10 U.S. Theme Park Attractions to Look Forward to in 2022

Welcome…to the 12 Days of Listmas!

Lists have always been an integral part of Limitless Park. Who doesn’t love counting things down? That said, we haven’t written one since the beginning of 2021. To make up for this, we’re starting a new series called “Listmas.” I’m sure something similar has been done before–I might even be stealing the “Listmas” name, but I don’t feel like checking–but this is a first for Limitless Park. For the rest of December we’ll be bringing you different theme park related lists, ranging anywhere from our favorite roller coasters to the different levels of “bad Six Flags food.” We’re getting creative with that last one.

Today’s list is a successor to our 10 U.S. Theme Park Attractions to Look Forward to in 2021 article. It seemed like a good place to start given that 2022 is about 3 weeks away *gasp* and there are SO many amazing new attractions opening. It’s difficult to narrow them down, but I’ll do my best.

Honorable Mention: Tumbili – Kings Dominion

At first glance, this S&S 4D Free Spin seems inconsequential to Kings Dominion’s history and coaster lineup. Yet, while I’m a bit perplexed as to why they didn’t spring for the full layout, I can’t help but be excited for the potential route that this paves for Kings Dominion. The parks been sort of neglected over the years, continuously losing more coasters than they’re gaining. However, Tumbili comes packaged with the overhauled “Jungle X-Pedition” land. This area will feature some retail and dining options, and is a nice breath of fresh air for a park that hasn’t focused on theming for a while.

10. Fireball – Adventureland

Adventureland Long Island Adding "Fireball" Roller Coaster in 2022 -  Coaster101

New York City will be home to America’s first Roller Ball coaster. Currently you can only find these in Europe, so it’ll be nice to see a roller coaster as unique as this one so close. Fireball is technically a family coaster, and thus the layout isn’t super intense, but it’ll still provide a weird, thrilling experience for riders of all ages.

9. Palindrome – Cotaland

While I don’t think Palindrome is objectively the “most important ride of 2022,” it might be my personal favorite. The name is so clever, playing into the “backwards” notion of the layout. It’s also so weird and perplexing that this is winding up at a theme park located at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. I don’t think anyone predicted that.

The layouts pretty solid too. There’s a beyond vertical drop, backwards sections (obviously), a Zero-G Roll, and an Inline Twist. If I could be at any of these rides for their opening day, it might be this one.

8. Intamin Accelerator (Kanonen) – Lost Island Theme Park

Back in 2016, the Swedish theme park Liseberg closed a launch coaster known as Kanonen. While not as impressive as the recently installed Helix at the same park, Kanonen was still a pretty interesting ride with an intense launch and a couple inversions. It was sad to see it go…

…until we found out it was returning in 2022. Lost Island, a new theme park opening next year in Iowa, of all places, is re-installing Kanonen as an opening day attraction. Even though it’s technically not a “brand new” ride, it’s still so amazing to see it revived in this way. Finally, a reason to get out to Iowa! Jk go Hawkeyes right @abrandenburg10?

7. TRON Lightcycle Run – Magic Kingdom

Fingers crossed this one actually opens in 2022. We’ve been waiting on an official opening date for Tron for a while, and it seems like it’ll be late next year. This is a near clone of the coaster that opened at Shanghai Disneyland in 2016, but that’s still huge for Disney fans and coaster enthusiasts alike. It’ll breathe some fresh air into Tomorrowland and hopefully give that land a new anchor so that rides like Space Mountain and Tomorrowland Speedway can be updated or replaced. Also, “power bike” coasters (or whatever they’re called) are super cool even without theming, so it’ll be amazing to see Disney’s take on this type of ride without having to go halfway across the world.

6. Defiance – Glenwood Caverns

When this Gerstlauer Euro-Fighter got announced, I actually had chills go down my spine. Look at this thing. I’m not afraid of heights, but I might as well be with Defiance. If you placed this ride anywhere else, it would look like a mid-tier Euro-Fighter with a decent layout (which is still a top 10 worthy addition). At Glenwood Caverns, it’s a monster placed on a cliff. This roller coaster will have the highest elevation in the world. Couple that with a beyond 90 degree drop and two inversions and Defiance is sure to terrify even the most seasoned of coaster enthusiasts…or at least me. It’ll terrify me.

