Top New Roller Coasters of 2015
The giga coaster in my backyard has drawn me out of my “retirement”. While I’m back, I thought I’d take a look at the new roller coasters opening this year. I’ve essentially been “living under a rock” and have been completely out of the theme park world since I stopped posting last May. So, this will be an interesting first look for me. I kept my list to U.S. roller coasters, but feel free to share any rides I may have missed. Here we go!

Batman Ride - Six Flags Fiesta Texas - 2015 Roller Coaster9 – Batman: The Ride at Six Flags Fiesta Texas

Six Flags Fiesta Texas is getting an unusual-looking ride. This particular Batman: The Ride will be a wing coaster with spinning seats. Not only will riders sit outside of the track, either on the right or left side, but they’ll also be spun, head-over-heels six or more times per ride. I’m not a huge fan of these types of rides (spinning wing coaster like X2 & Green Lantern), but it’ll definitely drop some jaws at the San Antonio park. Read more at the official Batman: The Ride site.

Laff Trakk - Hersheypark - 2015 Glow Roller Coaster - Thumb8 – Laff Trakk at Hersheypark

Hersheypark is adding an interesting roller coaster meant to give a dark ride-like experience. Laff Trakk is essentially a spinning wild mouse roller coaster inside of a dark, themed building. The glow in the dark sets look great. It’s good to see a park balance its thrill machines (like Skyrush and Fahrenheit) with a family roller coaster, that incorporates some real theming elements. Read more about this indoor, spinning, glow-coaster: Laff Trakk at Hershey Park

7 – Impulse at Knoebels

Impulse Coaster - Knoebels - 2015 Roller Coaster - Courtesy Knoebels
Knoebels will add a modern steel looping coaster to its old-school coaster lineup. Impulse will feature a vertical lift hill, unnerving 90-degree drop and four fun inversions including a cobra roll (2), a loop, and an in-line twist. I’m glad to see Knoebels add a dash of this century to their lineup. I don’t think it’ll take away from the park’s old-time amusement park feel. More here: Knoebels Announces Impulse

6 – Tempesto at Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Tempesto - Busch Gardens Williamsburg - 2015 Roller Coaster - BGWFans
This was probably the biggest shocker of my return to the blog. There’s a yet-to-be-named roller coaster under construction at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Thanks to the theme park detectives out there, we know it’ll likely be named, Tempesto. It’ll be a very compact, but tall, steel looper in the park’s Italy section. From the designs that have surfaced, it’s believed to be a clone of Six Flags Discovery Kingdom’s Superman Ultimate Flight. This ride is an uncharacteristic addition for a number of reasons. We may finally get an official announcement from the park near the end of March. For now, stay tuned to BGWFans & Screamscape for the latest.

Cannibal - Lagoon - 2015 Roller Coaster - First Drop5 – Cannibal at Lagoon

Farmington, Utah amusement park, Lagoon is making a huge investment in their new $22,000,000 roller coaster. Cannibal will carry riders up a vertical lift enclosed in a building, followed by a shocking 116-degree drop. This beyond straight down drop will pull riders back under the crest of the first drop. Similar to the Internet buzz we saw for Takabisha a few years ago, I would imagine Cannibal will do the same for Lagoon. After the insane drop, riders will experience three inversions and a top speed of 70 mph.

Wicked Cyclone - Six Flags New England - 2015 Roller Coaster4 – Wicked Cyclone at Six Flags New England

Six Flags New England is giving its rough, old wooden coaster a steel overhaul. This year it’ll be reborn as Wicked Cyclone. Similar to what we saw with New Texas Giant and Iron Rattler, The ride will now have steel rails allowing it to do some really fun elements including three inversions. To say that the Cyclone needed an upgrade would be an understatement. Riders can expect a completely different experience that’ll be smooth and thrilling. Six Flags New England will now have another world-class ride to join their already world-renowned Bizarro. More on Wicked Cyclone at Six Flags New England

3 – Twisted Colossus at Six Flags Magic Mountain

Similar to the Wicked Cyclone coaster, Colossus a twin track racing wooden coaster built in 1978, will get a steel track makeover. As Twisted Colossus, this ride will probably go from one of Magic Mountain’s least popular to most popular rides. With not only a racing feature, but also amping it up with a dueling-high five element, this coaster should be a fun ride with a wide, not too thrilling appeal. Read more about Six Flags Magic Mountain’s Twisted ColossusTwisted Colossus - Six Flags Magic Mountain 2015 - Wide

2 – Fury 325 at Carowinds

Fury 325 - Carowinds - 2015 Giga Roller CoasterMy home park, Carowinds, will be building the World’s tallest and fastest giga coaster (roller coaster between 300 and 399 feet tall). This skyscraper of a ride will take riders up to 325 feet and drop them 320 feet at a steep 81-degrees. This first drop will rocket them to a blistering 95 mph. Next, riders will experience a number of fun elements including wild turns and a drop under a bridge that’ll likely have riders ducking their heads. Fury 325 will join nearby hypercoaster, Intimidator providing a tag team of steel peaks looming over the Carolinas. I wrote a more detailed comparison of the rides with videos here: Fury 325 vs Intimidator: Similiarities & Differences

