There’s a lot you can do on a chair – sitting, pondering, balancing it on your pinkie toe – but now, we’re turning your chair into a transportation device! Chairs are, after all, not really that fun. Rollercoasters are. That’s why we’re sending you and your trusty chair friend on a trip around the world, to some of the biggest theme parks, so that you can be one of the first to try out their newly-opened rides, without having to leave your beloved recliner behind!
InvadR, Busch Gardens, Williamsburg
In a theme park world which is sprawling with over-complicated steel constructions, sometimes a return to the original is welcome. That’s the tact the folk at Busch Gardens at Williamsburg have taken. This is a park that stands out as a modern metropolis of coasters – so the announcement of their first ever wooden coaster was pretty jarring. It was a smart one, though. With each park trying to out-modernise each other, the one truly striking option left, is to go back to basics. Of course, now that ride technology now advances at the rate of a super-coaster, the engineers have imbued the classic design with cutting-edge components. As the first life hills smooths out, the track descends into a straight dive and through a vertical curve, while benefitting from an elongated airtime for ultimate thrills.
The Joker, Six Flags, Arlington, Texas
Having already made mischief in several of Six Flag’s parks across the US, The Joker, which is soon to land in Texas, will reveal some roguery of its own. This one-of-a-kind coaster starts its ascent lift-style, as you’re flown 120 feet into the air, while the wing seats will have you spinning somersaults along the track. It then swoops violently down into free-fall drops, as you continue to feel the weightlessness of head-over-heel spins. This all ensues in a ‘spaghetti bowl’ fashion, as the tracks are literally piled on top of each other, so that all these twists and turns are compressed into a relatively small space.
Red Force, Portaventura, Spain
In 2017, Portaventura in Salou welcomes Europe’s new tallest and fastest coaster, Red Force. Costing around £80 million to build, much like her sister who resides at the Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi, you’ll have the near-experience of driving an F1 car on this ride. Accelerating from 0-110mph in five seconds, you’ll be brutally blasted up a 112 metre ascent, before careening down the track for that dizzying height. This all takes place in the newly opened Ferrari Land in the Portaventura park, which adorns a Renaissance Italy costume, as it features ornate piazzas and a beckoning bell tower.
Lech Coaster, Silesian Amusement Park, Poland
Located in Poland’s largest park, Lech Coaster at Silesian Amusement Park will send its riders on the most fun history lesson there is. This thematic coaster’s namesake, is of course a reference to Prince Lech, the legendary founding father of Poland. And what better way to pay tribute than with a legendary coaster?! This one will be quite the homage, as it will be instated as the largest rollercoaster in both Central and Eastern Europe.
Pandora, World of Pandora, Walt Disney Florida
Seeming to occupy its own universe, Disney in Orlando‘s the World of Pandora beyond-this-Earth beautiful. It replicates James Cameron’s vision in his film, Avatar, and even extends its beauty. With mechanical fish swimming in lakes, bugs on leaves, and even flowers that you can play the drums on – there’s not one tiny detail in this attraction that doesn’t exude magic. It opens to the public this year, and though the land does play host to two new rides, the area itself is the real spectacle here. Nevertheless, both rides are there to help you really tap into its beauty. There’s the Na’vi River Journey, which has its passengers cruising along in boats, in a dark discovery of the land’s bioluminescent rainforest. The other is Valley of Mo’ara – a virtual-reality based ride which’ll have its riders hiking high amidst the mountains, as they experience the sensation of flying.
Patriot Floorless Coaster, California’s Great America
Opening at the beginning of April, California‘s Great America will be championing the floorless coaster – a frankly, understated and overlooked coaster type. It makes for a more immersive design, as the rider will almost feel as though they are part of the track, instead of having an obstacle between them. On this ride, feet will be dangling as they’re taken from a 90-foot drop into a 360-degree loop, and into numerous corkscrews. Whew!