A Preview of the Most Anticipated New Roller Coasters of 2011
Here’s the conclusion of my annual Top 10 New Roller Coasters list including my top pick. Also see roller coasters 10 through 6, in Part 1.
5 – Dare Devil Dive at Six Flags Over Georgia (Atlanta, Georgia)
Make/Model: Custom Gerstlauer EuroFighter
Type: Steel Looping Roller Coaster
Six Flags Over Georgia’s New Diving Looper
In 2011, Six Flags Over Georgia will receive its first new roller coaster since 2006′s acclaimed Goliath. Dare Devil Dive will feature a vertical lift, beyond vertical drop, and three inversions (a dive loop, an immelmann, and a zero-g roll). Read more about Six Flags Over Georgia’s Dare Devil Dive.
A Strong Addition to SFOGA’s Lineup
Dare Devil Dive doesn’t break any new ground, but it does look to be a very good roller coaster with an arsenal of potentially exhilarating moments. I will say that I’m not crazy about the theme and I wish that the park would have used another one of their DC Comics characters. At least Six Flags didn’t make this yet another Green Lantern coaster. Anyway, the theme is only a small nitpick, as Dare Devil Dive should be a headliner at the Atlanta-area theme park for some time. Dare Devil Dive on RCDB | Six Flags Over Georgia’s Dare Devil Dive page
4 – Gravity Group Racing Coaster at Happy Valley (Wuhan, Hubei, China)
Make: The Gravity Group
Type: Wooden Racing Roller Coaster
Innovat0rs, The Gravity Group, Introduce Their First Racing Coaster
China will get another intriguing wooden roller coaster in 2011. My top pick last year was GCI’s impressive looking terrain woodie at Knight Valley. This year, China will receive the country’s first racing wooden coaster in an unnamed ride designed by The Gravity Group. The racer will feature the company’s new Timberliner trains and a first-of-its-kind high five element where the two racing coasters will climb hills and bank towards each other (pictured here). See renderings of the Gravity Group Racer | Watch an animated videoOne of the Best Racing Coasters Could be on the Other Side of the World
The Gravity Group’s new racing coaster looks amazing! Even though this is the company’s first racer, they did a great job of capturing that racing feeling in some exciting ways. For example, there’s a great section where the two tracks weave under and over each other. The only thing I would change is its longitude and latitude as Wuhan, China is quite a hike from North Carolina. Gravity Group Racer on RCDB | More updates from The Gravity Group
3 – Raptor at Gardaland (Castelnuovo del Garda, Veneto, Italy)
Make/Model: New Design from Bolliger & Mabillard
Type: Steel Looping Roller Coaster
Gardaland to Be Home to a First from Acclaimed Coaster Designers
Italy’s Gardaland will be home to a new type of B&M roller coaster. Raptor will be the acclaimed designer’s first ever roller coaster with seats to the sides of the track rather than above and below it. Seating will be similar to 4th dimension coasters like Green Lantern First Flight and X2, only the seats will not spin. Raptor will feature an underground station, a watersplash section, and three inversions (corkscrew, zero-g roll, and an in-line twist). Read more about Raptor at Gardaland.
Raptor Could Be Another Landmark Roller Coaster for B&M
I’ll admit that I’m a huge B&M fan so it’s hard for me to not be excited about a new type of roller coaster from my favorite steel coaster designers. While the design doesn’t appear to be ground-breaking, B&M’s track record is so strong that I have to believe this will be an excellent roller coaster. I know that I enjoyed the brief moments when I was simply flying through the air on X2 and NOT spinning. Like Intamin’s Furious Baco, there could be an advantage to just experiencing an exciting ride from the outside seat position. Remember coasters like Apollo’s Chariot, Kumba, or Air? These weren’t first ever designs in the industry, but they were firsts for B&M and are still highly-regarded. Raptor could go down in the history books as another great first like these did. Raptor on RCDB |
2 – Texas Giant at Six Flags Over Texas (Dallas, Texas)
Make: Original Design by Curtis D. Summers, Hybrid Redesign by Rocky Mountain Construction
Type: ??? Hybrid Wooden-Steel Roller Coaster
Six Flags Over Texas Gives ‘Giant a Massive Redesign
Six Flags is celebrating the chain’s 50th anniversary in a big way by giving their first park’s mammoth wooden coaster a unique overhaul. Texas Giant, which originally opened in 1990, has been re-tracked with steel rails aimed at giving it a smooth and exciting new ride. The steel track will allow the coaster to boast the steepest drop of any wooden coaster in the World (79 degrees) and a record-breaking banking of 95 degrees. The new ‘Giant will also boast upgraded Texas theming with new trains that resemble 1961 Cadillac Devilles and custom-made cattle horns and saddle seats. Read more about the new Texas Giant at Six Flags Over Texas.
Texas Giant’s Hybrid Design Could Break New Ground
Texas Giant could prove to be an innovative roller coaster that we look back on a decade from now as a game changer. If successful Six Flags could roll out this overhaul to other aging woodies in the chain as they’ve recently shown a track record of re-theming and enhancing older rides rather than building new ones (see X2, Bizarro SFGADV, & Bizzaro SFNE). Or, it could be another misstep like the troubled Son of Beast at Kings Island. I’m pulling for the former although things could happen that none of us or maybe even the engineers could have foreseen. Texas Giant on RCDB | Six Flags Over Texas’ Texas Giant’s page
Check out this preview video of Texas Giant at Six Flags Over Texas:
1 – Cheetah Hunt at Busch Gardens Tampa (Tampa, Florida)
Make/Model: Custom Intamin Design
Type: LSM Launched Looping Steel Roller Coaster
Busch Gardens Tampa will launch Cheetah Hunt literally in 2011. Cheetah Hunt will treat riders to three launches, a unique figure 8 element 100 feet above the ground, a subterranean trip through a trench (like Montu’s Death Star run!) and a corkscrew along the ride’s lengthy 4,400 foot layout. The new roller coaster will be integrated into a new cheetah exhibit as the theme park already boasts some excellent animal exhibits. Read more about Cheetah Hunt at Busch Gardens.
Cheetah Hunt Could Be Florida’s Most Exciting Roller Coaster
Cheetah Hunt climbed to the top of my list pretty quickly. It looks to be another themed-masterpiece from Busch Gardens that again, will be able to boast another custom, unique attraction. In the theme park battleground of Central Florida, Busch Gardens Tampa will have a powerful new weapon. My only reservation is the downtime that some of Intamin’s launch coasters have experienced. As long as it’s running, Cheetah Hunt looks to be the best new roller coaster of 2011 by far. It’s such a varied ride with so much going on that it could feel like a marathon of thrills that’ll make riders itch for another ride. Cheetah Hunt on RCDB | Busch Gardens Tampa’s Cheetah Hunt page
Here’s an animated on-ride POV video of Cheetah Hunt at Busch Gardens Tampa:
See roller coasters 10 through 6, in Part 1. Here are a few other new coasters opening in 2011: Bombora at Lagoon, Black Diamond at Knoebels, Twister at Grona Lund, 4th Dimension Coaster in China, Soaring Eagle & Steeplechase Horses Coaster at Coney Island, Gotham City Gauntlet at Six Flags New England, & opening late 2010′s top pick GCI’s Knight Valley coaster.
What’s Your Take?
What do you think of my top 5 new coasters for 2011? Do you agree? Which new coaster looks the best to you? Leave a comment below.