Our 2020 Plans and What We’re Most Excited About

In our last round-table discussion, we looked back on 2019 and what an awesome year it was. Now it’s time to turn toward the future and discuss our plans for 2020. 2019 was a great year for Coaster101 thanks to our amazing readers and fans. We want to keep this momentum going into the new year. We plan on continuing our annual posts like Park Madness, Attraction Awards, and Photography Contest. We also plan on doing more unique content and special interview features. We’ve also been kicking around an idea for a podcast that would be a little different than any existing amusement park podcast and improving our YouTube Channel.

Yes, we’ve got big goals for 2020. Now here are some of our individual plans for 2020.


Parks Planned to Visit in 2020: In March, I’m spending a week in Central Florida for the Disney and Universal parks along with a day trip to Tampa for Busch Gardens Tampa (with a sliver of hope that Iron Gwazi will be open). I’m also aiming to make the trek to Kings Island for Orion’s opening. And I’m sure I’ll make my regular trips to Dollywood and Six Flags Great America. Beyond that, I have some ideas but nothing set in stone.

Most Anticipated Attraction for 2020 you’ll probably definitely ride: It’s a tie between Iron Gwazi and Orion, but I would say I’m much more likely to ride Orion. I’m doubtful that Iron Gwazi will be open by the time I visit the park in early March.

Flying Launched Coaster at Phantasialand

Most Anticipated attraction for 2020 you probably won’t get to ride: F.L.Y. at Phantasialand. I find the concept of a “Flying Launch Coaster” to be very intriguing. That, compounded with the lack of concrete details about the coaster, makes me very excited to see this coaster rise and open.

Sleeper Hit of 2020: I think SeaWorld San Antonio’s Texas Stingray wooden coaster and SeaWorld Orlando’s Ice Breaker launch coaster will both be well received by enthusiasts and the general public. Neither offers high-octane thrills, but they both fill a gap in each respective park’s coaster roster.


Parks Planned to Visit in 2020: The usual suspects for sure: Carowinds, Kings Dominion, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, and Walt Disney World. I think I’ve listed Hersheypark as a park I’d like to get to for the last 2-3 years in this post, but still haven’t made it there yet, and am hoping that 2020 is finally the year! I’m hoping to also get to Kings Island, Kentucky Kingdom, and Nickelodeon Universe at American Dream at some point during 2020, and hoping to grab three new Central Florida coasters later in 2020, with Iron Gwazi at Busch Gardens Tampa, Ice Breaker at SeaWorld Orlando and Hurricane at Fun Spot Kissimmee opening this year.

We also still haven’t locked down a location for our 2020 Coaster101 Meet-Up, and hoping I can make it to some more new-to-me parks this year!

Most Anticipated Attraction for 2020 you’ll probably definitely ride: Pantheon at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. I feel like everyone is focused on the “other” Busch Gardens this year with RMC bringing Iron Gwazi to life. Thankfully, I have my own Busch Gardens about half the distance from North Carolina that is also getting a new coaster this year!

Most Anticipated attraction for 2020 you probably won’t get to ride: With Texas still on the table as a potential Coaster101 meet-up location, I don’t want to exclude Texas Stingray or Aquaman Power Splash as potentials just yet. That said, I don’t have plans to get to Southern California this year, so Emperor at SeaWorld San Diego (along with Tidal Twister and Electric Eel) will likely have to wait at least one more year. East Coast to West Coast trips are hard!

Sleeper hit of 2020: It’s tough to sleep on a new GCI Wooden Coaster, and maybe it’s because I’m nowhere near Texas, but I don’t think enough people are talking about Texas Stingray. In a state where “everything is bigger,” Texas Stingray may not be breaking any world records, but staking claim to several “-est” records (tallest, fastest, longest) in Texas for wooden coasters is no small feat. Not to mention, those trains are a thing of beauty.


Parks Planned to Visit in 2020: As always, will be hitting up most, if not all, of the California parks. Definitely going to get to SeaWorld San Diego, which is one I haven’t been to in awhile. Can’t wait for Emperor! Hoping to add at least a couple other parks across the country as well. Would love to get back to some favorites (maybe Hershey, or one of the Busch Gardens), as well as somewhere new!

