An 11-year-old's view of Carowinds Amusement Park

March 1

Dear Diary,

I can’t believe it! My parents bought season passes to Carowinds! My little brothers and I have been begging for this since before Christmas. We told them that since all of us kids have summer birthdays, it would just make sense to get season passes. It took some time, but eventually, they totally agreed! I’m turning 12 really soon—only one more year until I’m a teenager! Joe is excited to hit 10—double-digits—soon, and Adam will be eight years old next month. This is gonna be the BEST. YEAR. EVER!

XO ~ Katie

March 25

Dear Diary,

OMG, today was amazing! The rides opened at Carowinds, and we rode them all, like, one hundred times. I think my favorite was Carolina Cyclone. Wait, no, Intimidator. Or maybe Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare: 3Z Arena. No, for sure it was Fury 325. Oh, I can’t decide. I love them all!

I swore I wasn’t going to scream on Carolina Cyclone. I watched other people ride it a few times and was all, “I’ve got this.” But I screamed. Loud. I mean, when you’re going 95 feet in the air, and spinning in 360-degree loops and barrel rolls, plus racing up a 450-degree helix, screams come out whether you want them to or not. At first, I was terrified. “Why did I do this? Get me off!” But then I just gave in to the total adrenaline rush and was all, “This is amazing! Let’s do it again!” I went on it a second time with my dad. I swear he screamed louder than I did. LOL!

I teased him, but then to make him feel better, I suggested we all go on Intimidator. He and my brothers are huge racing fans, and since the ride is all about Dale Earnhardt, they loved it. As we were buckling in, my dad yelled out really loud, “Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines!” So embarrassing. But after that first drop, I forgot all about it and just hung on for dear life. Then we rode it again. And again.

I’m so glad we have season passes because one day would definitely not be enough. I can’t wait to come back.

XO ~ Katie

May 7

Dear Diary,

We just had another totally amazing day at Carowinds! The Instagram pic of my brothers and me at Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare: 3Z Arena got over a hundred likes. It was so much fun! We were in this 3D experience, like, literally IN. Zombies took over the suburbs, and we had to help the plants fight back by shooting at the screen with laser blasters in this crazy backyard battle. It was so cool! We ruled the zombies like a boss.

Next, we took on Fury 325. The roller coaster makes you feel like you’re flying and zipping around like a wild hornet. It’s awesome! It’s the tallest and fastest giga coaster in the world at 95 miles per hour. NINETY-FIVE! And the drops and spins had my heart pounding so hard I thought I was gonna fly right off the tracks. Insane!

My birthday is coming up next month, and I really, really hope we get to spend the day at Carolina Harbor. It opens on May 21, and I’ve heard they have some crazy new slides. Fingers crossed!

XO ~ Katie

June 12

Dear Diary,

It’s my birthday!!! And I got to celebrate exactly the way I wanted to—going to Carolina Harbor! The new waterpark opened on May 21, and it was included with our season passes and the price of admission, which made my parents very happy. They took a few friends and me to spend the WHOLE DAY at the park. (My brothers came, too. I would’ve felt bad leaving them behind…but don’t tell them I said so.)

It was a full day of wet and wild birthday fun. There’s a new wave pool that made me feel like I was actually at the beach. The waves got up to six feet high! I felt like I was surfing on Surfer’s Swell—except instead of a surfboard I was on an inner tube, and the four-person raft on Hurricane Falls was so much fun. But I think the new Blackbeard’s Revenge was my favorite. It’s six stories tall with six different waterslides, including drop slides (practically a free fall on these) and slides with twists and turns that make your heart jump into your throat.

Later that afternoon, I walked around the kiddie areas. My mom said I could start babysitting next year to earn extra money. So, I wanted to check out Myrtle Turtle Beach and Kiddy Hawk Cove to get some good ideas about fun summer things that little kids like to do.

After all the slides and swimming, we were starving at the end of the day. I couldn’t wait to dig into a barbecue sandwich and an ice-cold Coke. And, of course, a birthday ice cream sundae. I know you’re not supposed to tell your birthday wishes, but I think it’s safe to tell you, diary. I wished for another season pass to Carowinds for next year.

XO ~ Katie

Find out what YOLO looks like for grandparents at Carowinds.

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