Sunday 25 March 2018

Six new theme park rides set to thrill rollercoaster fans this summer...

Universal Studios' new Harry Potter ride opens today, with Disneyland Paris's Ratatouille to follow on Thursday. Fans are in for the summer of their lives...

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley
The Smiler in Alton Towers in the UK

Eimear Phelan & Pól Ó Conghaile

2014 is proving an epic year for theme park rides, with new and improved 'coasters opening up all over the world. The newer the rides, the faster they get... and here are six of the best.

1. Escape From Gringotts: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios, Orlando, Florida

Located in the Universal Studios Florida theme park, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley doubles the size of Islands of Adventure, featuring shops, dining experiences and of course the next generation thrill ride, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts.

Guests can enjoy new experiences and places from the Harry Potter books and films, walk the streets of Diagon Alley and explore iconic shops like Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes before embarking on a thrilling adventure through the Gringotts bank vaults – and much more.

As one fan, Nicole Balmaine from Dublin describes: “It was as if you'd delved straight into the pages of a Harry Potter book."

The new ride - Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts - is a combination of sets, projection animation and live special effects designed to make riders feel like they are in the film. It opens today (July 8th), with even the queues recreating Gringotts' bank in painstaking detail.

2. Ratatouille: The Adventure at Disneyland Paris

In this new ride guests are made to feel they have shrunk to the size of Remy, the rat with a passion for cooking, as he scurries around a giant kitchen. The ride whisks you in your very own 'ratmobile' through an oversized kitchen filled with giant plates and wine bottles. The ride is also quite techie, using 3D effects and the smell of oranges, for instance, as you dash through the pantry.

The theme park also boasts an entire Parisian quarter including Bistrot Chez Remy where you can get your very own plate of ratatouille. It opens this month.

3. Banshee - Kings Island, Mason, Ohio

The world's longest rollercoaster takes you through seven inversions as it speeds you along its record breaking track. The ride caters to all the seasoned thrillseeker's needs with top speeds of up to 68 miles an hour... as well as different loops and a taste of Zero G.

The ride is the first female inspired ride in a Cedar Fair Entertainment park.

4. Goliath- Six Flags, Gurnee, Illinois

Opened this June, this one's proof that the record-holding rollercoaster really is bigger and better than anything before. Goliath holds the record as world’s tallest and steepest rollercoaster, whooshing riders180-feet into the air before plunging down a near-vertical 85-degree drop. It is also the fastest wooden roller coaster in the world at 72mph.

5. SkyScreamer- Six Flags New England

When you think of an exhilarating ride, you don’t generally think of swings at your local carnival. But Six Flags have taken that ride and given it steroids... Those with a fear of heights best stop reading now, because the SkyScreamer catapults its riders a whopping 400 feet into the air before spinning them round at 40mph. The ride provides breathtaking views of New England, but you'll probably be too busy trying to keep the contents of your stomach down to enjoy them!

6. The Smiler: Alton Towers, UK

This ride is a mix between a traditional roller coaster with wraparound screens and an accompanying video... electrifying riders as it drops them twtisting and turning through the spider-like structure. The ride was added to the British theme park last year and features 14 inversions as well as optical effects designed to disorientate the riders...

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