Speculation on Cedar Fair’s 2018 Mystery Coasters
UPDATE: The 2018 Cedar Fair Coasters have been announced! Our speculations weren’t perfect, but we did come close(ish). The “new type of coaster” is indeed a Raptor, but it’s not coming to Knott’s, it’s coming to California’s Great America as RailBlazer! Knott’s is getting a new coaster though, like we guessed, and it’s from one of the companies we thought it could be. They’re getting the first coaster with an over 90 degree drop in California, a Gerstlauer Infinity coaster called HangTime! As for the other Cedar Fair coaster announcements, they were pretty great too, with RMCs Twisted Timbers coming to King’s Dominion and the record breaking Steel Vengeance coming to Cedar Point. You can check out our full list of 2018 Cedar Fair announcements here, and our discussion on what was announced here.
Last week, during Cedar Fair’s first quarter earnings call, the company confirmed that there would be four new roller coasters in the chain debuting in 2018. While two of those coasters are all but officially confirmed at this point, the other two remain a mystery.
There were two hints given on the call about these new coasters. One was said to be an all-new coaster design, and the other will be manufactured by a company that Cedar Fair has worked with in the past, but hasn’t worked with in recent years. Obviously, these are two intriguing hints that will drive the enthusiast community crazy as they try to figure out what Cedar Fair has up their sleeve for 2018.
While we have truly no idea what else in store for 2018, we wanted to jump into the speculation on the all-new coaster design, the manufacturer with a rekindled relationship, and also try to place where these two mystery coasters will reside.
“A Completely New Type of Coaster…”
Rocky Mountain Construction’s Raptor Track
When reading this phrase, my mind immediately jumps to RMC and their new Raptor track. Last week, the company made several references to Raptor track on their Facebook page, including the fabrication of the track, and noting that a Raptor “test track” and all-new ride vehicle were in production at their Idaho headquarters.
The below video shows the capabilities of the Raptor track.
I found the below screen capture within the video fairly interesting, as it shows a proposed layout, along with footprint size of 75′ x 250′. A very compact layout for 1700′ of track. For reference, that’s a similar footprint to a Vekoma Boomerang. (More on that later.)
But what if it isn’t an RMC Raptor Track? I think another possibility could be Skyline Attractions’ new “Skywarp” concept.
Unveiled at IAAPA 2016, the Skywarp stands just over 60 feet tall, and has a compact footprint of just 30 by 120 feet, making it ideal to fit in tight spaces. Check out a video of the Skywarp below.
Back in November, we talked to Maurer about their new “Spike” coaster. While RCDB mentions that the first Spike track (Sky Dragster) is currently under construction in Germany, Cedar Fair could bring the Spike track stateside, resulting in that “all new type of coaster” (for fans in the United States.)
Check out the video of Spike in action below!
“A Renewed Relationship with a Manufacturer who we Haven’t Worked with in Recent History…”
Since 1996, the parks currently owned by Cedar Fair have opened 76 roller coasters from 21 different manufacturers. (With these four, 2018 will mark 80 Coasters, and allegedly add another manufacturer.) 71 are still operational in 2017. Five have opened and closed within this time period:
- Hypersonic XLC (S&S, Kings Dominion, 2001-2007)
- Nickelodeon Flying Super Saturator (Setpoint, Carowinds, 2000-2008)
- Scooby’s Ghoster Coaster (Caripro, Kings Island, 1998-2005)
- Son of Beast (Roller Coaster Corporation of America, Kings Island, 2000-2009)
- Windjammer Surf Racers (Togo, Knott’s, 1997-2000)
Cedar Fair has installed roller coasters from just four different manufacturers in the last five years. (2013-2017)
- Great Coasters International
- Most Recent Installation: 2017, Mystic Timbers, Kings Island
- Bolliger & Mabillard
- Most Recent Installation: 2016, Valravn, Cedar Point
- Art Engineering/Triotech
- Most Recent Installation: 2014, Wonder Mountain’s Guardian, Canada’s Wonderland
- Mack Rides
- Most Recent Installation: 2013, Coast Rider, Knott’s Berry Farm
I guess the question is, what is defined as “recent” history? Five years? Ten years? Here are a few possibilities of companies who could be building that mystery coaster.
