2021 New Rides & Attractions: Roller Coaster Roundup
Great Coasters International
Bollywood Parks Dubai
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Bollywood Parks Dubai’s “Bombay Express” is the first wooden coaster built in the region and the first coaster Great Coasters International has built in the Middle East.
“All of our rides and attractions at Bollywood Parks Dubai are inspired by, and named after, famous and well-known places, experiences, films, and people from India,” says John Charles, vice president of marketing at Dubai Parks and Resorts. He adds the new ride is “an unforgettable coaster experience for even the bravest.”
Skyline Attractions has also worked with Great Coasters International to bring “Bombay Express” to life.
Gerstlauer Amusement Rides GmbH
Luna Park Sydney
Milsons Point, New South Wales, Australia
It’s been 26 years since Luna Park Sydney built and opened a new roller coaster, so in 2021 the park’s making up for the timespan by opening three coasters. The new Gerstlauer shuttle coaster named “Boomerang” serves a special purpose: appealing to families.
“‘Boomerang’ is our family roller coaster, which drops, twists, turns, and then does it all again—backward!” says Mark Dibblin, the park’s general manager of operations. “It’s suitable for families of all ages, one of our key audience sets. It provides a thrilling experience across all our core demographics. Everyone loves a roller coaster, especially when situated right on Sydney Harbor with impeccable views.”
Fly with Flap
Doha Oasis Quest
“We wanted to give our guests a unique and unprecedented experience—sitting in a single-seat vehicle gliding above the park is surely a thrilling adventure,” says Zeina Al Masri, marketing and sales director of Doha Oasis Quest in Qatar, about “Fly with Flap,” the park’s new Extreme Engineering Cloud Coaster. She adds that as riders roam 60 feet high on the suspended coaster, they’ll get a bird’s-eye view of the indoor theme park. Guests as short as 40 inches tall can ride in the single-seat cars suspended beneath the track.
Jersey Devil Coaster
Rocky Mountain Construction
Six Flags Great Adventure
Jackson, New Jersey, United States
Lurking in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey—known as the Garden State—is anything but natural … at least according to sinister legend of the Jersey Devil.
Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey, opened one of the largest single-rail coasters from Rocky Mountain Construction (RMC) this summer. Separated from the rest of the park by native landscaping, Six Flags Great Adventure embraced its natural location to weave a story around the new “Jersey Devil Coaster.”
“You get on top of the lift and see the trees and lake by your side, it’s a Jersey proud moment,” says Michael Reitz, P.E., corporate engineer at Six Flags. The orange track is a stark contrast to the green foliage of the trees surrounding the ride, where the fabled Jersey Devil (think Sasquatch with wings) hides. The 130-foot-tall roller coaster sits 12 riders low in single-file style cars that race at speeds of 58 mph. “It’s a totally different feeling and very smooth,” says Kristin Fitzgerald, marketing and public relations manager with Six Flags Great Adventure.
Intamin Amusement Rides
In 2014, Walibi Belgium started formulating a master plan to revitalize the park, which went into effect in 2016 and has continued onward into 2021 with the opening of “Kondaa,” a brand-new Mega Coaster model built by Intamin Amusement Rides. Standing at 164 feet tall and traveling at speeds reaching 70 mph, “Kondaa” is one of the Benelux’s highest, fastest, and longest steel roller coasters.
“We hope to attract a new kind of public to the park,” says Jean-Christophe Parent, CEO of Walibi Belgium. “We already have a wooden coaster, an inverted coaster, a launched coaster. But what we missed was a roller coaster with a lot of airtime moments. ‘Kondaa’ is a real airtime machine. We also focused on the evolution of technology and computer calculations to create track elements which are original and innovative.”
Martin & Vleminckx
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
Visitors to Sea World in Queensland will be treated to the first new wood coaster to open in Australia since 1985. “Leviathan” is the marquee attraction of the park’s New Atlantis section.
“We have worked closely with manufacturer Martin & Vleminckx on the design of the ride. Guests will experience a thundering 90-second quest across wooden terrain, through exhilarating banked turns, crossovers, drops, and dips as they conquer the ‘Leviathan,’” says Bikash Randhawa, chief operating officer of Village Roadshow Theme Parks.
Chuck Bingham, a partner at Martin & Vleminckx, says the last coach of the ride’s two trains are reversed, allowing guests to ride backward, which he says is a first for a wood coaster.
Bolliger & Mabillard
Gröna Lund park in Stockholm, Sweden, approached Bolliger & Mabillard (B&M) about building a new inverted coaster on a constricted site surrounded by other attractions, and Peter Osbeck, the park’s longtime senior ride manager, reveals, “When B&M came here, they said they’d have to check and see if it was possible to fit it into the space. Everywhere, the coaster comes very close to other things in the park, which makes it exciting.” B&M engineered underground passageways and huge columns in four places to reduce the total number of support columns needed to hold up track pieces. “They are 10 feet in diameter, and they hold a lot of track,” Osbeck says. It took three years to complete this brilliantly tight installation, but when “Monster” opened this June, riders were treated to its wonderfully interwoven design.
