The Best New Amusement Park Rides in the United States!
Thrill seekers are always looking for the next "rush. And that keeps the creators and builders of amusement park rides constantly busy, coming up with new and more cutting-edge ways to up the ante. And adrenaline.
Parks generate an average of 55 billion dollars every year. To keep customers coming through the gates, ride builders are experts in using new technology and construction techniques to create more epic freakouts, screams and vomit-inducing adventures.
So if you're ready to step off that plain vanilla rollercoaster - or want to be the first of your friends to experience the "latest" - make note of some of the crazy, complex rides being unveiled in recent years. Just looking at this list of the cool rides coming our way is sure to get the adrenaline flowing.
1. PHOBIA PHEAR (LAKE COMPOUNCE), BRISTOL, CT
You'll go about 65 mph as you tear through a web of rails, ride upside down (at 150 feet) and take some crazy vertical twists. Yeah, you're pretty much guaranteed to need psychiatric help after taking on New England's first triple launch coaster.
2. TOTAL MAYHEM (SIX FLAGS GREAT ADVENTURE), JACKSON, NJ
Sure, a 120-foot, 90-degree drop may not be a big deal to experienced coaster fans. But try keeping your cool when your seat is outside the tracks. If the sped and inversions aren't enough, you'll get an extra jolt as your seat spins and flips during the ride.
3. GALE FORCE (PLAYLAND), OCEAN CITY, NJ
As soon as you're strapped in, you're jolted by a forward-backward-forward sequence that should rattle a few brain cells. Then, the ride takes you up 125 feet, into some serious vertical drops, rolls and dives. There's not enough hair gel in the world to keep your 'do in place.
4. SKULL ISLAND: REIGN OF KONG (UNIVERSAL), ORLANDO, FL
Head into the jungle home of King Kong and face the massive beast on his turf. The ride combines enormous 3-D screens, giant animatronic figures and sets that will leave you gasping.
5. MAKO (SEAWORLD), ORLANDO, FL
This new 200-foot tall hyper-coaster is the centerpiece of a two-acre shark exhibit, and has the honor of being Florida's tallest coaster (at least for now). If the idea of being up close to "Jaws" doesn't get you hyperventilating in fear, the nine crazy-high hills and super-speed (73 mph) should do the trick.
6. COBRA'S CURSE (BUSCH GARDENS), TAMPA, FL
It's a roller coaster with a difference: you're sent up a huge vertical lift that brings you face to face with an 80-foot tall serpent with fangs the size of tree trunks. After that, the ride races and spins to the point where you wish that serpent would just finish you off, already.
7. VALRAVN (CEDAR POINT), SANDUSKY, OH
This park calls itself the "roller coaster capital of the world." So stakes are high. This new coaster climbs 223 feet before plunging down a 90-degree, 214-foot drop. Then you get another 165-foot tall inversion and a few more 90-degree drops for good measure. Oh yeah, and you're careening around the whole thing at 75 mph.
8. JUSTICE LEAGUE: BATTLE FOR METROPOLIS (SIX FLAGS GREAT AMERICA), GURNEE, IL
You've been chosen to help Superman, Batman and their friends defeat bad guys Lex Luthor and The Joker. Your tools include laser guns, animatronic figures, roving vehicles and more. You'll be so immersed in the amped-up world of Metropolis that you may have a hard time coming back to reality.
9. LIGHTNING ROD (DOLLYWOOD), PIGEON FORGE, TN
Before modern ones made of steel, wooden rollercoasters were a thing - and the "rickety" factor certainly made for a hair-raising ride. This revamped version sends you 200 feet up (and down) at 73 miles an hour, making it the world's fastest wooden coaster.
10. WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER (UNIVERSAL STUDIOS), HOLLYWOOD, CA
The Orlando version is such a massive hit, that they're transplanting it to the West Coast. But this version sends you soaring in and around Hogwarts with some extremely cool 3D technology.