Clemson is only a couple hours away from Charlotte, so we thought we’d add some extra fun to the trip by stopping off at Carowinds amusement park for a day on our way home. Jen and I had actually been to Carowinds once before on our honeymoon. Sadly, this was before I took pictures of everything, so I don’t have pictures of us at the park.

We left Clemson early so we could get to the park relatively close to when it opened. We were fortunate to have perfect weather for the day.


Carowinds is on the boarder between South Carolina and North Carolina, so the girls made sure to spend some time in both.

Two states

We first headed to Planet Snoopy, the area of the park aimed at smaller kids. Our first ride was Snoopy's Flying Ace Aerial Chase, a fun little roller coaster for the whole family. Sadly, the restraints block you from seeing Leah next to me.

Snoopy's Flying Ace Aerial Chase

Snoopy was everywhere in the park.


Our second ride was Snoopy’s Flying Ace Balloon Race. Jen doesn’t handle these rides well, so I hopped on with the girls.

Flying Ace Balloon Race

I volunteered to go backwards so the girls could face forwards. This turned out to be a bad decision, leaving me queasy. I guess I can’t handle these as well as I thought. Thankfully, Jen had extra Dramamine for me.

Flying backwards

The girls then rode some rides by themselves while I recovered.

Snoopy vs. Red Baron

Snoopy vs. Red Baron

Woodstock Gliders

Woodstock Gliders

At that point I was ready to try again. We rode the Woodstock Express, a fun family-friendly wooden roller coaster (I love wooden coasters). It was great.

We got lunch at Chick-fil-A. Yes, they have Chick-fil-A in the park. We were very happy with that, despite the fact that the prices were jacked up like most food service inside amusement parks.

We did Boo Blasters on Boo Hill, in which you ride in slow cars with little toy guns and shoot ghosts, racking up points. We tried to do several other rides (e.g. Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare), but they were closed.

The girls both wanted to ride the Do-Si-Do, but were both too short to ride without a parent. So, Jen and I both got to ride it. Jen looks excited here before things got really going.


I think Molly liked this ride.


Jen even put her arms up for a bit (though that didn’t last long).

Arms up

The Ricochet was a mouse coaster with four people per car - perfect for our family. And even better was that everyone was tall enough to ride it.


All of us

There were a lot of quick turns on this one.

Quick turns

Up and down

Molly and I then road the Carolina Goldrusher, a mine train coaster which was fun. Leah could have handled it as well, but was not tall enough to ride. Sadly, that was the story for much of the park. Leah was too short for many rides (requiring at least 48 inches), and Molly was too short for a lot as well (requiring at least 54 inches). The Planet Snoopy area is aimed at little kids, but I was surprised how much of the rest of the park was inaccessible to our (admittedly short) 7 and 10 year olds.

Because of that, we then headed back to Planet Snoopy to ride Snoopy's Flying Ace Aerial Chase and the Woodstock Express again. They were our favorite rides from the kids area, and we enjoyed riding them again to finish our day.

The girls always want to buy a toy when we go places, and we usually refuse. We figured getting them a memento from the trip wouldn’t be awful, so they each got a Snoopy plush on our way out.


We then headed out to get some dinner and end at our hotel for some much needed rest before driving home the next day.

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