Best New Amusement Park Attraction (2017)


Each new year brings highly anticipated new attractions to amusement parks across North America. 10Best teamed up with a panel of amusement park experts to nominate the 20 best attractions to debut in 2016. We then asked USA TODAY and 10Best readers to vote for their favorites, and after four weeks of voting, the results are in.

  • Valravn

    Cedar Point - Sandusky, Ohio

    Valravn, Cedar Point's newest thrill, takes the form of the tallest, fastest and longest dive coaster on the planet. The coaster, inspired by a mythological creature from Danish folklore, reaches speeds of 75 miles per hour.
    Photo courtesy of Jordan Sternberg

  • Storm Chaser

    Storm Chaser
    Kentucky Kingdom - Louisville

    Kentucky Kingdom's newest addition, Storm Chaser, is the first coaster in the country to feature a barrel roll drop from a 10-story lift hill (and it's nearly perpendicular). The attraction's iBox track makes for a super smooth ride.
    Photo courtesy of Kentucky Kingdom

  • Lightning Rod

    Lightning Rod
    Dollywood - Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

    Lightning Rod, the world's fastest wooden coaster, opened at Dollywood earlier this year. Themed after a 1950s hot rod, the roller coaster tops out at speeds of more than 73 miles per hour.
    Photo courtesy of Dollywood

  • Phobia Phear Coaster

    Phobia Phear Coaster
    Lake Compounce - Bristol, Conn.

    Phobia Phear Coaster, the first triple launch roller coaster in the Northeast, debuted at Lake Compounce earlier this year. Measuring 15 stories tall, the coaster takes passengers on a thrill ride at up to 65 miles per hour with a cobra roll inversion 150 feet in the air.
    Photo courtesy of Lake Compounce

  • Cobra's Curse

    Cobra's Curse
    Busch Gardens - Tampa

    On Cobra's Curse, a new thrill ride at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, riders come face to face with the 80-foot Snake King before racing down 2,100 feet of track for three and a half minutes of forward, backward and free-spinning fun.
    Photo courtesy of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment

  • Mass Effect: New Earth

    Mass Effect: New Earth
    California's Great America - Santa Clara, Calif.

    Video game aficionados will find something familiar at California's Great America this year. The park recently opened Mass Effect: New Earth, a 4D holographic adventure through the world of the popular EA game.
    Photo courtesy of California's Great America

  • Mako

    SeaWorld Orlando

    Guests looking for thrills at SeaWorld Orlando will find them aboard the park's newest rollercoaster, Mako. Orlando's tallest and fastest coaster gets its name from one of the world's fastest sharks – appropriate for a thrill ride reaching speeds of 73 miles per hour.
    Photo courtesy of SeaWorld Orlando

  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

    Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
    Universal Studios Hollywood - Los Angeles

    The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has officially opened at Universal Studios Hollywood, and that means fans can explore the halls of Hogwarts aboard Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, a motion-based dark ride.
    Photo courtesy of David Sprague/Universal Studios Hollywood

  • The Incredible Hulk Roller Coaster

    The Incredible Hulk Roller Coaster
    Islands of Adventure - Orlando

    The Incredible Hulk Roller Coaster at Islands of Adventure recently re-opened after undergoing a massive transformation. Passengers launch at speeds up to 67 miles per hour and twist through a zero gravity roll on this enhanced, high-speed thriller.
    Photo courtesy of Universal Orlando Resort

  • The Monster

    The Monster
    Adventureland Park - Des Moines

    The Monster, the newest rollercoaster at Adventureland Park, takes guests for a thrilling ride along 2,500 feet of track at speeds of up to 65 miles per hour. Five inversions along the way ensure adrenaline will be pumping.
    Photo courtesy of Adventureland Park

The top 10 winners in the category Best New Amusement Park Attraction are as follows:

  1. Valravn - Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio
  2. Storm Chaser - Kentucky Kingdom in Louisville
  3. Lightning Rod - Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
  4. Phobia Phear Coaster - Lake Compounce in Bristol, Conn.
  5. Cobra's Curse - Busch Gardens in Tampa
  6. Mass Effect: New Earth - California's Great America in Santa Clara, Calif.
  7. Mako - SeaWorld Orlando
  8. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey - Universal Studios Hollywood in Los Angeles
  9. The Incredible Hulk Roller Coaster - Islands of Adventure in Orlando
  10. The Monster - Adventureland Park in Des Moines

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Joel Bullock ( and Robert Niles ( were chosen based on their expertise of the amusement park world.

Congratulations to all these winning attractions, and remember to keep this list handy when planning your 2017 amusement park travels.

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Robert Niles

Robert Niles

Robert Niles

Joel Bullock

Joel Bullock

Joel Bullock