Most-anticipated roller coasters of 2021 at Universal Orlando, on a Carnival cruise ship and more
A cathartic scream without a throat - without a mask - on board a roller coaster seems like a great way to mark the end of the pandemic. We may not know when the all-clear will sound, but when the coast is clear, theme park goers can shout to their hearts' content on some new roller coasters slated for next year.
Some of the rides were supposed to start in 2020 but were delayed when the theme parks closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Other rides have gotten the green light more recently, despite a shaky economy and restrictions that have closed or limited theme parks closed, which has cornered their revenues.
Let's take a look at some of the most anticipated roller coasters slated to open in the US in 2021. Be aware that plans are subject to change based on the course of the pandemic, COVID-19 government regulations, and other factors.
Phoenix in Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park, Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York
Deno's never opened in 2020 and celebrated the 100th anniversary of its famous Wonder Wheel. Nonetheless, the park owners are making their largest investment to date in Phoenix, a floating family thrill coaster. Why are they taking the risk?
"It's an important time for rebuilding," says Deno "DJ" Vourderis, a third generation family member who owns and operates the park. "We're betting on the future of New York City and Coney Island."
The historic entertainment district, which played a crucial role in the development of roller coasters, had about 30 thrill machines at its height. Almost all of them closed when Coney Island suffered setbacks. The resilient harbor by the sea has been booming lately, and coasters are again lining the promenade. Phoenix will take its place alongside newer rides like Thunderbolt as well as the classic Cyclone.
A new roller coaster, Phoenix at Deno Wonder Wheel Amusement Park, will take its place along the boardwalk at New York's Coney Island.
With a height of 68 feet and a top speed of about 34 mph, the bespoke coaster will occupy a sweet spot. It will be thrilling, but it will be accessible to younger kids and those who might be intimidated by bigger, faster rides. One element is going to be an extremely banked twist. "It will be as upside down as you can go for a family coaster," says Vourderis.
The name Phoenix stands for the feeling of flight that the floating coaster will trigger. The trains will hang under the tracks, and passengers will soar through the track in treeless, ski-lift-like cars with their feet dangling. According to Vourderis, the name also means rebirth.
"When this (pandemic) is over, we'll likely roar the 20s again," he says. "We will surely rise from the ashes and give birth to the best of times in Coney Island."
VelociCoaster on the Universal Orlando Islands of Adventure in Florida
T. rex sized thrills are on the way to Universal Orlando. His coaster launched propelled passengers to 70 mph and a nearly 90-degree tower of 155 feet. VelociCoaster will also feature two inversions, one of which will flip riders around and leave them hanging precariously on their 100-foot route. The coaster, shaped by “Jurassic World”, will contain stars from the film series as well as sophisticated effects and elaborate storytelling.
Iron Gwazi at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Florida
The redesigned ride was built using part of the wooden structure from the park's former gwazi and includes a special type of steel rail. Known as the wood / steel hybrid IBox roller coaster, Iron Gwazi will be the fastest, steepest ride of its kind. With a slope of 206 feet at 91 degrees and a top speed of 76 mph, it will also be the tallest and fastest coaster in Florida. The hybrid IBox coasters are known to be exceptionally sleek, delivering heavy doses of airtime and the dizzying feeling of weightlessness.
Icebreaker at SeaWorld Orlando in Florida
Like Iron Gwazi, Ice Breaker was set to debut in 2020. It will have four starts, and its trains will race backwards up a 93-foot spike, then fall back down at a 100-degree angle beyond the vertical. Passengers will also climb an 80-foot tall cylinder tower (so named for its steep climb, short ridge, and steep drop). It will be exciting, but at a speed of no more than 90 km / h and with no inversions, Ice Breaker should appeal to a wide audience.
Two more coasters in Florida, TRON Lightcycle / Run and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, are under construction at Walt Disney World. Both are slated to open by 2021 as part of the resort's 50th anniversary, but will likely be delayed due to the pandemic.
Stunt pilot at Silverwood in Athol, Idaho
The seventh roller coaster in Silverwood will feature a one-way track and low single cars. Stunt Pilot delivers three inversions and offers abrupt transitions between elements that mimic the aerobatic maneuvers of vintage cars.
Jersey Devil at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey
Jersey Devil, another holdover from 2020, will also feature a single-rail configuration, but the bespoke ride will be bigger, faster, and much longer than similar coasters. The orange track has a much larger footprint than other single-rail rides and will stretch over 3,000 feet and provide more breathing space from one element to the next.
The bespoke Jersey Devil at Six Flags Great Adventure is bigger, faster, and much longer than similar coasters.
Dragon slayer in Adventure Land in Altoona, Iowa
Dragon Slayer's single wagon trains, known as the 4D Free Spin coasters, will sit on their "wings" next to the tracks. The cars can spin independently on a vertical axis, and the passengers can throw and turn as they navigate the ride's railroad track. The coaster climbs 112 feet and reaches a top speed of 35 mph.
Pantheon at Busch Gardens Williamsburg in Virginia
As of 2020, the new ride will be delayed 180 feet in the sky and accelerated to 73 mph. This makes it the fastest multi-launch roller coaster in the world. The pantheon of Roman gods will contain two inversions. a top hat; a 95 degree drop above the vertical; and a spike that makes riders soar up and tumble backwards.
Kaiser at SeaWorld San Diego in California
Also delayed from 2020, this ride's extra-wide, bottomless train will climb a 150-foot tower, climb just over the edge of a 90-degree drop, and pause for a moment while passengers ponder the fate they are expected. Known as a diving coaster, the train will - finally - let go and tumble straight down, reaching 60 miles per hour before encountering three inversions. After Emperor disembarks, riders with weak knees can waddle to an exhibition and see real emperor penguins, after whom the coaster is named.
The dragon and the apprentice dragon at Legoland New York in Goshen
The newest Legoland is slated to open in 2020 but will instead debut in 2021. Its many attractions include two kite-themed coasters, both of which will be relatively tame to accommodate the park's main audience with families with younger children. The more aggressive the two, the higher the kite will get, reaching 35 miles per hour. It will drive in and out of a Lego-themed castle, where passengers will encounter show scenes. Dragon's Apprentice will be a kiddie coaster that makes two passes on its short course.
The dragon in Legoland New York will climb 55 feet and reach 35 miles per hour. It is driven in and out of a Lego-themed castle, where passengers encounter show scenes.
On board the Carnival Cruise Line's Carnival
The first coaster at sea was due to hit the market when Carnival Cruise Line's newest ship, Mardi Gras, hit the market in 2020. With the attractive ship, which is set to be christened in 2021, passengers can drive around its deck on the journey with motorcycle-inspired cars. Each car has its own interactive throttle that the driver can use to control their speed.
This article originally appeared in the US TODAY: Universal Orlando, SeaWorld, and expects Roller Coasters in 2021
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