Each summer thrill-seekers head to America’s amusement parks to zip, spin, flip and fly on the country’s 684 rollercoasters (at current count, according to website Roller Coaster Data Base.) To find out about the most-anticipated new entries for 2015, we asked Pete Trabucco, roller coaster-enthusiast and author of America’s Top Roller Coasters and Amusement Parksto give us five rides we shouldn’t miss:
Twisted Colossus (above) Six Flags Magic Mountain, Valencia, Calif. Built on the structure of the park’s original Colossus wooden coaster that opened in June 1979, Twisted Colossus is the longest hybrid steel and wooden coaster in the world with features like a Top Gun Stall (where the coaster slows upside down) and the Western Hemisphere’s first “High Five”.
Says Trabucco: “This is a great ride. About 5,000 feet of track, lots of inversions and a 116-foot drop.”
Batman™: The Ride Six Flags Fiesta Texas, San Antonio, Tex. Raves Trabucco: “This is what they call a 4D Free Fly coaster and it’s fantastic. In addition to the inversions your seat moves. Each time you ride it, it is entirely different feeling. You cannot figure out what’s happening next.“
Laff Trakk Hersheypark, Hershey, Penn. Marketed as a funhouse for the 21st-century, Laff Trakk is the country’s first indoor, spinning, glow-in-the-dark coaster.
Notes Trabucco: “This is a decent ride for the family. But, not exactly tame either, with about thirteen hills and lots of spinning.”
Fury 325 Carowinds, Charlotte, NC Now the world’s tallest and fastest giga coaster, Fury 3235 boasts a 325-foot tall hill and speeds of up to 95 miles per hour.
Rougarou Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio Rougarou is Cedar Point’s first floorless coaster, built on the same track as standing coaster Mantis, which closed in 2014.
Notes Trabucco, “Your feet dangle right over the track which gives you that feeling you’ve gotta keep your legs lifted.”
His side tip: “When you go to Cedar Point, stay at the newly-remodeled Breakers Hotel. It can sometimes be a bit pricy but well-worth it.”
Trabucco's all-time best rides? Millennium Force (above) at Cedar Point (“One of the best rides ever. Very smooth. Always a favorite") and Walt Disney World's Rockin' Roller Coaster (below) in Orlando, Fla.