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The Most Exciting New Theme Park Attractions Across the United States

Get ready to ride.

The best parts of summer are the anticipation of climbing a lift hill, the incomparable pull of a 120 mph launch, and the giddy delight of surprise splash down. These moments, plus a turkey leg or two, make for a memorable getaway to one of the country’s great theme parks. This summer sees the rollout of dozens of new attractions, with inspired new takes on old classics and boundary-pushing new builds that promise to thrill. Here are the 10 most exciting attractions worth traveling for this year.

1 OF 10

Tiana's Bayou Adventure

WHERE: Disney World, Orlando, Florida

Float along to the upbeat rhythms of Jazz Age-era New Orleans on Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, Disney World’s newest attraction set to open June 28 in Magic Kingdom Park. Utilizing the same ride layout of the classic Splash Mountain, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will see a full re-theme of the ride’s original layout and structure. First looks over the scaffolding already show a remarkable glow-up, with vibrant flowers accenting the ride’s harrowing 52-foot drop. Expect an intricately themed journey through the bayou with many surprises, starting with a queue that will pump in fresh smells of beignets. On the ride, you’ll find the most advanced audio-animatronics the park has seen, with special appearances from Tiana, Louis, Mama Odie, Prince Ralphie, and Byhalia the beaver.

2 OF 10

Top Thrill 2

WHERE: Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio

For years, coaster fans wondered what the fate of Top Thrill Dragster would be after an incident in 2021 in which a guest was severely injured while standing in line. Luckily, the thrilling coaster that was long a crown jewel of the Coaster Capital of the World, returns this year with a new lease on life and a reimagined ride experience. The new Top Thrill 2 is the world’s tallest and fastest triple-launch strata coaster. The updated ride experience begins with a half-powered launch towards the original top hat at 74 mph. Elements of the hyped “roll-back” experience (when the train doesn’t clear the top hat and returns back down) are now one integrated ride element as the train falls back, only to be reverse launched at 101 mph, through the station and up a 420-foot vertical spike. The ride then returns towards the station, with a third launch bringing its speeds up to a dizzying 120 mph as it races to crest the top hat element of the original Top Thrill Dragster. The new trains feature seats higher off the track, adding G-forces for a more thrilling ride experience. Top Thrill 2 is receiving unanimous praise from the coaster world, with many already deeming it the roller coaster of the summer.

Note: Top Thrill 2 is currently shut down due to mechanical issues. It’s unknown when the ride will reopen.

3 OF 10

Fire in the Hole

WHERE: Silver Dollar City, Branson, Missouri

Silver Dollar City is a theme park worth visiting in the heart of the Ozark Mountains. It is equal parts nostalgic charm and modern-day thrills, with many best-in-class coasters that attract riders worldwide. The park’s newest addition this year is Fire in the Hole, a complete reimagining of the park’s original dark ride, which opened in 1972 and was demolished last season. The new dark ride coaster is built by RMC, a manufacturer best known for its thrilling wooden hybrid coasters including Steel Vengeance (Cedar Point) and Iron Gwazi (Busch Gardens Tampa). The new Fire in the Hole features the same story as the previous version, following the hijinks of the Baldknobbers, a group of vigilantes who set the town ablaze. The grand finale is an exciting drop into a pitch-dark splash. Take note: if you’re in the first row of the train, you will get wet!

4 OF 10

Phoenix Rising

WHERE: Busch Gardens, Tampa Bay, Florida

Phoenix Rising joins the impressive Busch Gardens Tampa Bay coaster lineup this summer as a new family coaster. This is the park’s first suspended coaster, with innovations that include an immersive audio soundtrack that gives riders the feeling that they are soaring like a bird in flight. The new suspended coaster will reach up to 44 miles per hour as it twists and turns through the park’s Serengeti Plain district. This ride’s height requirement is only 42 inches, allowing younger kids to experience their first large-scale coaster. Phoenix Rising is an excellent new family addition to the park that recently welcomed Iron Gwazi, one of the past decade’s most intense and acclaimed new coasters.

5 OF 10

Good Gravy!

