Top Amusement Park Attractions 2014
By PF Wilson
Summer is almost here and that means baseball, cookouts, and amusement parks. Here are the top-ten rides and attractions park goers can look forward to in 2014.
Busch Gardens, Tampa, Florida
Opening May 1, 2014, this drop tower ride stands at 335 feet and features a 90 degree mid-air turn. It will be the featured attraction in the Pantopia section of the park, formerly Timbuktu.
Dollywood, Piegon Forge, Tennessee
Described as the nation’s first dual launch family coaster, this thrill ride launches riders forward and backward. The theme celebrates those who fight fires in the Smokey Mountains that surround the park.
Tea Cups, Sweet Thing, Cocoa Cruiser
Hershey Park, Hershey, Pennsylvania
Three new rides come to Hershey Park in Hershey, PA for the 2014 season highlighted by the Cocoa Cruiser, a kid-friendly coaster. The park will also add a tea cup ride as well as a new swing ride called Sweet Thing.
Holiday World, Santa Claus, Indiana
Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari in Santa Claus, Indiana welcome the newest addition to the park’s Thanksgiving section as Mayflower (pictured above) debuts in spring 2014. This classic swing ride, inspired by the Pilgrims journey to the new world, swings riders on a 54 foot arc. The park suggests going back for a night ride as to enjoy the ride’s spectacular display.
Kentucky Kingdom, Louisville, Kentucky
Kentucky Kingdom opens its gates for the first time since 2009 with the addition of several new rides including the Lightning Run rollercoaster. Other new additions include Fearfall, a drop-style ride and Professor John’s Flying Machines, a swing ride. Fearfall stands at 2,500 feet with a 100 foot free-fall drop that accelerates riders to a speed of 55 mph.
Kings Island, Cincinnati, Ohio
The world’s largest inverted roller coaster, Banshee, opens at Kings Island, 20 miles north of Cincinnati, in the spring of 2014. Built by world-famous coaster design firm Bolliger & Mabillard, Banshee will plunge riders 150 feet and take them through seven inversions as they reach a top speed of 68 mph.
Zumajaro: Drop of Doom
Six Flags Great Adventure , Jackson, New Jersey
The world’s tallest drop tower, Zumanjaro, opens at Six Flags Great Adventure in spring 2014. The ride will take riders up 415 feet, before plunging them down at 90 mph. Zumanjaro will be part of the same structure that contains the Kingda Ka roller coaster. Located halfway between Philadelphia and New York City, and just east of Trenton, New Jersey, Great Adventure is one of the most popular amusement parks in the Northeast.
Six Flags Great America , Gurnee, Illinois
Goliath, opening this year at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois, doesn’t break a single record—it breaks 3! It will be the fastest wooden coaster in the world, with the tallest and steepest drop. Riders will thunder through twists and turns including over-banked turns as well as a 180-degree zero G-roll twist.
Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal City, California
Minion Mayhem opened at Universal Studios Florida in 2012. In 2014, sister park Universal Studios Hollywood will get its own version. A motion simulator ride, the two will be identical.
Northern Lights and new Route 76 area
Valley Fair, Shakopee, Minnesota
Minnesota’s Valley Fair amusement park opens a whole new section called Route 76 in 2014. The center-piece will be the family coaster Northern Lights. The ride moves back and forth on 300 feet of track, as the ride car turns independently. The Route 76 area will be a nostalgic trip back to the year the park first opened, 1976.
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Orlando, Florida
As part of the expansion of Fantasyland, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train will debut in the Magic Kingdom in spring 2014. Though built by world-famous coaster design company Vekoma from The Netherlands, the ride will be family-friendly with a maximum height of just over 3 feet. Like other rides in the park, Big Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain for example, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train will feature both indoor and outdoor elements.
Worlds of Fun, Kansas City, Missouri
Standing at a height of 301 feet, SteelHawk is a swing ride that will tilt riders at a 45-degree angle and will make 8 rotations per minute. The ride will be located in the Americana section of the park.
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