Every year, amusement parks across the United States introduce park-goers to a new lineup of attractions, from extreme roller coasters to themed areas that welcome us into whole new worlds. We're celebrating the best theme park attractions that have recently opened and are expected to open in 2022 with the 10 best new theme park attractions, as voted by readers in our Readers' Choice Awards. Scroll to learn about the winners.
Spin, pitch and roll on the LEGO Factory Adventure Ride, the new trackless dark ride at LEGOLAND New York Resort. Join Professor Brick on a thrilling and unpredictable journey through the LEGO factory. Riders will be “shrunken” into a unique Minifigure based on their individual attributes, complete with movements copied by Holovis’ HoloTrac technology.
Universal’s Island of Adventures invites thrill-seekers to “feel the rush of the hunt on the apex predator of roller coasters” – the Jurassic World VelociCoaster. Riders walk into gates that look like the real Jurassic Park and board this intense ride with two 70-mph launches in three minutes, a “top hat” that projects you 155 feet in the air and a 360-degree horizontal barrel roll above the Island of Adventure’s lagoon. Not an experience intended for the faint of heart.
10Best panelist Nikida Metellus raves, “It’s fast, it’s unpredictable, it’s wild, but it’s AMAZING!”
Wonder Woman Flight of Courage opens in the summer of 2022 at Six Flags Magic Mountain and will be the longest and tallest single-rail roller coaster on the planet. Soaring and spinning through the air like Wonder Woman herself, riders fly over 3,300 feet of track and three inversions while reaching speeds of 58 mph and a height of 131 feet. With this addition, the park now has 20 coasters, the most of any theme park worldwide.
Reopened in March 2022 after a seven-year closure, this attraction at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay was initially built as a wooden dueling roller coaster named for a fabled creature with the body of a lion and the head of a tiger. It is billed as “North America’s tallest and world’s fastest and steepest hybrid coaster.” Thrill-seekers are plunged from a 206-foot-tall peak into a 91-degree drop and will experience three inversions and a dozen airtime moments during this ride with a maximum speed of 76 mph.
10Best panelist Nikida Metellus raves, “This is the roller coaster that the original Gwazi should’ve been!”
Opened in June 2021, Six Flags Great Adventure now claims “the world’s tallest, fastest and longest single-rail coaster” with the Jersey Devil. This maximum thrill level coaster hits a top speed of 58 mph, towering 13 stories high with a 130-foot drop. Experience a mind-bending series of twists, hills and inversions as you ride this low, single-file ride.
Remember swinging on a playground as a kid, wind in your hair, straining to go higher and higher into the sky to touch the clouds? The new Tidal Surge at SeaWorld San Antonio is a swingset on steroids. Opened in March 2022, it is the tallest and, at 68 mph, the fastest screaming swing worldwide. Two giant pendulum arms, each carrying 20 thrill-seekers, sway back and forth, picking up speed and giving riders multiple airtimes and negative G forces until they top out at 135 feet in the air – higher than the 105-foot structure itself.
Roller coaster enthusiasts are excited about Pantheon, the newest ride located in the Festa Italia village of Busch Gardens Williamsburg. This steel masterpiece with an ancient Roman theme is 180 feet tall, has 3,300 feet of track, inverts riders twice and reaches a top speed of 73 mph with a 95-degree drop. With four launches and five airtime hills, it’s marketed as the world’s fastest multi-launch coaster.
The 2,411-foot-long Emperor roller coaster opened at SeaWorld San Diego in March 2022. Guests ride on a floorless train to a height of 153 feet, turn, begin to descend, then stop, suspended face down before releasing and plummeting 143 feet at a 90-degree angle and hitting the first of three inversions. With a top speed of 60 mph, this blue beast will take your breath away.
Are you ready to introduce your preschooler to the world of roller coaster rides? The best place to start is the Peppa Pig Theme Park next to Legoland Florida Resort. Based on a British animated series, the park has a host of interactive rides and play areas designed for kids aged five and younger. The centerpiece is Daddy Pig's Roller Coaster, a train of two-person cars that follow Daddy Pig around a gentle route with a few tight curves, loops and hills.
SeaWorld Orlando opened its first launch roller coaster this year, and it will take your breath away. Ice Breaker provides plenty of airtime with two forward and two backward launches, including an insane reverse launch into a 93-foot spike – the highest vertical drop in Florida – with a 100-degree angle. The track is 1,900 feet long with a top speed of 52 mph.