It’s a new year, and that means theme park fans are putting their 2018 park trips on the calendar and keeping those coaster POVs on repeat. With every year comes a host of new coasters, and if 2017’s lineup was lackluster, this year is determined to make up for it. With over 150 coasters opening in 2018, I had a harder time than usual narrowing down my top picks, but I managed to filter them down to the best of the best. Here are my top 15 most anticipated coasters for 2018.
15. Harley Quinn Crazy Coaster
Six Flags Discovery Kingdom announced that they would be building the world’s first Skywarp model. The ride, designed by Skyline Attractions, will feature two trains that duel as they race through a 62-foot vertical figure eight. The coaster will be powered by drive tires and the trains will be connected to keep them at a consistent distance from one another. Interestingly enough, the ride’s Raptor track will be manufactured by Rocky Mountain Construction.
14. Electric Eel
SeaWorld San Diego plans to add their tallest coaster yet, a Premiere Rides Sky Rocket II. Electric Eel will launch riders backward and forward through the station before cresting a 150-foot hill and spiraling through an inverted heartline roll.
After removing their popular Thunder Rapids log flume, Darien Lake promised to replace it with something even better. They went on to announce Tantrum, a 100-foot Euro-Fighter from Gerstlauer with a beyond-vertical drop and an Immelmann.
A relatively small B&M wing coaster will be coming to Toverland for 2018. After climbing to height of 130 feet, the coaster will take riders through a dive drop, Immelmann, and zero-g roll.
Wing coasters are known for their elaborate train designs, and Fēnix will be no exception. The bright orange trains will feature detailed phoenixes between each row.
11. Wicker Man
The newly-announced wooden coaster coming to Alton Towers will be packed with theming and special effects.
As the UK’s first new wooden coaster in 21 years, Wicker Man will incorporate wood and fire in a unique way. The ride’s trains will weave through a 60-foot “wicker man” structure that appears to burst into flames.
10. Wonder Woman Golden Lasso
As one of the first new Raptor coasters from Rocky Mountain Construction, Wonder Woman will treat riders to the first-ever single-rail experience.
With track composed of one wide steel beam, the coaster will seat riders in single file and offer unprecedented views of the train’s surroundings. Wonder Woman will start with a 90-degree drop before executing a dive loop, a cutback, and a corkscrew.
RailBlazer might be a near clone to Wonder Woman, but California’s Great America’s single-rail model will have a few extra details like ATV-inspired trains and a silent lift hill. Themed to the Californian wilderness, the ride will incorporate scenery and rock structures that the coaster will dive through.
Overall, I’m excited for the potential of RMC’s Raptor coaster. Its compact design and realistic price tag make it a great choice for small parks like Great America.
A dive coaster of sorts, HangTime will take riders 150 feet into the air and hold them in a dropping position. The ride will feature a 96-degree drop and five inversions, including a rare negative-g stall loop.
Knott’s Berry Farm isn’t skimping on the lighting package, either. At night, HangTime will come to life with disorienting chase lighting that races the train through each element.
Liseberg’s new dive coaster will take a bold stance as a valkyrie, a winged creature from Norse Mythology that chooses the outcome of a battle. After a 164-foot drop, the ride will swoop through three inversions.
Like most dive coasters, Valkyria will have a relatively short layout. I must say, though, Liseberg is doing a great job tying the ride into their new mythology area. If they implement the attention to detail we see on the station in the concept art, they’ll have a well-themed coaster on their hands.
6. Twisted Cyclone
In 2018, Six Flags Over Georgia will become the latest Six Flags park to receive an IBox coaster.
While Twisted Cyclone will feature quite a few disorienting maneuvers, including a signature reverse cobra roll, the ride’s layout is noticeably shorter post-conversion. One can’t help but wonder whether Six Flags went low-budget with the transformation. Regardless, the ride is certain to be a welcome addition to Georgia residents who have yet to ride an RMC.
Designed by Mack Rides, Icon at Blackpool Pleasure Beach will feature a weaving course with two launch sections and an endless series of high-speed over-banks. If there were an award for most efficient layout, Icon would be a likely candidate. The ride will pack in two launches and two inversions while circling inside of Big One’s footprint.
4. Time Traveler
Beginning with a 10-story vertical drop out of the station, Time Traveler will become the world’s tallest, fastest, and steepest spinning coaster. As the first Xtreme Spinning Coaster of Mack Rides, the coaster is a thrilling new take on the classic family ride. I’m excited to see Silver Dollar City investing in a ride that thrill seekers and their kids can enjoy together.
3. Twisted Timbers
In 2018, Kings Dominion will join the RMC bandwagon by giving Hurler the iron-horse treatment. Post conversion, the ride will stretch even longer than its wooden predecessor. With a barrel roll drop and a compact layout, Twisted Timbers makes me think of a slightly bigger version of Storm Chaser at Kentucky Kingdom. And that is by all means a good thing.
The new Intamin mega coaster coming to EnergyLandia will feature a 260-foot drop and a seamless layout. The ride will combine Skyrush-inspired turns with the sweeping drops of a B&M hyper coaster.
While we may not have seen many new Intamin coasters here in the United States, Hyperion is proof that the manufacturer is still capable of designing relentless rides that take thrills to the limit. In particular, the Stengel Dive turnaround is a unique element that I would love to see on more coasters.
1. Steel Vengeance
In 2018, Cedar Point’s Mean Streak will be reborn as the world’s first hyper hybrid coaster, standing at 205 feet tall. RMC outdoes themselves every year, and 2018 will be no exception. Featuring four inversions, Steel Vengeance will be three minutes of out-of-control maneuvers. The ride will never let up—even after the mid-course brake run, the coaster will take to weaving in and out of the coaster’s support structure, providing near misses as it bucks from side to side.
Which new roller coaster are you most excited about for 2018? Leave a comment below!