North Carolina Amusement Parks

North Carolina Amusement Parks—the History Project

North Carolina amusement parks
The roller coaster at Bloomsbury Park in Raleigh (circa 1911).

North Carolina amusement parks have a strong history. Although most are long-gone, the parks located in North Carolina helped to shape the future of amusement parks and theme parks.

This project will look to document the lost, vanished and current North Carolina amusement parks. Using newspaper databases, research tools and local history collections (usually at public libraries) to record and tell the story of the more than 80 parks that existed in the Tarheel state.

Contact me ([email protected]) if you have any information about a North Carolina amusement park!

New Article: The first Roller Coaster in North Carolina!

North Carolina Amusement Parks

Frontier Land-Magic Waters ParkCherokee, NC1968?1982?

NameCity, StateOpenClosed
Airport Amusement ParkCharlotte, NC1940s?1958
Arkland ParkFranklinton, NC??
Atlantic Beach, Inc. (Idle Amusement Center)Atlantic Beach, NCMentioned in 1951 Billboard?
Atlantic Amusement ParkAtlantic Beach, NCMentioned in 1955 Billboard?
Bloomsbury Park-Electric ParkRaleigh, NC19121915
Brookside ParkRaleigh, NC18881915
Carolina Amusement ParkGastonia, NC19571958 (?)
CarowindsCharlotte, NC1973 N/A
Chavis ParkRaleigh, NC1938
Cherokee Fun ParkCherokee, NC
Cherokee WonderlandCherokee, NC 1962 1967
City ParkBurlington, NC
Cool WorldWilmington, NCRCDB lists steel 1997-1998
Dan Nicholas Park-Hurley Station Salisbury, NC 1996
DeadwoodWilliamston, NC19922008 ?
Dowdy’s Amusement ParkNags Head, NC1963-2005
East Carolina Chapter NRHS-Farmville, NC 1964? 1981
Emerald PointeGreensboro, NC
Exhilarama Park-Prehistoric ParkCary, NC 1993 2001
Fulton Heights ParkSalisbury, NC
Fun N WheelsAtlantic Beach, NC
Fun-Land ParkGreensboro, NC
Ghent ParkNew Bern, NC
Ghost Town in the SkyMaggie Valley, NC 1960 2002
Gold CityFranklin, NC1965 1980s
Goldston’s Beach, Crystal Beach, Marshburn’s BeachWhite Lake, NCCrystal Beach mentioned in 1956 Billboard.
Greenfield ParkWilmington, NC
Greensboro Amusement ParkGreensboro, NC
Harden Park-Piedmont ParkGraham, NC
Heritage USACharlotte, NC
Hill Ridge FarmYoungsville, NC
Hillbilly ParkElizebethton, NC
Hitching Post Drive-In Theater & Kiddie LandSalisbury, NCMentioned in 1957 Billboard?
JeepersConcord-Gastonia, NC
Jubilee Amusement ParkCarolina Beach, NC 1977 2004
Jungle RapidsWilmington, NC
Jungleland ParkAtlantic Beach, NC 1999 2005
Lake Hickory Amusement ParkHickory, NC 1940s? 1950s?
Lake TahkeeosteeWeaverville, NC 1904? Mentioned in 1955 Billboard
Lakewood ParkCharlotte, NC19101933
Lakewood ParkDurham, NC19021935
Land of OzBeech Mountain, NC19701980
Latta ParkCharlotte, NC1891 1910
Lindley ParkGreensboro, NC 1902 1918
Lumina ParkWrightsville Beach, NC 1905
New Hope Valley RailroadBonsai, NC 1981
Nissen ParkWinston-Salem, NC??
North ParkBurlington, NC
Overlook ParkAsheville, NC
Paradise ParkGreenville, NC
Piedmont ParkWinston-Salem, NC 1899 1949
Playland ParkCharlotte, NCMention in 1957 Billboard ?
Professor Hacker’s GolfSalter Path, NC?Present
Pullen ParkRaleigh, NC 1888 Present
Queens LandingMooresville, NC
Rays Splash PlanetCharlotte, NC
Recreation Park – Nature CenterAsheville, NC1930, Mentioned in 1955 Billboard2000
Reynolds ParkWinston-Salem,NCRCDB lists steel sitdown in 1957
Riverside ParkAsheville, NC19041916
Santa’s LandCherokee, NC
Sea View Wilmington, NC (Wrightsville)1889
Shelby City ParkShelby, NC
Silver LakeRaleigh, NC
Stith ParkRocky Mount, NC
Sunset ParkRocky Mount, NC
Suttle Pool & ParkCharlotte, NCMention in 1955, 1957 Billboard ?
Toyland ParkDurham, NCMentioned in 1957 Billboard?
Tweetsie RailroadBlowing Rock-Boone, NC 1957
Village ParkKannapolis, NC
Wrightsville BeachWrightsville Beach, NC

Are there any that I’m missing from my list?

Feel free to email me if you have any information or details about a long-lost park.

North Carolina Amusement Parks Video

Page Updates


As I’m working on the Lost Amusement Parks of North Carolina book project, I will update this page with changes, additions and deletions. After my initial flurry of research on the amusement parks in the Old North State, I removed 11 parks from the table and added a few dates.


NameCity, StateReason Removed From ListDate
Crystal LakeWinston-Salem, NCNo Mechanical Rides or Devices 5/7/18
Electric ParkCharlotte, NCNo Mechanical Rides or Devices – mention of a carnival the first year 5/7/18
Fantasy IslandHope Mills, NC Water Park Only 5/7/18
Fontana Village ResortFontana Lake, NC No Mechanical Rides or Devices 5/7/18
Fuquay SpringsFuquay-Varina, NC No Mention of Mechanical Rides or Devices – But Still Need to Dig Deeper 5/17/18
Great Smoky Mountain RailroadBryson City, NC No Mechanical Rides Besides the Railroad – Not an Amusement Park 5/7/18
Handy Dandy Railroad-Denton Farm ParkDenton, NC Not an Amusement Park 5/7/18