The Best New Things I Rode In 2018

Photo Of Mystic Manor At Night Hong Kong Disneyland
Like I said in my year in review post, I need a whole separate post to discuss my 2018 favourites because there's been so bloody many! 99 new creds, as discussed, but also a whole buttload of exciting new dark rides and parks that we explored too. Things that weren't just new for 2018 either - I'm talking rides that have been on my bucket list for years that we finally got the chance to get on this season. 2018 really has been phenomenal in that way - OK it was our honeymoon and we wanted to go somewhere that we might not have had the chance to otherwise, but there really is nothing like that feeling of finally standing in front of a ride or park that you've gazed longingly at over the internet for so many years. Nothing like it.

But yes, this year's favourites then. I've done my best to try and whittle this list down as much as possible. I've gone on and on about a lot of these in various attraction review posts and what have you, but it's satisfying for me to have them all in one place like this to look back on in years to come so I guess you'll just have to deal with that haha. So here we go, the best things I rode in 2018!

Image Of Mystic Manor Facade Hong Kong Disneyland
I arrived at the gates of Mystic Point jet lagged, starving and delirious, but even that couldn't quash my excitement to finally step on board what was probably my most anticipated ride of all time. I ADORE the Haunted Mansion at the other Disney parks, and ever since this little ditty was constructed I'd been obsessed. I have tons of Disney park books, full of page after page of gorgeous concept art and anecdotes describing this most marvellous attraction in detail. I'd pored over the pages for years and years, soaking in every crumb of detail, but nothing could really prepare me for the ride proper. It's just...incredible.

After Orlando's Tower of Terror it's easily my favourite Disney ride, and the more I think about it the more I fall in love with it. The detail is just astounding, the storyline is compelling and exhilarating - the perfect combination of dark meets mysterious meets magic. I honestly could have ridden it all damn day long, it's the perfect dark ride.

Image Of Formula Rossa Roller Coaster Ferrari World
I'll reiterate this for the nth time here on my humble little blog - there is NOTHING like the feeling of the launch on this coaster. It blew me away, left me breathless and reignited my love of coasters. This is kind of a subtle brag but whatever, when you've been on as many coasters as I have it's easy to become disillusioned with the whole thing and the trips and creds all roll into one. Then boom - Formula Rossa came into my life and it was like a holy experience. God bless this coaster, to put it frankly it's just fucking excellent and in case you couldn't tell, I love it very much.

Image Of TRON Lightcycle Power Run Exterior Night Shanghai Disneyland
I feel like I haven't really talked a whole bunch about Tron here, but this coaster really took me by surprise. I boarded it having not really been phased by it - I don't really care for space/futuristic themes, couldn't give a shit about Tron as an IP and well...the less said about Vekoma Booster Bike coasters the better. I don't think I can recall another coaster that has prompted me to involuntarily shout WOW whilst I was riding it - but Tron did that to me. The launch was way more powerful than I was expecting it to be, every tiny little detail such as the noises when the restraints click into place is just so intricate and well thought out and the main show building is utterly astounding. Like, the idea of Tron is that you're inside a computer generated world and fuck me if they haven't pulled that off to perfection. It's a marvel of theme park and design engineering.

Image Of Reign Of Kong Ride Exterior Islands Of Adventure
For something everyone and their mother has said is shite, this ride isn't half good! Seriously - what the hell was everybody else riding because the Kong I experienced was so much fun. The facade is jaw-dropping - it's absolutely massive and actually really scary looking. It has an aura of evil about it which obviously is right up my alley. The queueline is so much fun - some of the best animatronics Universal have ever created from the creepy witch dude to the frankly horrifying worm creature. And the live actors! Vile! And the ride itself, yes it's screens, whatever. The way the screens are utilised and incorporate into the adventure as a whole is absolutely seamless, the self-driven vehicles are a fun novelty touch and the animatronic drivers were enough to fool me at least once. It's so much fun, don't let anybody tell you otherwise it's fantastic.

Image Of Dinoconda Roller Coaster Entrance China Dinosaurs Park
I feel like these S&S 4D coasters are like porridge at the three bears' house - Eejanaika was too much, X2 was not enough, but Dinoconda was just right. And if you've been on one of these death machines you'll know that I mean just right in the sense that it's just the right amount of brutal force, pain and impending death. I'm so grateful that such a wild and insane coaster type exists but I am equally as grateful that they're all in places over ten hour flights away from me so I don't have to ride them that often. But what an experience - I honestly can't properly describe how Dinoconda rides but it manages to balance its speed and forces just right so you spend the entire ride precariously toeing the line between euphoria and abject terror. And it's brilliant.

Image Of Mine Blower Roller Coaster First Drop Fun Spot America
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I feel like this coaster doesn't get raved about as much as it should. After Mako it's my second favourite coaster in Florida and for very good reason. I feel like Gravity Group are literal wizards - how the hell have they managed to cram such a wicked little coaster onto such a minuscule footprint? I'm so sad it costs $9 a go because I'm a cheapskate, but the one ride I didn't manage on it I had so much fun, flying through the tangled little layout and clinging on for dear life. Also, that inversion is fabulous - I love that moment where everything seems to go in slow motion as the track and supports just envelop you. ALSO also, why don't more coasters have their ride photo moment during the inversion? Genius stuff.

Image Of Dragon Gliders Ride Entrance Motiongate
OK so when I rode Arthur at Europa Park back in....I want to say 2015, I absolutely loved it but all I remember thinking is how amazing the ride could be if done with an IP I actually gave a shit about. And Motiongate delivered with Dragon Gliders based on the How To Train Your Dragon film series. I adore the How To Train Your Dragon movies, I think the animation is glorious and the characters are all adorable. I got way too excited by the bloody HTTYD themed boat ride at Heide Park for god's sake so you can only imagine my joy at this thing. The way the track circles around the indoor HTTYD themed area at Motiongate is so cool as a visual gag as you enter the land but how the coaster uses speed and height to deliver the narrative of the attraction is where the real magic happens. Adorable.

If 2019 delivers even half of the fantastic rides I've been able to get on in 2018 I'll be very satisfied. It's been a brilliant year and I still can't believe the parks we were able to squeeze in - I've had an absolute blast and can't wait to do it all again this season!

What were your top rides of 2018? Is there anything that caught you by surprise? Anything that let you down? Let me know in the comments!

Talk later xoxo,

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