Entertainment

Carowinds’ newest coaster launches first riders, park opens

Carowinds launches Copperhead Strike coaster

Carowinds launched Copperhead Strike, the Carolinas’ first double-launch roller coaster, Thursday with its first riders, fireworks and samples of eats from the park’s new Blue Ridge Country Kitchen. The 2019 season kicks off this weekend.
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Carowinds launched Copperhead Strike, the Carolinas’ first double-launch roller coaster, Thursday with its first riders, fireworks and samples of eats from the park’s new Blue Ridge Country Kitchen. The 2019 season kicks off this weekend.

Carowinds’ new Copperhead Strike roller coaster leaves the gate and those onboard immediately experience one of five times you’re upside-down while going through two launches.

Carowinds introduced its new ride, the Carolinas’ first double-launch roller coaster, Thursday with its first riders, fireworks and samples of eats from the park’s new Blue Ridge Country Kitchen.

Copperhead Strike first launches riders from 0 to 42 mph in 2.5 seconds, The Herald previously reported. Riders are launched a second time during the ride from 35 to 50 mph in 2 seconds. The entire ride lasts 2 minutes, 24 seconds.

“This transformational coaster is the first of its kind in the Carolinas,” said Lisa Stryker, spokesperson for Carowinds. “Guests jump into their getaway car and head out on a relentless chase through rolling farm land.”

Theoden Janes went to Carowinds to test out the park's newest roller coaster, Copperhead Strike. He attempted the ride without cracking a smile or a scream.

Among the first riders of Copperhead Strike were members of the Make-a-Wish Foundation of Central and Western North Carolina. A recent live auction fundraiser for Make-a-Wish raised more than $10,000 by offering first rides on Copperhead Strike, said John Taylor, Carowinds spokesperson.

“This donation will enable Make-a-Wish to grant a high-cost wish and create a life-changing experience for a local family,” Taylor said.

The park’s new Blue Ridge Junction themed area includes Copperhead Strike, a re-imagined ride called Mountain Gliders, the new restaurant and other features.

A 130-suite hotel also is slated to open later this year. A new 101-room dormitory will house students from across the region and world, Stryker said.

“This is the largest single-year investment in the park’s history,” said Pat Jones, vice president and general manager of Carowinds.

Carowinds opens for the 2019 season this weekend. Carowinds is located on the South Carolina-North Carolina state line, between Fort Mill and Charlotte.

Carowinds announced plans Thursday for construction of a new "double launch" roller coaster, "Copperhead Strike" which will stretch more than half-a-mile. The theme park will also build a hotel and restaurant.

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Amanda Harris covers issues related to children and families in York, Chester and Lancaster County for The Herald. Amanda works with local schools, parents and community members to address important topics such as school security, mental health and the opioid epidemic. She graduated from Winthrop University.
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