Prediction: THREE 200+ foot tall B&Ms for the US in 2020
Could there really be THREE 200+ foot tall B&Ms for the US in 2020?
B&M is quietly having it’s best year ever. By the time 2018 turns to 2019 they should have installed an astonishing NINE new roller coasters. This will be their most since opening eight in 1998. You may not have realized this because none of the 2018 coasters are located in North America.
The 2018 season isn’t even finished, 2019 teasers have just begun, but I’m already looking ahead to 2020. Why? There is potential we could see not one, not two, but THREE hyper/giga B&M coasters open here in the United States. What parks would these be at? Here are my predictions:
California’s Great America – 210 ft Hyper Coaster
California’s Great America has been in the midst of a multi-year expansion, including opening Railblazer this summer. And they’re not slowing down anytime soon. Recently, permits were approved by the City of Santa Clara for a 210 foot tall steel roller coaster. This is more than likely a B&M hyper coaster, as we discussed in January of 2017, as images of Diamondback and other B&M hyper coasters have explicitly been shown in presentations regarding the future plans of California’s Great America. We know plans change in the amusement industry more often than not but this one seems to have been locked in for awhile.
HersheyPark – Hyper Coaster
Another property on the verge of a large expansion is HersheyPark. They want to use a former golf course land that closed in 2005 to start a big expansion, with a whole new entrance gate going in replacing the cramped entry plaza they have now. Pennlive released some of the 2020 HersheyPark plans that were submitted.
The plans submitted include a path of footers that when you connect the dots, the layout looks exactly like that of a B&M hyper coaster. NewsPlusNotes made a nice outline of the ride path. The track swoops around what appears to be a large fountain inside of the new park entrance. The ride experience would be different enough from SkyRush, probably a more tame experience and a less intense ride.
A YouTuber has already made a quick mock up of what a HersheyPark B&M hyper coaster might look like.
Kings Island – Giga Coaster
The first two coasters seem like more of a sure thing. This third one is a little bit of a prediction.
Ever since Cedar Fair started adding giga coasters (300-399 feet tall) to parks that already had hyper coasters, Kings Island has been high on the rumor list of parks set to receive the next one.
According to Wikipedia, in 2016 Kings Island was one of the top four visited parks in the chain. The only one of those that does not have a giga coaster is the landlocked Knott’s Berry Farm. Kings Island does not have a lack of available land. Carowinds and Kings Dominion apparently both have fewer visitors than Kings Island and yet they have giga coasters.
What would a giga coaster at Kings Island look like? With Mystic Timbers, Kings Island took Worlds of Fun 2009 “Best New Ride” Golden Ticket award winning wooden coaster, Prowler, and improved upon the design. Perhaps they would take another Cedar Fair giga voted Best Steel Coaster in Fury 325 and try to improve upon it (is that even possible?).
The one thing that makes me doubt this is many of us are assuming Cedar Point will get their next new coaster in 2020. Cedar Point and Kings Island have not opened major roller coasters in the same year since Maverick and Firehawk in 2007 (and Firehawk was just a relocation, not a brand new ride).
Someone at Kings Island has been hearing the rumors and messed with us fans during the winter:
What do you think? Will the United States really get three monster B&M roller coasters in 2020? Or is this just wishful thinking?