From a wooden roller coaster to a 24-story swing ride, there are a number of new thrills at amusement parks not too far from Annapolis this summer. Take a look at the new rides offered at parks from Virginia to Pennsylvania before deciding which one to visit with the kids over summer vacation.
The park’s first-ever wooden roller coaster, InvadR, is now open. Fly over nine air-time hills, including a 74-foot plunge that reaches speeds of almost 50 miles per hour. Blaze through tunnels and race through the high-banked turns on this viking-themed coaster.
One Busch Gardens Blvd., Williamsburg, Va.
Merlin’s Mayhem, the park’s first suspended family roller coaster, will open this summer. Featuring a 60-foot rise and many twists and turns, Merlin’s Mayhem is for both old and young. The ride takes guests through the story of Merlin and a curious dragon, Mayhem, who has disappeared into Dutch Wonderland. The seats have a built-in audio surround system.
2249 Lincoln Hwy. E, Lancaster, Pa.
The new Hershey Triple Tower is now open and includes three drop towers of different heights — Hershey’s Tower at 80 feet, Reese’s Tower at 131 feet and Hershey’s Kisses Tower at 189 feet. Each provides a different experience, thrill level and speed. Hershey’s Kisses and Reese’s towers both offer two cycles of being propelled to the top and then gently lowered down with a series of air cushioned bounces. Hershey’s Tower offers two options including a “space shot,” where riders are rapidly propelled to the top of the tower and a “turbo drop,” where they are blasted down at speeds faster than a typical free fall. The maximum speed for all three is 45 miles per hour.
100 W. Hershey Park Dr., Hershey, Pa.
The park has expanded Planet Snoopy and added three new rides for children. The Kite Eating Tree propels kids to the top of a tower and bounces down to the platform. Sally’s Sea Plane rotates and rises into the air, and Peanuts 500 moves in a circle and whips around the corner on a closed track.
16000 Theme Park Way
Six Flags America
The 242-feet tall Wonder Woman Lasso of Truth extreme swing ride opens this month. The 24-story towering attraction will whisk riders around a 98-foot circle at speeds of 40 miles per hour and gives riders a view from high above the park.
13710 Central Ave.