General Carowinds discussion
I can tell you right now, removing the stage permanently will probably not be in their plans.
In fact, they could benefit from a larger stage. It's not like there's anything to look at back there. The stage could be re-vamped, area for seating in front of it, all behind a large central fountain. This plaza is mainly designed to vent people left or right... You have to think about this on both a business perspective as well as a visual perspective.

A newer, larger front stage would allow for better shows right at the front of the park. This new stage could also interact with the fireworks shows, scarowinds, and any other event possible (with the addition of a large screen that would rise up from behind the stage. Think of it like the mountain at Wonderland. They use it for 3D projection. The same could be done with this. Even the large fountain in front could interact with these shows.

all of this surrounded by WHITE pergolas with lots of greenery, planters, and other newer buildings. Two smaller fountains would flank either side to help vent the guests left or right. Some of the restaurants (like cinnabon, auntie ann's, and edy's) would need to be moved. Some on the left of the plaza and the others on the right. The Carowinds Plaza Cafe could stay, but also get a face-lift. And the Funnel Cake emporium would stay like it is (since it was just renovated).

All of the asphalt removed, a new entrance to Rip Roarin' Rapids would be added (but remain in the same location).
In that area of the plaza would be shade arbors with picnic tables underneath. In between these shade arbors would be two more fountians and a new "hub" similar to the new one at Magic Kingdom.

On the other side of Carowinds Plaza (heading to Intimidator Plaza) there would be new planters with trees, another shade arbor, the three point challenge removed and moved elsewhere, Skytower gets a new queue and the awning returns as well. A new gift shop. Also, locker rentals (ranging from 1hr to 8hrs), relocation of the photo shop. Auntie ann's and Edy's would be relocated here to open up the plaza much more.

this is what I'd like to see...
Just something to think about.
By RollerBee
^Needs to be done anyway, especially between Auntie Anne's and Premiers. Auntie Anne's might fit in old Funnel Cake building directly to the right of Rapids. The area between that building and Plaza Gifts(dead end walkway) would make a good shaded area for tables.
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By Chris
^^ It's confirmed. The plaza is getting revamped and Mike asked him to do a model. I imagine Mike didn't need you breaking the news for them (even if you didn't directly come out with it), but to each their own. :wink:
No. This is what I'd like to see. I have no idea if and when they'll revamp the plaza.
What I've said above is what I'd like to see.
Any of you have any additions to that?
What else would you like to see or removed in that plaza? I'm working on something different right at the moment, but I just thought that this would be an interesting topic, since it is our front of park statement and an important area of the park.

And while we're on the topic of plazas, what would you like to see in the county fair section? I haven't really thought about it that much. But there's a lot that can be done in that area.
I would like to see more fair-like rides and less empty game stands. Carowinds could turn this area of the park into something special and give people a sense of being at a fair. It would be really cool if we had a maXair style ride in that area of the park. I know Six Flags is adding the Larson rides to their parks but to bring a sense of being at the state/local fair, that ride would be cool. I would also like to see a Ferris wheel perhaps. I remember a forum that was talking about there not being enough "chill" rides at the park so a Ferris wheel seems "chill" enough to me.
By Edwardo
Cedar Points outdoor stage for Illuminosity (highly recommend it, go see it!) is not at the front of the park because that would choke traffic flow at the end of the day with the show and after party. While I think they could definitely utilize that stage more for an 'after party atmosphere' at the end of the nite, if they wanted to build a bigger stage for a bigger show, it would need to go elsewhere. Close to the front, but not that close.

Carowinds as it stands likely couldn't do the same type of show CP does, but they could have a DJ there with lights and perhaps a smaller show.
By RollerBee
^^On the topic of Starbucks and the Cinabon/Edys building. Problem with that idea is, those buildings cause the main walkway to narrow so the idea of using that building seems out of date. Honestly I forsee those buildings and Plaza GIfts/Front Gate Photos being removed soon. Didn't Mike say that they thought about redoing the rest of the Plaza but it came down to budget and time. I really do forsee Carowinds Plaza getting a makeover in 1-3 years with those 2/4 buildings flattened.

Wasn't Starbucks served during Winterfest?

I think a Starbucks would use the Carowinds Cafe building or a similar size.
You know, if the front plaza were to be redone, a fountain like King's Island or King's Dominion would be out of the question.
I could see a fountain similar in shape like the current planter (the crescent shaped one). But a little farther into the plaza.
^^ As far as to why the plaza wasn't done this year, when Mike and Steve spoke on that it seemed to be more of an issue of time than anything else. They spoke like they're planning on making the park better everywhere (Chickie and Pete's, New Entrance, now maybe Wing's?) So when a plaza rennovation will come I don't know, but it's seems more of a when than an if. (At least that was the vibe I got from them)
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By arby
I've been to a few parks where the carousel was near the front and it looks good. However, it couldn't go in the front plaza without removing the buildings and rebuilding the area as more open like the gate plaza. Just removing the stage wouldn't be enough room.
The entire current plaza would need to be knocked down. but that's more difficult than it looks. Sewage pipes, plumbing, electrical, all kinds of stuff to re-route. I wonder when's the last time any of that stuff was renovated anyway? It would be a good chance to replace all of that.
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By arby
According to John, redoing the plaza and buildings is currently in the future plans as there wasn't enough time or budget for it to be completed in time for this year.
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