Carowinds Teases Future Development With Survey

If you’ve been reading Coaster101 for any significant period of time, you’ll know that we cover what’s going on at Carowinds pretty thoroughly. Typically we’re not ones to comment on speculation at the park, but there was an email sent that piqued our curiosity.

Yesterday, I received an email from Carowinds with the subject “We Need Your Help!”  A note: If you want me to read your email, this is a great way to do it! After opening the email, I was greeted with the following text:

Help us design a new area within Carowinds…

Hi! We are interested in learning your thoughts about a new and exciting concept being tested for future development at Carowinds. Your feedback will help us decide the best design for this new area. The survey should take you appoximately 5 minutes to complete.

Please click the link below to provide your feedback!

Very curious. In my years of being a pass-holder at Carowinds, I can’t recall off the top of my head receiving an email like this. However, like the subject of the email said, Carowinds needed my help, so I eagerly started the survey. 

There is a “new, exciting concept” in the works at Carowinds, and they’re sourcing pass-holder opinions as for what that concept should be.

After some basic data collection (did you visit Carowinds in 2019? Were you a pass holder in 2019?) the survey mentions that the “new concept” centers around themed areas of the park. There would be a mix of new and existing rides in each area, but the area would undergo a complete re-imagining. What are the two theme concepts? We’re glad you asked.

The first concept presented was Art Meets Industry. 

What was once a busy factory town with millworkers and craftsmen had been abandoned for years. A group of young artists discovered the area and brought new life into the town as they moved in and renovated the old factories into stylish destinations, exciting rides and breath-taking photo-ops. The artist community is now inviting YOU to come experience the vibrancy, color and whimsy of their playful creations. Welcome to the Artists’ Village – where art meets industry.

To accompany the description, there were a series of photos that served as “ideas” for the new area.

We won’t recount them all, but there were photos of the Walt Disney World Food & Wine Festival at Epcot and Omaha, Nebraska’s old market, accompanied by several “artsy” scenes including Pop Art soup cans and tires that were painted to resemble donuts. There were also several atmospheric shots that included a rustic-looking bar and a stained glass water tower.

After the description and images, we were asked our thoughts on Art Meets Industry before diving into the next concept: The Aviation Village

Filled with the spirit of invention, exploration, and aviation, YOU can now take part in this land all about the history of flight. Experience playful bravery of aviators and the inventors old, new, and fantasy to show others you have what it takes to become the next hero of adventure. Engage with rides and destinations inspired by the works of DaVinci, the Wright Brothers, post war era, and the fantastical world of Dieselpunk.

While I had to google “Dieselpunk,” there were multiple pages of aviation-related images to drive home the idea of what Carowinds is considering. These were followed the same questions about our thoughts on the concept.

The survey then closed with some household demographic data and asked which concept the reader preferred more. While I won’t go into the concept that I preferred more, I’m going to give some two cents about how I feel each area fits into Carowinds’ branding of “where the Carolinas come together.”

When I read the description for Art Meets Industry and saw the accompanying imagery, the first place that came to my mind was Asheville, NC, located in the North Carolina mountains. The description of the River Arts District, located along the French Broad River in Asheville, fits the Art Meets Industry description almost to a T.

The River Arts District consists of a vast array of artists and working studios in 23 former industrial and historical buildings spread out along a one mile stretch of the French Broad River. This eclectic area is an exciting exploration of arts, food and exercise.

An area known also for its craft breweries, wineries and farm-to-table cuisine in addition to its vibrant artistic culture, I felt a very “Asheville” vibe when looking at the descriptions and several of the included images. I could be way off base.

When it comes to aviation, North Carolina (much to the chagrin of Ohio residents) takes great pride in their “First in Flight” status. The Wright Brothers’ first flight took place on the shores of the Outer Banks in Kitty Hawk (which is already the namesake for two attractions at Carowinds – the Vekoma Family Coaster Kiddy Hawk, and Kiddy Hawk Cove, the family water play area inside of Carolina Harbor). Aviation is in North Carolina’s blood, which makes it a fantastic tie-in for future expansion at Carowinds, and is a subtle nod to the state’s history, much like the addition of Blackbeard’s Revenge in Carolina Harbor.

What’s your opinion on the new concepts for Carowinds growth and expansion? Where do you think these areas will reside in the park? Let us know in the comments below