5. Iron Gwazi – Busch Gardens Tampa

It’s hard to write about this one without feeling bitter, but at least it looks like Iron Gwazi will finally be opening in 2022. I’ve criticized the ride’s layout in the past, saying it doesn’t look like it will come close to competing with other top tier RMC’s such as Steel Vengeance or Zadra, but it’s still a notable roller coaster that everyone has been waiting forever to experience. Seriously, imagine if you were one of those few people to ride it during it’s construction the past couple years. Ultimate bragging rights.

There’s not much to say about Gwazi that hasn’t already been said in speculation the past 5 years or so, but you can bet that Limitless Park will be there to experience it as close to opening day as possible.

4. Hot Wheels – Mattel Adventure Park

If any of these rides don’t ring a bell to you, chances are it’s this one. Even I don’t really know the full story behind it. There’s a new theme park opening in Glendale, AZ, which is apparently themed to Mattel toys. At first glance, I figured this Hot Wheels coaster would just be a random family coaster, but it could be the sleeper hit of 2022. It’s a Chance Hyper GT-X coaster with three inversions.

Not convinced? No idea what a Hyper GT-X is? Let me point you towards Lightning Run at Kentucky Kingdom. Until Hot Wheels opens, Lightning Run is currently the only Chance Hyper GT-X in existence, and it is incredible. The airtime is phenomenal and not what you’d expect from a coaster as small as this. That said, it has no inversions, which is why I think Hot Wheels might be even better. The layout isn’t 100% confirmed yet, as there are multiple pictures of what it could like, but it looks to be Lightning Run on steroids. See you in Arizona.

3. Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind – Epcot

You know that 2022 is a big year for roller coasters when Epcot, a park that hasn’t had a single roller coaster since it opened in 1982, is receiving a large-scale indoor roller coaster. We’ve known about this ride for a while, and it’s been postponed a groan-worthy amount of times, but next year we’ll finally be able to ride along with the Guardians of the Galaxy. I know many people have mixed feelings about this ride, especially it’s controversial placement at a park as distinct as Epcot, but personally I’m all for it. The ride will add a much needed “thrill” element to Epcot (don’t tell me Mission Space or Test Track fulfill that spot) and will hopefully feel unique enough compared to the other coasters at Walt Disney World. I’m a huge fan of Guardian’s of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout at Disney’s California Adventure, so I can’t wait to see how the Guardians enter the theme park scene next.

2. ArieForce One – Fun Spot America Atlanta

Fun Spot has grown from the underdog park chain in the Orlando area to a respectable competitor that offers a unique product for the area. I’m super excited to see how they continue to grow to compete against SeaWorld, Disney and Universal in the coming years. However, 2022 is all about their shiny, new Atlanta property and it’s insane looking RMC coaster. ArieForce One is a massive investment for this small park that currently has little more than two small coasters and a couple of go-kart tracks. It will have a super unique layout, drawing inspiration from all sorts of RMC coasters. I can pick out parts that look like Goliath at Great America, Twisted Cyclone at Over Georgia, and dare I say the aforementioned Iron Gwazi at Busch Gardens Tampa. All of these inspirations come together to form what might be the best RMC since Steel Vengeance.

1. Dr. Diabolical’s Cliffhanger – Six Flags Fiesta Texas

Surprisingly, Six Flags has claimed the top spot for 2022 attractions. I’m not saying that Dr. Diabolical will be the best ride of next year, but it makes the number one spot for what it (hopefully) symbolizes for the company. After years of adding mostly RMC and S&S roller coasters to their parks (not that I’m complaining), Six Flags will be bringing a brand-new B&M Dive Coaster to their San Antonio property. This marks the first time the company has worked with B&M on a roller coaster since 2012, when it added X-Flight to Six Flags Great America.

The ride itself looks pretty amazing too. For starters, it’s the first B&M Dive Coaster to have a beyond 90 degree drop. Diabolical will also have two inversions; an Immelmann and a Zero-G roll. I also love the color scheme and think it’ll fit nicely into the Fiesta Texas skyline. After visiting earlier this year, I firmly believe this will be a fantastic supporting roller coaster for their lineup. Hopefully, it also marks the beginning of a revitalized partnership between this park chain and manufacturer.

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