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Carowinds Amusement Park Update

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Carowinds Reopens with New "Taste of the Season" Outdoor Food Tasting Event for 2020 Holiday Season

October 28, 2020 Update

Carowinds is reopening in November with a new limited-time event, Carowinds Taste of the Season: An Outdoor Holiday Experience. The holiday celebration will feature dozens of sweet and savory tastings, festive themed areas, live shows, and popular rides throughout the park. The event will be open on select dates between November 21 and December 20.

Stringent health, safety and hygiene protocols will be in place to protect guests and associates. Reservations will be required for all guests to manage capacity and maintain social distance standards. More event details including menu items, entertainment options, activities and rides will be released November 9. Season Passholder reservations open November 9, and single-day tickets (which will automatically be tied to a reservation) will be available beginning November 11. 

“The safety of our guests and associates is always our top priority and our guests can be confident they can visit Carowinds and have fun safely,” said Pat Jones, vice president and general manager at Carowinds. “Our health and safety protocols align with CDC guidance and we incorporated information from company and industry health and safety experts, along with our state and local government officials. We couldn’t be more ready and excited to welcome guests back to the park for this wonderful holiday celebration.”

A video and detailed information are available at Carowinds.com that outline the new protocols that ensure a safe and sanitary environment. These include: 

  • To manage park capacity, every guest will need a reservation. Season passholders can reserve dates through our new online system. A reservation will also be tied to every single-day ticket. Tickets must be purchased in advance. 
  • A requirement to complete a simple online pre-visit health screening declaration 24 hours prior to admission; 
  • A touchless temperature screening prior to entering the facility for both guests and associates;
  • Requirements for all guests, associates and vendors to wear face coverings that cover the nose and mouth. Face coverings may not have exhalation valves or vents. 
  • Social distancing markers throughout the park, including ride queue lines; 
  • Limited guest/associate contact;
  • Enhanced cleaning procedures, including additional deep cleaning and sanitization of restrooms, dining facilities and other busy areas; 
  • Additional hand sanitation stations; and
  • Capacity management throughout the park. 

Complete information and FAQs are available at Carowinds.com.

All guests are asked to download Carowinds' free mobile app to manage their season passes and tickets, make park reservations, complete the health declaration and get the latest information during park visits.

We’re hiring! Applicants can complete the employment process remotely though our virtual hiring process. All open positions are listed at www.carowinds.jobs

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Taste of the Season Frequently Asked Questions

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What is Taste of the Season?

Delicious holiday food is the star of the show at Taste of the Season, so prepare for a one-of-a-kind outdoor dining experience. The event features 30 specialty food items across 14 locations throughout the park. To make the most of your experience, we encourage you to purchase a Food Tasting Card in advance online.

Can I purchase my ticket at the gate?

No. To maintain limited capacity for safety, all tickets must be purchased in advance, as every single-day ticket is tied to a reservation.

What are the face covering requirements while at the park?

A face covering is always required except while dining at a table or bench. Face coverings should completely cover the nose and mouth, and not have exhalation valves or vents, which allows virus particles to escape. All guests age 2 and older are required to wear a face covering.

Is the Pass Perks™ Loyalty Reward announced for the 2021 season valid for use during this event?

No, the Pass Perks™ Loyalty Reward will be valid for in-park purchases during the 2021 season.

Is a 2020 Silver Pass valid for this event?

Yes! Although the Silver Pass is usually only valid through Labor Day, we are making an exception for this 2020 holiday event. However, there is limited availability, and you will need to make a reservation in advance.

Are Pre-K passes valid for this event?

Yes, all valid 2020 and 2021 Pre-K passes are valid for entry in this event. However, there is limited availability, and you will need to make a reservation in advance.

Are 2021 Season Passes valid for entry into this event?

Yes, all valid 2020 and 2021 Season Passes are valid for entry into this event. However, there is limited availability, and you will need to make a reservation in advance.

Can I use my 2021 All Season Dining or Drink Plan for this event?

Yes, all valid 2020 and 2021 All Season Dining and Drink Plans are valid for use at participating locations. However, they cannot be used for food tastings.

Can I use my FunPix Photo Pass During Taste of the Season?

Unfortunately, FunPix will not be available during Carowinds’ Taste of the Season. If you purchased a FunPix Photo Pass for the 2020 season it will be good for use throughout the 2021 season.

Can I use my Fast Lane Pass During Taste of the Season?

Unfortunately, Fast Lane passes are not valid for use during Carowinds’ Taste of the Season. If you purchased a Fast Lane Pass for the 2020 season it will be good for use throughout the 2021 season.

