The last proper Roller Coaster I can think of that was launched in Florida was Cheetah Hunt at Busch Gardens in 2011 and before that Manta at SeaWorld Orlando in 2009. Taking a look at 2014 releases I can’t find many confirmation of any new Coasters on the horizon. Although Disney have The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom scheduled for release it looks pretty tame as this video shows.
I’ve still got my fingers crossed that the new Harry Potter expansion will include a Gringotts Coaster in its truest sense but looking at the trends lately motion simulators seem to be the new norm.
So why aren’t Theme Parks building more Coasters?
People don’t want them!? Surely thats not the case, for me when I picture a Theme Park I picture a massive Roller Coaster like The Incredible Hulk Coaster not a 3D ride like The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man.
Roller Coasters are expensive to build! Well Cheetah Hunt cost $20 Million to build and Universal Studios Transformers the Ride 3D cost $100 Million even taking in to consideration inflation, you still get 4 or 5 Cheetah Hunts for the cost of one Transformers Ride.
Space!? This could definitely be a reason. Although some parks like Universal have spare land not all of them do. Using the example above Cheetah Hunt spans 4,429 ft. Transformers takes up just 2,000 ft. So for ever 1 Cheetah Hunt you could fit 2 Transformer Rides.
Technology! Its very true to say that theme park technology has come on leaps and bounds in the last decade especially in the 3D arena and parks like to show off how advanced they are. Coaster technology has had its issues as Rip Ride Rockit proved this month.
Lack of ideas? A lot of the new attractions are being based on movies or books. Transformers, Harry Potter, Avatar Land… Although this has helped bring a lot of attention to the parks is it stifling creation? Being able to simply recreate well known moments from a film is more suited to 3D rides.
For me and a lot of customers I speak too, we go too Theme Park’s to ride coasters and I really hope that those who make the decisions remember this.
Why do you think theme parks aren’t making as many Coasters as before?
Below are the 10 most anticipated new USA theme park rides set to open in 2012.
In no particular order –
Universal Studios Florida will replace Jimmy Neutron’s Nicktoon Blast motion simulator ride with a digital upgrade themed to “Despicable Me,” for which a movie sequel is already in the works.
The Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom drop tower at Six Flags Magic Mountain will be attached to both sides of the park’s 415-foot-tall Superman: Escape from Krypton coaster tower. The new thrill ride will rank as the world¿s tallest (400 feet) and fastest (85 mph) drop tower.
Hersheypark will add a first-of-its-kind $25-million steel roller coaster in 2012 that will be the tallest, fastest and longest at the Pennsylvania theme park. The 200-foot-tall Skyrush coaster will feature a near-vertical 85-degree first drop followed by four high-speed banking turns and five airtime hills at speeds reaching 75 mph.
SeaWorld San Diego will add the $10 million-plus Manta roller coaster in 2012 that marks the U.S. debut of a highly anticipated prototype ride. SeaWorld San Diego’s 30-foot-tall Manta will feature dual launch zones, a 54-foot drop into a subterranean trench and a dramatic wing dip into a shallow lake over a 2,800-foot-long track. Launched from a tunnel filled with manta ray projections, the inversion-less family coaster will reach a top speed of 43 mph and pull 4 Gs during the two-minute trip.
The Superman: Ultimate Flight launch coaster at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom will rocket riders at 60 miles per hour through a towering 150-foot-high inversion and a pair of vertical twists.
The Verbolten multi-launch roller coaster at Busch Gardens Williamsburg will take riders on a high-speed drive along the German autobahn before detouring through the forbidden Black Forest. The themed family coaster will feature two launch zones and an indoor section of the ride with special effects and a free-fall platform.
Six Flags Great America (X-Flight) and Dollywood (Wild Eagle) will both add similar wing coasters by Bolliger & Mabillard in 2012. With riders sitting on either side of a 3,000-foot-long track in a winged formation, both coasters will feature multiple inversions and high-speed drops.
Universal Studios Hollywood will add a Transformers dark ride featuring 3-D high-definition footage with special effects and robotics.
The Magic Kingdom will transform Fantasyland into a magical fairy tale forest with character meet-and-greet areas, a themed restaurant and several new attractions, including the Little Mermaid dark ride.
Cars Land, the 12-acre themed land under construction at Disney California Adventure, will feature three new rides set amid a faithful re-creation of the isolated red rock desert town populated by Lightning McQueen and other animated vehicles in the Pixar movie “Cars.”
14 rides, 8 Roller Coasters!!! Its sounds like music to my theme park ear’s… Its the Orlando Thrill Park…
Chuck Bell, spokesman for the Orlando Thrill Park stated that the park would include rides from several manufactures including Intamin, Vekoma, Chance Morgan, Mack, S&S Power, U.S. ThrillRides and Mondial.
If plans are agreed and financing secured the Orlando Thrill Park will be situated on International Drive.
Orlando Thrill Park would have no themed environments, no costumed characters, no dark rides and few if any shows, Bell said. Instead, it would be all about the biggest, tallest, fastest, longest, steepest and greatest thrills.
No price tag has been pinned to the new park, but by my estimate the ride inventory alone would top $100 million. Bell said he hopes OTP would serve as a proving ground for the latest and greatest from the amusement industry, showcasing one-of-a-kind, prototype, record-breaking, envelope-pushing, adrenaline-based extreme rides.
Bell pointed to two parks as inspiration for Orlando Thrill Park: Cedar Point in Ohio and Six Flags Magic Mountain in California, both parks are considered to be heavyweights in the battle for the title of “Roller Coaster Capital of the World.”