This year’s lineup of new coasters isn’t that impressive, with the best new ride for 2017 being a small GCI coaster. Thankfully, 2018 is already promising to make up for it, with lots of early construction taking place and some parks even making their announcements.
Mean Streak at Cedar Point
Last September, Cedar Point closed their old wooden coaster with word that it would be removed for future expansion. Thrill seekers rejoiced when red IBox track began to arrive at the park, confirming that Mean Streak would be getting a steel transformation from Rocky Mountain Construction.
Cedar Point has kept mum on the subject, but a few leaked photos show the stunning progress that has already been done to the ride. At Winter Chill Out, the park’s annual off-season behind the scenes tour, guests were directed away from the coaster, but a few clever photographers managed to snap some photos of Mean Streak from across the park. The sheer size of the hills is astonishing, and I for one cannot wait for the transformed ride to open next year. Whatever RMC has planned, it’s going to be big.
Hurler at Kings Dominion
Cedar Point’s sister park, Kings Dominion, has been getting their own share of excitement. Hurler, an old International Coasters woodie, was closed for all of 2016, and the park dropped RMC hints all summer. Though they didn’t mention anything regarding the coaster during their 2017 announcement, the last slide of their presentation flashed “There’s Really More Coming!” Then, last October, Kings Dominion released a video to announce that Hurler would “Rest In Peace…For Now. 2018.”
Even more recently, track was spotted by the Hurler construction site. RMC Hurler is officially happening.
Electric Eel at SeaWorld San Diego
SeaWorld San Diego will be opening a launched Sky Rocket II coaster similar to Tempesto at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Electric Eel will launch riders backward and forward through the station before cresting a 150-foot hill. From there, the ride will twist through an inverted heartline roll and a non-inverting loop before flying back into the station. Though short, the ride will pack a powerful punch in a small amount of space, something necessary for a park with limited real estate like SeaWorld.
Time Traveller at Silver Dollar City
Construction crews have been hard at work all winter at Silver Dollar City, and rumors suggest an Xtreme Spinning Coaster from Mack Rides, complete with several inversions and perhaps a launch section. As for the theme, Herschend Family Entertainment, Silver Dollar City’s parent company, recently filed a trademark for the name Time Traveler. In a survey sent out to park guests, the park revealed that a potential theme for the coaster would be a time machine that launches riders back in time to the Roman Empire.
SW8 at Alton Towers
SW8, or Secret Weapon 8, is the codename for Alton Towers’s next coaster. The park has proposed several plans to the government, depicting a themed wooden coaster with a “Sound Tunnel” enclosing what appears to be the first drop. Alton Towers has always had excellent theming, so it will be interesting to see what they come up with for their first woodie.
Valkyria at Liseberg
Liseberg has a stunning 150-foot dive coaster planned for 2018. Named “Valkyria,” the ride will be themed to a winged creature in Norse Mythology that chooses those who live and those who die in battle. After a 164-foot drop into a tunnel, the coaster will make its way through several inversions, making it the longest dive coaster in Europe.
Needless to say, 2018 is shaping up to be a big year for roller coasters, with Cedar Fair installing their first RMCs and several major coasters being announced before the 2017 season even starts. Are you looking forward to next year? Leave a comment below.
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