They are masked but still bringing the fun at Carowinds this holiday.

   Carowinds has become quite an addiction for my family. And like family, we missed the theme park over the summer when it closed due to the pandemic.

   So my wife and two daughters were beyond thrilled to see them re-open with a surprising treat called “Taste of the Season,” available on select days through Dec. 20.  

   Their marketing team is telling people to “Savor the holidays’ flavors” at Carowinds’ Taste of the Season. It’s a wonderful outdoor food festival where you simply purchase a Tasting Card to choose among 30 samples of holiday sweets and savories.

Delicious holiday food is the star of the show at Taste of the Season with 30 samples of scrumptious seasonal favorites – all with a Carolina twist. According to Carowinds, you’ll also find unique drinks, gotta-have-it favorites and lots of holiday goodies. (All photos by Greg Rickabaugh/ Fort Mill Sun)

It’s a scrumptious bonus to enjoy between riding the Copperhead Strike or listening to the Christmas cheer from a long list of musicians.

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As a college employee at DisneyWorld, I was taught how to bring the magic and exceed expectations for park-goers. Well, the Cedar Fair Entertainment Company is mastering that same energy here in Fort Mill at the winter festival at Carowinds, and it’s an experience I highly recommend for your holiday list.

   I’ve been twice already, and you can tell the park engineers planned well while they were closed.

Between rides, Carowinds employees spray or wipe down all surfaces to help reduce the spread of germs.

They set up social distancing signs and trained staff on ensuring park-goers wear their masks and eat in designated area. It’s all part of their commitment to help reduce the spread of germs.

   Capacity is limited, and reservations are required, so I would not wait.

During the day and night, the holiday decorations at Carowinds are amazing.
The rides are as fun as ever. And with reservations, the rides have less people. But do bring your patience as they take time to clean the equipment between rides.
Lines are well-marked to keep others at a distance, and employees like “Vas with the Elite Squad” were kind enough to explain the reasons for delays.
Some riders reported long wait times at the popular Copperhead Strike, but it’s mainly because of cleaning and because half of the seats are launched empty for social distancing.
Musical acts are sprinkled throughout the park and bring holiday cheer no matter where you are.
Carowinds has plenty of places to take great holiday photos with your family or friends.
Explorers with a phone can have fun searching for Santa’s Stolen Sleigh with the QR Elf Adventure. Complete the adventure and earn a reward!
The sweets at “Taste of the Seasons” were amazing, with my daughter returning for a second helping of this cinnamon delight.
My favorite was the shrimp and grits, which has a Carolina Barbecue twist.
Even with masks on, everyone was full of holiday cheer at Carowinds. Here, a worker is ready to prepare children for an Elf Adventure through the park.
I was thrilled to get a sneak peek at the new Boogie Board Racer, which seems all set to go once they re-open the Carolina Harbor Waterpark next summer.

For more information on the park, visit

Greg "Ricky Bobby" Rickabaugh has lived in the Fort Mill and York County community since 2006. He has covered the area while a reporter for The Charlotte Observer and a freelance writer for The Fort Mill...