Our Most Anticipated 2019 Roller Coasters Opening in North America

2018 was a great season for new roller coasters. But the season has come to an end and now we turn our attention on the new year and the new crop of roller coasters and thrill rides. Which ones are we most looking forward to? Here’s our top 15 most anticipated 2019 roller coasters opening in North America that you need to ride next year.

15. Tigris – Busch Gardens Tampa

Location: Tampa, Florida, United States
Manufacturer: Premier Rides
Height: 150
Length: 863
Inversions: 1

Tigris is a Premier Sky Rocket II model, the third to be purchased by Busch Gardens Tampa’s parent company, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. As Mike said in our Looking Forward to 2019 discussion, “Tigris is exactly the ride I’ve imagined having in the Jungala section for years. It’s just what that section of the park needed, and should be a nice holdover until the 2020 RMC Gwazi re-do project gets here.” While a fun ride, it’s not higher on the list because this will be the sixth Sky Rocket II model to open in North America.

14. Relámpago – Mundo Petapa

Location: Guatemala City, Guatemala
Manufacturer: Zamperla
Height: 69 feet
Speed: 43.5 mph
Inversions: 3

At the IAAPA expo in November 2018, Zamperla unveiled a new coaster Thunderbolt coaster.  Relámpago, which is Spanish for “Lightning”, will feature nine passenger cars and three inversions in it’s extremely compact layout. Should be a big hit in a country with only a handful of roller coasters.

13. Tidal Twister – SeaWorld San Diego

Location: San Diego, California, United States
Manufacturer: Skyline Attractions
Height: 22
Length: 320
Inversions: 1

Maybe a somewhat controversial pick as the debate to whether it counts as a true coaster or not. The track only has one inversion but theoretically they could keep the ride going over and over so you could get countless inversions. Tidal Twister will be the world’s first “Horizon” ride from Skyline Attractions. At the 2017 IAAPA Attractions Expo, C101 writer Andrew Stilwell interviewed Skyline Attractions’ design engineer Adam Yerdon about the “Horizon” attraction that the company was showcasing.

12. Cloud Coaster – Méga Parc

Location: Quebec City, Québec, Canada
Manufacturer: Extreme Engineering
Inversions: 0

Extreme Engineering

Méga Parcis is an indoor FEC opened in 1988 that’s located inside the Galeries de la Capitale shopping center. It closed in September 2017 for an extensive renovation that will include the addition of new rides and attractions. The reopening is scheduled for January 2019. The most intriguing new attraction is Extreme Engineering’s Cloud Coaster. While it looks like a zip line, it uses rigid seats like any other roller coaster. It also passes through the middle of a hubless Ferris wheel – how cool is that?

11. Shredder – Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park

Location: East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA
Manufacturer: Gerstlauer Amusement Rides GmbH
Height: 85 feet
Length: 2,247
Inversions: 0

Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park has flown a little under the radar for most coaster enthusiasts, maybe because of its location inside a mall. But make no mistake, this park is going to open with five fantastic roller coasters, three of which make this list (and the others are honorable mentions). The un-named spinning coaster will hold the title for the world’s tallest and longest free-spinning coaster. It’s warped layout will also be intertwined with the record breaking Eurofighter, creating a mess of twisted metal that will only add to the disorienting thrill.

10. Dragon Flier – Dollywood

Location: Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, >USA
Manufacturer: Vekoma
Length: 1,486.2 ft
Inversions: 0

If you’ve been reading Coaster101 for the past year, you’ll know we are big fans of the family friendly Merlin’s Mayhem suspended coaster that opened at Dutch Wonderland last year. Therefore, we’re pretty excited for Dragon Flier at Dollywood, which looks like a slightly more aggressive version. It’s nearly 200 feet longer too. I just hope the low rider height requirement is the same: 39 inches. Dragon Flier anchors the new $30 million dollar expansion land, Wildwood Grove, to open at Dollywood in 2019.

9. Sandy’s Blasting Bronco – Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park

Location: East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA
Manufacturer: Intamin

Not much is known about this other than it’s one of two Intamin coasters opening at Nickelodeon Universe. The new design seems to be Intamin’s answer to Skyline’s Skywarp and Premier Ride’s Sky Rocket II compact models. Below is a fan made prediction of what the ride experience might be like.

8. Kentucky Flyer

Location: Louisville, Kentucky, USA
Manufacturer: Gravity Group
LengthL 1,280 feet
Drop: 45 feet
Speed 35 mph

Don’t let the small size of this, the only wooden coaster in the US for 2019, fool you. These small Gravity Group coasters are known to be a ton of fun, and I fully expect Kentucky Flyer to be too with its 12 airtime moments during the out and back layout. A modern, family-friendly woodie fits the park’s profile perfectly. And based on what I’ve seen so far, the ride still packs quite the punch into its small frame. Definitely looking forward to future trips to Kentucky Kingdom with my family. I’ve only heard good things about the other Gravity Group family coasters, I assume this one will be solid too.

