All Aboard the Hype Train for 2023's Best New Theme Park Rides

December 27, 2022, 6:46 PM · The new year will bring some big-name new attractions to top American theme parks in just the first few months. The Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway dark ride will open at Disneyland in January, followed by Super Nintendo World with its real-life Mario Kart ride at Universal Studios Hollywood in February, and the TRON Lightcycle Run roller coaster at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom sometime by spring.

But all these are second installations of existing attractions elsewhere. The clones might be the biggest names on 2023's new-attraction roster, the but the year promises a deep line-up of original new attractions as well. Let's look at one dozen vying for your attention.

Arctic Rescue, SeaWorld San Diego - The first of SeaWorld Park's new Intamin terrain coasters with "snowmobile" seats will feature three launches and open in California in late spring.

Aquaman: Power Wave, Six Flags Over Texas - Originally announced for 2020, this Mack Rides PowerSplash shuttle coaster will reach 146 feet in the air with a top speed of 62 miles per hour.

Big Bear Mountain, Dollywood - This multi-launch Vekoma family coaster will be coming to the park's Wildwood Grove land.

Catapult Falls, SeaWorld San Antonio - A launched "flume coaster" featuring a 55-foot elevator lift and a 53-degree, 37 mph drop.

DarKoaster, Busch Gardens Williamsburg - Here's the other of those Intamin "snowmobile" coasters, this time an indoor four-launcher with a top speed of 36 mph, built within King Ludwig's abandoned fortress from the old Curse of DarKastle ride.

Mission Ferrari, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi - The first major new ride of 2023 opens officially on January 12 and will be the world's first SFX Coaster from Dynamic Attractions.

Pipeline: The Surf Coaster, SeaWorld Orlando - This will be the first installation of the next-generation Bolliger & Mabillard stand-up coaster, with a 110-foot height and top speed of 60 mph.

Toutatis, Parc Astérix - This Intamin launch coaster will be France' fastest roller coaster, with a top speed of 66.5 mph. The 3,527-foot coaster will have a top height of 167 feet, three inversions and four launches.

Uncharted, PortAventura - A nearly-2,300-foot indoor coaster from Intamin, with thematic design from Sally Dark Rides, themed to the Tom Holland franchise.

Villain-Con Minion Blast, Universal Studios Florida - Opening in summer, guests will compete from a "motion-based pathway" in this interactive shooter experience to become the next member of the The Vicious 6.

Wildcat's Revenge, Hersheypark - The RMC rebuild of the former Wildcat wooden coaster also opens this summer.

Zambezi Zinger, Worlds of Fun - Reviving a beloved coaster brand from the park's past, this GCI hybrid coaster will feature 2,482 feet of Hybrid Titan Track on a steel and wood frame, with a top speed of 45 mph.

For more new attractions coming to theme parks around the world in 2023 and beyond, please visit

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Replies (24)

December 27, 2022 at 8:18 PM

I would personally pick Arie Force One over any of the options presented here, but next year looks to be a pretty substantial year for new attractions. Nothing jaw-dropping, but all of these are good attractions that will round out their park's respective lineups.

December 27, 2022 at 8:39 PM

Toutatis for me out of the listed options, but Gotham City Escape at Parque Warner Madrid would get my vote if all options were available. Both look like fantastic versions of the most reliably great coaster on the market, the Intamin LSM launch coaster. The new RMCs also look like good fun, even if the shine is coming off that model a bit after 10 years, and while I will never ride Mission Ferrari, I hope it does well so the SFX coaster comes to a country that isn’t a human rights-abusing petrostate.

Do not understand the hype for Villain-Con. It’s such a strange addition for a park that really needs a bit more love than this and already has a top tier shooting ride.

December 27, 2022 at 8:46 PM

I went with Big Bear Mountain. Dollywood rides are all top-notch and this looks like no exception, though I am intrigued to see Catapult Falls in action.

Also, I can't believe that Villain Con is running away with the result. I get the Florida faithful will always lean towards whatever Disney or Universal do, but how can anyone truly be most excited for a moving walkway ride? Shaking my head...

December 27, 2022 at 8:52 PM

@James ….. I’m a UOAP, and totally agree ….. I have zero interest in the Villain Con and do not understand how it’s in the #1 position.

