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Even though it’s only 2017, it’s never too early to start speculating on what 2018 will bring for the theme park industry.
Essentially what I’ve created here is a list of my predictions for what new attractions we’ll see at different North American theme parks in 2018. Keep in mind, all of these predictions are a mere combination of guessing and hoping. Even though I think something is going to happen next year, doesn’t mean it actually will.
As the year goes on, I’ll be sure to update this page with new predictions/announcements for new attractions at all of the parks. It will constantly be evolving, so be sure to check back once and a while for new updates and information.
So without further ado, let’s kick off these predictions with Six Flags.
Magic Mountain – We haven’t heard of any removal of Viper yet, so I think that ride will probably survive for now. That said, I still think Six Flags will want to get to 20 coasters in 2018, in order to compete with RMC Mean Streak going to their main competitor, Cedar Point. Since they’ve been working with S&S for the free spins, I think it’s possible that they get one of the company’s new concepts that they released a while back, or one of their El Loco coaster models. They seem to be rather compact, thrilling rides that could easily fit into a smaller space.
Great Adventure – Some sort of Flat Ride.
Great America – Although I hope V2 isn’t removed this year, I may have to prepare for the worst. That said, I don’t think their 2018 addition will go in that footprint. I think we’ll see a small water park expansion in 2018, and then a larger attraction (roller coaster?) in 2019.
Discovery Kingdom – Just like this year, I predict that Six Flags will add 2 or 3 Free-Spins to their parks in 2018. One will go to DK.
St. Louis – This park needs a free-spin after getting ripped off this year. I mean, I’m glad I’m able to ride the one that Great America got this year, but St. Louis needs it way more than we did.
La Ronde – If V2 gets removed from GAm, it’ll go here. Otherwise they’ll get a free spin.
Mexico – Highly doubt they’ll be getting anything major. Maybe a decent flat ride?
New England – After walking around their DC area, I could totally see a Justice League ride going here. It might mean the removal of Gotham City Gauntlet though…
America – Justice League dark ride!
Over Georgia – On July 17th it was announced that Georgia Cyclone would be closing on July 30th. Although people are predicting that it will receive the RMC treatment, I feel that the company has its hands full for 2018. Instead, I think the coaster gets knocked down, and we see a brand new one go in its place. What type of coaster it could be, however, I have no idea. Maybe they could fit a launch coaster in that space?
Over Texas – After Joker, I think the original Six Flags park will focus more on the families or kids with a smaller attraction.
Fiesta Texas – With the removal of the Power Surge water ride, and a possible relocation of another ride in the park, is it possible Fiesta Texas will get a new coaster in 2018? Originally I thought they’d get some sort of B&M, then I went back on that prediction, and now there’s some sort of possible GCI wooden coaster…the point is I really don’t know what to expect from Fiesta Texas! I think a coaster is entirely possible, and the park does need a wooden coaster, but I think it’s just as possible that they get a B&M or some other coaster from another company.
Great Escape – Um…a kiddie ride? If 2018 really is the “year of coasters”, then maybe a kiddie coaster?
Cedar Point – RMC MEAN STREAK!!!
King’s Island – Something small while we wait for a Giga in 2019.
King’s Dominion – RMC HURLER!!!
Carowinds – I’d love to see a ground-up RMC woodie here, but I don’t think they’ll be getting that in 2018. Therefor, I think they’ll give Carolina Harbor a waterpark expansion.
California’s Great America – This one’s tough. We know they filed a permit for a 100 ft. tall coaster, but I was really expecting a B&M hyper. Also, I think the “new type of coaster” that Cedar Fair teased in their earnings call will be an RMC T-Rex that is going to Knott’s. Therefor, it would have to be the other coaster, which they said would be built by a manufacture that Cedar Fair had worked with in the past few years. I also think it won’t be a B&M, because they will most likely be working with them to build a hyper in the future. I don’t really know which manufacturer it will be, but I’m kind of feeling a launch coaster here. After all, it would really improve their lineup.
Canada’s Wonderland – Probably a flat ride. Does Canada’s Wonderland have a Giant Frisbee yet?
Knott’s Berry Farm – With the removal of Boomerang, I think it’s almost certain we’ll see a new coaster at Knott’s. As I stated in the California’s Great America section, I’m betting on the first RMC T-Rex or Raptor. It’s small and compact, making it a perfect fit in the old footprint left by Boomerang.
Dorney Park – They just got some nice flat rides and some small water slides in 2017, and they’re obviously not getting a new coaster, so maybe they’ll be getting some smaller family rides? Or maybe Talon will be the first invert in the Cedar Fair chain to run backwards? I really have no idea, so those are just some random predictions.
World’s of Fun – This park has tons of space, but I don’t think they’ll be using it for a new coaster any time soon. Instead, I think they’ll give Oceans of Fun a nice expansion, or maybe even an overall like Cedar Point Shores or Carolina Harbor.
Valleyfair – I think we could see some preparations for a new coaster, but they definitely won’t be getting one until at least 2020. Maybe they’ll remove Excalibur in 2017, and begin expanding from there.
