Vortex's vertical loop.
Park sectionCarousel Park
Coordinates35°06′13″N 80°56′30″W / 35.1036°N 80.9416°W / 35.1036; -80.9416Coordinates: 35°06′13″N 80°56′30″W / 35.1036°N 80.9416°W / 35.1036; -80.9416
Opening dateMarch 14, 1992 (1992-03-14)
Cost$5.5 million[1]
General statistics
TypeSteel – Stand-up
ManufacturerBolliger & Mabillard
DesignerWerner Stengel
ModelStand-Up Coaster
Lift/launch systemChain lift hill
Height90 ft (27 m)
Length2,040 ft (620 m)
Speed50 mph (80 km/h)
Height restriction54 in (137 cm)
Fast Lane available
Vortex at RCDB
Pictures of Vortex at RCDB

Vortex is a stand-up roller coaster located at Carowinds amusement park in Charlotte, North Carolina. Manufactured by Bolliger & Mabillard (B&M), the ride opened to the public on March 14, 1992.[2] Vortex was built a year before Paramount Parks purchased Carowinds and is situated on the former site of the Carolina Speedway miniature car attraction. It was B&M's third coaster and features a loop and a corkscrew element in its relatively short track layout. Vortex represented a new era of stand-up coasters at the time, which were more advanced than the previous generation introduced in the 1980s.


On August 15, 1991, Carowinds announced that a new stand-up roller coaster would be added to the park in 1992 called Vortex.[3] It was the first coaster built at Carowinds since Carolina Cyclone in 1980, and also became the park's most expensive ride to date at $5.5 million.[3] Built by Bolliger & Mabillard, Vortex was the sixth stand-up coaster to open in the United States.[3] Construction began in September 1991, and officials believed it would be completed by January 1992.[4]

Vortex officially opened on March 14, 1992. It was repainted for the 2011 season with red track and gray supports, similar to the park's Intimidator coaster.[citation needed]

Ride Layout

Riders depart from the station in a standing position, then ascend a small 90-foot (27 m) lift. A pre-drop, characteristic of early Bolliger & Mabillard coasters, follows the lift hill, preceding the curved right drop. A vertical loop follows the drop and is followed-up by an upward right and downward banked turn. An upward helix follows the downward turn and is followed by a corkscrew to the right. After another upward helix and a wide turnaround, the train enters the final brake run before entering the station.[5]

Construction Data

Ride Elements


  2. ^ Marden, Duane. "Vortex  (Carowinds)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved 2020-01-28.
  3. ^ a b c Brown, Tony (August 16, 1991). "All rise for new roller coaster". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved July 14, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  4. ^ Limbacher, Patty (December 27, 1991). "Stand-up idea brings thrills to Vortex ride". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved January 10, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  5. ^ "4K Vortex POV Carowinds". TheCoasterViews. July 19, 2015. Archived from the original on 2021-12-21. Retrieved September 16, 2019 – via YouTube.