We will start with an attraction we missed earlier this year — Arthur, based on Arthur and the Invisibles. This Mack inverted coaster takes riders through the Kingdom of the Invisibles in Europa Park's new Minimoys Kingdom land. We didn't cover this one when it opened, so if you've been on the ride, please give it a rating and review so we can catch up on our coverage.
9. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train opened in May and might be the most beautiful attraction in the history of the Magic Kingdom. You ride what look like hand-carved wooden carts, which will respond to your movement by rocking gently from side to side as you roll through lush forest and past detailed rock work. With just over two minutes from dispatch to the final brake before the unload station, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train offers a better-than-average ride time for a roller coaster. But since the visual experience, coupled with the relatively mild ride itself, so strongly suggests “dark ride” than roller coaster that those two-plus minutes instead feel frustratingly brief. Read the full Theme Park Insider review.
8. Zumanjaro Drop of Doom
Six Flags Great Adventure
Hailed as the world’s tallest and fastest drop ride, Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom opened at Six Flags Great Adventure on July 4, the park’s 40th anniversary. Read the full Theme Park Insider review.
7. Ratatouille: L'Aventure Totalement Toquee de Remi
Walt Disney Studios Paris
Some six years in the making, and at a reported investment of €150 million, “Remy's Totally Zany Adventure” opened in July. It's a trackless 3D dark ride that shrinks you to Remy's size for a wild chase through a Paris restaurant kitchen, inspired by the Pixar animated film. Read the full Theme Park Insider review.
6. Firechaser Express
This dual-launch family coaster travels forward then backward on a 2,427-foot track, and is themed to firefighters protecting the forest of the Great Smoky Mountains. With plenty of wacky gags, too, of course.
Six Flags Great America
Great America's Goliath opened in June as the world's fastest wooden roller coaster, with tallest and steepest drop for a coaster with wooden components. Goliath features an 85-degree, 180-foot, 72 mph drop, followed by a zero-G roll and two overbanked turns, taking the fastest and steepest wooden-coaster titles from El Toro at sister park Six Flags Great Adventure. Read the full Theme Park Insider review.
This Bolliger & Mabillard roller coaster opened in April as the the world's longest inverted coaster, at more than 4,124 feet of track length and a two-minute, 40-second ride cycle. The coaster features seven inversions and a top speed of 68 mph. Read the full Theme Park Insider review.
3. Falcon's Fury
Busch Gardens Tampa
Falcon’s Fury opened a few months late, but it is absolutely worth the wait. The revolutionary drop tower measures in at 335 tall, which puts it in the record book as the tallest freestanding drop tower in North America. (Both Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom at Six Flags Magic Mountain and Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom at Six Flags Great Adventure are taller, but are mounted to existing roller coaster structures.) In addition to its record-breaking height, Falcon’s Fury plunges riders down its mammoth drop face down instead of in a standard seated position, which is a unique feature among drop rides. Read the full Theme Park Insider review.
2. Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
Universal Studios Florida
The centerpiece of Universal Orlando's wildly successful Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley invites you into Gringotts Bank to meet with Bill Weasley and tour the underground vaults before, perhaps, opening your own Gringotts account. However, you just happen to be visiting on the same day that Harry, Ron, and Hermoine have disguised themselves to break into Bellatrix Lestrange's vault, from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Before your tour can begin, Bellatrix finds you and attacks, soon to be joined by Voldemort. Will you ever escape from the "safest place on Earth"? Read the full Theme Park Insider review.
1. Hogwarts Express
Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure
Universal Orlando connects the two Wizarding Worlds via this faithful visual recreation of the Jacobite locomotive and coaches featured in the Harry Potter films. It's a revolutionary experience that breaks multiple walls in establishing a new standard for theme park attractions, and quickly has become a favorite with many fans. Read the full Theme Park Insider review.
What was your favorite new theme park attraction in 2014? And which new rides and shows are you most looking forward to experiencing for the first time in 2015?Tweet
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