Popular Theme Park Shuts Down, Cancels Halloween Event Due to Potential Gunfire Threat

in Theme Parks

windseeker at carowinds

Credit: Carowinds

A popular theme park had to close its gates, cutting the first nights of its Halloween event short due to Guests’ unruly behavior.

Visiting a theme park is a fun experience for the whole family, with different attractions, entertainment and dining offerings, special events, and much more. However, to keep this family-friendly environment, theme parks worldwide have certain rules and regulations Guests must abide by to ensure their safety and the safety of employees.

Carowinds
Credit: Carowinds

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Unfortunately, Carowinds — in Charlotte, North Carolina — had to close its gates an hour ahead of schedule last night, cutting the second night of the Park’s highly anticipated Halloween event short as several groups of minors were engaging in unruly and dangerous behavior, with even rumors of an armed threat to Guests and associates.

Carowinds (@Carowinds) shared the following statement on the Park’s social media:

Park update for Saturday, September 17, 2022.

Twitter user @GabrielJarrett2 posted a video of Guests stampeding to exit the Park, screaming as they were unsure if there was an actual gun threat inside the Park.

Carowinds be wild’n

User @leahlaughlove assures that she and other Guests lived through a shooting at the Park and commented that many Park associates froze in the crisis, adding that they are long overdue for training.

W. T. F. just happened at #carowinds /// #scarowinds

never seen so many yellow shirts freeze in a crisis….long overdue for a training

we lived thru a shooting y’all new fun fact about me thx alot

User @Martmane shared his disappointment in the Park’s security and control measures, saying, “When I dropped my son off tonight I never knew I would have to pick him up from a crime scene! I will be calling first thing on Monday to cancel our passes!”

Jason Harper (@JasonHarperTV), news anchor at Fox Charlotte, shared a video of a search helicopter circling the Park but mentioned that, at that time, no reports could confirm or deny the presence of a shooter in the Park.

Search helicopter at @Carowinds after people were running and screaming saying someone had a gun. No reports to confirm that. I’m here with 2 of my daughters. Scary at #Scarowinds. @Queen_City_News

Jason shared a couple of updates on the safety and evacuation process he and his family went through at the Park and commented he appreciated all the measures put in place to keep everyone safe, adding that he and his daughters had an awesome time last night.

As reported by WCNC Charlotte, Carowinds officials denied the presence of an active threat during last night’s events. They confirmed that the presence of Medic services and York County first responders was a precaution as the different services had not been called to the scene for any reports of gunshot wounds.

screamweaver at carowind park
Credit: Carowinds

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As of this article’s publishing, the Park’s website continues to show dates and times for SCarowinds, its Halloween event, meaning the event will likely continue as scheduled. However, Carowinds has not released further information regarding the unfortunate incident or future plans for the Park’s safety measures. Inside the Magic will update you if theme park officials announce any changes.

Earlier this year, Inside the Magic reported on a similar incident taking place at Knott’s Berry Farm in California, which derived in several updates to the Park’s safety and control measures, including the implementation of a chaperone policy, stating that minors may not enter the Park unless accompanied by a chaperone who is at least 21 years old.

Knott's Berry Farm aerial theme park view LA times
Credit: LA Times

Related: California Theme Park Extends Chaperone Policy For Seasonal Event

Knott’s Berry Farm in California is owned and operated by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company, as well as Carowinds and other theme parks across the country. Considering the chaperone policy’s success at the California theme park, it is most likely a similar approach will soon be implemented at Carowinds and perhaps other Cedar Fair-operated theme parks. However, no official information has been released regarding this decision. Inside the Magic will update you as an official statement is released.

Were you at Carowinds during the incident? What do you think about this situation? Let us know in the comments below.

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