May 20, 2016
Last year, Carowinds began asking #WaterYouDoing2016. The “seacret” was revealed in grand fasion last fall and throughout the fall and winter months we have been kept up to date on all the construction and changes going on in the then Boomerang Bay water park. Now, the time has finally arrived to see (sea?) what awaits everyone this year at the new Carolina Harbor – the largest water park in the Carolinas!
On Wednesday, May 18, Carowinds hosted a two-part media event to show off the new and updated water park. The day began with a sneak peak at the all-new six-story slide tower Blackbeard’s Revenge. Blackbeard’s Revenge features six new slides – three tube slides (Captain’s Curse and Cannonball Drop) and three drop slides (Pirate’s Plank).
It was a cool and cloudy morning, but the invited media guests all suited up to take one of the first drops down Pirate’s Plank. Stepping in to the pod may be a little unnerving as you stare down the almost vertical drop through the clear floor beneath you – especially knowing that that floor won’t be holding you up for long. The walk up six stories provides a great view of the entire water park. The trip down won’t take nearly as long. With a thumbs up and a 3, 2, 1 countdown, it’s all downhill from there – in a good way! To see for yourself, check out our POV below.
While it may be the headliner attraction, there is much more that has been added for the 2016 season. Surf Club Harbor is a new 27,000 square foot wave pool complete with interactive geyser, shaded cabanas, an entertainment stage, it’s own bath house, and Schooners Beach Bar.
Also new is the Seaside Splashworks. Part of the new two-acre family play area, this interactive multi-level play structure guarantees that you will be soaked with its most prominent feature – the 423 gallon tipping bucket. When the bell starts to sound, you have just aabout a minute to make sure you’re in position. Whether that is underneath the falling water or safely back at your beach chair is up to you!
Also new for Carolina Harbor are Myrtle Turtle Beach and Kiddy Hawk Cove (possibly the best-named sections of any water park). These two new play areas for toddlers and families, respectively, offer a little bit of a calmer experience than Blackbeard’s Revenge and Seaside Splashworks. The new Harbor House restaurant will offer Carolina Coastal fare with plenty of covered outdoor seating to enjoy your meal. Also new is the theme as you wander through the park. The Australian setting of Boomerang Bay has given way to a Carolina coastal feel with fresh paint and new scenery all around.
The second part to the day was the Coastal Bash and Press Conference to officially “cut the ribbon” for Carolina Harbor. While the morning was cloudy and cool, as time drew near for the official ceremony, the clouds began to part and the sun made its first appearance of the day. It was billed as the Coastal Bash, and Carowinds took the name bash to heart! Everything you could imagine for a beach part was there – food, specialty drinks, live music, a dj, fireworks, jet packs (that’s at all beach parties, right?), some very special dancers, and even famous guests (though I don’t think anyone told them they couldn’t get in the water yet)!
After a HUGE 2015 with the addition of Fury 325, which has quickly soared to the top of many favorites lists, no one could blame Carowinds if they took a year off to relax and just enjoy their growing fan base. Instead of slowing down, however, they have focused their attention on providing an almost entirely new experience on the opposite side of the park. Still included with standard admission, Carolina Harbor is certainly large enough with enough to do that it could be its own stand-alone water park. With an official opening date of May 21, 2016, we are sure that it will be an instant hit with water park fans and anyone wanting to get away to the Atlantic coast for a little while without leaving Carowinds. Check out the entire press conference and ribbon cutting below along with some highlights from the Coastal Bash and the new attractions…and be sure to stop in to Carolina Harbor and see it for yourself – whether you spend the entire day, or if you just walk through on your way to Fury 325. We want to thank Carowinds for hosting this amazing event and allowing us to be a part.