It’s time take a look at the new roller coasters opening in 2017. It’s a bit of a quieter year for new roller coasters in North America as RCDB lists 21 compared to 46 in 2015 and 38 in 2016. Given that, I decided to keep it to a Top 9. As usual, I’ll rank them by least to most anticipated. Make sure to let us know how you’d rank them in the comments.
Here’s Part 1 of my list of the most anticipated new roller coasters opening in North America:
9 – Merlin’s Mayhem at Dutch Wonderland
Dutch Wonderland, located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, will be adding their third roller coaster in the suspended family coaster, Merlin’s Mayhem. The “suspended” in the ride’s description (looks to be inverted not suspended), means that riders 39 inches and taller will be positioned below the track; ski-lift style. Keeping with the park’s focus on families with young children, the new roller coaster won’t have any loops, just plenty of twists, turns, and hopefully just the right amount of speed. Still with a height of 60 feet and its twisting steel course, I’m sure there will be a lot of kids excited to tackle this coaster. With a tunnel and onboard audio, Dutch Wonderland might be looking to make this a signature ride for years to come.
Six Flags is building three more clones of the 4D roller coasters that they’ve had success with in the past. On 4D coasters, riders are seated in winged cars that are positioned to the right and left of the track. These cars rotate, spinning riders head over heels throughout the coaster’s towering course. These Joker roller coasters will open at Six Flags New England, Six Flags Over Texas, and Six Flags Great America.
Since these three rides are identical, I’m counting them as one entry in my top new coasters list. I’ve never been a huge fan of 4D roller coasters as I found the spinning on X2 thrilling, but not terribly enjoyable. I’m sure fans of these parks will be excited not only by getting a new roller coaster, but also the challenge of riding one of these rare coasters that many will have never experienced.
Seaside Heights, New Jersey’s Casino Pier will be opening an exciting compact looping roller coaster called Hydrus. While the ride will be pretty brief, Hydrus will be quite action-packed with an unnerving vertical lift and three inversions (a loop, a cutback, and a heartline roll). It will be replacing Jet Star, which was washed out to sea by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
New amusement park, OWA is set to open in 2017 on the Gulf coast of Alabama near Mobile. The park’s largest roller coaster and possibly signature ride will be the looping steel coaster Rollin’ Thunder. With four great inversions (vertical loop, zero-g roll, dive loop, and a corkscrew) and over-banked curve and a number of airtime hills, it should be an excellent coasters to anchor a new amusement park around.
Similar to Thunderbolt at Coney Island’s Luna Park (video). For more go to VisitOWA.
Read Part 2 which includes my top pick for 2017.
How would you rank them?
What do you think of these new roller coasters? Let us know how you’d rank them? Leave a comment below.