Though there's still plenty of ride time left before theme parks around the country close their gates on the 2013 season, things are already starting to heat up for 2014. In the past few weeks, several parks have announced plans for the upcoming ride season, including the highly anticipated reopening of Kentucky Kingdom and a new record-breaking coaster at King's Island. Though these two announcements are enough to get any enthusiast's juices flowing, there's more. Take a look at some of what's to come to amusement parks next summer:
Goliath - Six Flags Great America - Gurnee, IL
Six Flags Great America recently announced that it will be adding the record-breaking Goliath to its roster of scream machines in 2014. Rocky Mountain Construction Company, who built one of this season's most talked about coasters, Silver Dollar City's Outlaw Run, has already broke ground on this wooden roller coaster that rides like a steel one, thanks to new technologies. This ride will be a doozie, with a first drop of 180 feet at an almost straight-down 85 degrees, making it the highest and steepest such ride of its kind in the world. Add a tunnel at the bottom of that hill and record-breaking speeds of up to 72 miles per hour and this one is going to be one heck of a ride!
Zumanjaro Drop of Doom - Six Flags Great Adventure - Jackson, NJ
It's been a long time since Great Adventure has added a brand new roller coaster, and fans of the park won't be getting one in the coming year either. That doesn't mean that local enthusiasts won't be getting something new to get excited about next summer. Six Flags announced recently that it will be adding an all new, record-breaking drop tower smack dab within the edifice of the world-famous Kingda Ka. Zumanjaro Drop of Doom will be the world's tallest drop tower, dropping riders a whopping 450 feet straight down at speeds of up to 90 miles per hour.
Fire Chaser Express - Dollywood - Pigeon Forge, TN
Along with a recent announcement that Dollywood will be undergoing a huge expansion comes news of a new roller coaster for 2014. Dolly Parton's namesake amusement park will be investing somewhere in the vicinity of $300 million to expand and improve the park over the next ten years, including a new 300-room hotel called Dollywood's DreamMore Resort and the new for 2014 coaster, Fire Chaser Express. This one's got a firefighter's theme and will be the first dual-launch family coaster in the country.
Pipe Scream - Cedar Point - Sandusky, OH
"America's Roller Coast," located on the shores of Lake Erie, recently unveiled plans for a renovation of the Gemini Midway area of the park that will include two new rides, a "flying scooters" ride called Lake Erie Eagles and a new type of family coaster dubbed Pipe Scream: a Disk'O Coaster. The park says that the new coaster will combine "the best of a roller coaster and a flat ride in one," reaching a maximum height of 43 feet and speeds of 43 miles per hour as it spins and coasts along 302 feet of track. Though not nearly as impressive a coaster as this year's new Gatekeeper, the ride will certainly be yet another unique attraction in the park's roster.
Be sure to check back to the National Adventure Park's page for updates and more.