiatric Help Stand.
Even the pathways around Carowinds were decorated with various scenes from PEANUTS cartoons.
One of my favorite aspects of the PEANUTS Celebration were these speech bubbles that were scattered around the walkway underneath Nighthawk. I will say, the way they were oriented, it made it difficult to get a picture like someone was actually speaking into the bubble, but the sentiment was definitely there.
Carowinds has even more photo opportunities at the front of the park.
The colors of PEANUTS really “pop” throughout the park!
Obviously, a big perk of visiting any amusement park is the list of rides. While several attractions at Carowinds do not operate during the PEANUTS Celebration for various reasons, for visitors of the park who have been to Carowinds before, you likely will not much of anything that happens to be closed during your visit. As PEANUTS Celebration is an event geared mainly towards families, the focus on keeping many of the family attractions open is clearly evident in the operating ride list.
Given the time of year, and a tight off-season maintenance schedule, it makes sense for several rides to close early so that Carowinds’ maintenance team can get working on them for next year. Several roller coasters were also down a train or two due to early off-season maintenance, resulting in one-train operation on a few attractions. Keep in mind, the operating calendar was changed mid-season, so the off-season maintenance schedule might not have adapted as quickly.
For those of you who are the “coaster credit” counting type — 11 of Carowinds’ 14 roller coasters were open during our visit — the coasters not in operation during PEANUTS Celebration included Nighthawk, Vortex, and Woodstock Express. (Note: Intimidator closed for the season following November 10.)
Other attractions not operating included Windseeker (Closed for WinterFest Lights), and the entirety of the Crossroads area (save for Afterburn) — Dodgems, Frenzoid, and Plants Vs. Zombies, as that area of the park is closed off for WinterFest.
The Crowds and Weather
The fall is often a hit or miss time for theme park crowds. They can be slammed during Halloween for Haunt season, or in other parks’ cases, people trying to squeeze every last bit of admission out of their season pass. With PEANUTS Celebration being a first year event, I wasn’t sure how the crowds would be.
Spoiler alert: The crowds were amazing, especially if you like riding things when you visit a theme park. It could have been any combination of things, but the perfect storm of “people not realizing Carowinds was open because it’s after Halloween,” a family-focused event, and a forecast that called for cooler temperatures meant that much of the day equated to walk-ons or near walk-ons on every attraction we wanted to ride.
Try riding Kiddy Hawk on a Saturday in the summer without waiting. You can’t. Try having multiple walk-ons of Copperhead Strike on a Saturday during the summer. You can’t. During our visit to the PEANUTS Celebration, we had both of those things in the span of an hour. The crowds filled in later in the afternoon, but it was never at a level that would hinder enjoyment.
Weather in the Carolinas in November can be extremely unpredictable. It’s far enough south where snow and ice isn’t a constant concern before December, but there can certainly be a few chilly-to-cold pre-Thanksgiving days. But if there’s a forecast that calls for blue skies and temperatures in the low 50’s like we experienced during our visit, and you’re on the fence: GO TO THE PARK. You will have a blast. (As always consult a weather forecast before visiting — we just happened to get lucky.)
One of the best things about the PEANUTS Celebration at Carowinds was the variety of family friendly entertainment that was offered through the park — so much that we didn’t even come close to seeing everything during our one visit.
Franklin had his own Country Jamboree, which drew a crowd during multiple shows.
At Peppermint Patty’s Painting Party, the creative percussionists mixed their paint and drum skills to create a true masterpiece. There was some fantastic audience interaction that allowed the kids in attendance to help Peppermint Patty create a painting for Charlie Brown.
Take a look a quick look at Peppermint Patty’s Paint Party Below
There was some more drumming later on with Linus’ Drumline. The high energy performers put on a show with their sticks, much to Linus’ delight! Check out a quick clip from the beginning of Linus’ Drumline below!
Both Linus’ Drumline and Peppermint Patty’s Painting Party were created by JM Music Design.
The entertainment at the PEANUTS Celebration truly was going to the dogs with the Branson, Missouri-based All-Star Stunt Dogs taking over the Carowinds Theater during the event.
Even Snoopy got in on the action!
Over near Copperhead Strike, Sally’s Silent Disco was taking place. I think I caught these dancers mid-“Wobble!”
There are several other PEANUTS-themed activities that take place during the PEANUTS Celebration.
- The PEANUTS Creation Station in Blue Ridge Junction
- PEANUTS Arts and Crafts
- PEANUTS Sketch School in Harmony Hall
- Learn to Draw your favorite PEANUTS characters.
- Inside PEANUTS inside Camp Store
- A Charles Schulz exhibit
- Lucy’s Mummy Pit & Charlie Brown’s Tractor Tours in Camp Snoopy
- Pig Pen’s Pig Pen Petting Zoo in Blue Ridge Junction
There was also some PEANUTS Celebration merchandise available at the front of the park.