7. Harry Potter coaster – Universal Studios Islands of Adventure

Location: Orlando, Florida, USA
Manufacturer: Intamin

The new coaster at Universal’s Islands of Adventure has big shoes to fill. It’s taking over the place once occupied by the beloved Dragon Challenge / Dueling Dragons inverted coasters. But I think the Harry Potter themed coaster will be up to the challenge. There will be potentially up to five LSM launches, a backwards segment, and a surprise element. Probably the most technically advanced and best themed coaster on this list.

6. Yukon Striker – Canada’s Wonderland

Location: Vaughan, Ontario, Canada
Manufacturer: B&M
Length: 3,625 ft
Height: 223 ft
Drop: 245 ft
Speed: 80.8 mph

Yukon Striker will become the world’s tallest, fastest and longest dive coaster when it opens in 2019. It will also be the only one of its kind to include four inversions — one of them being a vertical loop, a first for a dive coaster. The first drop through the suspended Arrow coaster and into the underwater tunnel is going to be epic.

5. Maxx Force – Six Flags Great America

Location: Gurnee, Illinois, USA
Manufacturer: S&S
Height: 175 feet
Speed: 78 mph
Inversions: 5


Maxx Force will be the fastest accelerating launch coaster in North America with the fastest inversion and highest double inversion of any roller coaster in the world. The compressed air launch from 0 mph – 78 mph in two seconds should be highly intense and the layout looks highly unique, albeit short.

4. West Coaster Racers – Six Flags Magic Mountain

Location: Valencia, California, USA
Manufacturer: Premier Rides
Speed: 55 mph
Inversions: 4

West Coast Racers looks like pure laugh-out-loud fun. While it looks like two separate coasters, it’s actually only one ride, called a mobius loop coaster. This means you get to experience all the action without having to wait in line again, including all four launches and inversions.

3. TMNT Shellraiser – Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park

Location: East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA
Manufacturer: Gerstlauer Amusement Rides GmbH
Height: 141
Length: 3,280.8 ft
Inversions: 7

The star attraction of the new Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park is the unnamed Eurofighter.  The Gerstlauer coaster will break the record for the steepest drop on a roller coaster which features a 60 mph launch and a 141-foot vertical lift that rises above the park into a section of raised roof to glimpse New York City. It will be a thrilling attraction and will certainly look amazing with that sweet KCL lighting package.

2. Copperhead Strike – Carowinds

Location: Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
Manufacturer: Mack Rides
Length: 3,255 feet
Height: 82 feet
Speed: 50 mph
Inversions: 5

We’ve closely been following the construction (and will continue to do so) and with each update we get more and more excited for this ride. The twisted layout is extremely compact. The first launch starts inside a barn and the second one traverses an airtime hill. It’s going to be nuts. US coaster fans have been salivating at some of Mack Rides best coasters around the globe: Helix, Icon, DC Rivals, etc. Yeah, Manta and Slinky Dog are nice, but it’s awesome to finally get a big, world class Mack coaster here in the states.

1. Steel Curtain – Kennywood

Location: West Mifflin, Pennsylvania, USA
Manufacturer: S&S
Length: 4,000 feet
Height: 220 feet
Speed: 75 mph
Inversions: 9

When Shockwave at Six Flags Great America opened in 1988 it took the records for tallest roller coaster and most inversions in the world with seven. 31 years later a park in the United States is finally going to build a coaster that goes upside down more times than Shockwave. Behold, The Steel Curtain, our most anticipated 2019 roller coaster in North America due to it’s bonkers layout and out-of-left-field announcement that had us shocked and surprised. For a ride with nine inversions, the designers put a lot of thought into not making the ride nothing but positive Gs; there should be a good balance of positive and negative forces. We’re really looking forward to seeing if this ride can live up to the hype!

Honorable Mentions That Just Missed The List

  • Batman The Ride at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
  • Phoenix at Adventureland
  • Runaway Tram at Morey’s Piers
  • Slime Streak Chance family coaster at Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park
  • Intamin Surf Rider at Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park

It’s fun to look back and see what we thought of the new coasters opening in 2017 and how we ranked the most anticipated 2018 coasters. 2019 is a fantastic class of new roller coasters – how does it compare against the best ever?  I’m glad to see the return of multiple Intamin coasters as well as companies like Gravity Group and S&S building new rides. Diversity in the market is good, though it is sad to not have any major new Rocky Mountain Construction projects. I’m guessing 2020 will be a big year in the theme park world.

Which new 2019 roller coaster are you most excited to ride? Let us know in the comments below!

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1 Response

  1. Harrison Schneider says:

    Intamin is back in America!