Though the coaster wars are heating up big time this summer in theme parks across the U.S., there is not much going on in the amusement world across the globe. With the exception of a major new ride at Alton Towers in England and a relocated coaster at Six Flags in Mexico City, international parks are unusually quiet this year. Check out what's going on:
The Smiler - Alton Towers
Alton Towers, in Staffordshire, is one of England's premier theme parks, boasting some of the best coasters anywhere, and in 2013 the park will be unleashing another monster. The Smiler is the name given to Alton's newest scare machine and it's looks like it's going to be big. Coming in at a price tag of about 18 million Euro, very little has been revealed about the ride, except that it will be the park's longest (165 seconds long), its highest drop will be 98 feet and it will travel at speeds of about 52 miles per hour. The coaster will also feature a "world's first element," which has yet to be revealed.
The theme park added a new attraction for its 2012 Scarefest called The Sanctuary, which park owners said would be a preview of the new coaster. "It has been designed to look like a medical facility that has recently reopened after being closed for nearly 50 years. Visitors enter a 'scare maze' where they are confronted by sinister medical staff and residents." Shrowded in mystery also was the ride's name. Previously culled with a "code name,": 'SW7,' or 'Secret Weapon 7,' the true name was only revealed recently. Stay tuned for details on The Smiler as they become available between now and its scheduled May 2013 opening.
The Joker - Six Flags Mexico
Six Flags in Mexico City will be adding a new coaster for the spring of 2013. The new ride, The Joker, is being relocated from Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, California, and it's a family-style coaster with cars that spin independently of the track and moves at speeds of up to 31 miles per hour. The addition of The Joker further cements this park's place as the park with the most coasters in Mexico.
Liseberg Amusement Park, in Gothenburg, Sweden, is one of Europe's most visited theme parks, and they've just made an announcement that they will be constructing an all-new coaster for the 2014 season. The new ride will be the park's biggest investment ever, coming in at a cost of about 23 million Euro, and the 4,500-foot track will include two launches, six inversions, four airtime hills and speeds of up to about 62 miles per hour. Construction of the as yet unnamed ride will begin at the end of the 2013 season, so stay tuned.
So that's all she wrote for now. To check out other new rides coming to a theme park near you, check out the stories below, and be sure to hit the 'subscribe' button above for more updates from the amusement world.