Skip to Main Content

Carowinds

Skip to Next Section

Meet the Carowinds Carpenters

Sierra Burrell

Digital and PR Coordinator

When you consider Carowinds’ more than 4,000 employees, you probably think about the parking lot and gate crews, ride and game attendants, lifeguards or security staff. However, there is another group you’ve likely never seen on a trip to Carowinds. Allow us to introduce you to our carpentry team – some of the unsung heroes of Carowinds (though they’re entirely too humble to call themselves that).

Our carpentry team handles just about everything that needs to be built in the park. Over the years, they’ve made chairs, photo booths, SCarowinds mazes, outside décor, special event props, and even a hearth mantle. They also miantain the structure on our three wooden coasters.

To keep the park in shape for guests, they start work at 4 a.m., and every day begins with a safety meeting. From there, the general carpentry team tackles various work orders and the coaster carpentry team goes out to inspect the wooden coasters. Carpenter Josh Ford said they walk each wooden track every day to make sure the rides are ready when the gates open.

Not all their work is routine. Longtime Carowinds carpenter Josh Ford said one of the team’s most challenging projects was rebuilding a section of Woodstock Express. The third turn was becoming a little rough, so the team redesigned it, spreading the track out to make the turn less sharp. Ford said it was a complicated project, and the most satisfying part was feeling the smoothness of the ride after construction was completed.

"I knew riders were going to like it even better," he said with a smile.

Have you enjoyed the rocking chairs in Blue Ridge Junction? All 40 chairs were made right here at Carowinds! Carpenter Steve McCart said Carowinds originally had plastic rocking chairs, but they didn't hold up to weather and use. So the team decided to take matters into their own hands to make something more durable. It took four months to design the rockers, cut all the pieces and then put them together.

"We're glad people like them," McCart said. "Guests are in them all day long."

When the massive Blue Ridge Junction hearth was built, Carowinds’ V.P. and general manager Pat Jones asked for a mantle. Instead of choosing ordinary materials in the shop, carpentry manager Rob Starling brought in timber from a late-1700s York County home to create it. It's a beauty - be sure to check it out on your next visit.

Whenever they can, the team reuses old projects rather than starting with new materials. For example, when a photo booth they’d built was no longer needed, they split it in half and used each side to make two new kiosks for the park. When the carousel was moved, they discovered timbers and hard maple decking that couldn't be reused at the new site. Instead of tossing the wood, the team used it to create a Carolina wall hanging that's a showpiece in our administrative conference room.

One thing is for sure – there is no such thing as a typical day. In addition to their own work, the team helps other departments whenever they need a hand. McCart said they've done everything from laying pavers to assembling animatronic dinosaurs. But that’s just fine with them – they enjoy having a job that isn’t monotonous.

“I’ve got a lot of really good, well-rounded people that work for me,” Starling said. “They can jump in and do about anything.”

We’re not kidding when we say the coolest items in the park aren’t made by an outside company or mass-produced – they’re hand-crafted here. And though they’re often too modest to take credit for their hard work, the carpentry team gets a lot of satisfaction from seeing guests enjoy the results of their work, according to Starling: “At the end of the day, when you hear all of that laughing, screaming and hollering when you’re going out the gate… it makes for a good day.”

Related Topics:

Share This

Sierra Burrell

Digital and PR Coordinator

Post a Comment

Skip to Next Section

Behind the Scenes at Carowinds: Landscaping

Here's a look into how we bring the beauty of nature to Carowinds for you to enjoy.
Read More

Boogie Board Racer Construction Update 

Carowinds' Carolina Harbor water park opens for the season this summer. Soon the water park's newest addition (and first since the transformation into Carolina Harbor), Boogie Board Racer, the longest mat-racing water slide in the southeast, will tower near the water park's entrance. Take an inside look at the construction of this all-new attraction.
Read More

10 Reasons to Book Your Next Class Trip at Carowinds 

Carowinds provides the perfect backdrop for out-of-classroom, fun school activities and student field trips. Make our amusement park your educational playground! Here are the top 10 reasons why you should bring your class to Carowinds this year.
Read More

Most Popular Rides and Attractions: 2019 

We had another AMAZING year here at Carowinds. From launching Copperhead Strike and Blue Ridge Junction to the wondrous magic of the all-new WinterFest Wonderland Parade, there was FUN to be had by all. As we approach the beginning of our 2020 season on March 21st, let’s rewind to take our annual look at the most popular rides and attractions from 2019.
Read More

20 For 2020 at Carowinds

Mark your calendars for four seasons of AMAZING with Carowinds’ Seasons of Fun! Spring, summer, fall, winter - every season offers something new for you and your family to enjoy. No two visits are ever alike with all we're bringing you this year. Take a look at what's new, and what may be new to you.  
Read More

9 New Memories You Made at Carowinds in 2019 

2019 was the most AMAZING year at Carowinds yet! From the double launch of Copperhead Strike on opening day to a fantastic fireworks finale on New Year’s Eve, there was so much FUN to be had this year at Carowinds. We wanted to know what kinds of memories you created at the park last season so we went to social media to ask. And boy did ya'll make some wonderful memories! So many of you told us about the spectacular experiences you had throughout the year. Here are some of our favorites.
Read More

Carowinds Welcomes New Executive Chef Mitch Weaver

Carowinds is upping its food game once again, welcoming executive chef Mitch Weaver. Weaver brings a wealth of experience to Carowinds, coming from the world-renowned Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, CA, where he served as executive chef.
Read More

Your New Year's Eve Guide

The holiday fun doesn't end after Christmas at Carowinds. We've got the best family-friendly New Year's Eve celebration in the Carolinas right here. Enjoy all the magical fun of WinterFest plus an amazing New Year's Eve party. Here's your guide to the night.
Read More

This Family Won Big with Carowinds Pass Perks

Being a Season Passholder has its perks! Not only do you get unlimited visits to Carowinds but you also get some great benefits including exclusive discounts, early ride times and more. We are so excited to say that we are continuing to add to this list with Carowinds Pass Perks. This rewards program is EXCLUSIVELY for Season Passholders. You'll earn rewards just by visiting Carowinds and having fun. Some of these surprises could include a Fast Lane, a food item, exclusive discounts and more. And periodically we randomly choose a winner for a special VIP package. Meet one family that won big in the Pass Perks program.
Read More

As the Carousel Turns: The Grand Carousel Celebrates 40 Years at Carowinds

While Afterburn and Hurler celebrated big milestones (20 and 25 years respectively) in 2019, there’s another Carowinds attraction celebrating a landmark anniversary this year: The Grand Carousel. Like clockwork, the carousel horses of Carowinds’ Grand Carousel have been galloping around the park for forty years. The one catch? They’re actually galloping counter clockwise. But where did they get first get their start and get off to the races?
Read More