Top 11 New Roller Coasters of 2012 – Part 1

New Roller Coaster Lists

It’s time for my annual list of the most anticipated new roller coasters of the year. I’ve had to be clear recently and make it known that these are the coasters that I am either most eager to ride or just look the best to me. Since I do not have a time machine, I have not actually ridden any of them yet.

Thanks to the large number of new coasters opening in this part of the World, this year’s list will focus solely on North America. That’s where most (80%) of my readers are anyway. I’ll also comment on my most anticipated coasters outside of the continent, but they won’t be on this list.


11 Stinger at Dorney Park (Allentown, Pennsylvania)

Stinger Coming to Dorney Park in 2012 Roller Coaster

Dorney Park received a gift in the off-season in the form of a ride that was previously Invertigo at California’s Great America. It’s an inverted shuttle roller coaster where riders traverse three loops forward and then backward. Stinger puts a rare twist on a common ride by turning some of the ride’s seats around. You’ll get to watch the terror or glee of your fellow riders as you make your way through the ride’s two drops, cobra roll, and vertical loop.

Why You Should Be Excited – It’s a small, hand-me-down of a coaster, but it’ll still be new to the vast majority of Dorney Park visitors. And, while it’s not a traditional seating position, it could be an okay option for novices and kids who are ready to go upside-down for the first time.

More on Stinger at Dorney Park | Stats on RCDB | Dorney’s Official Stinger Page

10 Goliath at Six Flags New England (Agawam, Massachusetts)

Goliath is Coming to Six Flags New England in 2012 Roller Coaster

Goliath is another transferred shuttle ride from the other side of the country. Formerly Deja Vu at Six Flags Magic Mountain, the company must have felt it’d be better in Six Flags New England’s line up. It’s similar to the aforementioned Stinger, as it’ll feature inverted track (where you ride below the track instead of on top of it) and a forward trip followed by a backward trip.

Why You Should Be Excited – While Six Flags New England already has a shuttle coaster in Flashback, Goliath’s 90-degree vertical lift hills do make a difference as they’ll give riders two fun free fall-like drops. Also, the rather large cobra roll-vertical loop combo should make Goliath a strong addition.

More on Goliath at Six Flags New England | Stats on RCDB | Official Goliath Page

9 Apocalypse at Six Flags America (Largo, Maryland)

Apocalypse Stand Up Coaster Coming to Six Flags America in 2012

Apocalypse is another reincarnation of an existing roller coaster. For 21 years it was Iron Wolf ; a fixture at Six Flags Great America near Chicago. Now the stand-up coaster will become Apocalypse. Sporting a 90 foot tall drop, a vertical loop, and a corkscrew, the layout won’t blow any minds, but the stand-up riding position will be something different for most. Iron Wolf was well-known in the coaster enthusiast community as the first coaster from famous designers Bolliger & Mabillard. But locals will see this as a new roller coaster.

Why You Should Be Excited – The last time Six Flags America opened a new roller coaster, George W. Bush had just taken office for his first term! It’s been 11 years so anything new should look good to SFA fans.

More on Apocalypse at Six Flags America | Stats on RCDB | Official Apocalypse Page | Iron Wolf Pictures

8 Superman Ultimate Flight at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom (Vallejo, California)

Superman Ultimate Flight Six Flags Discovery Kingdom

Discovery Kingdom’s Superman Ultimate Flight was one of the surprises of the new coaster announcements last year. While it has a compact footprint, the ride looks to have some pretty cool elements. Riders will be launched from the station up to a height of 150 feet. There, they’ll experience an in-line twist in what the park is calling the “tallest inversion West of the Mississippi”. You got to love those roller coaster marketing superlatives! After that, they’ll face a rare non inverted loop before swooping back into the station.

Why You Should Be Excited – Discovery Kingdom fans will have a unique ride in Ultimate Flight. While the name is used throughout the Six Flags chain for their Ultimate Flight flying coasters, this coaster will offer something completely different with its high altitude inversion and that wicked-looking non inverted loop.

