Parks celebrate National Roller Coaster Day with new ride reveals

August 16, 2017, 8:21 AM · It's National Roller Coaster Day, and theme parks from coast to coast are celebrating by announcing their new coasters for the 2018 season.

Cedar Point: Steel Vengeance

From our James Koehl, on location in Sandusky: "Mean Streak is now Steel Vengeance. The first hyper hybrid coaster: 205 feet tall, four inversions, 90 degree drop. It's the longest, steepest and most airtime of any hybrid coaster."

Here's the official POV:

Silver Dollar City: Time Traveler

This $26 million Mack spinning coaster will have two launches and three inversions, including a vertical loop, dive loop, and zero-G roll. With a 100-foot, 90 degree drop, Time Traveler will be the world's fastest, tallest, and steepest spinning coaster.

Kings Dominion: Twisted Timbers

The Rocky Mountain Construction I-Box coaster will feature a 109-foot barrel roll drop and a top speed of 54 mph on 3,351 feet of track, including three inversions and nearly 20 airtime moments.

In addition, Kings Dominion announced that it will bring the Winterfest holiday event to the park next year.

California's Great America: Railblazer

Railblazer will be an RMC Raptor track, a single rail steel coaster, that creates an "extremely low center of gravity that amplifies every move and enables more dynamic turns and rotations than have ever been possible on a coaster."

The coaster features eight-passenger, single-file trains, a 100-foot, 90-degree drop, a top speed of 52 mph, and three inversions on its 1,800 feet of track.

Knott's Berry Farm: Hangtime


A next-generation Gerstlauer Infinity coaster, at 150 feet tall and featuring a top speed of 57 mph, the first dive coaster on the west coast will offer a 96-degree drop and five inversions on a 2,198-foot track.

Canada's Wonderland: Swing and spinner rides

Valleyfair: Revamped Route 76 and looping ride

Who won the day? Let's put it to a vote!

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Replies (28)

August 16, 2017 at 9:55 AM · Very odd that the RMC at Kings Dominion is call Twisted "TIMBERS", but the same style of coaster at Cedar Point is called "STEEL" Vengeance. So much for Railblazer, and so much for consistency within the same park chain.

Both RMC installations look like great additions to their respective parks. I do wonder how Steel Vengeance will pace the elements and inversions. The train looks to be going really fast through that first barrel roll (Cedar Point had to take out a barrel roll on Maverick because the train was going too fast through the inversion, which created intolerable forces). The diving barrel roll on Twisted Timbers could be a real winner.

August 16, 2017 at 9:58 AM · Steel Force - uh - I mean, Vengeance and Time Traveller are definitely on my docket for 2018.

Worlds of Fun got a lump of coal. As usual.

August 16, 2017 at 11:14 AM · The spinning coaster at SDC looks absolutely ridiculous. Like, I'm not even sure how that is supposed to function. Have to get myself to Branson!

Steel Vengeance (horrid name, though you expect that with CF) is a really long ride. Depending on how the inversions come out it could be a BITW contender.

August 16, 2017 at 11:20 AM · Looks like California's Great America got the "Railblazer" name.
August 16, 2017 at 11:30 AM · Wow Steel Vengeance looks amazing. Will definitely need to go back to Cedar Point in the near future!

Robert for those of us outside the US would you mind putting KPH next to MPH in your articles. I would love to not have to look it up every time but I understand if you don't want to bother. :)

August 16, 2017 at 11:40 AM · Worlds of Fun is a property in serious decline. Two gates, now merged. It got what the market deserved.
August 16, 2017 at 1:07 PM · For the first time I can remember, Cedar Point is creating a backstory for a ride, which should be explained further throughout the coming winter season in preparation for next season's premier of Steel Vengeance (yea, I could drop the 'Steel' part of the name, also). This is from the official press release:

"Throughout the summer of 2017, the park released clues about the ride on social media, all referencing the word, “they.” The story of Steel Vengeance will be told through three new outlaws who have banded together to “unsaddle” the reign of Maverick, FrontierTown’s low-to-the-ground, double-launching roller coaster. Throughout the winter months, guests will learn more about Jackson “Blackjack” Chamberlain, Chess “Wild One” Watkins and Wyatt “Digger” Dempsey."

