This upcoming season, one of the best coaster lineups we’ve had in quite a while awaits us. Read on to see my top picks for 2016.
11. Cobra’s Curse
Busch Gardens Tampa / Tampa Bay, FL
Cobra’s Curse is a heavily-themed spinning family coaster. After ascending 70 feet in the air on a vertical elevator lift, the small trains will rush around the tight hairpin turns while spinning randomly. The key feature of the ride will be an outward-banked turn that leans precariously towards the jaws of a gigantic snake statue. Read more about Cobra’s Curse »
10. Phobia Phear Coaster
Lake Compounce / Bristol, CT
Lake Compounce, a relatively small Connecticut amusement park, announced that it’s adding to its lineup in 2016 with a Sky Rocket II coaster. This type of coaster packs a lot of punch in a small package. Standing 150 feet tall, Phobia will feature three launches, a cobra roll, and a non-inverting loop.
9. The Joker
Six Flags Great Adventure / Jackson, NJ
Six Flags Great Adventure will be getting a 120-foot-tall 4D free spin coaster this year. Sporting wing-style trains with free spinning seats, Joker will flip riders head over heels multiple times throughout the ride.
8. Incredible Hulk
Universal Studios Islands of Adventure / Orlando, FL
Closed for renovation, the Incredible Hulk will return in 2016 better than ever. While we don’t know all the details yet, rumors point towards an improved layout, more comfortable restraints, and possibly even winged trains. Find out more about the Incredible Hulk coaster »
7. Storm Chaser
Kentucky Kingdom / Louisville, KY
Kentucky Kingdom’s new coaster from Rocky Mountain Construction looks like it will be a big hit. Combining the traditional wooden coaster feel with extreme stunts only possible with steel track, Storm Chaser will feature a first of its kind barrel roll drop, a stall dive, and a corkscrew. Read more about Storm Chaser »
6. The Joker
Six Flags Discovery Kingdom / Vallejo, CA
Yet another Rocky Mountain Construction IBox coaster will be opening this year: Six Flags Discovery Kingdom is converting their old wooden coaster into The Joker, a wild multi-inverting hybrid. I know what you’re thinking: “Seriously? Another Joker?” Well, Six Flags has had a long history of repeating names, rides, and color schemes throughout their parks, and 2016 will be no exception. Regardless, Joker looks like a great ride, and will treat riders to fifteen moments of airtime, a zero-g-roll, a first ever “step-up under-flip inverted roll,” and a breaking wave turn. Read all the details »
SeaWorld Orlando / Orlando, FL
Florida’s first hyper coaster (a coaster over 200 feet tall) is coming to SeaWorld Orlando this year. Sure to be super smooth and loaded with airtime, Mako will have a layout designed to mimic the sudden maneuvers of a mako shark pursuing its prey. Find out more about Mako »
Phantasialand / Germany
Do you live in Germany? Major thrills are coming your way! Taron, a launched Intamin Blitz coaster featuring multiple launches will be opening soon at Phantasialand. While the park has kept us in the dark on the details, the above shot of the ride’s construction gives us a glimpse of the wild experience and extensive theming ahead.
Kolmården / Sweden
Standing 187 feet tall and dropping at 83 degrees, Wildfire is a sight to behold. Manufactured by Rocky Mountain Construction, the Swedish coaster will reach a top speed of 70 miles per hour in its wild course full of over-banked turns, airtime hills, and inversions. Find out more at its official website »
Cedar Point / Sandusky, OH
Climb. Hang. Plummet straight down! Cedar Point’s new Valravn will become the world’s tallest, fastest, and longest dive coaster. Park guests will have the chance to test their bravery by diving from 223 feet in the air – face first at 90-degrees. But Valravn’s not done yet. Riders are sent flying through an enormous 165-foot-tall Immelmann loop and a second vertical drop. Other elements include an ultra-smooth dive drop and a 270-degree roll, giving Valravn the most inversions of any dive coaster in the world. Read more about Valravn »
1. Lightning Rod
Dollywood / Pigeon Forge, TN
My top pick for 2016 is Lightning Rod, Dollywood’s launched wooden coaster. After an impressive 165-foot drop, the coaster will reach a top speed of 73 miles per hour, making it the world’s fastest wooden coaster. During the ensuing race through the woods, pure adrenaline will meet riders as the train swiftly takes on heart-chilling maneuvers like over-banked turns, airtime hills, and a “quadruple down” series of drops. Though Lightning Rod will not feature any inversions, riders will be treated to twenty seconds of airtime during the 3,800 foot long course. Watch a video of the coaster below:
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