Most Anticipated Attraction for 2020 you’ll probably definitely ride: Does Rise of the Resistance at Disneyland count? That’s definitely what I’m most excited about that’s opening this year. Other than that, probably Emperor since it’s here on the West Coast. The new Spiderman attraction coming to California Adventure is also high up there. I imagine I’ll get to one of the big East Coast coasters, but not sure which one.

Most Anticipated attraction for 2020 you probably won’t get to ride: Oh man, there are lots, especially overseas. I mean, first is probably the whole of Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan in Osaka. I feel like hype for it has been surprisingly quiet, but, like, it opens NEXT year. That’s exciting. Similarly, I bet the Beauty and the Beast dark ride coming to Tokyo Disney will be awesome, because everything there is. I’ll throw the new launch coaster coming to Dreamworld Australia, it looks like it’ll be awesome. Domestically, it’s probably most unlikely I’ll get to Tampa for Iron Gwazi. I went to Florida the last two years, so I probably won’t be heading there again this year.

Sleeper Hit of 2020: I might go with the crowd here and say Texas Stingray. I love GCI coasters, and they haven’t opened a new one in the US since Mystic Timbers and InvadR in 2017. I could imagine this ends up being one of the very best coasters opening this year. I’ll also add the new Bear-y Tales ride replacing Voyage to the Iron Reef at Knott’s Berry Farm. If they do it right, I could be really good, and a great replacement/re-theme of Voyage to the Iron Reef (which always seemed a little out of place).


Parks Planned to Visit in 2020: My son is about to hit (fingers crossed) the 39 inch mark this spring and Dollywood has several coasters at that level, so it is definitely on my radar. Plus I still need to get on Lightning Rod! I’m hoping to also get over to Hershey for a couple of days and do a northern Ohio/western Pennsylvania small parks trip at some point. The wild card once again this year will be trying to make it to Stricker’s Grove near Cincinnati on one of the few days they are open to the public.

Most Anticipated Attraction for 2020 you’ll probably definitely ride: Being only a couple hours from Kings Island, I’m very much looking forward to the opening of Orion! I got a glimpse of it last week during Winterfest and it towers over The Racer. I can’t wait to get on it!

Most Anticipated attraction for 2020 you probably won’t get to ride: Busch Gardens Tampa has been on my list for awhile but I don’t think even with Iron Gwazi opening, will be the year I can make the trip down to Florida. I am excited to see how it compares with Steel Vengeance and how the coaster community pledges their allegiance.

Sleeper Hit of 2020: I think we are going to be pleasantly surprised by Pantheon at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. From all of the photos I’ve seen of it so far, it looks much larger than anticipated. I have family in that area so there’s a chance I’m hoping I may be able to catch a day at the park this summer.


Parks Planned to Visit in 2020: That’s a very good question! The Cedar Fair Platinum Pass was just renewed and continuing the Six Flags Platinum Membership so that leaves a lot of options open with Cedar Point, Kings Island, Michigan’s Adventure and Six Flags Great America being highest possibilities. Would love to go back down to Holiday World as well to get back on their coasters since it’s been a few years since I’ve been there.

Most Anticipated Attraction for 2020 you’ll probably definitely ride: Orion has the highest chance of me riding it for a “New for 2020” coaster, but not sure about any of the other ones. Being in Michigan, my options are limited but I’ll do what I can! Hoping to even make my way down to Busch Gardens Williamsburg to get to Pantheon as well.

Most Anticipated attraction for 2020 you probably won’t get to ride: Yeah pretty much anything on the west coast is off the board for me at the moment. I’ll have to see what else 2020 will bring me but a few of the big ones are still quite a ways away for me.

