10 rides I want from 2022
Well, the 10 rides I want from 2021 post aged horribly, but that’s not going to stop me having another go at a list for 2022. Thanks to the prolonging of the pandemic I only managed a measly 2/10 rides from the previous time around, the Belgian beasts Kondaa and Ride to Happiness. Reading it back now I can’t quite believe that my new #2 didn’t even have an official name this time last year. Thankfully they both went above and beyond in terms of salvaging 2021 for me.
Once again I’ll be looking at rides I’m actively going to try and experience this year as opposed to a standard ‘bucket list’. I’m still loathed to write posts about attractions I haven’t experienced yet, though hopefully the two workarounds I came up with continue to make it work:
1) I don’t have any nice photos for these yet – instead you can have an external link for further reading and a related picture of another ride to which I can attribute some of my expressed interest.
2) Raising expectations is a dangerous game – I can’t pretend I don’t have expectations or these lists wouldn’t exist in the first place, I just won’t rank them in any particular order.
I could once again have just filled this list with 10 rides from the 2020 & 2021 American road trip that still wasn’t to be. There were well over 100 credits planned (in no less than eight detailed itineraries by this stage) and a ton of the industrys big names on the bill. It really needs to happen this time around. I’ll just have to mention these two standouts again, they’re still a priority for this year and will remain on this list until they’re done.
(Jungle Trailblazer, Fantawild Asian Legend)
Voyage, Holiday World
Originally destined to be my 1000th coaster, Voyage would likely claim to be the king of Gravity Group woodies. It has the stats to back it up, being the longest and fastest they’ve ever designed and as they are my favourite manufacturer of the moment, the desire to finally get this one under my belt is obviously rather strong.
To add another layer of excitement and intrigue, the park holds an annual event intended entirely for enthusiasts and legend has it that the coaster is run at its absolute best (no trim brakes) just for them, for two nights only. We had tickets ready for both of the previous years’ events and now it looks like they’re making it more difficult to attend this year. Still need to make it happen.
Steel Vengeance, Cedar Point
The hype around this ride is inescapable as it continues to dominate every rollercoaster ranking system ever conceived. RMC are the most consistently excellent manufacturer around these days and, once again, their biggest creation to date certainly looks like a world beater.
I’m still hugely conflicted about Steel Vengeance and I still don’t even know much of what it does. While of course I want it to be the best thing ever, something I’ve been searching for for over 6 years now, I don’t know if I want that best thing ever to be the same as everyone else’s best thing ever. It’s a tough spot to be in, but I’m determined not to let anything cloud my judgement when I finally get there.
Florida remains the biggest black hole in my theme park arsenal. How can I have been all over the world and still not set foot in what is arguably the capital? With the world’s largest Disney and Universal resorts and biggest named Busch Gardens and Sea World parks there’s enough in this one state to keep anyone, including me, going for weeks. The answer is, simply, I’ve never got round to it. But I want to. And as such, I’ve never even looked in great detail at what’s there. I know the obvious coaster stuff, but not the ins and outs of each resort and it now feels like I’m clinging to that rookie state for as long as possible, just to feel wide eyed and innocent one final time in this hobby.
(Mystic Manor, Hong Kong Disneyland)
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, Disney’s Hollywood Studios
I still know nothing. Absolutely nothing. It’s a trackless dark ride, right? And, and, Star Wars. My absolute favourite film franchise.
You can quote me on here as previously saying that I would get excited simply if I ever got to see Crait on an upgraded Star Tours simulator cycle (and those rides just do nothing for me, really), so the fact that there’s a brand new, specifically designed, reputedly next level Disney dark ride themed around the modern material is… well… I’m still not ready for Florida. And I don’t think I ever will be.
Velocicoaster, Universal Studios Islands of Adventure
Back in the days of Revenge of the Mummy, Universal were setting the precedent for combining thrill rides with immersive theming and I’m yet to see another project come close to matching the things that I specifically love that attraction for.
Velocicoaster would seem to go down a slightly different road, perhaps inspired by ol’ Taron by being a densely decorated Intamin multi launch coaster and while I’m not the biggest Taron fan out there, my experience with Taiga has me overwhelmingly hopeful that these two giants of the industry have pulled off something as similarly unrivalled as the Mummy, in its own special way.
It has actually opened since my mention of it last year and I’ve spent some time skimming over a lot of superlatives about it. There’s still also that literal, actual dream I had about this ride becoming my new #1 rollercoaster. Is that setting the bar too high?
