Last updated: 09:28 AM ET, Tue August 16 2016

Celebrate National Roller Coaster Day On The Best New Coasters in America

Features & Advice | SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment | Erik Yates | August 16, 2016

Celebrate National Roller Coaster Day On The Best New Coasters in America

Photo courtesy of Universal Orlando

There are 739 unique roller coasters in the United States, and that list is constantly growing. Every year there are new roller coaster that you must see, and each year they bring something completely different and new to the table. For National Coaster Day, I’ve ranked the best new coasters in the U.S. These coasters have either opened this year, and stand out as the coolest, meanest new coasters in the United States

5. Valravn: Cedar Point Cedar Point’s newest scream machine takes a concept that works and goes bigger. Meet Valravn, the world’s tallest dive coaster. You go 223 feet in the air, before being dangled straight down and released. Your top speed is 75 mph, and the ride features three inversions. It’s not exactly the amazing hotness we normally expect from Cedar Point, but it’s a great addition to their coaster collection.

4. Mako: SeaWorld Orlando SeaWorld Orlando opened their first new coaster since 2009, with Manta. Mako does something that only SeaWorld can do: it mixes a shark conservation message with a thrilling coaster. The smooth-as-glass track takes guests 200 feet in the air, making it the tallest coaster in Orlando. The coaster delivers amazing air time, which features you coming out of your seat, as well as some great overbanked turns. It’s relentless, it’s fun, and it’s the perfect mix of thrills and a great message.

3. Cobra’s Curse: Busch Gardens Tampa This one is going to ssseem a bit ssstrange. It’sss a typical family spin coaster, and isss very tame by modern standards (OK, we’ll quit with the snake talk). However, it takes you forwards, backwards and finally lets you spin freely. The last huge turn really packs a punch, but it’s the queue experience that absolutely makes this ride. You’re on a construction site that has unearthed the legendary Snake King, when things start going horribly wrong. The Snake King was a bit of jerk, and he enslaved and punished those around him. Now you’re going to be punished for unleashing him. The line features snakes, amazing projections, and is air conditioned, which makes for a great break from the Florida heat.

2.The Incredible Hulk: Universal’s Islands of Adventure This one was tough to include on the list, but kind of necessary. The coaster itself was already iconic, looming large and roaring through the park. In fact, the roar of the coaster was so loud as it went through the track, that you could hear it over a mile away on quiet days. Unfortunately that part is gone, but it still roars, and features a soundtrack by Fall Out Boys’ Patrick Stump. The layout is the same as it was, but there are new trains, a new launch system, and all new track. Plus there’s a really cool new story to go along with it.

READ MORE: Comcast Buys Dreamworks: What Does It Mean For Universal Theme Parks?

2 (tie) The Joker: Six Flags Discovery Kingdom Again, hard to put on the list, but kind of necessary. The Joker took Roar at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, and gave it new life as a twisted, steel hybrid coaster. The new coaster takes the name from the DC Comics Villain and gives it a unique twist.

1.Lightning Rod: Dollywood This coaster has been wrought with problems, but when it’s up and running…wow. You simply can’t get any cooler, and unique than Lightning Rod at Dollywood. The coaster is the world’s first wooden launch coaster. Traditionally coasters use a chain lift hill, or cable. Steel coasters have been using LIM launches for decades, which take coasters and sling them up the hill. Now Dollywood and Rocky Mountain Coasters have done it using a wooden coaster. There were some problems with the launch, but as days go by those problems get increasingly worked out, and the result is nothing short of amazing. You get launched over the lift and into some really huge overbanked turns, before going down a huge airtime “step.” It’s a great addition to an ever growing little park.

Which coasters do you love? Let me know in the comments below! 


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