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When Mother Nature Threatens the Fun

Ashlyn Hunter

Digital Marketing Content Coordinator

When you imagine the best day ever at Carowinds, you're thinking warm and sunny. Unfortunately, Mother Nature doesn't always behave according to plans. But not to worry, our teams are here to keep you safe and get you back to the fun as quickly as possible when clouds roll in.

Severe weather phases

When our Security Center detects a storm approaching the park, it quickly notifies team managers. The system continues to keep everyone updated as we move through the following severe weather phases so park operations can respond appropriately. Note that during phases 1 and 2, it can appear that there's nothing but sunny skies for miles. Our weather alert system is designed to detect approaching storms well before we can see them, ensuring our guests and employees are clear of the rides before wind, rain and lightning reach the park.

Phase 1

Strong wind, thunderstorms or lightning are within 15 miles of the park. During this phase, all waterpark attractions shut down for safety. Tall rides such as Fury 325, Afterburn, and Carolina Skytower also close.

Phase 2

The storm is within 7-10 miles, closing in on the park. This means smaller rides such as Southern Star, Camp Bus and Zephyr shut down for safety.

Phase 3

Lightning, heavy rain or high winds are within 5 miles of the park. All flat rides, such as Dodg'ems, Woodstock Whirlybirds and the Grand Carousel must also shut down at this time.

Phase 4

This phase is reserved for extreme weather conditions that may contain hail, extreme wind or torrential rain. Phase 4 requires our indoor rides, Boo Blasters on Boo Hill and Plants vs. Zombies, to close.

Once the storm has lifted and begins to move away from the park, weather system alerts guide the park managers back through all the phases opening the rides back up as it becomes safe to do so. 


Things to do during the storm

Summers in the South are known for pop-up afternoon thunderstorms that are usually short-lived. If you find yourself stuck in a longer storm, don't think that's the end of your fun day! Here area few ways to pass the time indoors. 

Live shows

This season, we have several indoor shows: Decades Live, Seasons of Cique and Lunch with the PEANUTS Gang. Stay dry while enjoying our world-class entertainment!

Click here for showtimes!


Carowinds is home to a wide variety of delectable dishes, and a rain storm gives you time to enjoy it. Harmony Hall, Chick-fil-A, Wings, Starbucks and Chickie's & Pete's offer spacious dining rooms so you can enjoy a meal or sweet treat indoors while waiting out the storm.

The pulled pork in Harmony Hall is a favorite among our guests.


Carolina weather can be unpredictable, but our weather safety plan is always in place to keep you safe. The next time a storm moves nearby, take the opportunity enjoy some indoor fun while you wait for the clouds to clear.

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Ashlyn Hunter

Digital Marketing Content Coordinator

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