1 – Thunderbird at Holiday World

Christmas will be coming early to Santa Claus, Indiana as guests will be treated to what I feel is the best-looking new roller coaster of 2015. Thunderbird will be a wing roller coaster, from the geniuses at Bolliger & Mabillard. On wing coasters, riders sit outside of the track, in a pretty exposed riding position. Thunderbird will begin with a launch rocketing riders from 0 to 60 in 3.5 seconds. Then, they’ll experience a thrilling, but smooth succession of loops, both high above the ground and very close to the ground (and other objects). The ride will close strong with a slow in-line twist, like the one I loved on X-Flight. If you’ve never been to Holiday World, you should make plans to make it out to the park. It combines a friendly, positive park experience with some of the best roller coasters around. It’s also home to the top ranking, odyssey of a coaster known appropriately as The Voyage and longtime fan favorite The Raven. Learn more at Holiday World’s Thunderbird page.

What’s Your Take?
I literally just perused RCDB’s 2015 roller coaster list and checked out the U.S. theme parks. Chime in with any notable rides I might have missed. Which rides are you most looking forward to? Leave a comment below. Tempesto construction image courtesy of BGWFans.

UPDATE – I’ve also added a poll. Vote for your favorite below.
[poll id=”106″]

20 Responses

  1. Jeff

    Welcome back from retirement, at least temporarily.

    I am also most excited about Thunderbird.

  2. DRU

    Great to have you back Joel.
    2016 is looking epic!
    Another reason to go to Texas, I never wanted to go to Texas, HA!
    Knoebles is becoming more than a half day park for me now. I can’t wait to stay there finally. Also now even more inclined to make the trek to Holiday world.
    I have to complain about Tempesto having such poor capacity. SAD!
    Thanks for taking the time to post again Joel:)
    I had hoped the bug would keep you inspired enough to post occasionally about cool new rides. I think the fact that your back yard is getting the worlds biggest/ fastest GIGA is a sign that you were meant to comment on coasters. You must admit it’s kind of ironic.

    • Joel

      Agreed Dru. Kind of funny that as soon as I “retire”, my home park builds a giga coaster. I have to admit that it’s fun to write again. Although, I’ll probably still slow down the posts after I review Fury so that I can focus on my next site.

      I’d put Holiday World at (or near) the top of your list of parks to visit. You could include Kentucky Kingdom in your trip. They’re near each other.

      • DRU

        Thanks as always for the advice Joel. We are happy to hear from you whenever you can manage. I am glad you were inspired to write for us again. Getting curious about that new site, Any Idea when we can expect it?

      • Judy P in Pgh

        DRU, go to Holiday World by way of King’s Island and i’ll do night rides on The Beast with you!!!

      • DRU

        That would be totally awesome Judy! I am dying to try the BEAST!

      • Joel

        Thanks for asking. I’ll be giving more details and writing a post about it in a few weeks.

    • Joel

      Good to hear from you Paula. Thunderbird looks awesome! X-Flight & Wild Eagle were both 9’s in my book. I’m sure Thunderbird will be equally as good. Nice choice!

  3. Susan

    Welcome back Joel!! We made it back to the US last November and revisited Six Flags Magic Mountain for Full Throttle (which had opened 2 weeks after our previous trip). Loved it!! We’re planning a more extensive trip in 2017 to visit new parks and revisit some old parks (Cedar Point and Kings Island). After reading this article Carowinds and Holiday World are definitely on the list (as well as Hershey Park, Six Flags Great Adventure and Canada’s Wonderland). Plus any other parks we can find – we are starved for decent thrill rides in Australia! Thanks for the great article.

    • Joel

      Good to hear from you Susan. There are still some great parks for you to hit in the U.S. Do you have an idea of how many parks you’ve visited and/or roller coasters you’ve ridden?

  4. The Coaster Guy

    Welcome back, Joel, even if just for a short while! I’d be remiss if I didn’t say I was most looking forward to Twisted Colossus at SFMM. However, all of the upcoming 2015 coasters look to be world-class, so it’ll be an interesting year! When are you coming back out to Valencia? 😉

  5. Joe Gignac

    I’m not a huge fan of the Batman styled coaster but Laff Trakk is a joke indoor mouse ride with bad theming to boot. Wicked Cyclone is amazing like most RMC coasters. Personally I would tuck Thunderbird behind the RMC’s but still very good for that style of coaster.

  6. Bobbie Butterfield

    This is a very old thread but I thought I’d chime in. Have ridden only 3 of these – Fury 325, Impulse and Cannibal – and my vote goes overwhelmingly to Cannibal. Cannibal is totally unique, both in appearance and ride experience. The beyond-vertical drop is breathtaking and the slow-motion double heartline roll is staggering. Add to that the fact that the ride was built in-house and you have something truly original which is a welcome departure from the norm.

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