By Tracy Kahaner of Kahaner Research
There were plenty of headline-grabbers in the 2009 crop of new amusement park rides, such as the $22 million Diamondback "hypercoaster" at Kings Island, a magnetic launch coaster (iSpeed at Mirabilandia in Italy) and Manta, the combination flying coaster ride and marine life attraction at SeaWorld Orlando. Roller coasters themed after movies were also popular: Six Flags Magic Mountain opened the Terminator® Salvation™: The Ride! wooden coaster and Thorpe Park in the UK opened Saw – The Ride, a "Eurofighter" coaster.
Interactivity was the theme of the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit coaster that opened at Universal Studios Florida, and the Buccaneer Battle water ride that opened at Six Flags Great America. The Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit allows riders to choose a personal soundtrack while being filmed by their own individual camera for the duration of the ride, while Buccaneer Battle is a pirate themed water ride that allows participants to battle opposing ships with large, hand-pumped water pistols.
This list of rides that have opened at major theme parks this past year, is not meant to be all inclusive. Our criteria on whether or not to include a ride was based on data from the 2008 TEA/ERA Attraction Attendance Report. Rides that opened at theme parks listed are among the highest attended in the various geographic regions, as well as those parks that were in the top ten theme park chains, were included. Two exceptions: rides that have relocated from one park to another were excluded from this analysis, along with rides renovated and/or re-themed within a park. These exclusions include Carolina Cobra at the Carowinds park, which relocated from Geauga Lake, and the renovated Small World at Disneyland.
Typically, rides that are geared towards the very young child, known as Kiddie Rides, have been excluded from this data. However, those rides that are considered “Family” in nature are included. As an example, of the several rides that were built in the new Sesame Street themed area of Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Grover’s Alpine Express is the only one included.
Both the Happy Valley parks included in this listing have opened this year. Hence the reason for four rides at the park in Chengdu and the five rides at the park in Shanghai. The Happy Valley park in Chengdu opened in Janaury 17, 2009 and the Happy Valley park in Shanghai opened August 6, 2009.
Kahaner Research obtains the figures used to create this report through a variety of sources including ride manufacturers and park operators.
|RIDES THAT OPENED AT PARKS WITHIN TOP THEME PARK CHAINS DURING 2009|
|Name of Ride||Park||Location||Description||Manufacturer||Opening Date||Cost||Capacity (persons per hour)|
|Tornado||Bakken||Copenhagen, Denmark||Spinning Coaster||Intamin AG||April 9, 2009||n/a||n/a|
|Grover’s Alpine Express||Busch Gardens Europe||Williamsburg, Virginia||Family Roller Coster||Zierer||April 3, 2009||n/a||n/a|
|Carolina Cobra||Carowinds||Charlotte, North Carolina||Boomerang, Multi-element Shuttle Roller Coaster||Vekoma Rides Manufacturing B.V.||March 28, 2009||Relocated from Geauga Lake & Wildwater Kindom.||760|
|Falcon||Duinrell||Holland, Netherlands||Eurofighter Roller Coaster||Gerstlauer Amusement Rides GmbH||May 14, 2009||Built in 2007||850|
