Kings Island has always been on my list of parks to visit, and when they revealed Mystic Timbers for 2017, I decided it was time to make the trek to Cincinnati to check it out. While at the park on Tuesday, I tackled Kings Island's world-class collection of thrill rides and found new favorites in Diamondback, Banshee, and The Beast. I thought Mystic Timbers was a solid ride, but "the shed" seemed more like an afterthought than a climax.
In our recent series about the history of roller coasters, we looked at six key rides that launched the amusement industry into a new era. From the Matterhorn Bobsleds revolutionizing the steel coaster to Magnum XL-200 starting the "Roller Coaster Wars," the industry has been constantly changing as new and better roller coasters are introduced. Over the past decade, it's become clear that we've reached the end of the Roller Coaster Wars. Kingda Ka has stood as the world's tallest roller coaster since 2006, and with forces as high as they are on Formula Rossa, it seems unlikely that any ride will break 150 miles per hour. With the race of the record-breaking steel coaster drawing to a close, what trends can we expect from the amusement industry going forward?
Knott's Berry Farm sits just miles away from Disneyland, attracting park-goers who want a more thrilling experience than classic Disney rides. The park is famous for their wild rides, family fun, and delicious berry festivals. But a new major roller coaster has been due at Knott's for quite some time. Thankfully, that's all about to change.
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.
While 2017 certainly isn't shaping up to be a big year in the amusement park industry, there are a few notable coasters that will be opening this season. Read on to see my top picks, including two new GCI's and Intamin's return to the United States with a custom launch coaster.