Holy Roller Coasters

Big Fun

Up, down, all around! 2016 is a banner year for innovation in the coaster world. Whether you've got a toddler or a tween, the thrills (and smiles) will be coming fast and furious. C'mon, throw your hands up for the summer's newest rides!

By Christina Vercelletto

Cobra's Curse at Busch Gardens


Got a little daredevil in tow? Head south, where you'll find this innovative coaster that brings you face to face with a huge (80-foot, 10,000-pound) serpent statue. Also seriously cool: Instead of the traditional incline pull, an elevator-style lift takes you to the top. (Height requirement: 42 inches)

Flight of the Hippogriff at Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal City, CA

As if one needed an excuse to hit the West Coast's just-opened Wizarding World of Harry Potter: This cute coaster sets you in a car led by a Hippogriff. Ideal for kiddies, the ride has twists and turns but no steep drops. The first outdoor coaster at Universal Studios Hollywood, it's like the foam on your Butterbeer! (Height requirement: 39 inches)

Lightning Rod at Dollywood

Pigeon Forge, TN

Good old Dolly does it again, this time with a down-home wooden coaster with cars that look like actual cars—replicas of 1950s hot rods, complete with flames. Riders travel nearly three quarters of a mile and swish down a mountainside at 73 mph. (Height requirement: 48 inches)

The Monster at Adventureland

Des Moines

Say hello to the only coaster in the Western hemisphere where riders experience a “negative-G stall loop.” That means you come into a loop-dee-loop at a slower speed than on most coasters, which triggers a feeling of weightlessness. The 2,500-foot-long track includes ten such “air time” moments. Monster, indeed. (Height requirement: 48 inches)

Valravn at Cedar Point

Sandusky, OH

This massive playland in the Midwest holds several global records, including “the tallest, fastest, and longest dive coaster in the world.” That would be the new Valravn, with a 223-foot pinnacle, a top speed of 75 mph, and cars with no floors. Leave your flip-flops at home! (Height requirement: 52 inches)