It's the final day of the 2018 season at many regional theme parks across the country. With many of the nation's most popular roller coasters and amusement rides about to close for their long winter's nap, let's look back at some of the highlights from the past season.
The top new ride to open at regional parks in 2018 quickly flew to the head of our list of the world's best coasters. Cedar Point's Steel Vengeance revived the park's bone-crunching wooden Mean Streak with a Rocky Mountain Construction steel-tracked overlay. Despite two mishaps, Steel Vengeance became one of the most beloved new attractions in years. Review: Cedar Point's Steel Vengeance reclaims the title while rewriting records
Virtual reality overlays are falling from favor on roller coasters and drop rides, due to slow loading times and mediocre video quality. But Busch Gardens Williamsburg showed that there remains some promise in a purpose-built VR experience, as Battle for Eire blended an all-new animated show with a motion simulator. (We will have a podcast interview with one of the ride's creators next month.) Review: Battle for Eire debuts at Busch Gardens Williamsburg
Six Flags, uh, turned a lot of heads with its announcement of gyroscope-like triple box design spinners at several parks around the country this year. Cyborg Cyber Spin at Six Flags Great Adventure defied skepticism with a ride that's "unpredictable, gripping and refreshingly novel." Review: Cyborg puts a new spin on Six Flags Great Adventure
Like Steel Vengeance, Kings Dominion's Twisted Timbers is an RMC retrack of a former wooden coaster, this time of Hurler, that "shows that you don’t need to break any records to create a world-class roller coaster." Review: Twisted Timbers opens at Virginia's Kings Dominion
This year wasn't all about the RMCs, though. Silver Dollar City kicked off the season with a new Mack Rides spinner coaster, Time Traveler. Complementing Silver Dollar City’s hilly terrain, Time Traveler's controlled spins offer "a smooth ride that is quick and comfortable from loading to unloading, with decent speed and some sweeping moments of weightlessness." Review: Silver Dollar City's Time Traveler spins an amazing ride
Of course, the year-round parks offered up plenty of new attractions in 2018, as well, including Fast & Furious Supercharged, Universal's Cinematic Celebration, Electric Eel, HangTime, Kung Fu Panda: The Emperor's Quest, Pixar Pier, Toy Story Land, Lego City Deep Sea Adventure, Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi, and Infinity Falls. Please follow those links for our in-depth coverage and on-ride video from those. But let's here talk about our highlights from the regionals during the past season, as we look forward to what's coming in 2019.
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