Was this the worst National Roller Coaster Day ever?

August 16, 2018, 6:51 PM · Last year, National Roller Coaster day featured announcements of new coasters from coast to coast. This year? Well, 2018 brought a National Roller Coaster that fans ought to hope to forget.

Let's start with the tragic news. Reports from Poland say that a 37-year-old maintenance worker was killed today when he was struck by one of the trains on the Hyperion coaster at Energylandia. The Intamin Megacoaster opened last month and is the tallest and fastest of its model in Europe.

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That wasn't the only incident to happen today, unfortunately. At Busch Gardens Williamsburg in Virginia, a train caught fire behind the New France land of the park, forcing the evacuation of the land as local fire departments responded. Witnesses on social media described hearing a thud or blast, followed by seeing flames from behind the attractions in the land.

A Busch Gardens employee suffered what the park described as "minor injuries" but no park guests, park animals, or first responders were injured.

As for the announcements, Cedar Fair's Canada's Wonderland jumped the gun by revealing its record-setting Yukon Striker dive coaster yesterday, following Kennywood's announcement of a Pittsburgh Steelers-themed, nine-inversion S&S coaster last month. That left Kings Island as the only major park scheduling an announcement for today.

And for roller coaster fans, it was a dud, with the park revealing that it would revive its Antique Autos drive-around attraction... and not reviving one of its former coaster concepts, as many fans had hoped from the park's teaser campaign.

I mean, it's nice to get a family-friendly attraction but announcing this on National Roller Coaster Day is pretty much trolling the fan base, isn't it? Given that this came from the same PR team that brought us "What's in the shed?," I guess KI's troll game is on point. Well played.

In other non-roller coaster announcements, Legoland New York revealed its line-up of eight themed lands today: The Factory, Bricktopia, Lego Ninjago World, Heartlake City, Knights' Kingdom, Lego City, Pirate Shores, and, of course, Miniland. The ninth Legoland park worldwide and the third in the United States also will feature a Legoland hotel and will open in Goshen, NY in spring 2020. Built on 150 acres of a 500-acre site, the New York park will be Legoland's largest to date. The park will be open seasonally, though the hotel will remain open year-round

So did any park announce roller coaster news today? Yes, thanks to Six Flags America. Typically, Six Flags announces all its new attractions for the next year around the Labor Day weekend. But Six Flags America got an early start by today announcing not a new coaster, but a closure. The B&M stand-up Apocalypse will take its last run on Sept. 8 this year.

Will Apocalypse get a floorless makeover, as Cedar Fair's Mantis and California's Great America's Patriot did? We will see when Six Flags makes its announcements on August 30. Until then, our final new coaster announcement count for 2018's National Roller Coaster Day stands at... -1.

Replies (2)

August 17, 2018 at 6:50 AM

Well Sea World Orlando is having a Thrill Fest in honor of National Roller Coaster Day by keeping the park open till Midnight on Friday August 17th, along with behind the scenes tours of their coasters and discounts on their 5X the Fury merchandise.

August 17, 2018 at 12:45 PM

What's interesting is that Six Flags didn't do any of the National Roller Coaster Day events that they had done the past few years. I do think they were pretty much a dud the last few years, but I think that was mostly because the day had been falling on a weekday the last 2 years. The 2 years prior, the day had fallen on weekend days, and from what I could tell, the events were pretty successful (at least by Six Flags America's mediocre standards).

When there's some type of "holiday" every single day, you need someone to promote it and keep it in the public consciousness year after year. With Six Flags not promoting the day, and Cedar Point not seeming to care about it either (not that they really did from the get go), this looks like a holiday that will be as popular as "National Nothing Day" or National Something on a Stick Day".

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