Eight years ago feels “recent” to me, but could be just outside the realm of recency for Cedar Fair. For a company who has designed the third most roller coasters (9) for Cedar Fair parks since 1996 behind B&M (15) and Vekoma (11), as well as some of the chain’s most iconic coasters, a new Intamin hasn’t made an appearance at a Cedar Fair park since Intimidator 305 at Kings Dominion.
Intamin has been far more active with new coasters in Europe and Asia in recent years, only opening three new coasters in the United States since I305; Cheetah Hunt at Busch Gardens Tampa, Green Lantern: First Flight at Six Flags Magic Mountain, SkyRush at Hersheypark. I wonder if the fourth, Wave Breaker: The Rescue Coaster, which opens later this year at Seaworld San Antonio, is a sign that Intamin is ready to re-enter the U.S. coaster scene again, perhaps with their former dance partner, Cedar Fair.
The German-based Gerstlauer has manufactured exactly one roller coaster for a Cedar Fair park; Spinning Dragons, which opened at Worlds of Fun in 2004. Known mainly for their “Euro-Fighter” style coasters like Mystery Mine at Dollywood or Infinity coasters like Monster at Adventureland, Gerstlauer could also bring another Spinning Coaster or a launched family coaster like Dollywood’s Firechaser Express to a Cedar Fair park.
With only one coaster currently in the chain, any of their coasters would be a great addition to Cedar Fair’s collection of coasters.
Another manufacturer with one coaster in the Cedar Fair Chain, Dorney Park’s “Wild Mouse” that opened in 2000, Maurer is known for their spinning coasters (Lafftrak at HersheyPark) and X-Car Coasters (Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit at Universal Studios Florida). However, they could also bring their Spike coaster to the United States by way of Cedar Fair, resulting in that aforementioned “all new” type of coaster.
After working with what was then known as Paramount Parks in 1996 with Flight of Fear at Kings Dominion and Kings Island, and again in 2005-2006 with the Italian Job/Backlot Stunt Coasters at Kings Dominion, Kings Island, and Canada’s Wonderland, Premier Rides hasn’t worked with these parks again since Cedar Fair acquired them in 2006.
With the recent success of their “Sky Rocket II” models popping up at parks around the country, one wonders if Cedar Fair parks could join the ranks of parks featuring these Premier Rides creations. Another option would be a launched coaster similar to Full Throttle at Six Flags Magic Mountain, but personally I’m holding out for the return of the “Ferris Wheel” lift on Maximum RPM/Round About at Hard Rock/Freestyle Park.
S&S’ first prototype coaster, Hypersonic XLC was Cedar Fair’s lone S&S coaster. After the short lifespan of Hypersonic XLC, it may be tough to imagine Cedar Fair going back to S&S again, but with S&S’ recent successes, it would be interesting to see a 4D Freefly, Family Suspended Coaster, El Loco, or even another compressed air launch coaster come to a Cedar Fair park.
Another company known mainly for their family coasters, Zierer’s one coaster in the Cedar Fair chain since 1996 actually resides in a park that very few think about when mentioning Cedar Fair parks; Gilroy Gardens. While Timber Twister at Gilroy Gardens is a kiddie coaster, the German coaster company also was behind “Verbolten” at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, and was Zierer’s first “major” roller coaster, and was something for both thrill seekers and families to enjoy.
Given Cedar Fair’s recent push towards inclusion for the whole family at many of their parks, it’s not out of the realm of possibility for a family style coaster to be coming to one of the parks in their chain sometime soon.
While Vekoma hasn’t opened a “new” coaster at a Cedar Fair park since Rugrats Runaway Reptar (now Flying Ace Aerial Chase) at Carowinds in 2003, they definitely have a history with Cedar Fair, with many of their coasters being “hot potatoed” around parks in the chain. The “-hawks” — Night, Fire, and Thunder at Carowinds, Kings Island, and Michigan’s Adventure, respectively — all came to their current locations from other parks owned by Cedar Fair.