|Blue Fire Megacoaster||Europa-Park||Rust Germany||Combination Dark Ride and Launched Roller Coaster||MACK Rides GmbH & Co KG||April 3, 2009||n/a||1, 720|
|Dive Coaster||Happy Valley||Shanghai, China||Dive Roller Coaster||Bolliger & Mabillard (B & M)||August 6, 2009||n/a||n/a|
|Dragon in Clouds||Happy Valley||Chengdu, China||Inverted Roller Coaster||Vekoma Rides Manufacturing B.V.||January 19, 2009||n/a||1, 125|
|Dragon in Snowfield||Happy Valley||Chengdu, China||Mine Train Roller Coaster||Vekoma Rides Manufacturing B.V.||January 19, 2009||n/a||1, 600|
|Fireball||Happy Valley||Shanghai, China||Wooden Roller Coaster||The Gravity Group, LLC||July 28, 2009||n/a||n/a|
|Fly Over Mediterranean||Happy Valley||Chengdu, China||Megalite Roller Coaster||Intamin AG||January 19, 2009||n/a||820|
|LeLe’s Chariot||Happy Valley||Shanghai, China||Family Roller Coaster||Unknown||August 6, 2009||n/a||n/a|
|Madrats||Happy Valley||Chengdu, China||Spinning Roller Coaster||Vekoma Rides Manufacturing B.V.||January 19, 2009||n/a||1, 125|
|Mega–Lite||Happy Valley||Shanghai, China||Roller Coaster||Intamin AG||August 6, 2009||n/a||n/a|
|Mine Train Coaster||Happy Valley||Shanghai, China||Mine Train Roller Coaster||Intamin AG||October, 2009||n/a||n/a|
|Spinning Coaster||Happy Valley||Shanghai, China||Wild Mouse Roller Coaster||Antonio Zamperla S.p.A.||August 6, 2009||n/a||n/a|
|Diamondback||Kings Island||Kings Mills, Ohio||Hyper Roller Coaster||Bolliger & Mabillard (B & M)||April 18, 2009||$22.0 million USD||1, 620|
|Hanghai||Liseberg||Gothenburg, Sweden||Swing and Spin Ride||Antonio Zamperla S.p.A.||Summer, 2009||n/a||n/a|
|Rabalder||Liseberg||Gothenburg, Sweden||Family Roller Coaster||Zierer||April 25, 2009||n/a||n/a|
|iSpeed||Mirabilandia||Ravenna, Italy||LSM Launch Roller Coaster||Intamin AG||June 20, 2009||15.0 million||n/a|
|Vrtigo||Parque de Atracciones de Madrid||Madrid, Spain||Wild Mouse Roller Coaster||MACK Rides GmbH & Co KG||May 15, 2009||Relocated from Bobbejaanland||1, 120|
|Correcaminos Bip, Bip||Parque Warner Madrid||Madrid, Spain||Family Roller Coaster||MACK Rides GmbH & Co KG||May 16, 2009||n/a||1, 000|
|Manta||SeaWorld Orlando||Orlando, Florida||Combination flying coaster and marine-life attraction||Bolliger & Mabillard (B & M)||May 22, 2009||n/a||1, 500|
|Buccaneer Battle||Six Flags Great America||Gurnee, Illinois||Interactive Water Raft Ride||MACK Rides GmbH & Co KG||May 15, 2009||n/a||n/a|
|Six Flags Magic Mountain||Valencia, California||Wooden Themed Roller Coaster With High-tech Special Effects||Great Coasters International (CGI)||May 23, 2009||$10.0 million USD||n/a|
|Dark Night||Six Flags Mexico||Mexico City, Mexico||Indoor Wild Mouse Roller Coaster||MACK Rides GmbH & Co KG||March 19, 2009||Originally built for Six Flags New England at a cost of $7.5 million||n/a|
|Thorpe Park||Surrey, England, UK||Eurofighter Themed Roller Coaster||Gerstlauer Amusement Rides GmbH||March 14, 2009||13.5 million||1, 100|
|Monsters, Inc Ride & Go Seek!"||Tokyo Disneyland||Tokyo, Japan||Dark Ride||Designer: Walt Disney Imagineering||April 15, 2009||n/a||n/a|
|Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit||Universal Orlando||Orlando, Florida||Roller Coaster where rides can pick their own soundtrack||Designer: Maurer Shne GmbH & Co. KG||August 19, 2009||$45.0 million USD||1, 850|
|Prowler||Worlds of Fun||Kansas City, Mo||Wooden Roller Coaster||Great Coasters International (CGI)||May 2, 2009||$8.0 million USD||850|