11 Things for Theme Park Fans to look forward to in 2011


Now that 2010 is behind us, we can look forward to the new year, and of course with a new year comes a new season for Theme Parks. Last year we saw a huge addition to a theme park, several new coasters and tons of add-ons to parks all over the world. This year, of course is no different. So here’s a look at 11 things to look forward to in 2011.

11.Texas Giant-Six Flags Over Texas: This big girl now has steel under her dress! The wooden coaster is undergoing a multi-million dollar overhaul to bring steel supports under the wooden track to hopefully make for a smoother ride. Add in the big bull horns on the hood of the Cadillac themed cars (Boss Hog in full form!) and we’re in. Now if they would only add a “Dixie” horn as you go up the lift hill and you’ve got it all. The renovation will give the coaster ten extra feet, and make that first drop a bit steeper at 78 degrees,

10.Windseeker-Cedar Point, Kings Island, Knotts Berry Farm, Canada’s Wonderland: When many thrill seekers heard of the new ride from the park chain that brought us Top Thrill Dragster they were all like “It’s a swing….LAME”. Then you get up to the monster and look up and realize, yeah it’s just a swing….but it’s a BIG ASS SWING! At 301 feet, the Windseeker will take riders up a huge tower, and spin the living bejeezus out of them for a while before sending them back down to earth to try to keep their lunch down.

9.The Grand Reef-Discovery Cove: Discovery Cove will unveil the parks first (and only) expansion since it opened in 2000. The Grand Reef will feature 2.5 acres of white sand beach, underwater grottoes, the chance to swim with sharks, rays and hundreds of tropical fish. By the sounds of things it will replace the current reef pool that is plagued with underground leaks. It will also offer an all new opportunity for guests to get as close to the marine life as they want with full helmet masks that will allow guests to walk on the pool floor.The park limits admission to 1000 people per day, and is an all inclusive experience meaning that the only thing you have to bring is your bathing suit.

8.Vanish Point-Water Country U.S.A.:Name-Kowalski. Occupation-Driver. Transporting a super-charged Dodge Challenger from Denver to San Francisco….errrr. Sorry wrong description. Water Country is taking on the most ambitious and least family friendly attraction on to date. A huge slide that drops you straight down. With two options, the first to lay down and kind of fall over the edge the next to step in and be dropped over the edge. Word of advice to the bikini watchers, stay at the bottom of this slide. Bikini tops become ear muffs!

7. Mach Tower&Germany Makeover-Busch Gardens Williamsburg:Mach Tower. Not the most themed of names, and in fact it sounds kind of generic for such a beautiful park with great names like Apollo’s Chariot, Griffon, and Loch Ness Monster. Seems to be a running trend in the park chain lately. But the park does deliver a huge 245 foot drop tower, the tallest ride in the park. And once you get to the top, the park tells us to “expect surprises”…which can only mean CANDY! Of course it would be hard to hold onto that candy as you’re dropped right back down. But the fun doesn’t end there, the entire Germany area is being transformed to include more shops, a Beer Garden area and more authentic German fun.

6. Green Lantern-Six Flags Magic Mountain&Great Adventure:Okay so I’m not all that excited about the movie…too silly looking for my tastes, but the Green Lantern Coasters, those are something to get excited for. Great Adventure is getting the B&M Standing coaster from Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom: CHANG. Magic Mountain is getting a 4th Dimension Zac Spin. It’s not as big and Extreme as X2, but it is sure to deliver some thrills as it zips along the 825′ foot track.

5,DareDevil Dive-Six Flags Over Georgia: You would think that with the WB branding Six Flags would automatically name this Gerstlauer Euro-Fighter to Bugs Bunny’s Cartoon featuring “Fearless Freep and his High Dive Act”. Too random? Think of it, a few dark scenes with Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam fighting it out, and the end a huge diving board with a crazy Sam sawing a tied Bugs off the board. This could be a killer coaster version of Dudley Do-Right! At any rate, Six Flags over Georgia is getting the always fun Euro-Fighters. These coasters always feature a vertical lift with a more than vertical drop. Add in some crazy banked turns and nutty rolls and this is sure to be a favorite at the park.

4.Cheetah Hunt-Busch Gardens Tampa:In 2010 Busch Gardens formally announced their all new coaster for 2011. It was going to be fast, it was going to be fierce, and according to the copyright office it was going to be named: CHEETAKA-Spirit of the Cheetah. What we got was a big “Nana Nana Boo Boo” from BGT marketing as they did an 11th hour name switch on the Intamin multi-launch coaster. Fans were outraged by the name Cheetah Hunt, especially since Busch Gardens is such an advocate of animal conservation, education and protection. Regardless of the stupid name the attraction is more than just a coaster, it’s a completely immersive look at one of Africa’s big cats, the Cheetah. It promises an experience like Manta and Jungala combined that gets you closer than ever before to the worlds fastest land animals.

3.Aerials Undersea Adventure-Disneyland:Part of the huge California Adventure retheme and Expansion, the dark ride based on the hit movie The Little Mermaid is coming to California first this year and promises to be classic Disney dark ride fun.Florida can look for their own version of it in 2012.

2.Star Tours 2-Disneyland/Disney Hollywood Studios:A long time ago in a galaxy far far away…….Disney and George Lucas got together and built the future of theme park attractions as it launched Star Tours. Now 3 movies, a cartoon show and many years later, the ride is finally getting the long promised overhaul which will bring the ride into the world of 3D simulators. The ride is going to have a “choose your own adventure” feel as the ride will never have the same adventure twice. You can expect to see this version open in May.

1.LegoLand Florida: Cypress Gardens is getting the boot, and the Legos are taking control as Winter Haven Florida is the home to the newest and biggest Legoland park in the world to date. The park will keep a few of the signature items that Cypress Gardens was known for such as the Ski Show. It will also keep a few of the parks existing coasters and introduce a whole new slew of Lego Miniatures. The park is aimed at the 12 and under crowd which has many critics wondering if it can families away from the Family Friendly Mecca Walt Disney World. The park is scheduled to open in October.

So what do you think? What is your most anticipated new attraction of 2011? Let us know in the comments below!