Honestly, just seeing this monster up close, it is absolutely breathtaking! Mean Streak was beautiful to see if ugly to ride, but Steel Vengeance looks even more intense, almost intimidating. It's going to be a long nine months before we get to ride this monster!

August 16, 2017 at 1:23 PM · Is Railblazer an exact copy of Wonder Woman? They look very similar.
August 16, 2017 at 1:49 PM · @James - I watched the Kings Dominion announcement video, and they appear to be trying the same backstory thing with Twisted Timbers as well. However, these backstory attempts by Cedar Fair appear to be just veneer at best (they tried and failed miserably at Kings Island with the whole "What's in the Shed" campaign). I expect a similar hyping of the social media channels for Steel Vengeance and then a complete abandonment of the backstory once the coaster opens. In reality these campaigns are just ways to get folks talking about the coaster before they can ride it, and have little to do with the actual theming or coaster elements.

I'll give Cedar Fair some credit for at least making a passing attempt, but to say this is anything noteworthy is total hyperbole.

I will say that last third of the ride through that tunnel of wood with the tracks crawling up, down, and around the sides, looks pretty incredible. We were tipped off by one of the museum curators about the record-breaking nature of Steel Vengeance a couple of weeks ago, so the announcement was a little spoiled for me. I totally agree that it is quite a beast, and I figured it was going to be over 200' based on where the lift hill construction was at when we were there.

August 16, 2017 at 3:49 PM · Steel Vengence has been announced as "Free DLC" for Planet Coaster
August 16, 2017 at 4:04 PM · Other than looking cool, does anybody know what the benefit is to the single rail track for the new Railblaizer and Wonder Woman rides? The video I saw also shows it running trains with single seats per car, so it would seem capacity is going to be less than on more traditional trains. I'm not sure I understand the purpose other than it's some thing different on the skyline.
August 16, 2017 at 6:23 PM · Rob, as a single rail the Raptor track should deliver a slightly smother ride than a pair of rails (I stress should). They also use less material, making them affordable. RMC really pushed the idea of these coasters to smaller parks who wanted big thrills on a tight budget. You are right about capacity, which is another reason that these models are better suited for small parks.
August 16, 2017 at 8:22 PM · Steel Vengeance? How about Steel Vegetable? (which is what I will call it from here on out)... Are the new owners of Busch now creating names for coasters at Cedar Fair? Not since Cheetah Hunt, which was originally named Cheetakah, have I heard of such a weak name. We waited all these months for this? May was well kept it Mean Streak. Anyhoo, the ride looks amazing, too bad about the name. Railblazer was better than this!
August 16, 2017 at 8:34 PM · Six Flags Discovery Kingdom will announce a new attraction on August 31.
August 16, 2017 at 11:17 PM · So is Kings Island putting in (back) antique cars?? What about Dorney Park and Michigan's Adventure?? Wait, never mind about Michigan's Adventure. =P

Michigan's Adventure gets breadcrumbs and is still profitable season after season so I have heard, go figure.

At least Six Flags Great Escape gets hand me downs. =)

August 17, 2017 at 6:39 AM · "does anybody know what the benefit is to the single rail track for the new Railblaizer and Wonder Woman rides?"

Another advantage to the single rail is that guests can look to both sides of their seat, and can't see anything but the ground below. The single rail system has minimal supports and the single file seating arrangement allows for riders to see over both sides of the train. It will be very interesting to see what type of throughput numbers parks can achieve with this design, because with 6 riders per cycle these Raptor track coasters could have some seriously long and slow moving lines.

August 17, 2017 at 7:08 AM · I voted Time Traveler, since it looks unique and I'd love to get out to Silver Dollar City some day. Any non-Disney park Mr. Rao raves about must be considered. ;-)
August 17, 2017 at 7:31 AM · For that Raptor track to work at a larger park, it almost would have to be set up in a racing/dueling configuration with two tracks. That does set up some interesting layout options, but even then it probably wouldn't be a people-eater.

Can't wait for SV (using the initials is a lot easier than repeating that generic moniker).

