Preschoolers should ‘buckle up’ for new rides, attractions at Carowinds

Carowinds theme park unveils new rides and attractions each year for big and little kids at heart, but in 2018, preschoolers take center stage.

Construction crews are renovating and expanding Camp Snoopy, formerly called Planet Snoopy, and adding five new rides and a large playground area, said Lisa Stryker, director of communications at the park in Fort Mill Township that straddles the state line.

And for the first time, preschoolers can play as much as they want (with parental or guardian supervision) for free all season, Stryker said.

The park is offering the “Pre-K Pass,” a free season pass for children ages 3 to 5, she said, which includes the regular season, The Great Pumpkin Fest in the fall and WinterFest in the winter.

Children ages 2 and under receive free admission.

Parents must register the children by May 28 and activate the card by June 17. The park will open March 24 and the water park opens in late May.

“They are going to be absolutely thrilled with what we having coming for them this summer,” she said.

The new attractions include classic children’s rides and miniature versions of larger attractions, depicting the Peanuts comic-strip gang. The updated area depicts a “natural-looking midway reminiscent of the Carolina wilderness.

The rides include:

▪ “Camp Bus,” a “wacky” bus that takes riders on a wild ride.

▪ Kids can “burn rubber” in their own Jeep-like vehicles on the “Peanuts Trailblazers.”

▪ Riders can shoot into the sky on the “Kite Eating Tree” and take a bumpy ride in an all-terrain vehicle on “Pig Pen’s Mud Buggies.”

▪ The preschoolers can spin around in an oversized bird’s nest in the “Woodstock Whirlybirds.”

Carowinds has renamed and repainted “Lucy’s Crabby Cabbies” and is building “Beagle Scout Acres,” an 8,000-square-foot playground with interactive play elements.

The park is relocating its classic carousel to a new pavilion called the “Carousel Park Plaza” to make room for a seating area with shady pergolas and a fountain, Stryker said.

The merry-go-round, renamed “The Grand Carousel,” is getting a fresh paint job to update the nearly century-old ride, she said, which has original hand-painted artwork.

For more details, visit Carowinds.com

Tracy Kimball: tkimball@heraldonline.com