BLOWING ROCK, N.C. — Tweetsie Railroad, North Carolina's beloved train-themed amusement park in the Blue Ridge Mountains, announced it will open three new rides for the 2023 season, including a new drop tower.
Opening day at Tweetsie is April 8, but crews at Tweetsie Railroad haven't slowed down as they prepare for 2023. The new rides include a mini swing designed for kids, a spring ride drop tower and a family spinning coaster, according to Tweetsie President Chris Robbins.
If you aren't familiar with a "family spinning coaster," imagine the spinning barrel rides you find at county fairs or amusement parks. Robbins said the new ride will fit nicely with the park's Wild West theme and is named "Barrels of Fun."
"It is going to be a great hit with our No. 1 customer market: families with young children," Robbins said.
It's unclear if the rides will be open in time for April 8, but Robbins said crews are working diligently to have them ready as soon as possible. As of now, the goal is to have all three rides opened in time for the first day of the 2023 season.
The new 12-seat mini swing is designed for kids and was custom painted in Italy to feature a No. 12 Tweetsie locomotive motif. The swing will be placed on Miner's Mountain, next to the playground that was renovated last year. Kids must be at least 4 years old and between 32 and 59 inches tall to ride the swing.
Finally, the new 12-seat spring ride replaces the popular Free Fall ride that was retired at the end of 2022. Not only is the new ride taller, but it also spins as it drops riders. The new drop tower is almost 50 feet high and will be featured in the same section of County Fair as the previous ride.
Once Tweetsie Railroad does open for the 2023 season, guests can expect to see plenty of construction and renovations going on, according to Robbins, who said the park's goal is to add new and updated attractions while maintaining the classic feel Tweetsie fans have come to love over the decades.
Special events this year include Day Out With Thomas in June, the wildly popular Halloween Ghost Train and Tweetsie Christmas