Skip to main content
In depth

The Major Theme Park Rides of 2009

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.  

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
Terminator Salvation:
The Ride
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
"Saw –
The Ride"
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

Search for something

More from this author

Your web browser is out of date. Update your browser for more security, speed and the best experience on this site.

Find out how to update