2022 Most Anticipated Coasters


I will admit I've had to force myself to write this. The past few years has really seen my optimism die a death, and as such posts like these no longer fill me with the excitement they once did. Instead I'm left wondering which trip will be cancelled first and which coasters on the list I'll be looking back at in a year's time and laughing at how foolish I was to believe I would actually get to ride the thing, yet alone anticipate it with excitement. Of my list from last year I only rode ONE of the coasters, and of my 2020 list I only rode two, so you can kind of understand where I'm coming from. 

BUT, 2022 is a new year so fuck those feelings, they belong in the trash. For me 2022 is blind optimism, rolling with the punches and trying not to get hung up on the disappointment if plans change. It's either that of face into the reality of the situation, and for me that's too depressing to think about, so I choose naivety, rose-coloured glasses and whatever other metaphors there are to explain this situation. These are my top seven most anticipated coasters that I hope to ride in 2022.

Kicking it off with the grand-daddy, it's Velocicoaster at Islands of Adventure. I'll be heading to sunny Orlando in May this year with my family and staying on-Resort at Universal, which will hopefully mean plenty of time to get a ton of Velocicoaster action in. It's funny, I really didn't pay tons of attention to the construction of this coaster like most people did. On paper it's everything I love in a coaster - fast launches, tight, contorting transitions, a buttload of airtime and it's themed to dinosaurs - awesome! But something about it didn't really grab me from the start. 

(Source: @single_rider_thrills on Instagram)

But now we've gotten a real good look at the thing and the fact that everybody who's ridden it says it's awesome, I'm psyched. I've managed to avoid most 'spoilers' for this coaster, by which I means I haven't watched a POV or looked into anything you can see from beyond the queueline, so I'll be going into this quite blind which makes me even more excited!

A re-entry from my 2020 list of all things, I was originally meant to ride this coaster for my 30th birthday trip that never happened because of the you know what. It's so weird to think that this coaster STILL isn't open, two years after first talking about it back then. This one I did pay attention to, firstly because it looks nuts. The idea of the backwards section and the track switching in time for you to skid back over it does make me SUPER anxious, in anticipation of an RCT like major collision/explosion, but apart from that I think Pantheon looks absolutely incredible. The strange outward banking, the extreme zero-g stall/hangtime element, just give it to me now. 


And secondly, because it's at Busch Gardens Williamsburg - a park I've been dying to get back to since my first visit all the way back in 2012. It's been so, so long and I adored the place back then, I'd love to see how it's changed and enjoy a fantastic looking coaster whilst I'm there - plus we'll hopefully get to experience their Howl-O-Scream event too!

When I wrote about this in 2021 it was still calling itself Time Traveler, so there has been some progress since then. Oh yh and the whole coaster did actually open and I know a bunch of people who were able to get out there and ride the thing. Theming wise this looks gorgeous - it's so intricate and unusual, with a gorgeous station building and trains. It's kind of steampunk looking I guess, but with a European theme park fairytale style twist. And of course it's linked with the Tomorrowland music festival so it's got a bit of extra edge to it as well, including on-board audio, yay!


I am a bit intrigued by how I will do riding this - I don't do too great with spinny things at the best of times but combine that with an extremely chaotic looking layout and I think I'm going to have my work cut out for me. I'll have to work on my breathing exercises and focusing on a fixed point to try and keep the nausea at bay...

Look, I fully appreciate I'm very much tempting fate by even daring to type the name of this fickle beast of a coaster, but I am beyond caring at this point. I think if I even get to see it, I will be happy. Yes, Lightning Rod - the infamous launched-lifthill quadruple-down RMC coaster that resides at the legendary Dollywood in Tennessee. If you've been here a while you'll know I don't actually care too much for RMCs, but this one is special because it seems to do things a little differently than your average bear. I guess that is also the reason why it's always broken but we move. 


It's on the list again, same as last year. There's not a ton more I can say about it other than I would very much like to ride it, it looks fun and the station looks badass. That and I'd quite like to just get back to Walibi Belgium in general because the place looks like a whole new park since I last visited in 2014. 


Look, we know I didn't like Leviathan. That much has been established. But I try not to let not enjoying one coaster of a certain type ruin my expectations for all others, so I remain very much excited to see what Fury 325 has in store, especially as so many rate it so highly. I think I just need to get out of the headspace of 'Big B&M = floaty airtime' and just let it do its thing? Plus hopefully when I get to ride this we won't be rushed for time like we were at Canada's Wonderland, so that should take some of the edge off and allow me to enjoy it a little more. Plus night rides - which I'm told are an absolute must for Fury 325!


Ironic that a post where I talk about not really rating RMC happens to have two RMCs on the list but what can I say, that's just what parks are building at the mo! Iron Gwazi is a weird one for me, and most on here for sentimental reasons. Once upon a time the Middleton family went to Busch Gardens Tampa and rode Gwazi. They hadn't really been on anything resembling a 'proper' wooden rollercoaster before, and were all completely blown away, despite the coaster actually riding like trash in hindsight. We have a weird soft spot for Gwazi in our family, and were very saddened to see it go. 


BUT, having been on my fair share of RMCs and knowing how much my family love coasters I am just so excited for them all to ride their first one, and even more excited that that gets to be Iron Gwazi, a coaster associated with another coaster we all have such lovely family memories of. It's a shame that Covid has killed the hype a little bit, but considering the sheer size of this thing it's just GOT to deliver, right?


So yes, call me what you will for living my foolish fantasies, but here we are, these are the biggest and best coasters I'm most excited to try and ride in 2022. Now fingers crossed for a little more success vs. the past two years!

What coasters are you most excited to ride this season? Let me know in the comments, I'd love to have a chat!

Talk later xoxo,