You can order a Pain au Chocolate dessert at the France market at Grand Carnivale festival at Carowinds theme park in Charlotte, North Carolina

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I’m really glad that Carowinds has gotten into the food festival game.  I have traveled all over the country for some of the great food and wine festivals at different theme parks.  But seeing that I am from Charlotte, it is a lot easier to visit Carowinds!

Now, Carowinds is not exactly having a food and wine festival.  But they are having a Grand Carnivale celebration right now.  This means all kinds of great shows, people in costumes walking around the theme park, music, decorations, etc.  But it also means some great international cuisine!

There are five different stations at the front of the park representing a different country.  And right now I want to talk about the France part.

In addition to some great drinks you can get in France, there are three different menu items you can get.  I want to talk about each of them and what my family thought of them.

Croque Monsieur

A picture of the Croque Monsieur one of the French foods available at Grand Carnival International Cuisine celebration at Carowinds theme park in Charlotte, NC

The Croque Monsieur is a toasted brioche sandwich with hardwood smoked pit ham, bechamel sauce, Brie cheese, and fresh thyme.

I don’t mean to sound like Rob Lowe’s character in Parks and Recreation, but the Croque Monsieur is quite literally one of the best sandwiches I have ever had.  Seriously, it is really good.

We thought it might be good before we even had a bite, though, when we noticed that someone with a nametag that read “head chef” helped the person who prepared the sandwich by giving them advice on how to best place the bread so that it was even.  I appreciate how much attention is given to that.  You certainly do not expect that from food at a theme park.

But the sandwich was so good!  The bechamel sauce was the best part.  It was really good and evenly spread.  The ham was great too, and the bread was soft.  I also like how much ham the sandwich had.  Sometimes at food festivals at theme parks, they give you really small portions.  But I felt like this was a good size sandwich that could be eaten as a meal.  That’s one of the best parts of it.

Crepe Champignon

A picture of the Crepe Champignon which you can buy at the France booth at the Grand Carnivale festival at Carowinds theme park in Charlotte, NC

The Crepe Champignon was overall very delicious, too.  It consists of a thinly griddled crepe filled with a wild mushroom sauce, shallots, gruyere cheese, and herbs de Provence.

The crepe itself was perfect.  Which is good, because my family loves crepes – and by the way, if you do as well, check out our review of Royal Café and Crêperie over in Matthews.  \

The mushrooms were great.  The gruyere cheese was especially great – it’s like every bite of the gruyere cheese was heaven.

But there were a few things that could have been improved on.  We would have liked more shallots.  Also, the herbs could have been mixed a bit better.  Because of this, at three different points, it was quite spicy.  Which you might really like if you like spicy foods.  But if the spices were mixed a bit better, then they wouldn’t have overwhelmed any one bite.

Pain au Chocolate

You can order a Pain au Chocolate dessert at the France market at Grand Carnivale festival at Carowinds theme park in Charlotte, North Carolina

And finally, I want to talk about the dessert item: Pain au Chocolate.  It consists of chocolate wrapped in a flaky dough and dusted on top with powdered sugar.  It was good and soft.  But once again if I had to be nitpicky, the chocolate was a bit bitter.  And the item was a bit dry.  But again, very good, and the kind of dish where you don’t want to stop eating it.


If you are visiting the Grand Carnivale festival at Carowinds, then you want to check out the France market.  The food is really good and can make a great meal.  It is better than most food you get at a theme park, and certainly more unique and special.

The Grand Carnivale festival takes place at night at Carowinds from 5:00 PM to 9:00 each night (except for Tuesday).  It will last this summer through July 9, 2023.  Admission to the Grand Carnivale is included in the price of your Carowinds ticket.

And the good news is that you can save up to $38 per ticket if you buy your ticket here.  No coupon code or promo code is even needed to get this discount!