Hold On!

The Summer’s Craziest New Roller Coasters (PHOTOS)

Collect your courage and ride on one of this year’s new crop of amusement-park attractions—if you can survive the record-shattering speeds, mind-bending loops, and heart-stopping falls.

Don Helbig

Banshee, King's Island

Mason, Ohio


Traveling right-side up is overrated—and King's Island's Banshee is designed to keep riders upside-down for as long as possible. In fact, the ride has broken the record for being the world's longest inverted roller coaster, with seven inversions on more than 4,100 feet of track. If that weren't terrifying enough, picture it all happening at speeds of up to 68 mph.


Status: Open now.

Courtesy of MGM Resorts International

New England Skyscreamer, Six Flags New England

Agawam, Massachusetts


Swing rides are classic amusement-park staples, but they aren't always thought of as very thrilling. That changed with the debut of the New England SkyScreamer, the tallest swing ride in the world. Riders twirl around a spinning tower 400 feet in the air, at speeds of 35 to 40 mph. If you can think about something other than your flip-flopping stomach, you'll be able to see all the way to the Connecticut River.


Status: Open now.

Denise Truscello

El Loco, Adventuredome

Las Vegas, Nevada


The small, four-person cars of the El Loco allow for tighter twists, turns, and rolls. The whole thing starts with a hairpin turn that rolls into a greater-than-straight-down dive, so riders experience what coaster nerds call a "negative 1.5 vertical G"—what a normal rider would call that feeling of floating up out of your seat. Plus, the Las Vegas Adventuredome, located in Circus Circus, is all indoors, so you can't use the weather as an excuse to chicken out.


Status: Open now.

Denise Truscello

High Roller, The LINQ

Las Vegas, Nevada


It seems that there's always a new contender for the world's largest observation wheel, but at the moment, the title belongs to the newly opened High Roller in Las Vegas. At 550 feet tall, it edges out its closest competitor—the Singapore Flyer—by a mere nine feet. It’s a little more luxe than your standard town-carnival fare, too: riders step into one of 28 glass-enclosed, air-conditioned cabins, and take in the view of Las Vegas as the wheel makes a 30-minute-long rotation. (If you’re afraid of heights, may we suggest bringing along some Xanax?)


Status: Open now.

Courtesy of Luna Park

Thunderbolt, Luna Park

Brooklyn, New York


The Cyclone may be the most famous roller coaster at Coney Island, but the Thunderbolt—named after an old coaster that opened on the same spot in 1925—is making a run for the most terrifying ride in Brooklyn. The first new, custom-built coaster to come to Coney since 1927, the Thunderbolt has 2,000 feet of steel track and starts with a 90-degree lift followed by a 90-degree drop. (And watch out for a 100-foot vertical loop, too.)


Status: Open now.

Courtesy of Six Flags Entertainment

Goliath, Six Flags Great America

Gurnee, Illinois


We think of wooden roller coasters as retro relics, but Six Flags Great America's Goliath is a record-breaking timber ride that gives the steel coasters a run for their money. Not only is Goliath the fastest wooden roller coater out there, with top speeds of 72 mph, but it also has the tallest (180 feet) and steepest (85 degree) drop among its clapboard brethren. If that doesn't sound thrilling enough, it also makes two upside-down turns.


Status: Open now.

Courtesy of Six Flags Entertainment

Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom, Six Flags Great Adventure

Jackson, New Jersey


Six Flags Great Adventure is already home to Kingda Ka, the tallest, fastest roller coaster in North America. Apparently, those thrills weren't enough: This year, the park is building a new attraction into the face of the Kingda Ka roller coaster. When it opens, Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom will lift riders 415 into the air (in just 30 seconds, no less), then plummet down to ground level at 90 miles per hour. The height will make it the tallest drop tower in the world.


Status: Coming soon.

Busch Gardens Tampa

Falcon's Fury, Busch Gardens

Tampa, Florida 


At 335 feet tall, this drop ride is going to be a smidge shorter than Zumanjaro at Six Flags. So what's the fuss about? When it opens, Falcon's Fury will pivot riders 90 degrees in midair so that, when they make the 60 mph fall, they'll plunge face first. (Just try to keep your eyes open.)


Status: Coming soon.

Universal Orlando Resort

Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios

Orlando, Florida


It might not have the longest track, highest drop, or fastest cars, but the newest roller coaster to hit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will be an immersive experience. Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts—part of the new park expansion featuring Diagon Alley—will boast 360-degree sets, state-of-the-art projection and animation, and live special effects to make you feel like you’ve been transported into the movie. Hold on tight to those wands.


Status: Coming soon.


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