More on Superman Ultimate Flight at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom | Stats on RCDB | Official Superman Ultimate Flight Page


7 Iron Shark at Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier (Galveston, Texas)

Rage - Adventure Island - Gerstlauer Eurofighter

It’s not everyday (or even every year) that a new amusement park opens. Galveston Island’s Pleasure Pier is set to open this summer with a variety of rides and attractions including a Gerstlauer looping roller coaster. Iron Shark will feature an intimidating vertical lift hill, an ultra-steep beyond-vertical drop, some tight turns, and four loops. A similar coaster, Rage at Adventure Island, is pictured to the right. Photo Credit: Gerstlauer Rides

Why You Should Be Excited – This type of roller coaster is perfect for a park this size. It appears that Gerstlauer has mastered its Euro-Fighter format by packing a lot of excitement into a small package. Iron Shark should make a nice signature attraction for Pleasure Pier and coaster-starved Houstonians will now another large roller coaster in the area. The other being Boardwalk Bullet at Kemah Boardwalk.

More on Iron Shark at Pleasure Pier | Stats on RCDB | Images of Gerstlauer Euro-Fighters | Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier’s Official Website


Read Part 2 with Picks 6 to 1
Read Part 2 including my top pick. Also, see my new roller coaster lists from previous years.

What’s Your Take?
What do you think of the list so far? Do you agree with the order? Which of these rides are you most excited about? Leave a comment below.

Founder of My favorite coasters are B&M hypers and gigas. I'm also a huge fan of terrain roller coasters.


  1. Is the actual layout of Iron Shark known?

    • I couldn't find the complete layout Cade. Just that Iron Shark will have four inversions and it'll have all of the typical elements of a Euro-Fighter. I placed it mostly based on similar rides.

      • The park's Facebook page put up an animation of the layout with POV (we should ignore the Speed: No Limits theming, I suppose). It looks nice and twisty, unusual in the way it's crammed into the narrow footprint of the pier. The lift is taller than the littlest Euro-Fighters like Spongebob, Rage and Untamed.

        • Thanks for sharing Matt. I hadn't seen that video. That's one loopy course.

          I also found a note about Iron Shark having a "backstretch that cantilevers over the water" according to the LA Times Funland Blog.

          • The finish is unusual (particularly for a full-circuit coaster), the way it slams directly into the station brakes out of the last vertical loop, without so much as a turn in between. That's going to look dramatic when you're waiting in line (unless something's obstructing the view).

        • Thank you, Matt.

  2. Hersheypark skyrush and Busch Gardens Verbolten are obvious omissions that I'm hoping to ride.

    • Spoiler alert: Skyrush and Verbolten will be in Part 2 of the list.

  3. I'm not suprised Six Flags captured the 11-8 spots… The coaster in this list that I'm most excited about is Iron Shark, as it looks the most unique and interesting out of the five.

  4. It's a shame that Vekoma never perfected the design of their Giant Inverted Boomerangs (Deja Vu/Goliath). The added height and vertical drops make the rides much more thrilling then the standard Boomerang. GIBs would be a welcome addition to many of the parks that I've been to.

  5. The folks at SFNE have a great ride coming. I took 7 or 8 straight rides on it after the park closed on it's last day of operation at SFMM and they kept running it for another half hour or so for the fans after I had finally climbed off. Although it was a fantastic experience, it totally kicked my butt to point that I decided to call it good. Definately one of my favorite Vekoma's…though most suck.

  6. Why aren't there any European coasters in your top 11 new rollercoasters of 2012? What about Shambhala, The Swarm, OzIris, Wodan Timbur Coaster, the new coaster in Duinrell (the Netherlands), the new coaster in Toverland, Polar Xpress (Legoland Denmark).??

    Come on look for once beyond the borders of the United States and Canada..

    • As I wrote in the introduction, I chose to make this year's list North America only though because there are so many coasters opening here. And because most of my readers (80%) are in N.A. I'll do a rest of the World list soon though.

      From the 'for once' comment, I can tell that you're new to the site. Previous lists have included roller coasters outside of North America. My #1 pick in 2010 was in Shenzhen, China!

  7. Amen to your take on X-Flight! Despite the identity reuse of Geauga Lake's transplant to Kings Island in the form of Firehawk, Great America's installation is one to strike a chord beyond the others you've cited, most of which are transplants. Dollywood's Wild Eagle certainly gets it for location and added height, but there is something quite unique about Great America's. It is the one for 2012. No question about it.

  8. Why did they move Deja Vu to another park???

  9. my vote is “superman ultimate fight”
    oh came on is very terrible!


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