Now You See Me: High Roller
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Motiongate Dubai’s Lionsgate Zone will be home to a spinning coaster from Maurer Rides, based on the twists and turns of the popular heist thriller franchise “Now You See Me.”
“The record-breaking coaster aims to reimagine the whole coaster experience for visitors to a more immersive one,” says Denis Pascal, general manager of Motiongate Dubai in Dubai Parks and Resorts.
He adds that “Now You See Me: High Roller” is designed to be imaginative, immersive, and extravagant to make riders feel they’re living the movie and to generate many repeat rides from teens and adults.
Vekoma Rides Manufacturing B.V.
Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park
Brooklyn, New York, United States
Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park in Brooklyn, New York, began preparing for a new roller coaster in 2018 with the purchase of needed land. Park co-owner D.J. Vourderis recalls that Vekoma Rides Manufacturing B.V. proposed the custom design for the coaster at IAAPA Expo 2019, and a deal was struck for the suspended family coaster, later named “Phoenix.” “Its opening is a perfect way to ring in our 100th season,” he says. “While the pandemic prevented us from opening at all in 2020, we forged ahead with the project. Why? Not because it made financial sense—it absolutely did not. We persisted because, like so many during the last year, we didn’t know what to do. We only knew what we could do, and that is provide a place where people can learn to smile again. After such a dark time locked inside our pandemic bubbles and the world seeming more fractured than ever, ‘Phoenix’ is a fiery light of hope.”
Rowdy Bear Ridge Adventure Park
Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, United States
Rowdy Bear Ridge Adventure Park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, wanted to build a mountain coaster for its guests, but there was just one problem: The elevation of the terrain simply wouldn’t allow for a typical alpine coaster. But the park discovered that Wiegand had a solution. “The ‘Power Coaster’ accelerates without the need for gravity,” says Mark Williford, the park’s founder/owner. “It’s the preferred choice when little or no slope exists. Our customers also enjoy being able to control the acceleration.”
The park’s new “Power Coaster” is the first Wiegand CoasterKart model to open in the United States and utilizes linear induction motor (LIM) launches instead of drops from a lift hill. The two-seater carts resemble the roadsters of yesteryear, with round headlights and floating fenders. They also run on rubber tires, another unique feature.
Coomera, Queensland, Australia
Dreamworld is emerging from the COVID-19 shutdowns with a new ride for its guests in late 2021. “Steel Taipan,” the park says, is the first triple-launch coaster in the Southern Hemisphere. The ride gets its name from the large and highly venomous taipan snake that slithers through some coastal areas of Australia.
“As Dreamworld’s biggest ever investment in a single attraction, we were committed to choosing what would ultimately be Australia’s best and most unique roller coaster,” says Karla Judge, head of marketing for the park. Custom elements include a triple launch system and a spinning car positioned on the rear of the roller coaster train.
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
Powell, Ohio, United States
Ohio’s Columbus Zoo and Aquarium has the distinction of offering zoo guests more than a dozen amusement rides and attractions. In 2021, the zoo adds to its collection with the opening of a 1,066-foot-long Zamperla wild mouse twister coaster named “Tidal Twist.” Jen Fields, the zoo’s director of communications, shares how the zoo positioned the new coaster to inspire new visitation.
“Some families visit the zoo every year and always ride the train, but they primarily visit for the animals,” Fields says. “Our Gold Membership includes unlimited rides throughout the year, which results in some members making visits exclusively to ride the rides. As such, our individual rides are typically the draw of purchasing ride tickets or the Zoo More wristband, so adding a bigger attraction [like ‘Tidal Twist’] generates more interest.”
What guests may not realize is that these many ride ticketing options are interconnected with the zoo’s primary focus. Funds generated from the rides help support the zoo’s operations, furthering its efforts to conserve animal species and fulfill its mission to lead and inspire by connecting people to wildlife.
Martin & Vleminckx
Jinan Sunac Land
Jinan, Shandong, China
Jinan Sunac Land planned to open no less than five roller coasters in 2021, including “Wooden Dragons,” a custom-designed 2,644-foot-long wood coaster manufactured by Martin & Vleminckx. Martin & Vleminckx applauded its team in China for pressing forward with the construction of the ride during the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to a May opening. The rides company says it worked with a few subcontractors on the ride, including The Gravity Group for the ride layout and Gravitykraft for the Timberliner trains. “Martin & Vleminckx is proud to offer unique and tailor-made wood coasters that fit the needs of each customer,” says Chuck Bingham, a partner in the company. The ride’s theming represents the myth of the “The Great Fish that Destroyed a Ship.”
- Read more Funworld content on an additional new roller coaster, Universal’s Island of Adventure’s “Jurassic World VelociCoaster," at IAAPA.org/news/universal-orlando-takes-coasters-next-level