32 best new theme park additions of 2016


Looking ahead to 2016, theme parks around the world are planning to add a host of new attractions designed to thrill ride enthusiasts.

Consider this a tentative and fluid list of new attractions on tap across the globe. As is often the case, some projects may get delayed while new ones get announced.

Let’s take a look at the 32 most-anticipated additions planned for 2016 at theme parks close to home, across the United States and around the world.


1) Shanghai Disneyland

The $5.5-billion Shanghai Disney resort will feature a Magic-Kingdom-style theme park, two hotels and a Downtown Disney shopping center.

A 10-minute boat ride around Fantasyland will depart from inside the park’s Storybook Castle, the largest and tallest of all of Disney’s turreted icons.

2) Wizarding World of Harry Potter


Universal Studios Hollywood plans a spring debut for the highly-anticipated West Coast version of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

The new themed land is expected to be a carbon copy of the Orlando, Fla., original with one significant twist -- the marquee Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey attraction will feature 3-D technology.

3) Skull Island: Reign of Kong

The next generation of King Kong attractions at Universal Orlando will take riders into the jungle island home of the gargantuan beast rather than bring the colossal ape to civilization as a chained captive.

The Skull Island: Reign of Kong dark ride at the Islands of Adventure theme park will combine massive 3-D screens, larger-than-life physical sets and huge animatronic figures.


4) Iron Man Experience

The $100-million Iron Man Experience coming to Hong Kong Disneyland will be similar to Disney’s Star Tours simulator ride.

Riders will fly alongside Iron Man as he battles alien invaders in the sky above Hong Kong.

5) Frozen Ever After


Frozen Ever After replaces the Maelstrom water ride in the Norway pavilion at Disney’s Epcot Center in Florida.

Based on the “Frozen” film, the new boat ride is expected to take visitors to Arendelle and Elsa’s ice palace during a Winter in Summer celebration.

6) Lightning Rod

Dollywood’s newest ride is being billed as both the world’s first launched wooden coaster and the world’s fastest wooden coaster.

The hot rod-themed Lightning Rod coaster built by Rocky Mountain Construction will feature 12 airtime hills, taking advantage of the Tennessee theme park’s terrain.


7) Joker

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom plans to transform the existing Roar wooden coaster into a taller, faster and steeper wood-steel hybrid dubbed the Joker.

The renovated coaster will feature 15 airtime hills, three inversions and a world’s first element called a “step-up under-flip inverted roll” that twists riders upside down as they head uphill before emptying them into a 270-degree hairpin turn.

8) Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters


After a little more than two years in service, the beleaguered Luigi’s Flying Tires at Disney California Adventure will be replaced by an entirely new ride.

Concept art of the new Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters attraction released by Disney shows riders in classic cars zooming around an enclosed course free of a track or turntable.

9) SFX coaster

Abu Dhabi’s Ferrari World will add an indoor-outdoor coaster with multiple launches and inversions.

The Dynamic Attractions SFX coaster will feature drop- and tilt-track sections as well as 3-D screens.


Ferrari World also plans to open the biplane-themed Flying Aces attraction, which promises to be the world’s steepest coaster with the world’s tallest loop.

10) Storm Chaser

Kentucky Kingdom will convert a portion of the existing Twisted Twins dueling coaster into a hybrid ride with multiple inversions.

Renovated by Rocky Mountain Construction, Storm Chaser will feature a barrel roll first drop that looks simply amazing.


11) Taron

Germany’s Phantasialand is building a new themed land called Klugheim.

The Middle-Ages-themed land includes a combination roller coaster/dark ride called Taron which is expected to include a drop section like Alton Tower’s Thirteen and a tilt track similar to Universal Orlando’s Escape from Gringotts.

12) Pulsar

A first-of-its-kind Pulsar attraction coming to Walibi Belgium will feature a U-shaped shuttle-coaster-style track submerged in a lake.

The boats on the multi-launch Mack Rides Power Splash will reach 60 mph as they careen forward and backward through the splash zone between two vertical track spikes.


13) ‘Hunger Games’ attraction

A “Hunger Games” attraction will be part of a Lionsgate land at the new Motiongate Dubai theme park opening in 2016.

The Lionsgate land will also include a stage featuring shows based on the “Step Up” dance crew film series.

14) Valravn


Cedar Point’s 17th roller coaster will be a Bolliger & Mabillard Dive Machine called Valravn.

The new ride is being billed as the world’s tallest, fastest and longest dive coaster.

15) Wildfire

The triple inversion Wildfire wooden coaster will be built by Rocky Mountain Construction at Sweden’s Kolmarden Wildlife Park, located about 90 minutes southwest of Stockholm.

Wildfire is set to become one of the tallest (187 feet), steepest (83 degrees) and fastest (70 mph) wooden coasters in the world.


16) Total Mayhem

The Total Mayhem fourth-dimension roller coaster coming to Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey will feature seats that spin forward and backward as the train navigates a zigzagging track with undulating straightaways and free-fall drops.

