This blog post originally appeared on Coaster 101.
It’s August, which means the summer theme park season is winding down. Fortunately for me, and plenty of other theme park fans fans, that means that Halloween is right around the corner, and with Halloween comes Halloween events.
At Carowinds, the giant red “S” makes its annual appearance at the front of the park, and Carowinds transforms for its Halloween Haunt event, SCarowinds. I’ve visited SCarowinds for the last four years, and I intend to make it five years in a row in a few short weeks.
One of the things I enjoy most about SCarowinds is that the event is constantly evolving, with new spooky experiences coming to the state line each of the past few years. This year, Carowinds is continuing the trend, introducing six new experiences, including three new Scare Zones, for the upcoming Halloween haunt season.
First, a quick recap of what is returning this year from 2018’s edition of SCarowinds.
Depths of Darkness
Silver Scream Studios: Condemned
Dead Man’s Hollow
And now, for what’s new in 2019!
New Scare Zones!
Age of Darkness will be located on Nighthawk Pathway (near the entrance to Urgent Scare). According to SCarowinds lore, “Once upon a time, there was a kingdom overflowing with happiness. But one day, a wave of ghastly shadows swept across the land, plunging it into an age of darkness. Chivalry is now truly dead and in its place are wretched souls seeking bloody vengeance on the ruffians who brought carnage to their castle. Confusion reigns, so pray they don’t suspect you.”
My Take: Personally, I hope I’m not too afraid of things that go bump in the “knight.”
Located in the Carolina Boardwalk (near the entrance to Slaughterhouse), and just a few paces down the pathway from the heavy metal vampires in Blood Yard, we’ll meet the Zombies of Grave Walkers. "Some guests never want to leave Carowinds. We totally understand. But some stay for a lifetime – and beyond. When nighttime falls, these gory guests, smelling of the rotting flesh they’re clothed in, ramble throughout the park on a mission for nourishment: YOU. Want some advice? Try your best to give these zombies the slip, lest you become their next meal."
My Take: With neither past maze Zombie High or past scare zone Mass Acres returning in 2019, I wonder if all of the E. Pat Hall High Zombies have since graduated to become Grave Walkers in a new cemetery?
Setting up shop in front of Boo Blasters on Boo Hill will be the Old-West Outlaws of Outlaw’s Revenge. "Card games in Wild West saloons rarely ended peacefully, particularly when the players were surly scoundrels and rotten outlaws. Somebody cheated and somebody’s gonna pay – let’s just hope that body isn’t yours. With double-crossers and reckless bandits sliding in around you from all sides and looking for revenge, your best bet is to vamoose as soon as possible."
My Take: With last year’s addition of Dead Man’s Landing, Carowinds proved they could take a relatively simple theme like “Pirates” and go completely over the top with it. I can’t wait to see Outlaw’s Revenge!
In what I feel like might be a SCarowinds first, at least during my visits to SCarowinds, there will be some roaming entertainment in form of the Bone Brigade.
"Are all funerals processions somber affairs? Not in the Big Easy. Mourners in New Orleans help the deceased transition from earthly life with — what else? Jazz. Our Bone Brigade is a troupe of brass players and lively dancers performing throughout the park. When the saints go marchin’ in, don’t be surprised if you want to be in that number."
My Take: I love jazz music. I love SCarowinds. Combining the two is going to make Bone Brigade must-see entertainment for me.
SCarowinds promises not only an all-new “Welcome” to SCarowinds in the form of Overlord’s Awakening, but an all-new “close” to SCarowinds with Overlord’s Revenge.
"As the light of day succumbs to the macabre of night and SCarowinds begins, the Overlord summons awake the demonic and undead to flood the midways and mazes with mayhem and malice. Some may call this ceremony at the Plaza Stage live entertainment, but one would be wise to view the terrifying horde of minions as a foretaste of the grisly night to come.
At the end of the night when guests think they couldn’t possibly have one more scream left in them, the Overlord will gather at Plaza Stage with SCarowinds monsters and undead into one final, horrific hurrah. Think you’ve witnessed your fair share of gruesome? You haven’t seen anything yet. Join this live entertainment show for a sendoff like no other."
My Take: The Overlord’s appearance is always a great kick-off to SCarowinds, and Overlord’s Awakening is sure to continue this trend. Overlord’s Revenge at the end of the night? That has the potential to send park guests home with some additional scares that should remain fresh in their mind on their drives home!
SCarowinds begins for the Halloween Season on Friday, September 13 (Spooky!) and takes place on select nights through Sunday, October 27. For more information, be sure to visit the SCarowinds website, and follow Carowinds on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
SCarowinds has also been nominated in the 10Best Awards for Best Halloween Event. Vote for SCarowinds by clicking here!