New Coasters for 2017


So, 2017...Let's be honest, it's pretty slim pickens when it comes to things to get excited about in the coaster world. But fear not, I've scraped the barrel good and proper and managed to put together a pretty respectable list of the top new coasters for 2017!

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The seventh of this coaster type to open since 2013 and they seem to be going from strength to strength. Whereas every announcement of a new Eurofighter, the Infinity Coaster's less attractive older sister, was met with a groan from the coaster community, we seem at least generally intrigued when a new Infinity Coaster is announced. Despite being one of the Netherland's most popular theme parks, Slagharen haven't really added anything substantial in a long time - in fact they removed the park's iconic Schwarzkopf Thunder Loop just last year.

Announced back in September on their Facebook page, Gold Rush is the Netherland's first triple launch coaster, reaches speeds of 90kmph and has two inversions. From the looks of the POV the park posted the trains will be of a similar style to those seen on The Smiler.

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I've spoken before about how weird a decision I think this coaster is, but 2017 may finally be the year we see a coaster of similar proportion to Top Thrill Dragster and Kingda Ka, and this is due to open in Ferrari Land at Port Aventura. Currently unnamed, the coaster is a huge 367.4ft, making it the tallest in Europe and breaking Port Aventura's own record. It will also launch to speeds of 111mph in 5.0s, which also makes it the fastest in Europe too. Oh, and it has lapbars. The project has been a little unstable so it's unsure when this beast will open, but I plan on getting my butt to Spain to see how this compares to its American cousins.

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I'd say the Star Trek IP was a weird decision what with there not being a new film on our horizons anytime soon, but then when you think about the fact that it's at Movie Park Germany and it doesn't seem that weird at all. The park is 'movie' themed, but it's a weird mix of some IPs that sort of fit but are a little bit dated and...odd (Van Helsing...what?!), a lot more TV IPs than movie IPs (Nickelodeon and The Walking Dead to name a couple of big ones) and then just a bunch of 'genre' themed stuff that's kind of cheating because it's not the theme portrayed through a 'movie' lens (ie, with film equipment etc set up to film it, etc) but more as though you're actually there, like a traditional theme park would.

But whatever, I think Star Trek: Operation Enterprise looks pretty cool and I'm glad to see the park investing in another substantial sized coaster. The coaster is a custom Mack shuttle coaster, which I don't believe we've seen before (shoot me if I'm wrong). Honestly I would've preferred a custom full circuit layout just from a capacity POV, but from what I've seen of the track layout it looks totally weird and fucked up in a Lost Gravity kind of way, and that turned out to be amazing! I'm excited.

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Has there ever been a more perfect fit for a coaster at a park? Asterix has a fab woodie in Zeus, awesome 'BIG' coaster in Oz'Iris, awesome skyline coaster in Goudurix (although let's face it it's a piece of shit to ride) and then...a load of kiddie stuff that's looking a little dated. P├ęgase Express fits perfectly, a modern imagining of the family coaster! Plus it's really helping to pad out the Greek area with more and more stuff to do, I'm so glad the park have continued to add new stuff post Oz'Iris.

Not only does the theming look stunning, bright and colourful and quirky and hopefully jam packed with all those fab Asterix in jokes, but I absolutely LOVED FireChaser Express at Dollywood which is probably the closest thing we have to compare to. So much fun, enjoyable yet forceful launches and I can't wait to see something similar at Asterix!

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Themed to Heidi, one of the Studio 100 characters that most of the rides at the Plopsa parks are based on, this woodie has gone through a tide of issues trying to get open but hopefully this year will finally be the year it opens! Everyone in the coaster community knows that GCIs are the perfect blend of the higher end of extreme family fun and they look incredible. And Heidi is taking it one step further. Not only does the entrance area of the ride look pretty much identical to the concept art but the coaster also looks amazing at night thanks to Painting with Light. At this point I don't even care if the ride is fun, it looks awesome and I'll be glad for Plopsaland de Panne to finally have this thorn in their side removed and open the damn thing!

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Seems these family GCIs are a bit of a theme this year! After the questionable addition of Tempesto at Busch Gardens Williamsburg it seems they're back on track with the addition of Invadr, a 'family' GCI. I really love the idea of family woodies, because often they have much more bite than a family steel coaster and they look fab too! Invadr's trains are really something to behold, with a dragon theme for one and a bear theme for another. They're made using repurposed bits of poor old Gwazi's Millennium Flyer trains! This thing has really been squeezed into the park, but I quite like that in a coaster, nothing better than flying past the rest of the park at speed!

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Further to the end of 2016, and seemingly out of nowhere, Fun Spot announced that they'd be building an INVERTING Gravity Group at their Kissimmee park. So fucking random! Not that it's a bad thing, the chain's other woodie White Lightning is a ridiculously fun little woodie and really makes the park feel more substantial and less like some kind of static fairground. I guess when you've got Disney and Universal on your doorstep you have to do something to make yourself stand out, so firing out some excellent wooden coasters is definitely a good way to do that!

And it means a fresh breath of life for the Kissimmee park. Honestly, when I visited earlier this year the place felt like a bit of a dive so I'm really excited to see how this addition transforms the park! The coaster is set to be over 2000ft long and 82ft high with a top speed of 48.5mph.

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Back in 2016, King's Island had us all asking What's In The Shed as they announced their newest addition, a spookily themed GCI with a secret. OK, it's pretty obvious that's it's likely to be a Thirteen/Verbolten style drop track, but still pretty cool as it's never been done on a woodie before. Or heck, they might surprise us all and do something completely different and unexpected, who knows! There's definitely something Verbolten styled about this: retro car getting lost in the woods. Ahem. But yh, looks really cool, sure it's a little vanilla and paint-by-numbers to get a massive GCI when all the other big US theme park players are adding an RMC to their line-up, but for me that's all the more reason I'm intrigued by Mystic Timbers. Because it is such a run of the mill coaster type now I feel like there has to be something really fucking cool in that shed to get everyone talking about it!

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Vekoma are about to make a comeback like we've never seen before, and if you want a little piece of that action get yourself over to Vinpearl Land in Vietnam for the 2017 season. Alongside a custom Vekoma Mine Train, Vinpearl Land have also purchased this fierce little beast. Launch? Check! Insane inversions? Double check! It's only got a top speed of roughly 50mph, but man the layout of this thing looks AMAZING! I've always been a secret fan of Vekoma and I'm so glad they seem to be back at the top of their game.

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What is it with China and decadently themed B&M coasters? This new Wanda park opening in 2017 in Wuxi is keeping in theming with this spectacular looking B&M wing coaster. We're yet to know what this beast is called, but damn does it look stunning! We all know wing coasters are all about the near misses, and looking at this it's kind of weird to me now that there aren't more that take into account water features? Looks like this coaster has us covered though, check out that waterfall! Five inversions and an eye watering top speed of 73.3mph (which makes it the fastest coaster of this type I do believe?) this one is clearly the reason to get yourself over to China ASAP (well, wait until it's open first obv.)

So yh, hopefully I've delivered you at least a little bit of hope for the 2017 season!

Talk later xoxo,

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