What's New at Theme Parks and Amusement Parks?

New Roller Coasters, Rides, Attractions and More

What goodies are parks planning for us? This is where to get the lowdown on new roller coasters, attractions, rides, and shows. Discover the latest and greatest theme park happenings.

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    AMong the attractions at new Star Wars Lands will be a ride featuring the Millennium Falcon.
    ••• Disney/Lucasfilm. Used with permission.

    Are you ready to pilot the Millennium Falcon? Two massive, ambitious, elaborate-looking and -sounding Star Wars lands are on their way. Discover what's coming -- and how the Disney parks will embrace Star Wars even before the new lands open.

     

     

     

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    Gale Force coaster at Playland's Castaway Cove.
    ••• Playland's Castaway Cove

    There are lots (and lots!) of new coasters, repurposed virtual reality coasters, major dark rides, and a whole bunch of other goodies (did somebody say Harry Potter?) coming in 2016. I've complied them all in one handy-dandy guide for your drooling pleasure. Let's dig deep and uncover all of the wonderful attractions coming to parks throughout North America. Start making your 2016 plans now.

  • 03 of 21
    ••• Universal Studios Hollywood

    At sister theme park resort, Universal Orlando, the Harry Potter lands have been wildly popular and garnered enormous critical acclaim. It was only a matter of time before J.K. Rowling's mythical stories took shape at the original movie park, Universal Studios Hollywood. That time will be spring 2016. That's when The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogsmeade will open. It will be similar to the Florida land, but it will have some unique features -- including one that will be a doozy.

     

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    Six Flags virtual reality roller coaster
    ••• One of the Six Flags VR Coaster attractions will be the New Revolution and will immerse passengers in a sci-fi fighter jet experience. Six Flags. Used with permission.

    In 2016, nine Six Flags parks will be introducing virtual reality coasters -- actual coasters with a VR overlay. Discover which parks and which rides will feature either a Superman or a "New Revolution" sic-fi experience.

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  • 05 of 21
    ••• Disney. Used with permission.

    It had to happen. With the over-the-top popularity of Disney's animated film, Frozen, it was just a matter of time before the Disney parks developed an attraction based on it. See what's coming to Disney World. And learn about my concept for "buttershmear."

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    Upside down passengers on Fireball at Six Flags.
    ••• Six Flags

    New coasters (of course!), new interactive 4D dark rides (unexpected!), new lands for kids, old coasters with new makeovers, new water park rides: All of this and more is on the way to Six Flags parks. Every park in the chain will be getting something new. Here's a rundown of what's on the way.

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    polercoaster-tallest-coaster.png
    ••• The world't tallest roller coaster, which will straddle a 520-foot tower, is coming to Florida. US Thrill Rides

    A 520-foot tall coaster -- the world's tallest -- is on its way to Florida. Look for the Polercoaster to open in 2017.

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    Slinky Dog Coaster coming to Toy Story Land.
    ••• Disney. Used with permission.

    In addition to Star Wars Land, Disney's Hollywood Studios at Florida's Disney World will be getting a Toy Story Land. What's on the way? Let's open the toy box...
     

     

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  • 09 of 21

    Travel to Pandora at Disney's Animal Kingdom in 2017

    ••• Disney. Used with permission.
    The fanciful world of Pandora, as envisioned by filmmaker James Cameron, will come to life in Avatar land. See what Imagineers have in store, including a ride aboard bird-like banshee creatures, floating mountains, and a nighttime boat ride through a jungle of bioluminescent plants.
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    ••• Dollywood.

    Lightning Rod will be the world's first launched wooden coaster. As if that's not enough, it will also be the world's fastest

    wooden coaster.

     

     

  • 11 of 21
    ••• Universal Oorlando

    A new King Kong attraction is set to open in 2016 at Universal Orlando. Learn what's in store as the big ape gets set to unleash his fury.

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    ••• Universal Orlando.

    Frozen princesses, a heroic King Kong, a cursed cobra, a shark-like hypercoaster: These and other attractions are on their way to Florida theme parks in 2016.

     

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    Valravn - Preview of second inversion on Cedar Point's 2016 Roller Coaster
    ••• Cedar Point. Used with permission.

    For its 17th coaster, Cedar Point will unleash Valravn, a monster of a dive coaster. What's a dive coaster? Read on.

     

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    ••• SeaWorld Entertainment

    For the 2016 season, SeaWorld Orlando will debut Mako, a 200-foot ride that will be the fastest and longest roller coaster in Florida.

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    ••• Kentucky Kingdom. Used with permission.

    A hybrid wooden-steel coaster called Storm Chaser will take the place of the park's Twisted Twins ride. See what's on the way.

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    Universal FL's 2017 Thrill Ride: How Fast & How Furious?

    Fast & Furious Ride Orlando
    ••• Universal Orlando.

    A super-duper, Diesel-powered, E-Ticket ride, is on its way to Universal Studios Florida in 2017. Read about the attraction that will be based on the popular movie franchise.

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    Race through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon at Universal Orlando
    ••• Universal Orlando. Used with permission.

    Can you believe that Jimmy Fallon will be getting his own E-Ticket attraction? Believe it. Learn about the motion-simulator attraction that's on the way to Universal Studios Florida in 2017.

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    The original Wizarding World opened at Universal Orlando in 2010 and was wildly successful. The resort followed in 2014 with Diagon Alley. What's next for Harry in Florida? It might have something to do with a phone box and the Ministry of Magic.

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    gallery_twistedcolossus1_0.jpg
    ••• High five! Two trains will meet on the reborn Twisted Colossus at Six Flags Magic Mountain in 2015. Six Flags.

    The classic wooden coaster, Colossus, got a wild makeover in 2015 when the California Six Flags park transformed it into a steel-wooden hybrid racing thriller. Read my ecstatic review.

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    Cirque-Park-Sun.jpg
    ••• Cirque du Soleil.

    Mais oui! Er, si! In conjunction with the Latin American-based hotel developer, Grupo Vidanta, Cirque du Soleil announced that it will be creating a destination theme park in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico. The park is slated for a 2018 opening.

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  • 21 of 21

    Park Ride Guides by Year

    ••• Griffon, a floorless, diving coaster is coming to Busch Gardens Europe in Williamsburg, VA. Busch Entertainment, 2007. Used with permission.

    Discover the new roller coasters, rides, and other goodies that theme parks and amusement parks have introduced through the years.