Another manufacturer that has been recently focused in Europe and Asia, Vekoma’s last “new” U.S. installations were “Freedom Flyer” at Fun Spot America in Orlando and “Seven Dwarfs Mine Train” at Walt Disney World, both in 2013. That said, Vekoma also had a hand in the new TRON Lightcycle Power Run coaster at Shanghai Disneyland, and who wouldn’t want to see a similar coaster come to a U.S. Park?
Known mainly for their family coasters, Zamperla has produced four coasters for Cedar Fair since 1996, and no new coasters since the addition of Pony Express at Knott’s Berry Farm in 2008. The prospect of a family-style launch coaster like Pony Express is intriguing. Zamperla is currently manufacturing all of the rides for the new Owa theme park in Alabama, so it could be a little more of a long shot.
“But Where Are They Going?”
As we mentioned earlier, Cedar Fair announced four new coasters for 2018, the most in one year for the chain since 2008. We know where two are going. (And if you haven’t figured it out, I’m sure Richard Michael Crosby can point to both Cedar Point and Kings Dominion on a map for you.) But where are the other two going to be built? Just a few ideas.
Knott’s Berry Farm
Knott’s announced earlier this year that their Boomerang coaster would be giving it’s last rides during this year’s Boysenberry Festival. Images have started to surface on social media of the coaster being removed piece by piece.
Photo: Knott’s Network on Facebook
Could the site of the former coaster be cleared for something new in 2018? What about the Boomerang? Where’s it going?
Knott’s Berry Farm’s last major coaster was Silver Bullet in 2004. The park could be a prime location for a new Cedar Fair coaster.
California’s Great America
Several roller coasters were mentioned in the 20-year master plan for California’s Great America earlier this year. These attractions included a steel Hypercoaster, a steel launch coaster, a suspended family coaster, and a wooden coaster geared more towards families. Any of these could be 2018 options for California’s Great America, which in the last 15 years, has seen more coasters move to other parks (3) than be built there (1) since 2002. You can check out more evidence on why CGA is likely getting a new coaster in this weeks post (and see some hint that construction is starting).
If I told you that Michigan’s Adventure once opened three new roller coasters in just two years, would you believe me? It happened in 1998-1999 with the additions of CCI’s Shivering Timbers in 1998, followed by the Arrow Mad Mouse and Morgan Big Dipper in 1999. Since then, the park has opened just one roller coaster, Thunderhawk in 2008. That was acquired when Geauga Lake closed. The people of Muskegon, Michigan are long overdue for a new roller coaster. I wonder if Cedar Fair feels the same way.
Dorney Park has a respectable collection of coasters, but it has been more than a decade since they received a coaster that they didn’t acquire from another Cedar Fair Park. Their last new roller coaster was Hydra: The Revenge, which opened in 2005. That was followed by Possessed (the former Steel Venom impulse coaster at Geauga Lake) in 2008, and Stinger (California’s Great America’s former inverted boomerang “Invertigo”) in 2012.
Another park in a bit of a “new” coaster drought is Minnesota’s Valleyfair, whose last “new” roller coaster was Great Coasters International’s “Renegade” in 2007. The park has added one coaster since then, Dorney Park’s former “Dragon Coaster,” which has since been named Cosmic Coaster.
Again, pure speculation on my part, but here’s what I think happens as far as Cedar Fair roller coasters in 2018.
Cedar Point: Something is going on with the former Mean Streak. Can’t quite figure it out. Only time will tell.
Kings Dominion: Ditto. Time will tell, and all that.
New Track: RMC Raptor Track at Knott’s Berry Farm, replacing the Boomerang coaster. There’s a reason there were palm trees in the simulation, right?!
Old Friend, New Coaster: California’s Great America gets their Family Suspended Coaster from S&S, similar to the new Merlin Coaster at Dutch Wonderland. Which opens the door for future S&S projects, both roller coaster and flat ride related, at Cedar Fair parks.
But What About the Boomerang: In talking with my C101 co-writer Larry, I bet it ends up at Valleyfair or Michigan’s Adventure, which he pointed out are the only major Cedar Fair parks that have never had a Boomerang coaster. This won’t help their continued tendencies to receive hand-me-down coasters from other parks, but at least it’s something, right?
Be sure to stay tuned to Coaster101 as we try to decipher the clues and determine what’s coming to Cedar Fair parks in 2018!