By: Chris Long
Ever wanted to go to an amusement park for a day in the summer? That’s always been tough given that Carawinds and King’s Dominion are about 3 hours away in different directions. However, that might be changing now, as a new theme park in Alamance county is in the planning stages.
Bob Baranick, a contributing designer of many of the attractions at Disney parks around the world, has recently purchased 21 acres of land in the town of Saxapahaw, about 20 miles west of Chapel Hill. Baranick was a part of multiple designing teams that created Epcot, Disneyland Paris, and a few attractions in those parks such as Splash Mountain, and Pirates of the Caribbean. With intentions to grow slowly, Baranick plans to open “Whirligig Woods” in 2019. The park will open with a train ride, a “tree house” resort, which people will actually be able to stay in, a haunted house, and a few other attractions. It is planned to grow in phases, and soon could be as prominent as Busch Gardens and King’s Dominion.
Baranick is not only planning to open one theme park, he is actually planning on opening three. Whirligig Woods will be the first to open, but soon a second theme park is planned to be built somewhere in far Eastern North Carolina (near the coast). Not to be outdone, a third will be built in Western North Carolina. While many of the details are still up in the air, it is becoming likely that in only a few short years North Carolina could be home to a booming amusement park business.