Charlotte, N.C. (August 21, 2003) - In December 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright ushered in the aviation era on a small, windswept beach in Kitty Hawk, N.C., fulfilling man's centuries-old dream of flying.
Now, 100 years later, Paramount's Carowinds introduces the future of flight in the Carolinas with the addition of a multi-million dollar flying roller coaster. The coaster will be unlike any other type seen before in the Carolinas … as riders are suspended below the track in a horizontal, superhero-like flying position.
Riders will soar at speeds of up to 50 mph through 2,781 feet of curves, twists and sweeping turns. The innovative ride, designed by Vekoma International of the Netherlands, also includes eight inversions - more than any other roller coaster in the Southeast. Riders experience not just a ride, but also the unique sensations of flying without floors, walls or ceilings.
Guests board 24-passenger coaster trains, sit down and secure over-the-shoulder and lap harnesses. The seats are then slowly tilted backward to a reclining position before the train departs the station and ascends the 115-foot, 30-degree lift hill. As the coaster enters the first drop, the train inverts and guests fly facedown zooming toward the ground before swooping upward for the next inversion.
The attraction offers guests a chance to experience the thrill and elation of flying. Riders spend virtually the entire trip facedown, a unique adventure made possible by 21st Century technology and engineering. The sensation of flying is enhanced by the unique ride position, which offers breathtaking and virtually unobstructed views of the park. Guests see little of the immediate track or other passengers and are continually surprised by the ride's twists and turns, three of which bring them within 10 feet of the ground.
The Carolinas' first and only flying coaster also is Paramount's Carowinds' 12th roller coaster. "Guests are going to be amazed with the thrills they experience while flying on this roller coaster," said Rod Rankin, general manager of Paramount's Carowinds. "You feel as though you're soaring like a bird and free from the boundaries of traditional coasters.
We're adding not only another world-class roller coaster to the park's impressive list of attractions, but an experience unlike anything ever seen before in the Carolinas."
Guests will enter the new attraction from the Paramount Plaza area of the park, near the entrance to the Carolina Skytower. The name for the park's new roller coaster will be announced in the next few months.
Paramount's Carowinds is now open weekends through Sept. 28. The park also is open Sept. 1 and Oct. 5, 12, 18, and 25. WaterWorks, the 13-acre water park at Paramount's Carowinds, is open on park operating days through Sept. 1. Scarowinds, the park's annual haunted Halloween event, returns this year every Friday and Saturday in Oct., plus Nov. 1. Operating hours are 7 p.m. - midnight.
For more information, guests should call 704-588-2600 in N.C., 803-548-5300 in S.C., toll free 1-800-888-4FUN or visit the park's website at www.carowinds.com.
Paramount's Carowinds is owned and operated by Paramount Parks.
Paramount Parks is a leading developer and operator of world-class theme parks and location-based attractions, entertaining more than 13 million guests annually. The company currently owns and operates five of the most popular theme parks in North America including: Paramount Canada's Wonderland (Toronto, Ontario, Canada); Paramount's Carowinds (Charlotte, N.C.); Paramount's Great America (Santa Clara, Calif.); Paramount's Kings DominionKings Dominion (Richmond, Va.); and Paramount's Kings Island (Cincinnati, Ohio). The company also developed and manages the award-winning STAR TREK: The Experience at the Las Vegas Hilton (Las Vegas, Nev.) and manages Bonfante Gardens horticultural theme park (Gilroy, Calif.); CBS Television City at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino (Las Vegas, Nev.); and Terra Mitica theme park (Benidorm, Valencia, Spain). More information about Paramount Parks is available at www.paramountparks.com.