North American parks have plenty of new thrills on the way in the form of roller coasters for the 2014 season. There will be updates to old classics, new takes on tried and true concepts, some highly themed attractions that will incorporate coaster experiences, and a continuation of the trend to re-imagine wooden coasters.
There will be some records broken, but the really big news might have to wait until at least 2015. Height thresholds may be shattered by proposed Polercoasters, a new concept that combines observation towers and coasters. Developers are pitching projects in Georgia, Las Vegas, and Florida, among other places. You can read about Polercoasters in my article about the world's tallest coaster planned for Florida.
Some pretty wonderful rides will open in 2014, however. New roller coasters are listed by state. Canada and Mexico follow at the end. Get yourself revved up by learning about what's coming. I'll see you at the parks!
California: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland
It's not new, but Disneyland's classic mine train ride will be getting a new track, new trains, and new scenery when it reopens in 2014. As has been the case recently with some other attractions at The Mouse, interactive elements will be introduced into the queue to make waiting in line less onerous.
California: New Kiddie Coaster and More at Six Flags Magic Mountain
As part of its Fright Fest Halloween event, Six Flags Magic Mountain has been running its wooden coaster, Colossus, backwards. In 2014, visitors to the park will be able to face the wrong direction on the dual-track coaster stating in the spring. The inverted Batman: The Ride coaster will also feature backwards-facing seating for a limited time during the season. A small kiddie coaster (which will raise the park's coaster count to an incredible 19) is also scheduled to open in a spruced-up Bugs Bunny World.
Florida: Gringotts Coaster at Universal Studios Florida
Florida: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at the Magic Kingdom
Now open! Read my full review of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
The final phase of the New Fantasyland expansion at Disney World's Magic Kingdom will be completed in 2014 when its centerpiece attraction, The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Ride, opens. Passengers will heigh-ho along with the Snow White characters in unique coaster cars that will swing from side to side.
A new breed of hybrid wood-steel thrill machines, such as 2013's Iron Rattler, makes it possible for woodies to include features such as inversions. Goliath will continue that trend and will break the record for the world's fastest, tallest, and steepest wooden roller coaster. But is it really a wooden coaster?
Kentucky: Lightning Run at Kentucky Kingdom
Maryland: Ragin' Cajun at Six Flags America
An off-the-shelf spinning Wild Mouse ride, Ragin' Cajun will be new to Six Flags America, but it is not a new coaster. The ride was previously at Six Flags Great America where it was also known as Ragin' Cajun.
Nevada: El Loco at Adventuredome
New Hampshire: Roar-O-Saurus at Story Land
If you don't believe that good things come in small packages, you haven't ridden Wooden Warrior, an incredible, if compact, woodie in Connecticut. The same manufacturer will build a similar ride at the charming Story Land in New Hampshire's White Mountains. Boasting innovative Timberliner trains, this should be one heckuva coaster.
It will pay homage (at least in name) to the circa-1925 wooden coaster that once graced the boardwalk at Coney Island, but the Thunderbolt that will open in 2014 at the seaside amusement shrine will be an entirely different ride. The newfangled coaster will include an intriguing vertical elevator lift tower.