The innovation of the new generation of stand-up coasters, made me pick Pipeline. I’ll see if my pick was the right one when I ride it later in the year.

December 27, 2022 at 9:51 PM

I'm expecting to ride five of those on this list next year, and of those five Pipeline is the one I'm most excited about (but I would pick ArieForce One over that were it an option). Big Bear Mountain, Toutalis, and Wildcat's Revenge look to be at the top of the coaster game for class of 2023 (though the first will be very setting dependent), but chances are slim to none I'll get to any of those next year.

Also, if the results of this poll are representative of hype levels, I suspect a ton of people are going to be disappointed by Villain-Con. Based on what I know about that attraction, it's going to be bottom of the barrel among shooting dark rides (if it even counts as a ride).

December 27, 2022 at 10:42 PM

Honestly really interested in seeing how Mission Ferrari turns out. Been in construction for so many years and it looks intriguing. Also if done correctly, Uncharted could be a pretty good experience with a multi launch and directional coaster in a temple or jungle.

Could both be trash tho so idk

December 28, 2022 at 6:27 AM

The only attraction here that offers soemthign genuinely new is Pipeline. If B&M can produce a stand-up coaster that doesn't cause series damage to the riders' most sensitive parts they are onto a winner!

December 28, 2022 at 8:40 AM

I'm going with Tron for one reason: the park that it's at, and it being its first new e-ticket in 30 YEARS. That place makes unfathomable amounts of money and is the flagship park for the most successful entertainment company of all time yet has been totally ignored for three decades when it comes to building large new attractions. MK's job seems to be to carry all of the companies' bad investments on its back since they know that park will always be profitable. It just absolutely blows my mind that the #1 theme park in the world is mostly all janky old rides from the 70's/80's that are falling apart, so this ride is needed more than any other attraction opening this year.

Zambezi Zinger looks like a fun ride and i'm all for adding family coasters but will be a huge disappointment if it turns into "well we gave you a new coaster in 2023 so now you don't get one for another 10-15 years." I think that is another park has gone an excessively long time without a major new attraction.

December 28, 2022 at 9:08 AM

Toutatis looks like Pantheon turned up several notches. It could be world class.

December 28, 2022 at 9:38 AM

@the_man - Did you forget about the Fantasyland expansion in 2014 that included 7DMT, Little Mermaid, and BOG?

I agree that for the longest time, Disney neglected MK with reskinning and repurposing of attractions, but that changed with new Fantasyland, and has continue with Tron. Hopefully the rumored expansion behind BTMRR will happen, further adding to the most visited theme park in the world.

I'm most excited for Wilcat's Revenge, because that's the most interesting new attraction that I'll probably get a chance to experience next year. It does look like RMC is taken its proven formula and doing enough to keep it fresh and exciting with each new installation. Surf Coaster also looks really cool, but I doubt I'll make it to Orlando next year, so B&M's second generation stand-up design will have to wait.

December 28, 2022 at 9:43 AM

I did not forget about it, I don't consider Seven Dwarfs and Little Mermaid major attractions on the same scale as something like Splash Mountain or Tron. They are both fine attractions in their own right but Seven Dwarfs is nothing more than a short little filler coaster (which every park needs but its definitely not something that should be drawing 90+ minute waits as the parks major new attraction for 10 years). In regards to Mermaid how often do you hear someone say "I want to go to Magic Kingdom to go on the little mermaid ride" compared to hearing someone say "I want to go to Magic Kingdom to ride Splash Mountain."

December 28, 2022 at 10:10 AM

7DMT may not be a true "e-ticket", but most would still call it a "major" attraction (I'd probably categorize it as a d+ ticket on par with Star Tours, Kali River Rapids, and Frozen Ever After). Little Mermaid is definitely not a major attraction (c-ticket), but every major park needs these, and since they expanded the footprint of MK as part of the Fantasyland expansion, that new space needed another smaller attraction to help spread crowds through the new land.

FWIW, IOA went 15 years before they added a new e-ticket attraction, and the most recent e-ticket attractions (Hagrid's and Velocicoaster) came at the expense of 2 retired e-ticket attractions.

