You’ll get a charge out of these rides
More standouts from the coaster class of 2024
Happy holidays to all! About Theme Parks will not publish next Tuesday so that Ms. ATP and I can recover from fruitcake and eggnog overload.
ATP paid subscribers: Tomorrow (Friday December 22), please join us for a “What’s the Attraction” discussion thread about your favorite 2023 park moments. Where did you go? What did you experience? What did you love? We want to know!
In an interesting development, Universal confirmed that it purchased a large parcel of land near London and is in the “early stages of exploring its feasibility for a potential park and resort.” It would mark the company’s first foray into Europe. The confirmation comes on the heels of some stellar reporting by Theme Park Stop, which broke the news about Universal’s UK ambitions. According to its article, the potential park at the 500-acre site would not include any attractions at Universal Orlando, including those under development at the upcoming Epic Universe (so as not to cannibalize the lucrative market of British tourists that head to Florida); instead, it might feature previously untapped IPs such as The Lord of the Rings and 007 James Bond.
Shanghai Disneyland officially opened its eighth land, which is themed to Zootopia. Its E-Ticket attraction, which looks wild, is the trackless dark ride, Zootopia Hot Pursuit. You can read more about the attraction and the land in my Shanghai Disneyland Zootopia preview article.
To follow up my rundown of the ten most anticipated North American coasters that will roll out next year, including Top Thrill 2, Circuit Breaker, and The FLASH: Vertical Velocity, let’s turn our attention to other parts of the world. There are some doozies on the docket, one of which may be Falcon’s Flight at Six Flags Qiddya, the world’s fastest, tallest, and longest coaster–although it appears that the impressive new Saudi park probably won’t open until 2025. (And when it does, it will have other noteworthy coasters and rides.) I’ve got six drool-worthy rides that are more likely to debut in the coming year.
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One of the most distinctive and certainly one of the most electrifying coasters that will debut in 2024, Voltron Nevera will pay homage to inventor Nikola Tesla. Fittingly, the developer of the alternating current induction motor will be honored with a ride that will feature two linear synchronous motor launches. The lavishly themed coaster will be the highlight of the park’s new land themed to Croatia, which is Tesla’s birthplace. The 4,554-foot-long track (which is quite long) will wind around a stylized Tesla Tower.
Some of the coaster’s features are positively wild. It will start with a 105-degree inclined launch–the world’s steepest–and subject passengers to seven inversions, including an Immelmann and a dive loop. At the midway point, the train will roll onto a turntable and rotate for a backwards launch up a spike. Voltron Nevera is being manufactured by Mack Rides, the family-owned attractions company that also owns and operates Europa-Park. The Macks use their park as a proving ground and showcase for their ride innovations. The new ride will be the company’s first Stryker model launch coaster.
Mine Cart Madness at Universal Studios Japan
The original Super Nintendo World, which opened at Universal Studios Japan in 2021, will be expanding with a new Donkey Kong Country. The featured attraction, Mine Cart Madness, will replicate the classic video game by incorporating coaster cars that will appear to leap across collapsed and missing track sections. The effect will be made possible by a clever cantilevered design in which the cars will be connected to a hidden chassis that will roll along a second track underneath the apparent track. The Super Nintendo World under construction at the upcoming Epic Universe theme park in Orlando, which is scheduled to open in 2025, will reportedly include a Donkey Kong-themed coaster as well.
Also being built by Mack Rides, Hyperia will climb 236 feet and accelerate to more than 80 mph, which will make it the tallest and fastest coaster in the UK. It seems that the ride may incorporate inversions, including a zero-G stall, which would be unusual for hypercoasters.
Mahuka at Walibi Rhône-Alpes in France
The second single-rail, launched coaster from Intamin (the first opened in 2021 at Luna Park in Australia), Mahuka will climb 59 feet and hit a top speed of 42 mph. Like the single-rail Raptor coasters from RMC, riders will sit inline in a single row on trains that will navigate the narrow track. Mahuka will incorporate a tire-propelled launch as well as a tire-propelled boost and will include three inversions.
Jungle Rush at Dreamworld in Australia
There isn’t much known about the new down-under coaster. To be located in the Indiana Jones-ish Rivertown land, it will reportedly be a family ride, although the park boasts that it will feature 12 airtime moments. To be built by Vekoma, it will also include the world’s first “inclined turntable,” whatever the heck that may be. Dreamworld also says that its $35-million new ride will travel both forwards and backwards, so it’s likely the turntable will play a role in that.
TBD at Emerald Park in Ireland
It doesn't have a name (yet), but the coaster coming to the new Tír na nÓg land at Emerald Park will be a suspended thrill coaster from Vekoma. It will soar 102 feet, hit a top speed of 56 mph, and include five inversions. The expansion will include a more modest family boomerang coaster as well, also manufactured by Vekoma.
Are you hoping to experience any of these coasters in 2024? Which ones are you most excited about?