With Europe being the only continent able to receive my attention over the past two seasons, the options left for life changing attractions are starting to get rather thin on the ground. It’s not looking to be an overly exciting year for brand new coasters either, at least not on the unprecedented scale that Belgium managed to pull off recently. I have already begun to map out another epic road trip in the style of the last two years however and if all else fails, this should be the one to watch, again.
(Lech Coaster, Legendia)
Fønix, Fårup Sommerland
It’s with trepidation that I mention this one, given that I haven’t been the biggest fan of any of Vekoma’s new thrill coasters. However they may end up riding, they always look the part for sure, firmly putting themselves on my radar just to see if they one day nail it. Far from this being me jumping on any bandwagon, Fønix is, to our knowledge, the only major rollercoaster coming to Europe next year so it just has to be amazing. Please be amazing.
(Nemesis, Alton Towers)
Monster, Gröna Lund
B&M inverts appear to have almost gone out of fashion by now, sadly, so it was a bit of a wildcard when this already densely packed Stockholm park announced they were getting one. The announcement took place a long time ago too, Monster was made over several years of hard effort (a shame the same can’t be said about the name) and ending up falling off of my radar somewhat. Being crammed into tight and imaginative spaces is usually very complementary to this ride type and hopefully Gröna Lund have pulled something special out of the bag like they did once before.
It was depressing to read back on my story last year about the Chinese Visa. Even though I began with the hope of it being usable until at least October, they took the decision fairly early on to invalidate all tourist visas on top of not really allowing us in anyway, so the dream was doomed from the start. With things as they are now, it’s the least likely in this list that I’ll get there again, but to be truly representative of myself I have to include some of my more far-fetched schemes and the country that still excites me the most with it’s growing theme park industry. If any opportunity arises, just know that I’ll be there. To that end, here’s 3 totally different Chinese attractions to those that I chose in 2021.
Hurricane Roller Coaster, Suzhou Amusement Land Forest World
I’ve had a love for Mack since the very early days of my theme park travels, not least because they made my favourite coaster to date. To compare this new build to one of their multi-launchers seems a fair way off the mark though as Hurricane gives off a very different vibe to anything the manufacturer has done before. From huge top hat to intensely quick inversion, this one stands out like a challenge to the Intamin accelerators of old and I, for one, am rooting for it to come out on top.
(Meeting in Ha Long Bay, Fantawild Asian Legend)
Railway Guerilla, Fantawild Glorious Orient Parks
My dearest Fantawild have been busy while I’ve been away and opened up entire parks worth of brand new content that I’m dying to go and try. The Glorious Orient parks now found in both Ganzhou and Ningbo are the next generation to follow the stunning Oriental Heritage series and the second of their ambitious three part phase covering the past, present and future of Chinese culture. Coverage of the attractions is hard to find at this stage and I could have picked any number of their new dark rides because, well, they regularly create some of the best in the world. All I have down in my notes for this one is railways and bombs so there has to be at least one fire effect, right? That’ll do me.
(Transformers: The Ride, Universal Studios Singapore)
Jurassic World Adventure, Universal Studios Beijing
This makes two items listed with a theme around a film franchise I’ve never seen, but dinosaurs have traditionally been an awesome featuring for any ride even as far back as Blackpool’s River Caves in 1905. With all the praise I throw at Fantawild, they owe a lot of their ideas to Universal and their original versions of many dark ride systems that became staples. Here Universal are themselves, in China, bringing something new to the table and I like to think that they’ve thrown everything at it to prove to the local market who’s still on top.
It can’t hurt to have one more backup plan can it? If China keep their borders closed for the forseeable, then I’ll have to look elsewhere for my travel fix to Asia. A certain country has been moving further and further up the to do list over the past few years and then things suddenly got a whole lot more interesting. Much as I look to all the old faithful destinations for attractions that meet the criteria of these lists, it’s good to remind myself that I’m a sucker for an adventure to a new land as well.
(Wood Coaster, Knight Valley)
Roaring Timbers, Sun World Hon Thom Nature Park
Of all announcements in recent years, none have made me do a double take quite as hard as this little shocker. The world at large had no glimpses into any of the stages of construction for a wooden coaster from GCI that has already now been completed and is ready to open next year in Vietnam. It looks lovely, luscious and full of terrain-based goodness just like my absolute favourites from the manufacturer. The ride might be a little on the short side compared to the best of the best, but I want it nonetheless.