Let’s give thanks for these rides
Honorable mentions for the most anticipated U.S. coasters of 2024
By definition, there can only be ten rides on a list of the ten most anticipated North American coasters opening in 2024. I’ve shared my picks, which include Iron Menace at Dorney Park, Ultra Splash at Six Flags Over Georgia, and Top Thrill 2 at Cedar Point. But there are additional coasters opening in the U.S. which deserve our attention. So herewith are another six rides that merit honorable mention.
Good Gravy! (the exclamation point is part of the name–and an indication of its wacky vibe) will be a Vekoma family boomerang coaster and include a tire-activated lift system, a dead-end hill, a 77-foot-tall spike, and a course that will send its train both backwards and forwards. Those are features more typically found on rides that score higher on the thrill-ometer. But with a 38-inch height requirement, little kiddos will get a taste of the high-adrenaline antics. The Holiday World ride will also distinguish itself with a well-adorned queue, oversized props, and an especially silly Thanksgiving-themed aesthetic.
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As I previously wrote in my top-ten rundown of most anticipated 2024 thrill machines, Fire in the Hole, the remake of the Silver Dollar City midway classic, will really be more of a dark ride attraction than a roller coaster. Tooling around at a relatively poky pace for most of the course, guests will largely be focusing on the ride’s 14 scenes, which will include the depiction of a burning town, a collapsing bridge, and quirky characters such as the perpetually pantless Red Flanders. But the hybrid dark ride/coaster will grab passengers’ attention when it hits a top speed of 26 mph, most likely during its splashdown finale.
Snoopy's Soap Box Racers at Kings Island in Ohio
The new ride coming to Kings Island will essentially be the same as Good Gravy, but the family boomerang coaster will focus on Snoopy and the Peanuts gang instead of turkey, cranberry sauce, and corny puns. It will be themed to a soap box derby with the famous beagle presiding over the race.
Phoenix Rising at Busch Gardens Tampa
The Florida park’s 10th coaster will be a family inverted model from B&M. Inverted coaster trains hang suspended from the track above with passengers sitting in chairlift-like seats that leave their feet dangling. Phoenix Rising will reach a top speed of 44 mph and won’t include any inversions. With a 42-inch height requirement, it will preclude some of the really young kids who will be able to get aboard Good Gravy! and ride its rails. But Phoenix Rising will still give smaller fry a taste of the big-boy thrills.
All American Triple Loop at Indiana Beach
It was supposed to open in 2023, but Indiana Beach says that the delayed ride will debut in 2024. The transplanted attraction, which originally opened in 1984 and used to travel the carnival circuit, was the first coaster to boast three vertical loops. It will reach a top speed of 53 mph and pull a potent 6.1 Gs as it navigates the inversions.
Midnight Flyer at Santa’s Village in New Hampshire
One of the most delightful, under-the-radar parks in the country (although folks in New England certainly know and adore it), Santa’s Village will be getting a new family coaster from Vekoma next year. The fairly gentle ride will rise 41 feet and top out at 25 mph.
Will you be heading to any of these parks in 2024? What rides call out to you?