How do I purchase and process my new Season Pass?

Passholders will need to process their season pass in order to visit Carowinds’ Taste of the Season. Our new system is completely contactless to purchase and process your pass:

  • Purchase online at carowinds.com
  • Create a season pass account through the Carowinds mobile app
  • Add your season pass to the app, being sure to add your photo if you didn’t do so during the purchasing process. Your pass number can be found on the barcode sent after purchase
  • A verification email will be sent to the season pass purchaser. The purchaser must locate the email and click the verification button to activate your pass
  • Once the pass is added to the app and the verification process is complete your pass is active for use. Simply show the QR code to scan for entry                                                           

What additional COVID-19 guest considerations are being taken during Carowinds’ Taste of the Season?

Social distancing practices and policies will be in place throughout the event. For Candy Stations and our other activities, shows, and attractions, social distancing and sanitation processes will be in place. Several Candy Station locations will also feature touchless candy delivery. Candy and other items will come individually packaged. In our craft areas, craft items will come individually packaged where possible.

Can I wear a costume to Taste of the Season?

Guests are welcome to wear costumes and face paint during Carowinds’ Taste of the Season. If there is any question about a guest’s identity, the park reserves the right to ask that the face covering and/or face paint be removed. Costume masks may only be worn during the respective nightly contests. Costume masks must be worn in conjunction with a COVID-19 face covering.

Costume guidelines are as follows:

  • Costumes must be family-friendly
  • Costumes cannot be obstructive, offensive, objectionable, or violent in nature
  • Obscene language or graphics are not allowed
  • Clothing which, by nature, exposes excessive portions of the skin that may be viewed as inappropriate for a family environment are not allowed
  • No weapons
  • No sharp or pointed objects or materials that could accidentally strike other guests
  • Proper attire, including shoes and shirts, must be worn at all times
  • The park reserves the right to deny admission to, or remove, any person wearing attire that is inappropriate or that could detract from the experience of other guests

How do I purchase a Taste of the Season Food Tasting Card?

To make the most of your experience, we encourage you to purchase a Food Tasting Card online in advance. Tasting Cards will also be available for purchase at the park.

For the best deal, purchase a Taste Bundle online that includes park admission, parking and a 3-item or 6-item Food Tasting Card.

In-Park Tasting Card Prices:

  • $30+tax for 6 tastings
  • $45+tax for 9 tastings
  • $6.99+tax for individual tastes

How and where do I redeem my Food Tasting Card?

Present your Tasting Card, Taste Bundle mobile ticket or print-at-home voucher at your first tasting location to receive your lanyard and Tasting Card. Present this card at each location as you go to receive your food item until you’ve reached the max number of tastings purchased.

How big are the tasting portions?

Tasting portions are moderately sized – not too big, not too small. A healthy snack, side, or dessert to complement a meal. Or you can taste your way around the park and make it a meal!

Do I have to use up all my Food Tasting Card samples on the same day?

Yes, your Food Tasting Card is only valid on the date of activation.

What time does the Food Tasting begin?

Food Tastings begin at 12pm. Item availability and locations are subject to change without notice.

Can I make a reservation for my child if I registered for a Pre-K Pass but haven't activated it?

Yes, you can make a reservation with a registered Pre-K Pass. The pass must be activated at your child's first visit. You must have your child and a valid birth certificate or passport, or a copy, with you to activate the pass.

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General Frequently Asked Questions

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What will Carowinds do for its Season Passholders since the park didn't open?

We previously announced that all 2020 Season Passes will be valid through 2021. Additionally, to show our appreciation to our valued Season Passholders for their loyalty, all 2020 Season Passholders will now also receive a Pass Perks™ Loyalty Reward valid for in-park purchases during the 2021 season.

Will 2020 tickets be good for 2021? 

All day tickets purchased for 2020 will be valid for any regular operating day in 2021 through Labor Day, September 6, 2021.

What are your cleanliness and sanitization standards and procedures?

Cedar Fair's highest priority is always the safety of our guests and associates. We continue to implement preventive measures as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as our own health and hygiene protocols. All our parks and resorts have high standards of cleanliness, which assists with illness prevention. We employ rigorous sanitation standards and robust cleaning procedures, including:

  • Extensive and ongoing training for associates on maintaining a safe and hygienic workplace and environment for our guests;
  • Specified intervals for frequent sanitization of targeted areas throughout the day;
  • Numerous and accessible handwashing facilities and hand sanitizer locations;
  • Quick response to spills, trash and other situations;
  • Daily and frequent sanitation procedures for restrooms, kitchens, dining surfaces, benches and trash cans;
  • Daily and frequent cleaning and "wash down" of outdoor locations, including walkways and queue lines

The leadership team is communicating with our associates about illness prevention; this includes guidance issued by the CDC. The CDC recommends everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of germs. The CDC provides more detailed coronavirus information on its website at www.cdc.gov.

