It’s time to preview my picks for the best new roller coasters opening in 2011. I wouldn’t call it a particularly strong year for new roller coasters, but there are a few potential show stoppers coming soon to a theme park near you.
10 Zippin Pippin – Bay Beach Amusement Park (Green Bay, Wisconsin)
Make: Designed by John A. Miller, Built by The Gravity Group
Type: Wooden Roller Coaster
Elvis’ Old Favorite to Get New Life
The Packers faithful not only have a Super Bowl-bound team, but they also have a new roller coaster on the way. The Zippin Pippin, known to be Elvis Presley’s all-time favorite, is going to be rebuilt at Bay Beach Amusement Park. The ride was originally at Libertyland where RCDB lists it as opening in 1924. Read more about Bay Beach Amusement Park’s Zippin Pippin.
Zippin Pippin – A Classic Ride Finds a Fitting Home
Even as a huge steel coaster fan, I can appreciate classic woodies. Especially one that will have the uniqueness of a completely fresh track, but an old-school layout. The classic roller coaster will be getting a fitting home in a park that’s already home to a collection of classic amusement park rides.
Zippin Pippin on RCDB | Bay Beach Amusement Park’s Zippin Pippin Site
9 – Wooden Warrior at Quassy Amusement Park
Make: Custom Design from The Gravity Group
Type: Wooden Roller Coaster
Quassy to Get The Gravity Group’s First Junior Coaster in the States
New Hampshire’s Quassy is adding a junior wooden coaster designed by the acclaimed Gravity Group. The ride is being built to fit the park’s family focus, so unlike The Voyage or Ravine Flyer II, Wooden Warrior is not about high speeds or steep banking. Read more about Wooden Warrior.
Wooden Warrior – A Solid Addition to Quassy (Middlebury, Connecticut)
The Gravity Group has made quite a name for themselves since 2005′s Hades at Mt. Olympus. Their wooden coasters have brought some much needed excitement to the wooden coaster arena. From the animated video, it looks like there’s not a foot of track wasted in the ride’s small footprint. Wooden Warrior should be a fun family/entry level coaster for Quassy guests for many years to come.
Wooden Warrior on RCDB
8 – Untamed at Canobie Lake (Salem, New Hampshire)
Make/Model: Gerstlauer EuroFighter 320+
Type: Steel Loooping Coaster
Canobie Lake’s Untamed: A Pint-Sized Thrill Ride
Canobie Lake’s Untamed will offer dizzying ride in a tight 1,184 foot course. Untamed will begin with a 72-foot lift hill followed by a beyond vertical 97-degree drop. After the drop, the cars will navigate three loops including a vertical loop, an immelmann, and a zero-g roll. It will be similar to Gerstlauer’s EuroFighter Rage at Adventure Island (pictured to the right). Read more about Untamed.
Untamed – Action-Packed Ride Could Raise Canobie’s Profile
Untamed brings some modern thrills to this small New England park. Rather than having to drive two hours to Six Flags New England, locals will have a certified thrill ride closer to home. It looks like a compact little ride, but with that steep drop and three inversions nearly back to back to back, it won’t be a forgettable one.
Untamed on RCDB | Canobei Lake’s Untamed Commercial
7 – Green Lantern: First Flight at Six Flags Magic Mountain (Valencia, California)
Make/Model: Intamin ZacSpin
Type: Steel 4th Dimension Roller Coaster
Magic Mountain Adds Another 4th Dimension Roller Coaster
This year Magic Mountain will reclaim the title of the theme park with the most roller coasters (from Cedar Point) thanks to the addition of kiddie ride Roadrunner Express and the new compact 4th dimension roller coaster Green Lantern: First Flight. The theming will tie-in with both Six Flags’ use of DC Comics super heroes and the 2011 movie starring Ryan Reynolds. Like Magic Mountain’s X2, the coaster will position riders on either side of the track rather than above or below it while the seats will spin on a horizontal axis. Magic Mountain will boast the only two 4th dimension coasters in the States.
Green Lantern: First Flight – Unique, but Small
While, Green Lantern: First Flight is only the second 4th dimension coaster in the States and the first ZacSpin, I can’t get too excited for a coaster with such a small footprint. I’ve always been more of a fan of roller coasters that offer a larger layout with a more traditional succession elements. Still, Magic Mountain will be able to boast another unique roller coaster; for the U.S. at least. Probably 99% of the park’s guest will have never seen anything like Green Lantern: First Flight. And while it’s much smaller than X2, Green Lantern should still deliver a disorienting and intimidating experience thanks to the flips and unusual riding position.
Green Lantern: First Flight on RCDB | Six Flags Magic Mountain’s Green Lantern: First Flight page
6 – Green Lantern at Six Flags Great Adventure (Jackson, New Jersey)
Make: Bolliger & Mabillard
Type: Steel Stand Up Coaster
Exciting Stand-Up Coaster Headed to Great Adventure
Six Flags Great Adventure’s new Green Lantern coaster is a re-themed B&M stand-up that was formerly Chang at Kentucky Kingdom. The coaster is still one of the largest and fastest of its kind with a 144′ plunge, 121′ tall loop, and a lengthy 4,155 foot journey. Like Great Adventure’s Bizarro coaster, the re-theming could include some kind of special effects enhancements. Green Lantern will boast 5 inversions including three varied vertical loops and two corkscrews. More on Green Lantern.
Green Lantern – Not ‘All-New’, But Still One of the Best
While stand-up coasters are nothing new and this coaster is technically 14 years old, it still looks like one of the best roller coasters opening this year. There’s no guarantee that it’ll run as well as it did before, but I would expect it to. Aside from some type of re-building issue, I can safely assume that Green Lantern will be great. I loved it when it was Chang. Green Lantern on RCDB | Six Flags Magic Mountain’s Green Lantern: First Flight page | My Chang Review
Continue on to Part 2 of the Top New Roller Coasters for 2011
What’s Your Take?
What do you think of my top 10 new roller coasters for 2011 list so far? Do you agree with my rankings? Which of these attractions are you most excited about? Leave a comment below.