Michigan’s Adventure – They get the Boomerang from Knott’s, and end the great coaster drought of Michigan.
SeaWorld Orlando – CONFIRMED! Infinity Falls, a rainforest themed river rapids ride built by Intamin. It will be the tallest rapids ride in the world, and will feature a 40 ft. drop. It will also use an elevator lift system to bring riders to the top of the falls.
SeaWorld San Diego – CONFIRMED! Electric Eel, a multi-launch, 150 ft. tall coaster that will send riders backwards and forwards through loops inversions at 60 mph; it is otherwise known as a Sky-Rocket II model.
SeaWorld San Antonio – After Wave Breaker, I wouldn’t expect anything huge at this park. Hopefully we’ll see them work with Intamin more in the future, though.
Busch Gardens Williamsburg – After InvadR, I think BG Williamsburg will take the year off. Maybe they’ll put in a new show or something.
Busch Gardens Tampa – The park is supposedly turning Sand Serpent into an enclosed wild mouse, but will that be the only addition in 2018? I highly doubt they’ll get a new coaster, but anything is possible.
Sesame Place – This small park is owned by SeaWorld Entertainment, but I doubt they’ll get anything special in 2018.
LEGOLAND Florida/California – After getting Ninjago additions, I really hope Merlin will focus on giving these two parks something Star Wars or Lego Batman Movie related.
Herschend Family Entertainment
Dollywood – I think Dollywood has been receiving a lot of love these past few years. Therefor, I’m hoping Herschend will focus on its other two parks, and give Dollywood an off year. Maybe they could still get a small flat ride or something.
Silver Dollar City – We already know they’re getting a new coaster, and the name is supposedly “Time Traveler”, but what kind of coaster will it be? Everyone else thinks it will either be a B&M or Mack coaster, and I’m going to agree with the Mack prediction. That said, everyone thinks it will be one of those new inverting spinning coasters they showed off at IAAPA 2017. Although that’s entirely possible, I think they could also get something like a Mack multi-launch instead. Either one would be a great addition to the park.
Wild Adventures – Although this is the smallest of the Herschend parks, I still think it has potential. Since the company has worked with RMC at its other two parks, why not add a ground-up woodie here too?
Kennywood – We’ve seen some strong indications that Kennywood will be getting an RMC sometime in the future. Although it’ll probably be in 2018, I still think it’s really bizarre that RMC would choose to work with the park, especially because of its relatively close proximity to Cedar Point, which is also working with RMC.
Lake Compounce – They probably won’t get anything big this year. Phobia just came out in 2016.
Idlewild and Soak Zone – This park hasn’t gotten a coaster in a long time. Maybe 2018 will be the year? Lake Compounce and Dutch Wonderland got their new additions recently, maybe it’s time for Idlewild.
Storyland – Probably nothing new here.
Dutch Wonderland – After Merlin’s Mayhem, this park won’t be getting anything big for a while.
Premier Parks LLC
Elitch Gardens – This park is the definition of landlocked. If they want to add something big in 2018, they’ll definitely have to remove something else (please remove the SLC).
Darien Lake – This ex-Six Flags park definitely has potential. I think they could get a new coaster in 2018, but I don’t know what kind…
Frontier City – It’ll be 10 years since they received a new coaster, so I wouldn’t rule them out of the game completely for 2018.
Wild Waves and Enchanted Village – They have almost no competition, so they won’t need a new coaster in 2018.
Clementon Park – We probably won’t see anything new here.
Funspot America Parks
Orlando – I think we’ll see a nice, large flat ride at their Orlando location in 2018.
Kissimmee – I’m sure Mine Blower will continue to keep “blowing peoples mines” well into 2018. In other words, they won’t be receiving anything huge for a while.
Fun Junction USA – On July 1st, FunSpot America tweeted out that they had acquired a new park: Fun Junction USA in Fayetteville, Georgia. It seems like a pretty small park, but maybe FunSpot will want to give them something new in 2018 to lure more guests into the park. Perhaps a small family coaster or wild mouse?
Obviously there are still tons of parks that I haven’t covered yet. I’ll add predictions and announcements for these parks as the year goes on. Here’s a few to get started:
Holiday World – This park could really fight back against Kentucky Kingdom’s recent additions by adding a new coaster in 2018. I could see a Gravity Group inverting wooden coaster fitting in here perfectly.
Kentucky Kingdom – In order to go head to head with Holiday World, I think Kentucky Kingdom will also add a new coaster. An RMC T-Rex would be the way to go here, whether it’s a hyper coaster or not.
Hersheypark – This park seems to add larger coasters every 3-4 years, making them due for another one. I have no idea what it would be though. Maybe an Intamin family coaster like Wave Breaker?
Knoebels – It’ll have been 3 years since Impulse in 2015. I think this might put them in the market for something big in 2018…
Lagoon – This family-based park in Utah did just receive Cannibal in 2015, so I highly doubt they’ll get a large coaster for 2018. That said, maybe they could get another family coaster to add to their lineup? They do have quite a bunch though…
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