I couldn’t close out my coaster critiquing career without one more roller coaster preview list. As I’ve done in years past, I’ll list which new roller coasters opening this year look the best based on what I know about them, the preview videos, and my past experiences with similar rides.
Here’s part 2 of the best-looking new roller coasters opening this year:
4 – Roar-O-Saurus at Story Land
(Glen, New Hampshire)
Roar-O-Saurus will be a family woodie from one of my favorite designers, The Gravity Group. With landmark rides like Hades and The Voyage, the ‘Group has proven themselves time after time. Now they’ll be bringing a smaller woodie to New Hampshire’s Story Land. I have full confidence that the Gravity Group will pack a lot of excitement into a small package just as they did with Quassy’s Wooden Warrior. Read more about Roar-O-Saurus at Story Land.
3 – Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts at Universal Studios Florida
While there aren’t many official details out about this ride, I was blown away by Harry Potter & The Forbidden Journey and the Wizarding World area around it. So, while the bar is set quite high, Universal might just out-do themselves again. Based on the information that Screamscape has gathered here. I’ve read enough to consider Escape from Gringotts one of the best looking new rides to open this year. Escape from the Gringotts and the rest of the new Diagon Alley area are expected to open some time this summer.
2 – Banshee at Kings Island
The long-awaited replacement for the troubled Son of Beast is here. With B&M’s stellar track record of creating reliable, crowd-pleasing, world-class roller coasters, I’m sure that Kings Islands fans will be rewarded for their long wait.
Banshee features 7 loops, a top speed of 68 mph, and over 4,000 feet of track. While large multi-loopers have grown less popular in the steel coaster world, maybe a ride like Banshee can breath some new life into this genre. There’s nothing ground-breaking in the mix of loops and turns, but it all just might add up to one the best loopers we’ve seen. The layout looks to be one of B&M’s best in quite some time. Banshee joins Kings Islands’ roster of 13 other roller coasters that include the legendary Beast and popular hyper coaster Diamondback. I can’t wait to make it back to Kings Island to ride Banshee, the re-branded Bat, and the park’s other great rides. Read more about Banshee at Kings Island.
1 – Goliath at Six Flags Great America
Of all of the roller coasters opening this year, Six Flags Great America’s Goliath looks to be the most impressive. After experiencing Silver Dollar City’s Outlaw Run and New Texas Giant a few years ago, I’m all in for anything designed by Rocky Mountain Construction.
Thanks to the ride’s topper track technology, Goliath will be doing some unusual maneuvers for a woodie. Goliath’s exciting dive loop and crazy-looking zero gravity stall look unreal! It will be the fastest wooden roller coaster in the World with a blistering 72 mph top speed. It’ll also feature the World’s longest drop on a wooden coaster with a 180-foot drop at a steep 85 degrees.
Outside of the U.S., there are a number of noteworthy new roller coasters, but I figured I’d include the big one coming to our neighbor to the south. Medusa at Six Flags Mexico looks to be a very promising hybrid roller coaster. Similar to Six Flags Fiesta’s Iron Rattler, Medusa’s getting a steel overhaul that’ll bring an exciting new layout including a really cool barrel roll during the first drop. Read more and watch a video here: Medusa at Six Flags Mexico
In case you missed it, check out Part 1 of the best new roller coasters opening in 2014.
Which of these roller coasters are you most excited about? Which of them looks the best to you?