CHARLOTTE — Carowinds theme park was pretty quiet last year, only opening select nights in November and December for its annual holiday event, so season pass holders were thrilled when the park extended their passes for the 2021 season.
But when the park opened last month, it introduced new COVID-19 safety protocols that include requiring season pass holders to make reservations to help limit the number of people in the park.
Quay Washington Zapf is a season pass holder. He drove for hours to visit the park on Thursday, but was turned away at the gate because he didn’t have a reservation.
“We went to guest services and they let people know they won’t let you in if you don’t have a reservation, even if you have a season ticket,” he said.
Zapf said there were no available dates when he tried to make reservations. He also tried to contact the park’s customer service center more than 10 times, but was unable to speak with a representative.
Now he wants a refund.
Tamia Jackson also wants a refund. She also holds a season ticket.
“Every time I try to make a reservation they are full so they get my money but we still can’t go to the park,” she said.
Channel 9’s Greg Suskin contacted park officials about the issue and received the following statement:
“We are maintaining capacity at a level that allows for social distancing, as needed. Our customers can always contact us with any questions or requests. Each request is treated individually. Our goal is to strike the right balance between our operating schedule, seasonal labor availability and anticipated customer demand.
A representative added that the park will continue to assess the requirement for reservations throughout the season.
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