The problem with MK is that their e-tickets are iconic and cannot simply be replaced - look at all the flak Disney is getting for reskinning Splash Mountain. So, the only way to create new e-ticket attractions is to physically increase the size of the park, which comes with additional costs beyond just the cost of the attraction. Look at all the pain and hassle Disney went through just to build New Fantasyland and now Tron. It's a lot of work and cost for very minimal gain in terms of increased revenue/attendance. An expansion beyond Frontierland would bring similar growing pains and additional costs that would not necessarily equate to direct benefits in increased attendance.

December 28, 2022 at 11:18 AM

You make a great point about the diminishing returns aspect and how so many attractions there cannot be replaced without major backlash, however I think its far more likely they know people are going to visit MK anyway so they chose to take the money MK makes and invest it into other parks to increase length of stay. Also they haven't been investing real money into refurbs like they should be. I could go attraction by attraction and list out how they are neglected but to keep things brief, when comparing the refurbs and attention DL has put into their attractions to what MK has with their equivalent attractions, its quite frankly embarrassing. And if you ask anyone in charge of allocating capital for these projects the answer is always "well DLR guests will complain if we don't do it and WDW guests are mostly tourists who don't notice" so that tells you pretty much everything you need to know about that lol.

So yea...I would be more forgiving to WDW if they invested in their maintaining and upgrading MK like DLR has with DL.

December 28, 2022 at 11:57 AM

@Russell -- I know you're right about Hagrid's replacing the dragon coasters, but what did Velocicoaster replace? Isn't that a completely new footprint in IOA? Or am I totally forgetting something... which is possible ;-)

December 28, 2022 at 12:16 PM

@Melanie -- I think he's referring to the fact that the dragon coaster was technically 2 rides since it was 2 separate tracks. I still consider that one ride personally though.

December 28, 2022 at 12:41 PM

Oh, yeah, I guess that's a fair point. Though I'm with you - I was a big user of the re-ride tunnel and would always do both sides as "one" ride. But the experiences WERE different -- I loved the fire dragon side!

December 28, 2022 at 1:00 PM

Was Tron not included because it’s already in Shanghai’s Disneyland? My vote would be for Tron.

December 28, 2022 at 1:37 PM

When UC decided to replace Dragon Challenge/Dueling Dragons, they approached Intamin with a 2-coaster deal to replace the 2 coasters that would be lost from the removal of the no-longer-dueling coasters. While Hagrid's and Velocicoaster were built and opened over 2 distinct phases, they were considered like for like replacements in terms of capacity with the B&Ms that were removed.

December 28, 2022 at 8:40 PM

Given Parc Asterix's track record of well themed attractions and the concept art so far, Toutatis appears to be both one of the most thrilling attractions of this list AND possibly the best themed...So, it probably deserves more votes than its received so far...

December 28, 2022 at 10:46 PM

I personally picked Wildcat’s Revenge, but that’s mostly due to proximity and being likely the only one I’ll ride this year. A hope park RMC is something I’ve wanted for years, and this one looks good. That said Toutatis is the runaway winner based on which one I’d love to ride most

December 29, 2022 at 7:11 AM

I expect Villain-Con isn't going to be the best of the bunch but the fact that it is a whole new thing that has never been tried in this kind of setup is very exciting for me. I hope it will be good and I love the Minions so that helps.

December 29, 2022 at 9:38 AM

i voted for catapult falls, mainly due to it being the most innovative on the list, and i'm curious to see if intamin can pull it off. i have long felt parks need something dramatic and new in the water ride dept (mack power splash is another step in that direction) so will be keeping an eye on this one.

December 29, 2022 at 9:55 AM

Besides for the headliners at the top of the article, almost everything mentioned is a roller coaster.

Looking for a great themed flume ride, dark ride, or slow water ride like Sinbad's Storybook Voyage. Or a highly themed discovery/play area like Fortress Exploration at Tokyo DisneySea. These are things that would get me excited, not more extreme roller coasters with low capacity that people will tire of within ten years.

December 29, 2022 at 12:02 PM

I hope Minions is fantastic! USF has a bit of a weak spot when it comes to second tier attractions.

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