What are the best looking new roller coasters opening in 2018? It’s time again, for the long-running tradition on CoasterCritic, of answering that question. This year, it’ll be a team-driven list based on a combination of all of our picks.

CoasterCritics Picks Roller Coasters List

Given that the majority of our readership is in America, we decided to focus on the United States. Here’s our top 12 new roller coasters for the year.

Top 12 New Roller Coasters for 2018

RankRoller CoasterTheme ParkType
12thSlinky Dog DashDisney's Hollywood StudiosMACK Family Launch
11thOscar's Wacky TaxiSeasame PlaceGravity Group Wooden
10thTantrumDarien LakeGerstlauer Steel Looper
9thAdrenaline PeakOaks Amusement ParkGerstlauer Steel Looper
8thElectric EelSeaWorld San DiegoPremier Launch Coaster
7thWonder WomanSix Flags Fiesta TexasRMC Steel Looper
6thTwisted CycloneSix Flags Over GeorgiaRMC Hybrid
5thRailBlazerCalifornia's Great AmericaRMC Steel Looper
4thHangTimeKnott's Berry FarmGerstlauer Steel Looper
3rdTwisted TimbersKings DominionRMC Hybrid
2ndTime TravelerSilver Dollar CityMACK Spinning Coaster
1stSteel VengeanceCedar PointRMC Hybrid

Steel Vengeance: All Eyes on Cedar Point

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Cedar Point’s hybrid roller coaster, Steel Vengeance, was unanimously chosen by all five writers as our top pick. There’s so much interest in the rebirth of the rough and lackluster Mean Streak because of the successful overhaul of other woodies by designer Rocky Mountain Construction. Past “worst-to-first” conversions have included: Iron Rattler, New Texas Giant, Wicked Cyclone, and Twisted Colossus. Are we about to witness another subpar roller coaster transform into a top-notch, world class thrill machine?

Silver Dollar City’s Ambitious Time Traveler Turns Heads at #2

While we’ve got a track record of similar rides to reference for Steel Vengeance, Silver Dollar City’s ambitious Time Traveler isn’t following a template or playbook of any kind. It’s got enough superlatives to impress even the most skillful theme park marketer. It’s been dubbed: “The World’s Fastest, Steepest, and Tallest Spinning Coaster”. Superlatives aside, it’s also a terrain roller coaster that’ll use the park’s mountainous Ozark topography, it’ll start with a straight-down 90 degree drop and it’ll include two launches. As they did in 2013 with Outlaw Run, Silver Dollar City is looking to create a ride that’ll offer an experience you can’t get anywhere else.

RMC Loopers, Hybrids, and More Gerstlauer

The rest of the list includes rides that’ll be sure to drive a lot of interest. We’ll get two of the first ever Rocky Mountain Construction single rail steel loopers in RailBlazer and Wonder Woman. Ride capacity has been a question given the seating arrangement, but they do look fun. Do the parks have something up their sleeves to minimize the potential for long waits?

There are two more hybrid RMC coasters. To put it simply Twisted Timbers and Twisted Cyclone will bring much of great-looking elements of Steel Vengeance, but in a much smaller package. I assume we can expect these reborn coasters to get a lot of love at these parks, wowing long-time guests with their new, smoother rides and wild maneuvers. Lastly, there are three Gerstlauer loopers coming to the U.S. this year. With their signature ultra-steep drops, loops, and compact footprint they’ll amp up the thrills at Darien Lake, Oaks Amusement Park, and Knotts Berry Farm.

Honorable Mentions

A few roller coasters just missed the list. The controversial Harley Quinn’s Crazy Coaster opening at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom just missed the list as did the inverted family coaster, Merlin’s Mayhem at Dutch Wonderland.

What’s Your Take?
How do you think we did? Would you rank them differently? Did we miss any major roller coasters? Let us know by leaving a comment.

About The Author

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

7 Responses

  1. Judy P in Pgh

    Steel Vengeance, Steel Vengeance and Steel Vengeance are my top 3 picks! Of the other
    RMC makeovers listed above, I have only ridden Wicked Cyclone, but oh my! … what a difference after getting a little TLC from RMC.

  2. Eric

    Great list! I know it was strictly coasters in the USA, but I definitely want to give a much-deserved shout out to Alton Towers for debuting their first-ever woodie “Wicker Man” later this year. The special ride effects look incredible!

  3. Eric

    2018 is looking like it ought to be a promising year for theme park coasters. I’m looking forward to riding Twisted Cyclone at Six Flags Over Georgia. Other RMC I-Box re-track coasters and the 2 RMC Raptor coasters look good too, along with Time Traveler, Hang Time, Slinky Dog Dash, and Electric Eel.

    The wait is on for new for 2019 coasters. Early predictions… Carowinds possibly converting its Vortex stand-up coaster to a floor-less coaster. Six Flags Magic Mountain getting its record 20th coaster. Six Flags Great Adventure possibly getting first RMC T-Rex coaster. Maybe a couple more I-Box re-track coasters… Le Monstre (La Ronde), Roar (Six Flags America), and The Boss (Six Flags St. Louis), in the SF chain would be obvious candidates, but RMC would only be able to tackle so many at a time. I’m sure RMC could be sniffing around wood coasters at a couple of CF parks, and other parks as well. Maybe Great Escape and Wild Adventures receiving overdue coasters. Hopefully new Grand Texas is on schedule to open in 2019.

  4. Matthew McIrvin

    This is clearly the year of RMC and Gerstlauer. I think we can think of these compact Gerstlauers as the modern counterpart of something like an Arrow corkscrew or a Vekoma Boomerang–a looper that packs a lot of thrills into a small footprint–and compared to both of those, they’re a big, big improvement. Making the lift/first drop this vertical structure is a thrill element in itself, but it also means there’s more room for everything else.

    I do find that a lot of non-coaster freaks are terrified at the very thought of getting on one. I was a bit unnerved myself before my first time.

  5. Roger S

    I rode both Steel Vengeance and Twisted Timbers last week. While TT is a really good ride, SV hits it out of the park. SV is my new #1 coaster by a huge margin. No other coaster comes close to the intensity and fun that this ride delivers. It is simply an incredible coaster. I rode it six times, and people at the end of every ride were cheering and clapping like I’ve never heard.

  6. Dan

    I rode Steel Vengeance 4 times in one day last week and you hit the nail on the head. SV is a relentless attack on your senses. After the 90 degree first drop steel vengeance does not let up whatsoever. Theres a brief break section to catch your breath and then it delivers again. Ive never been thrown around like a ragdoll like that in my life……. it had me laughing and cheering the entire ride and i still smile now thinking of how much i enjoyed that ride. By far #1 coaster ever created. Im 31 and ive been on a ton of coasters and SV has now made many of them rides feel like gentle rides lol


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