Let's kick off the summer vacation season with new theme park rides

May 25, 2018, 1:20 PM · It's Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of the summer vacation season in the United States. Let's get you ready for a season of theme park fun with a recap of this year's new attraction openings from around the world.

Time Traveler, Silver Dollar City: This Mack Rides coaster is the world's fastest, tallest, and steepest spinning coaster. James Rao's review

Wicker Man, Alton Towers: This Great Coaster International production is Great Britain's first wooden coaster in 20 years. Ben Mills' review

Twisted Timbers, Kings Dominion: This Rocky Mountain Construction I-Box coaster features a 109-foot barrel roll drop. Russell Meyer's review

Battle for Eire, Busch Gardens Williamsburg: The replacement for Europe in the Air is the world's first use of virtual reality in a motion-simulator theater attraction. Russell Meyer's review

Together Forever, Disneyland: The highlight of Disneyland's Pixar Fest is a new fireworks show with coordinated projections in several locations around the park. Robert Niles' review

Steel Vengeance, Cedar Point: The world's first hyper-hybrid coaster impressed on its media day but suffered an in-station collision on its public opening, forcing Cedar Point to revert to one-train operation. James Koehl's review

Toy Story Land, Shanghai Disneyland: Disney's third Toy Story Land is the first new land to open in the Chinese park since its 2016 debut. News coverage

Dreaming Up!, Tokyo Disneyland: Tokyo Disneyland's new daytime parade celebrates the park's 35th anniversary. News coverage

Fast & Furious Supercharged, Universal Studios Florida: Universal brings the finale of Hollywood's Studio Tour to Florida as a stand-alone attraction, with a walk-through garage queue loaded with show cars and two live-actor pre-show scenes. Robert Niles' review

Electric Eel, SeaWorld San Diego: This triple-launch Premier Rides Sky Rocket II is San Diego's tallest coaster at 150 feet and fastest at 62 mph. Robert Niles' review

HangTime, Knott's Berry Farm: The west coast's first Gerstlauer Infinity coaster features a vertical lift and a 96-degree drop. Robert Niles' review

In addition, we've seen the openings of UP! A Great Bird Adventure at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Wonder Woman Golden Lasso Coaster at Six Flags Fiesta Texas, Twisted Cyclone at Six Flags Over Georgia, and ICON at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.

Still to come:

What's your favorite new ride or show of the year? And which ones are you looking forward most to experiencing for the first time?

Replies (2)

May 26, 2018 at 2:30 PM

Excellent year for new and innovative coasters. A lot of "firsts" on this list, and a lot of options for roller coaster of the year voting! Gonna be interesting to see the results - but at least the winner will be a real roller coaster this time! ;)

May 31, 2018 at 12:11 PM

Yes, the winner will be a real roller coaster and I have little doubt as to which one it will be. In the past month I've been fortunate enough to ride Twisted Timbers, Time Traveler and Wicker Man. I thought that all three were outstanding. Certainly Time Traveler is the most unusual in design and modus operandi although Wicker Man, while having a more conventional track layout, is highly innovative in theming. I'm dying to ride Steel Vengeance but am not going to book the trip to Ohio until I know that all three trains are operating and Fast Lane access has been restored. Since the incident on opening day I've heard stories of people waiting 4 1/2 hours to ride and baby, that's not me.

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