Built on a relatively compact footprint, the 4-D Free Spin coaster by Utah-based S&S Worldwide snakes back and forth on a serpentine track like a demonic pachinko game.

17) Flying Dinosaur

Universal Studios Japan plans to build the “greatest dinosaur ride in the world” in the Jurassic Park area of the park.


The Flying Dinosaur will be a Bolliger & Mabillard flying coaster featuring a 124-foot drop.

18) Mako

The 200-foot-tall Mako coaster coming to SeaWorld Orlando will be the centerpiece of a two-acre shark exhibit with an underwater theme.

The 73-mph Bolliger & Mabillard hyper coaster will feature nine airtime hills and a custom-made musical score.


19) Cobra’s Curse

The elevator-style vertical lift hill of Cobra’s Curse at Busch Gardens Tampa puts riders face to face with an 80-foot-tall serpent statue.

The former King Tut’s Tomb walk-through attraction will be reused as the queue for the new Mack Rides spinning coaster.

20) ‘Frozen’ musical

A “Frozen” musical based on the wildly popular 2013 animated movie will replace the long-running “Aladdin” at Disney California Adventure.


The new production promises musical numbers, elaborate costumes, scenic transformations, special effects and theatrical twists.

21) EA video games

North Carolina’s Carowinds and California’s Great America will partner with EA video games to create 3-D interactive attractions inside theaters with motion-based seats.

The Carowinds attraction will be based on the science fiction-themed Mass Effect game while the Great America version will pit laser-gun-wielding players against each other in the garden warfare Plants vs. Zombies attraction.


22) The Monster

The Monster coaster coming to Adventureland will feature a vertical lift hill, 101-degree beyond-vertical first drop and five inversions, including an Immelmann and a pair of dive loops.

The new Gerstlauer Infinity steel coaster will replace the small Iowa amusement park’s log ride.

23) GaleForce

The GaleForce triple-launch coaster coming to Playland’s Castaway Cove in New Jersey starts with a forward-backward-forward sequence to get the 12-person ride vehicle up to 64 mph.


The 125-foot-tall S&S Worldwide ride features a 100-degree beyond-vertical drop and multiple inversions, including a corked roll and a raven dive.

24) Phobia Phear

The vertically-oriented Phobia Phear triple-launch coaster coming to Connecticut’s Lake Compounce will sit on a compact footprint but pack a sizeable punch.

Identical versions of the Premier Rides SkyRocket II coaster can be found at Busch Gardens Williamsburg (Tempesto) and Six Flags Discovery Kingdom (Superman Ultimate Flight).


25) Ninjago land

Legoland California will add a new themed area based a line of ninja-inspired Lego toys and a spin-off television show.

Located near the Imagination Zone, the new Ninjago land will feature a first-of-its-kind ride and interactive elements.

26) New Revolution

Six Flags Magic Mountain will remove the universally despised over-the-shoulder restraints on the Revolution roller coaster and replace them with modern snug-fitting lap bars in 2016.


In honor of Revolution’s 40th anniversary, the Valencia amusement park will give the track a new paint job, update the aging station, install new trains on the existing coaster chassis and add the new restraints similar to the ones used on Full Throttle and Twisted Colossus. The renovated ride will be renamed New Revolution.

27) GhostRider restoration

Knott’s Berry Farm plans a full restoration of the aging GhostRider wooden coaster as part of a 75th anniversary celebration of the Ghost Town area of the Buena Park theme park.

Great Coasters International will re-track and re-profile the 4,500-foot-long course and add new mine-car-themed Millennium Flyer trains.


28) Legoland Dubai

Lego will continue to spread its theme park brand around the globe with the debut of Legoland Dubai in 2016.

Future parks are planned for South Korea and Japan in 2017.

29) Lost Kingdom

The United Kingdom’s Paultons Park will add a pair of family coasters as part of a new dinosaur-themed land called the Lost Kingdom.

Built by Vekoma, the Raptor will be an inversionless version of the ride maker’s venerable Boomerang shuttle coaster while Flight of the Pterosaur, also built by Vekoma, will be a junior suspended coaster.


30) Project Whitechapel

Construction is under way at Thorpe Park on a dark ride code-named Project Whitechapel with a teaser website promising to reveal a “dark secret.”

The United Kingdom theme park announced that illusionist and hypnotist Derren Brown will be involved in what’s being described as the world’s first immersive psychological attraction.

31) Timber


Ohio-based Gravity Group will build the new Timber wooden roller coaster at Walibi Rhone-Alpes.

The French park held a contest to name the new ride which will feature trains designed to look like a woodcutter’s shoes.

32) Wing coaster

A Bolliger & Mabillard wing coaster is heading to Hot Go park in northern China, according to the Vertical Horizons website.

The year-old park is already home to a wooden coaster, a relatively rare ride in the fast-expanding Chinese theme park market.



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