Carowinds is one of the largest theme parks in the Southeast and a popular tourist destination in Charlotte with many hotels nearby catering to families. The park offers a variety of ways to save on admission—from senior, junior, and military discounts to AAA tickets and "twilight" tickets, and even a discount for simply purchasing online. Every year, there are usually a few local spots to pick up admission coupons. The online box office lists a number of current prices and discounts. For the 2019 season, Carowinds has a listed admission price of $69.99 at the gate.
If you have special coupons, those are usually only valid when purchasing full-price regular single day admission tickets at the Carowinds front gate. Although, if you do get a promotional code that is usable on the website, there is an option at checkout to enter the promotional code.
Before you head to the park, your best bet is to check out all the online offers by Carowinds. Usually, there is a discount for buying your tickets online, in some cases, you can get $12 off the regular admission price for a single person by buying your tickets online.
Also, depending on the time of year, Carowinds might offer "Everyone Pays Kids Prices" discounts for more than $24 off the regular admission price.
In 2019, general admission parking at the gate is $20. You can get $4 off parking if you buy your parking ticket online. If you want VIP parking within an easy walking distance of the park entrance, you can get a $5 discount for that bringing the cost from $30 to $25.
If you live near the Charlotte area and think that you might visit the park more than once in a year, then the season pass option is your best option.
Prices vary depending on when exactly you are purchasing your season pass, but the price for a gold pass is usually around $115 per person. With that, you get free season-long parking at Carowinds (which usually costs $20 at the gate), unlimited admission throughout the season, free admission to the Halloween-themed Scarowinds attractions, and plenty of other benefits throughout the year. If you can see yourself visiting the park for even more than one day, the season pass is a good purchase.
Any child over 3 is charged the same entrance fee as the junior rate, but if the child is under 3, the child is free. Occasionally, Carowinds runs a special deal early in the season, called the "Pre-K Season Pass," for all children 5 and under. You need to sign up for it and show proof of age with a birth certificate, but it's a great deal since the child gets a free season pass.
The junior ticket does not go by age but goes by the child's height instead (since that is what will determine what that child can ride). If a guest is less than 48 inches tall in normal shoes, they can get a ticket for $45.00
Carowinds has relaxed its rates for seniors in recent years. In general, the admission for seniors (those over 62) is $19.99 (as of 2019).
Retired and active duty military can show their military ID at the gate for a discount. Online, military personnel admission is $39.99. There are also several "military days" throughout the year when active duty and retired military are admitted free.
Twilight Admission Discounts
If you are more of a night owl and prefer to skip the lines filled with younger children, you can purchase an evening ticket valid after 4 p.m. until closing for half price. This discount does not apply for specially ticketed events like SCarowinds and WinterFest or other special events or concerts.
AAA Discount and Other Partners
If you are a member of the AAA Carolinas, you can save up to $15 per ticket purchasing through their site if you are a member.
Coca-Cola usually partners with Carowinds every season. Keep an eye out for promotional offers on specially marked cans of Coke and other Coke products throughout the Charlotte region. The offers are usually good for up to $15 off per ticket.