Carowinds announces major waterpark expansion, new slides

Carowinds will splash into the 2016 season with the a “historic” waterpark expansion that will bring a slice of the Carolinas coast to the Fort Mill amusement park.

The renovations will transform Boomerang Bay into the all-new Carolina Habor waterpark that features the park’s current waterpark attractions while introducing a variety of new ones.

“Blackbeard’s Revenge” will be a six-story pirate-themed water slide complex with six slides. Pirate’s Plank will send individual guests plummeting 70 feet in a near-vertical free fall when the floor drops out from under neath them. Cannonball Drop will twist and turn riders through an enclosed chute, and Captain’s Curse will send riders down a series of intense drops and turns.

“Seaside Splashworks” will be a multi-level children’s water sprayground that features more than 80 play elements, including spray jets, wade pools, water guns, slides and a 423-gallon tipping bucket.

“Myrtle Turtle Beach” and “Kitty Hawk Cove” are specifically designed with children in mind, and features an interactive water play area that uses pumps and streams to challenge children to work together as a team to amplify water and block streams.

The wave of excitement will continue for parkgoers with Surf Club Harbor, a new 27,000-square-foot wave pool that creates up to six-foot waves in 12 different patterns. A new restaurant, bar, more than 40 cabanas and 1,100 lounge chairs will wrap up the waterpark expansion.

“During the off season, our existing Boomerang Bay water park will be completely transformed and expanded into the new Carolina Harbor, soon to be the Carolinas’ largest water park,” John Taylor, director of marketing for Carowinds, said during Thursday’s announcement.

The amusement park hinted for months that the expansion was water-related, calling it a big “sea”cret that guests are “shore” to love. The park began using the Twitter hashtag #WaterYouDoing2016.

The expansion will spill over to the site of the former Thunder Road wooden roller coaster, which was demolished earlier this month after 39 years in operation and a declining ridership.

The addition is the latest phase in a $50 million-plus multi-year expansion at Carowinds, an effort kicked off by building the world’s tallest and fastest giga coaster, Fury 325, as well as new park food offerings which are regionally relevant.

Included in the 2016 changes at the park will be “Cirque Imagine,” a 30-minute live show featuring acrobatic performances of strength, balance and athleticism. There will also be expansions and enhancements to the park’s fall events “The Great Pumpkin Fest” and “Scarowinds,” including the return of Slaughterhouse to Scarowinds.

There will also be a new 3,000-square-foot Starbucks built just inside the park’s entrance.

Park officials on Thursday hinted at yet another new attraction. “Get ready to soil your pants,” part of a slide show read. More information on that attraction is expected to be released in October.

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