As you’ve probably heard, Carowinds is celebrating the park’s 50th anniversary in 2023. The park sits directly on the North and South Carolina border. And throughout the years it has evolved and grown into one of the nation’s premier amusement parks. It’s seen changes in ownership, the addition of a waterpark, and countless rides come and go. Some of those “goings” hurt more than others (RIP Thunder Road). But most have made way for bigger and better attractions. Fury 325 is regarded as one of the best roller coasters in the country. The Copperhead Strike is the park’s newest roller coaster. And this year they added the new Aeronautical Landing portion to the area near Afterburn. That ride will always be Top Gun to me, a name that was retired when Paramount sold the park to Cedar Fair. And I remember being too small to ride it when it first opened, but I’ll never forget how massive it seemed at the time. Now it’s one of the smaller at least in height, rides in the park. But even with all this change, some things at Carowinds remain the same from the park’s opening day in 1973 including a few attractions.
So what did Carowinds look like, on March 31, 2023? Here’s a look at some of the Carowinds opening day attractions you can still experience. And keep reading for a lookback and some of the rides I wish you could still ride!