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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. Apparently it’s going to be “record breaking” in some way.
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 – Since the park just got a larger thrill ride this year, I think they’ll get a smaller family ride for the 2018 season.
Mexico – If Six Flags adds 3 free spins this year, one will go here. If they only add 2, then Mexico will probably get a larger flat ride. Perhaps a sky screamer?
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!…unless Great America removes V2. Then they’ll receive that as a hand-me-down.
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 – CONFIRMED! Wonder Woman Golden Lasso Coaster, the world’s first single-rail coaster. The ride will be manufactured by RMC, and will be 113 feet tall with a 90°, 100 ft. drop. It will also feature 3 inversions, including a 180-degree-stall.
Great Escape – Um…a kiddie ride? If 2018 really is the “year of coasters”, then maybe a kiddie coaster?
Cedar Point – CONFIRMED! Steel Vengeance, the world’s first hyper-hybrid coaster. Manufactured by RMC, the ride will feature 4 inversions, about 27 seconds of airtime, and a staggering 200 ft. drop at a 90 degree angle.
King’s Island – Something small while we wait for a Giga in 2019.
King’s Dominion – CONFIRMED! Twisted Timbers, a steel hybrid coaster manufactured by RMC. The coaster is a conversion of the old wooden coaster known as Hurler, and will feature 3 inversions, one of which is a barrel roll drop.
Carowinds – CONFIRMED! Planet Snoopy Expansion, featuring 6 new kiddie and family rides placed in the Planet Snoopy area.
California’s Great America – CONFIRMED! Railblazer, a single-rail “raptor” coaster manufactured by RMC. This is the second coaster of its kind to be announced this year, after Six Flags Fiesta Texas announced Wonder Woman Golden Lasso Coaster. The ride will feature 3 inversions, a 100 foot drop at 90 degrees, and a new lift-hill technology known as a “silent anti-rollback mechanism”. The ride will also feature lots of “nature-like” theming.
Canada’s Wonderland – CONFIRMED! Lumber Jack, an inverting flat ride on two swinging “axe” pendulums, and Flying Canoes, an interactive family ride featuring rotating canoes.
Knott’s Berry Farm – CONFIRMED! HangTime, a Gerstlauer Infinity coaster featuring a vertical lift hill, a beyond vertical drop, and 5 inversions. The ride will be the first “dive coaster” on the west coast, and the longest Infinity coaster in North America.
Dorney Park – CONFIRMED! Tidal Wave Cafe, a new restaurant in Wildwater Kingdom, the parks water park.
World’s of Fun – CONFIRMED! Nordic Chaser, a family ride where riders will board small ships and rotate around, while also being lifted up and down.
Valleyfair – CONFIRMED! Delirious, a seven story, 360 degree Larson Super Loop ride.
Michigan’s Adventure – I heard they were drawing a game of hopscotch on a pathway and calling it a new attraction.
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 – CONFIRMED! Time Traveler, a launched spinning coaster featuring 3 inversions. Manufactured by Mack Rides, the coaster will feature 100 foot vertical drop, multiple launched, and 3 inversions. This will all take place in spinning cars that rotate freely throughout the ride.
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 – CONFIRMED! Breakers Edge Water Coaster, the first Hydro-Magnetic water coaster with flying saucer turns, and Whitecap Racer, the longest mat racing slide in the world, featuring 6 racing lanes and 2 sets of looping tunnels.
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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