August 17, 2017 at 7:58 AM · @John - A dueling/racing concept would be pretty interesting. I would note that MK's Space Mountain and DL's Matterhorn Bobsleds use 6-passenger, single file trains in a somewhat dueling/parallel arrangement, and Disney is able to get some serious throughput on those coasters. However, both have nearly a dozen blocks on each track that allow for almost 100 guests to be on the coaster at any given time (much more than the 18-24 that the Raptor track appears to allow). There might be only a total of 4 blocks on these Raptor coasters (including the lift and station platform), so unless future track layouts change to include more blocks, capacity will continue to limit the viability of this design.
August 17, 2017 at 8:16 AM · Not only were five new coasters announced yesterday, but all five of them look like great rides. I don't like to judge rides before riding, but Steel Vengeance looks like it may be the best ride RMC has come up with yet. Of the five, the weakest is probably HangTime, but it still looks like an excellent fit for Knott's Berry Farm, a park that hasn't received a major coaster since 2004.

Regarding the Raptor track, the main purpose of it is to save costs for parks. The track is only 15 inches wide, so much less material is used in fabrication. As an additional cost saving measure, RMC intends for it to be a mass production coaster, with a couple compact layouts available for parks to choose from. Lastly, the ride is a different ride experience from a typical coaster, as riders straddle the track rather than sitting above it. The models announced this year (Wonder Woman and RailBlazer) both operate with three 8-passenger trains and should have a capacity of around 600 riders per hour. For comparison, that's about 3/4 of what a typical GCI does. It's sufficient for smaller or mid-size parks, but may cause problems at larger parks (CGA, with about 1.5 million visitors a year, is probably about the largest park that could handle a Raptor).

August 17, 2017 at 9:16 AM · These new coasters are all amazing. I love the hybrid wood/steel coasters. It is unlikely I'll visit any of them except for Knott's, which is only 15 minutes from my house. It's a good thing for Knott's to finally add a coaster that's longer than 30 seconds.
August 17, 2017 at 9:23 AM · I need to get myself on a Rocky Mountain coaster sooner than later. I really wish BGT would have paid them to do Gwazi, though I could see them or SeaWorld adding a custom or a Raptor in the near future. Otherwise, though, my hometown of Orlando isn't exactly a woodie paradise, despite some wonderful attempts from FunSpot.

What do we consider the "best" RMC? Does Steel Vengeance look better than all of them?

August 17, 2017 at 10:47 AM · I'm really excited about Time Traveler. Despite being near Branson, Silver Dollar City is worth a visit. It's a cool park nestled in the woods, and adding another top coaster will make it even better. Outlaw Run is already something to see.
August 18, 2017 at 7:42 AM · @evanweston - It's very possible BGT is engaged with RMC to retrack Gwazi, but has to wait in line behind everyone else. I do know that they had engaged GCI about a retrack when they purchased the Millennium Flyer trains (now being used on InvadR), which didn't solve the roughness problems. It's very possible that while trying to get GCI to fix Gwazi (they were the original designer), Cedar Fair and Six Flags rushed to the front of the RMC line, putting BGT down the pecking order. There's also a possibility that they want to make it a launching coaster, a design that it is rumored that Dollywood has exclusivity on for another year or 2.

I've only been on 2 RMCs before (New Texas Giant and Goliath @SFGA), but Goliath was far better IMHO. The zero-g stall on Goliath is an amazing element that will be tough for any coaster to top, particularly ones that rely on reworking existing wooden structures (Goliath is a custom-built design).

August 18, 2017 at 8:11 AM · Cedar Fair has been trying to sell Worlds of Fun for years. There isn't going to be any improvements or added e-ticket rides in the foreseeable future.
August 19, 2017 at 5:51 AM · All of these Disney-inspired coasters put Universal to shame tbh. Steel Vengeance in particular will be a great addition to Kissimmee.
August 19, 2017 at 6:58 AM · @TwoBits Make no mistake, WoF has been getting capital improvements every year, just not new coasters. I am not saying it is a neglected park, just saying it is not a top priority for Cedar Fair. And who would buy it anyway?

@James Trexen You won't regret visiting SDC. It is a great theme park - definitely worthy of a few days of your time!

August 22, 2017 at 11:42 AM · Yay, Valleyfair is getting... another... not coaster. Way to continue neglecting that park.

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