As always, we maintain close relationships with local, state, national and international public health authorities. We take their guidance when additional preventive measures are deemed necessary.

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Single Day Tickets Frequently Asked Questions

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Will my single day ticket expire?

All single day tickets for 2020 will be valid for any operating day in 2021 through Labor Day, September 6, 2021. 

I have a complimentary/donated ticket, can I use it in 2021?

All single day tickets for 2020 will be valid for any operating day in 2021 through Labor Day, September 6, 2021. This includes complimentary/donated tickets.

What if I bought my tickets through a reseller?

All single day tickets for 2020 purchased through resellers will be valid for any operating day in 2021 through Labor Day, September 6, 2021.

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Season Pass and Pre-K Pass Frequently Asked Questions

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What is a Pass Perks™ Loyalty Reward?

A Pass Perks™ Loyalty Reward is a credit that is stored on your Season Pass card and can be used for in-park purchases during the 2021 season. A $50 loyalty reward will be automatically added to all Carowinds 2020 Gold and Platinum Season Passes, and a $35 loyalty reward will be automatically added to all Carowinds 2020 Silver Season Passes to be used in 2021.

How does the Pass Pass Perks™ Loyalty Reward work for Platinum Passholders?

We value our Platinum Passholders, and we will provide a Pass Perks Loyalty Reward for Platinum Passholders whose home park did not open in 2020. The value of the Pass Perks Loyalty Reward will be $50. We invite our Platinum Passholders to use their 2020 Season Pass at any of our open parks. However, the Pass Perks Loyalty Reward can be used only at the passholder's home park. 

What are Pass Perks™ Loyalty Rewards valid for and how do I use the credit?

Pass Perks™ Loyalty Rewards can be used for in-park purchases, except all-season dining and beverage plans, alcoholic beverages, and games. Rewards can be used at any park-owned location that accepts credit cards. At the time of payment, a guest should present their Season Pass and inform the cashier at the participating location that they wish to pay using their Loyalty Reward.

How do we go about getting the Pass Perks™ Loyalty Reward for 2021?

The Pass Perks Loyalty Reward will automatically be added to any 2020 Season Pass which was purchased by August 4, 2020, and that is in good standing on the park's opening day in 2021. Passholders do not need to take any action to receive the reward.

Will Season Passes that were purchased on the EZPay program receive the Pass Perks™ Loyalty Reward?

The Pass Perks Loyalty Reward will be automatically added to the season pass as long as the Season Pass is paid in full or the Passholder’s EZPay account is in good standing at the time the park opens in 2021.

How does the closure impact my 2020 Season Pass and 2020 Season Pass Add-Ons (if applicable)?

2020 Season Passes and 2020 Season Pass Add-Ons (if applicable) Valid Through the 2021 Season

  • 2020 Silver, Gold and Platinum Season Passes and purchased 2020 Season Pass Add-On Products (if applicable) will be valid for the 2021 season according to your pass type.

 Easy Pay Payments Paused

  • For 2020 Season Passholders* participating in our Easy Pay Program, monthly billing has been suspended as of April 8, 2020. Billing will resume at a future date. Once billing resumes, passholders will need to be current on attempted payments to receive 2021 Season Pass admission and associated benefits.

*Season Passes purchased between 8/15/19 and 8/4/20.

What do I need to do to get my season pass extended?

  • Your payments must be in good standing for the Season Pass to be extended through 2021.

  • No other action is required from you.

Do I qualify for the 2021 extension if I bought after 4/14/20?

Yes – all 2020 Season Passholders who are in good standing will have their Season Pass and Season Pass Add-ons (if applicable) extended into 2021, regardless of when the purchase was made.  

What does “according to your pass type” mean?

  • The benefits and entitlements will be the same in 2021 as they are in 2020. For example, if you have a 2020 Silver Pass, you will have a Silver Pass in 2021, and if you have a 2020 Gold Pass, you will have a Gold Pass in 2021. 
  • 2020 Platinum Passes will be valid at all Cedar Fair parks through the 2021 Season.

When does my Season Pass account need to be in good standing in order to qualify for the 2021 extension offer?

