It’s time for my annual list of the most anticipated new roller coasters of the year. I’ve had to be clear recently and make it known that these are the coasters that I am either most eager to ride or just look the best to me. Since I do not have a time machine, I have not actually ridden any of them yet.
Thanks to the large number of new coasters opening in this part of the World, this year’s list will focus solely on North America. That’s where most (80%) of my readers are anyway. I’ll also comment on my most anticipated coasters outside of the continent, but they won’t be on this list.
11 Stinger at Dorney Park (Allentown, Pennsylvania)
Dorney Park received a gift in the off-season in the form of a ride that was previously Invertigo at California’s Great America. It’s an inverted shuttle roller coaster where riders traverse three loops forward and then backward. Stinger puts a rare twist on a common ride by turning some of the ride’s seats around. You’ll get to watch the terror or glee of your fellow riders as you make your way through the ride’s two drops, cobra roll, and vertical loop.
Why You Should Be Excited – It’s a small, hand-me-down of a coaster, but it’ll still be new to the vast majority of Dorney Park visitors. And, while it’s not a traditional seating position, it could be an okay option for novices and kids who are ready to go upside-down for the first time.
10 Goliath at Six Flags New England (Agawam, Massachusetts)
Goliath is another transferred shuttle ride from the other side of the country. Formerly Deja Vu at Six Flags Magic Mountain, the company must have felt it’d be better in Six Flags New England’s line up. It’s similar to the aforementioned Stinger, as it’ll feature inverted track (where you ride below the track instead of on top of it) and a forward trip followed by a backward trip.
Why You Should Be Excited – While Six Flags New England already has a shuttle coaster in Flashback, Goliath’s 90-degree vertical lift hills do make a difference as they’ll give riders two fun free fall-like drops. Also, the rather large cobra roll-vertical loop combo should make Goliath a strong addition.
9 Apocalypse at Six Flags America (Largo, Maryland)
Apocalypse is another reincarnation of an existing roller coaster. For 21 years it was Iron Wolf ; a fixture at Six Flags Great America near Chicago. Now the stand-up coaster will become Apocalypse. Sporting a 90 foot tall drop, a vertical loop, and a corkscrew, the layout won’t blow any minds, but the stand-up riding position will be something different for most. Iron Wolf was well-known in the coaster enthusiast community as the first coaster from famous designers Bolliger & Mabillard. But locals will see this as a new roller coaster.
Why You Should Be Excited – The last time Six Flags America opened a new roller coaster, George W. Bush had just taken office for his first term! It’s been 11 years so anything new should look good to SFA fans.
8 Superman Ultimate Flight at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom (Vallejo, California)
Discovery Kingdom’s Superman Ultimate Flight was one of the surprises of the new coaster announcements last year. While it has a compact footprint, the ride looks to have some pretty cool elements. Riders will be launched from the station up to a height of 150 feet. There, they’ll experience an in-line twist in what the park is calling the “tallest inversion West of the Mississippi”. You got to love those roller coaster marketing superlatives! After that, they’ll face a rare non inverted loop before swooping back into the station.
Why You Should Be Excited – Discovery Kingdom fans will have a unique ride in Ultimate Flight. While the name is used throughout the Six Flags chain for their Ultimate Flight flying coasters, this coaster will offer something completely different with its high altitude inversion and that wicked-looking non inverted loop.
7 Iron Shark at Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier (Galveston, Texas)
It’s not everyday (or even every year) that a new amusement park opens. Galveston Island’s Pleasure Pier is set to open this summer with a variety of rides and attractions including a Gerstlauer looping roller coaster. Iron Shark will feature an intimidating vertical lift hill, an ultra-steep beyond-vertical drop, some tight turns, and four loops. A similar coaster, Rage at Adventure Island, is pictured to the right. Photo Credit: Gerstlauer Rides
Why You Should Be Excited – This type of roller coaster is perfect for a park this size. It appears that Gerstlauer has mastered its Euro-Fighter format by packing a lot of excitement into a small package. Iron Shark should make a nice signature attraction for Pleasure Pier and coaster-starved Houstonians will now another large roller coaster in the area. The other being Boardwalk Bullet at Kemah Boardwalk.
What’s Your Take?
What do you think of the list so far? Do you agree with the order? Which of these rides are you most excited about? Leave a comment below.