WHERE: Holiday World, Santa Claus, Indiana

There is a lot to be grateful for this coaster season as Holiday World unveils its newest coaster, Good Gravy, a Thanksgiving-themed family coaster. This is North America’s first family-friendly boomerang coaster with a very accommodating 38-inch minimum height and max speeds of 37 mph. The delightful new addition to the park is now open to ride, taking the whole family up a reverse lift hill before soaring back through the station, through a cranberry sauce can, and meandering through twists and turns before doing it all in reverse. The new coaster includes plenty of great theme elements with a charming gravy boat train and larger-than-life whimsical touches, including a massive whisk, chicken timer, and a box of stuffing.

6 OF 10

THE FLASH: Vertical Velocity

WHERE: Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, New Jersey

Six Flags Great Adventure is about 1.5 hours from New York City. The park is home to a few incredible banner rides, namely Kingda Ka, the tallest and one of the fastest coasters in the world; and El Toro, an insanely intense wooden coaster. This year, the park adds THE FLASH: Vertical Velocity, the first super boomerang coaster in North America and only the second in the world. This is a multi-launch coaster with a launch that zooms riders through the station at speeds up to 59 mph. You’ll soar through four inversions with a total of 10 airtime moments, most notably a thrilling zero-g roll you’ll get to experience forwards and backward. No exact date on when this welcome new addition to the park is set to open, but there is hope it will be up and running before the end of summer.

7 OF 10

Iron Menace

WHERE: Dorney Park, Allentown, Pennsylvania

Dorney Park brings the thrilling dive coaster to the northeast with Iron Menace. Already in operation, this new dive coaster carts three rows of seven up 160 feet in the air before pausing for a brief break to marvel at the beyond-vertical 95-degree drop ahead. From there, gravity takes over as you reach speeds up to 64 mph and glide through four inversions, including a zero g-roll and tilted loop, the world’s first on a dive coaster. The new coaster fits well into Dorney Park’s array of thrills, which include the classic Steel Force and the surprising Talon.

8 OF 10

Georgia Surfer

WHERE: Six Flags Over Georgia, Austell, Georgia

This summer will see one giant splash of a thrill at Six Flags Over Georgia as the new Georgia Surfer catches its first waves. This innovative new ride is first of its kind in the world, combining elements of a spinning roller coaster and a water ride. The playful surfboard-styled train features two free-spinning gondolas reaching up to 60 mph with powerful forward and backward launches with up to -1g as you stall on the airtime hill. You’ll free spin through four interactive water feature moments and four airtime moments for one wild and soaked ride experience. While it will be clearly marked for spectators, venture too close to the ride, and you’ll wind up soaked in the splash zone.

9 OF 10

The Bobcat

WHERE: Six Flags Great Escape, Queensbury, New York

Lake George’s Six Flags Great Escape gets its first new coaster since 2003 this summer with The Bobcat. Add that New York state hasn’t had a new wooden coaster since 1999, and there is a lot of anticipation for the new family coaster. The new coaster is a first-of-its-kind in the Six Flags parks, with a smooth ride experience, upgraded trains for comfort, and tight turns for maximum G forces. This is not one of the new hybrid wooden coasters that have been popping up around the country; this is an old-fashioned, beautifully rendered family wooden coaster. The ride will reach speeds up to 40 mph as it zips through 1,412 feet of intertwining track and welcomes guests 42 inches and taller.

10 OF 10

Snoopy’s Soap Box Racers

WHERE: Kings Island, Mason, Ohio

Kings Island adds Snoopy’s Soap Box Racers, a new family coaster, to its renowned coaster lineup. The new coaster joins the park’s legendary Beast wooden coaster and massive giga coaster Orion as the park’s fifth family coaster and first family boomerang coaster. The new coaster begins with a backward ascent up a 70-foot hill before coasting down through the station into banked curves, bunny hills, and then up a hill to the finish line. From there, the train coasts backward, gliding through the track in reverse on its way back to the station. This new addition will be an anchor attraction at Kings Island’s new Camp Snoopy, a new area dedicated to the Peanuts gang and their family-friendly thrills