Sleeper Hit of 2020: I’d say any of the SeaWorld additions since they seem to get overshadowed very quickly. Stingray should be an excellent GCI wooden coaster that should be able to break pretty high on the top wooden roller coaster lists for 2020. Also there’s little ol’ Michigan’s Adventure with the brand new Camp Snoopy addition with 5 new rides and a kiddie coaster. A much needed addition to the park and the final one to receive a Peanuts themed area making it a true Cedar Fair park finally.


Parks Planned to Visit in 2020:

I’ll be visiting my home park of Six Flags New England at least once, but I’m also excited to experience all of the parks in the LA area when I spend time there this spring. For the East Coast, I’m going to try and get to Six Flags Great Adventure for Jersey Devil and Busch Gardens Williamsburg for Pantheon. And who knows, sometimes the best types of trips are the ones that come out of nowhere!

Most Anticipated Attraction for 2020 you’ll probably definitely ride:

Easily Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Disneyland. As a huge Disney lover and Star Wars superfan, words can’t describe how excited I am to finally visit Batuu and experience this mind-blowing attraction. Everything I’ve seen about Galaxy’s Edge just seems like a dream come true!

Most Anticipated attraction for 2020 you probably won’t get to ride:

Unfortunately since I don’t have any plans to visit Ohio next year, I most likely won’t get to experience Orion, which is a shame since it looks like an amazing coaster. And since I just visited Busch Gardens Tampa this spring, it’s unlikely I’ll be able to get on Iron Gwazi either.

Sleeper hit of 2020:

I would say Pantheon because it feels like the hype has died down for this ride, but it’s at least being talked about more than Texas Stingray at SeaWorld San Antonio. Mark my words, this ride is going to blow up once people start paying attention to this modern GCI creation. An honorable mention goes out to Emperor at SeaWorld San Diego, many people underestimate how great dive coasters are. A little gimmicky perhaps, but each one I’ve been on offers a unique and thrilling ride!


Parks Planned to Visit in 2020: The usual suspects in Central Florida, including all of the Disney Parks, SeaWorld Orlando, and Busch Gardens. Also, my son is finally over 42″, so I think he’s big enough to enjoy Universal Orlando Resort without being relegated to Seuss Landing. I’ll also be heading back to San Antonio next summer for a family reunion, so definitely will be visiting Six Flags Fiesta Texas and SeaWorld San Antonio again! I also am due a trip back to Six Flags Over Georgia, as I have yet to ride Twisted Cyclone. I also am still determined to make it up to Carowinds to ride Fury 325.

Most Anticipated Attraction for 2020 you’ll probably definitely ride: Definitely will be Iron Gwazi for me.  I consider Busch Gardens to be my “home park” as far as coasters go, so I’m excited to have an RMC coaster basically in my backyard. I’ve been bragging to my friends and family about how great RMC coasters are. The RMC experience is hard to describe to casual coaster goers here in Central Florida. They are about to get their minds blown down here!

Most Anticipated attraction for 2020 you probably won’t get to ride: While I’ll probably try my darndest, it’s unlikely that I will get to experience both Orion and Pantheon this year. Both rides look absolutely amazing. I’m probably a bit more hyped for Pantheon though.

Sleeper Hit of 2020: I’ll have to go with Ice Breaker here at SeaWorld Orlando. It’s crazy how little people are talking about it at the park. It might not get all the hype that, say, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure did in 2019 at Islands of Adventure. However, I think people will be pleasantly surprised at how good a ride it is.


Parks Planned to Visit in 2020: If you promise not to tell my kids, we’re going to Disney World in February – can’t wait to spring the surprise on them! Besides that Kings Island for Orion is a definite. I would like to get back to Kennywood since I missed out on Steel Curtain by a week. I’d also like to put my Six Flags membership to use at Darien Lake and Over Georgia.

Most Anticipated Attraction for 2020 you’ll probably definitely ride: Orion at Kings Island for sure.

Most Anticipated attraction for 2020 you probably won’t get to ride: Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway will be opening a few weeks after we visit Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Maybe we’ll get lucky with a soft opening.

Sleeper Hit of 2020: I think people are going to be blown away by Pantheon at Busch Gardens Williamsburg.

What are your plans for 2020? Let us know in the comments below.