  • All payments must be current by the time the park opens in order for your pass to be extended through 2021.
  • If any attempted payment fails, all Season Passes and Season Pass Add-Ons on that order will be deactivated until the payment is made in the online Payment Portal.

When does my 2020 Season Pass Expire?

All 2020 Season Passes and purchased Season Pass Add-ons will be valid for the entire 2021 Season.

What will happen if I signed up for the Auto-Renewal program online when I purchased my Season Pass?

The Season Pass Auto-Renewal program will not be in effect for the 2021 Season. Your 2020 Season Pass will not auto-renew to a 2021 Season Pass this September because your 2020 Season Pass and Add-Ons will be extended through the 2021 Season. No action is required of you at this time.

Is my 2020 Pre-K Pass being extended through 2021?

If you registered for a 2020 Pre-K Pass, it will be valid for the 2021 season. 2021 Pre-K Passes will be available for online registration at a later date with the same requirements as for 2020.

If you purchased Season Pass Add-ons for your 2020 Pre-K Pass, the purchased Add-Ons will be extended through the 2021 season. 

If I purchased on the Easy Pay payment plan between 4/8/20 and 8/4/20, will my payments be suspended?

Yes – you will pay the initial payment plus applicable taxes and fees at checkout and your future monthly payments will be suspended until a future date. 2021 Season Passes purchased on 9/8/20 will not have future payments paused.

When the park opens, will my Easy Pay payments continue monthly?

Once billing resumes, you will be billed the normal monthly amount for however many months remain to finish paying your full balance due. 

Payments will continue to occur on the same date of the month as in previous months. You can log into the Payment Portal online with your order number and the email address you used during the initial purchase to confirm the upcoming payment dates and amounts.

As long as you remain current on attempted payments, your Season Pass and associated Season Pass Add-Ons will remain active.

If you’d prefer to make a single catch-up payment, you can log into the Payment Portal and select “Make a Payment” in the portal to pay all the payments that have been missed. Or, you can pay the full balance at any time.

Will I be notified when my Easy Pay payments start again and will they remain on the same date each month that they were previously?

We will notify you prior to resuming your payment plan via your email on file. In some cases, we may have more than one email address for you. To ensure you receive all notifications and payment confirmations, you may wish to confirm your email address on both your Payment Portal account and your park website login, if you have an existing park website account. If you don’t have a website login, you can create an account here

Once payments resume, they will continue to occur on the same date of the month as in previous months. You can log into the Payment Portal online with your order number and the email address you used during the initial purchase to confirm the upcoming payment dates and amounts.

How do I make an Easy Pay payment before billing resumes?

If you’d like to resume monthly payments, please contact us with the request to remove the suspension from your account. Please include your name and the order number so we can process this request.  Please allow 7-10 days for the request to be processed.

You can log into the Payment Portal online with your order number and the email address you used during the initial purchase. Select “Make a Payment” in the portal.  You can pay the full balance at any time. Or to make your monthly payment, please log in on or after the date your payment would have normally processed. 

While payments are suspended, making a payment in the portal won’t change that suspension. Your future payments will remain suspended, but you can visit the online portal in the future to make additional payments. After billing resumes, if you make a payment online but still have future payments remaining, they will bill on the same day of the month you are normally billed.

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Group Sales Frequently Asked Questions

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Will we be reimbursed for our deposit? 

If you made a deposit for a 2020 event, we can apply it to a new event date in 2021 or refund the amount. Please contact your group’s sales representative for more information.

Can we apply a 2020 deposit toward an event in 2021? 

Yes, your sales representative would be happy to assist with rescheduling your event for 2021.

If we have already signed an agreement for 2020, can it be applied to 2021?

Yes, we can apply your currently signed agreement towards a 2021 event. Your sales representative can guide you through new date and menu options.

What if there is not capacity to hold our event at the park in 2021? 

To ensure your group’s safety, we are reviewing each 2021 event’s size with our clients. We have several options if you feel your group is too large. We are ready to welcome any group size using a variety of solutions to ensure a safe and fun event.

Will previously purchased online group tickets be refunded or can they be used in 2021?

All single-day tickets including those sold as group tickets will be extended through Sept. 6, 2021.

Will 2020 tickets purchased from my employer be valid in 2021?

All single-day tickets for 2020 purchased through resellers will be valid for any regular operating day in 2021 through Labor Day, Sept. 6, 2021.

When can we start planning a group event for 2021?

Our sales team is excited to begin planning your 2021 event today. Please contact us at 704-588-2600 for information.