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It has been a long road but Carowinds is finally opening

Now the park is opening for the full season, here's what you should know before you come.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Carowinds is officially opening after being closed for most of 2020. Rides like the Fury have been sitting and waiting since the Summer of 2019.

The rides, the music, the food and the atmosphere of Carowinds is open to the public starting May 22, 2021, officially kicking off the amusement park season. 

“It was just a lot of hurry up and wait. We really wanted to open and had to wait for it to be safe. We did that briefly last winter and here we are heading into opening day," Lisa Stryker, the communications director for Carowinds, told WCNC Charlotte. 

COVID-19 aside, like many industries across the country said they have had some hiring challenges, but Carowinds is overcoming it.

Contact Chris Mulcahy at cmulcahy@wcnc.com and follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

“We are making great progress. We have upped our recruiting process; competitive wages and we also have an incentive for our associates," Stryker said. 

Carowinds has a $500 incentive for all seasonal associates. But despite everything that has happened Stryker. assures guests that this is the "same Carowinds everyone remembers."  

NOTE: Carolina Harbor will not be opening fulltime until June 12th.

RELATED: Carolina Harbor water park opening delayed citing a struggle with hiring employees

What do you need to know?

  • You must make a reservation before you come. Visit Carowinds.com for registration info and to book your tickets. They are still managing capacity.
  • Masks are only required indoors if you are not vaccinated. If you are vaccinated, you do not need to wear a mask. All of this is in accordance with the CDC.
  • One member of your group needs to have the Carowinds app downloaded on their phone so they can navigate any of the hands-free setups around the park.

For any additional info visit Carowinds.com/welcomeback

What's New?

Shake Central is the newest thing coming to Carowinds in 2021. They have a bunch of unique shakes perfect for a hot day. One that looks amazing is the 'Chocolate Explosion. 

Grand Carnivale is from July 17-Aug. 1. This cultural experience is a must-see. Come celebrate cultural traditions from all around the world. There will be music and parades never heard and seen in Carowinds. 

For the latest breaking news, weather and traffic alerts, download the WCNC Charlotte mobile app.

RELATED: FORECAST: The heat slowly builds over the coming days.