Carowinds opening ‘Aeronautica Landing,’ featuring 5 new attractions, as part of 50th anniversary season

This comes after the theme park announced a few days ago that four rides in the Crossroads section of the park will close for good.
Gear Spin is a new ride that will open with the new Aeronautica Landing area at Carowinds in...
Gear Spin is a new ride that will open with the new Aeronautica Landing area at Carowinds in 2023.(Carowinds/Provided photo)
Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 7:28 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 11, 2022 at 10:33 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Carowinds has some big things in store for its 50th anniversary season in 2023.

According to the popular Carolinas theme park, at the center of the 50th-anniversary celebration will be Aeronautica Landing, “a tribute to the Carolinas’ spirit of invention, exploration and aviation, where guests can immerse themselves in the history and future of flight.”

“That’ll be great to see new stuff,” says George Schofield, a season passholder who has been coming here for years.

This comes after Carowinds announced a few days ago that four rides in the Crossroads section of the park will close for good.

Related: Four rides close at Carowinds, major announcement coming soon

Those rides - the Yo-Yo, Dodgem, Plants vs. Zombies and Southern Star – closed on Aug. 1.

Construction is now underway in the Crossroads area of the park, which will be completely renovated and renamed Aeronautica Landing, complete with the introduction of five new themed attractions opening in 2023, as well as a retheming of an existing ride, for a total of six rides, the announcement stated.

Faith Schofield, his wife, has been coming to Carowinds since she was a kid.

”I don’t think they had the waterpark when I was a kid. That might tell how old I am. I had three siblings so my parents would load us all up. We live two hours away so my parents would take us and we would do everything,” says F. Schofield.

Faith says over the years she has seen this place transform right before her eyes. So, a new retheming is nothing new to this family. The aviation theme already peaked their interest.

”It was a lot smaller when I started coming. As a little kid I don’t think I thought oh this is really small. But it’s grown a lot and I think they intensity of the rides has increased,” she explains.

”I was in the Marine Corps for eight years and six of it was in the aviation unit so it would be pretty cool to check it out and see what they have,” says G. Schofield.

Thankfully for George most of the rides are on the ground, but Carowinds says even thrill seekers like Faith will still have fun in Aeronautica.

”Yeah she’s more like the five rides here and I can do one or two but I like the three rides,” he says.

Aeronautica Landing will open in the spring of 2023, according to Carowinds staff. It will also feature two new and one upgraded dining venue. It includes a new restaurant featuring a craft beer bar and patio, alongside the refresh of an existing location and other new snack locations.

“We are constantly looking for new ways to provide immersive experiences for our guests that showcase the rich history and heritage of the Carolinas, while showcasing the rich legacy and original themes of Carowinds,” Manny Gonzalez, Carowinds vice president and general manager, said. “This region played such an integral role in the history of developing and testing the tools for aviation, and we believe Aeronautica Landing will help bring that to life for our guests for years to come.”

This is part of the park’s beginning of “50 years of Carolina fun” to celebrate Carowinds’ 50th anniversary.

On March 31, 1973, the $70 million Carowinds officially opened to 6,000 guests, a news release stated. It included original attractions such as Carolina Skytower, Snoopy’s Junction and Carolina Goldrusher.

Check back with WBTV for more on the announcement.

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