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.
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.
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.
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.