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.”