Photo Tour: Construction ramps up at Carowinds’ Aeronautica Landing

As Cedar Fair-owned Carowinds is operating for its first winter of year-round operations, construction continues for Aeronautica Landing.

Aeronautica Landing
Concept artwork courtesy of Carowinds; Photos by Carly Caramanna

By Carly Caramanna

The park’s new land features rethemed existing attractions and brand-new experiences as a total reimagining of what was once the Crossroads area. When complete, it will introduce five themed attractions opening in 2023 as well as a retheming of an existing ride, for a total of six rides. The opening is timed around the park’s 50th-anniversary celebration, “50 Years of Carolina Fun.”

Set to open in Spring 2023, Aeronautica Landing is a tribute to the Carolinas’ spirit of invention, exploration, and aviation, where guests can immerse themselves in the history and future of flight. The project — born in 2019 but experienced setbacks due to the pandemic — is driven by Cedar Fair at the corporate level with direct input from Carowinds, team members shared. 

We were invited on a hard hat tour to see first-hand a few of the land’s upcoming attractions and experiences. At the start of the event, we were presented with a ‘boarding pass’ and branded hard hat. The team shared that with this land being highly themed and story-driven, they hope to lean hard into the label of a “theme” park.

Aeronautica Landing boarding pass
Aeronautica Landing hard hat

We were then taken aboard golf carts through the closed park and to what will be the entrance of Aeronautica Landing, next to the existing B&M coaster After Burn.

Aeronautica Landing construction

Our first stop was the fully installed Gear Spin, a highly themed NebulaZ from Italian ride manufacturer Zamperla. The only thing left to complete is the operating booth, fencing, and area-themed elements.

Aeronautica Landing - Gear Spin
Aeronautica Landing - Gear Spin

We then headed to Air Walker, a Disk’O installation from Zamperla. “Recalling history at the dunes of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Air Walker’s wings will soon be able to soar,” Carowinds shared.

Aeronautica Landing - Air walker
Aeronautica Landing - Air walker

Just past Air Walker, we could spot the recently installed Air Racer, a Zamperla attraction that replicates the experiences and sensations of aeroplane flight. “This thrill ride eagerly awaits the opportunity to race and roll through obstacles recreated from heroic tales of ace pilots high in the Carolina sky,” Carowinds shared in a press release.

Aeronautica Landing = Air Racer
Aeronautica Landing - Air Racer

The land will also feature attractions Gyro Force and Hover & Dodge, a reimagined, futuristic bumper car ride. The family-friendly space, Aeronautica Landing Game Zone, will be designed with immersive décor and feature four new midway-style games. The former Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare: 3Z Arena will be rethemed as part of future plans, but no information was available at this time.

Aeronautica Landing - Gyro Force
Aeronautica Landing - Hover and Dodge
Aeronautica Landing game zone

For dining options, Terminal A will be a heavily themed craft beer bar with a patio and will be attached to an Italian eatery. Casual eats, like chicken tenders and french fries, will be found at Frequent Fryer. The land will also feature a total remodel of the existing restrooms giving them a more modern, updated look.

Aeronautica Landing - Terminal A

Click here for more information about visiting Carowinds.

Coming in 2023: Aeronautica Landing

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