Top 16 for 2016: Best new rides at theme parks around the world


It already seems as though 2016 is shaping up as a great year for ride enthusiasts around the world: New theme parks are planned for Asia and the Middle East while several major attractions are in the works for Europe.

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Consider this a tentative and fluid list of new attractions on tap at international parks (outside the United States). As is often the case, some projects may get delayed while new ones will get announced.


Since it is still early, I’ll update my top 16 over the coming months as new projects are announced. Until then, here’s my list of the most anticipated rides for 2016:

1) Shanghai Disneyland

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

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

2) Ferrari Land

Spain’s PortAventura will add a second theme park called Ferrari Land that will be similar to the Abu Dhabi original.

The new park is expected to include a clone of Kingda Ka that is slightly taller and faster than the 456-foot-tall top hat coaster at Six Flags Great Adventure.

3) 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 3D screens.

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

4) Iron Man Experience

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

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

5) 20th Century Fox World Malaysia

The new 20th Century Fox World Malaysia theme park will feature 25 rides and attractions based on films like “Ice Age,” “Alien vs. Predator,” “Night at the Museum,” “Rio” and “Planet of the Apes.”

Don’t expect to see any attractions at the first Fox theme park based on the media giant’s biggest movie and television hits, including “Star Wars,” “Avatar,” “X-Men” and “The Simpsons.” Those properties are tied up by Disney and Universal parks.

6) Jurassic Park coaster

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

While Universal has not officially announced details about the ride, construction photos appear to show a Bolliger & Mabillard flying coaster.

7) Taron

While Phantasialand has announced plans to build the new Klugheim themed land, the German park has offered few additional details.

The Middle Ages-themed land is expected to include a combination roller coaster-dark ride called Taron with a drop section like Alton Tower’s Thirteen and a tilt track similar Universal Orlando’s Escape from Gingotts, according to Screamscape.

8) Power Splash

A first-of-its-kind 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.

9) 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.

10) ‘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.

11) 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.

12) 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.

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

13) 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.”

Speculation suggests the United Kingdom theme park could be planning a new ride based on a well-known intellectual property like Doctor Who, according to the Theme Parks UK website.

14) Mega coaster

Walibi Holland will build a 105-foot-tall Mack Rides Mega coaster, according to Roller Coaster Database.

The as-yet-unnamed steel coaster will be similar to Storm at Italy’s Etnaland and Alpina Blitz at France’s Nigloland.

15) Wooden coaster

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

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

16) 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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