Carowinds goes back in time for newest attraction, Dinosaurs Alive!

March 28, 2013 

  • Carowinds opens

    Carowinds’ WindSeeker ride will not be running today when the park opens. Cedar Fair, the entertainment company that owns Carowinds, suspended operations of the WindSeeker last year at Carowinds and several other amusement parks when the ride malfunctioned and people were stranded on the ride.

    Carowinds General Manager Bart Kinzel said Cedar Fair is working with the ride’s manufacturer, Mondail, to design a basket-like device to remove people from the ride if it stops at tall heights. The WindSeeker takes riders about 300 feet into the air and spins them in their suspended seats.

    Improvements to the park this year include an overhaul of the Thunder Road roller coaster. “It’s nice and smooth now,” Kinzel said. The park is also opening Carowinds Grove, a picnic and events center capable of accommodating 15,000 people.

— Maggie Harvey celebrated her 12th birthday Thursday at school in Clover. Her mom, Clover Town Manager Allison Harvey, spent the day at Carowinds.

Allison Harvey was among the hundreds of local officials, journalists and invited guests – plus their children – who came for a sneak peek at the Fort Mill-area park’s newest attraction, Dinosaurs Alive!

Carowinds opens for its 41st season at 10 a.m. today. Fireworks are scheduled for Saturday, dubbed eggluminations because of the park’s three-day Easter celebration.

Billed as the largest animated dinosaur exhibit in the Southeast, Dinosaurs Alive! spans 5 acres of the amusement park that used to be an “industrial looking” picnic area, said General Manager Bart Kinzel.

Thirty-two life-sized dinosaurs, many of which can be controlled by visitors, have replaced the picnic tables.

Some dinosaurs roar and move on command.

Others soar over the park.

The giant Ruyangosaurus is 40-feet tall and 60 feet from nose to tail. If you look at it from a right angle it appears Ruyangosaurus is ready to chomp on the 300-foot tall WindSeeker ride or a nearby roller coaster.

Don’t worry, though, Ruyangosaurus was a vegetarian.

The exhibit is a combination of scary and fun, said the children of all ages who walked the 1,000-foot trail through the display Thursday.

It’s an exhibit Allison Harvey said she plans to bring Maggie to. Harvey said her daughter is a not big roller coaster fan, but said she could find thrills among the dinosaurs.

The dinosaur experience is spilt into two parts. There is a 3-D movie that explains how the dinosaurs lived. The movie may be too scary from some younger children as the dinosaurs seem just inches away from viewers because of the 3-D effects. The movie is included in the park’s admission. The fee for Dinosaurs Alive! is $5 per person.

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Don Worthington •  803-329-4066

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