Home » BATTLE OF THE FAMILY COASTERS: 2024. But Which New Coaster Comes Out On Top?

    BATTLE OF THE FAMILY COASTERS: 2024. But Which New Coaster Comes Out On Top?

    Fire in the Hole

    As we approach spring and many theme parks begin opening for their summer seasons, it is undoubtedly that most eyes will be on Top Thrill 2’s debut over at Cedar Point. However, 2024 also marks the year of the family coaster. 

    In fact, there are nearly a dozen new family coasters expected to make their debuts this year in the U.S. alone. From family boomerangs to incredibly detailed story-based coasters, it is hard to decide which of these family coasters will stand out among its peers. Here are our picks for the top 3 family coasters opening in 2024.

    1.Fire in the Hole at Silver Dollar City

    Fire in the Hole

    Fire in the Hole is a remake of a former coaster attraction at Silver Dollar City that closed just last year. The former Fire in the Hole attraction was an indoor steel coaster that opened in 1972. It included elements of both a coaster and a dark ride including scenes depicting fiery blazes in the town of Maramo and even a splash-down finale. 

    The new Fire in the Hole has been built entirely new and cost 30 million dollars. The new coaster, built by Rocky Mountain Construction will feature an all-new ride building, new scenes, new lighting and special effects, and the iconic splash down. 

    Additionally, the coaster will include three drops and a new story. Silver Dollar City notes that Fire in the Hole will be the largest indoor coaster “in the Heartland.” This new coaster will be truly one-of-a-kind when it opens in the new Fire District area of the park later this year.

    2. Catapult Falls at SeaWorld San Antonio

    Catapult Falls is the first launched flume coaster, and it opened earlier this month. This first-of-its-kind water coaster manufactured by Intamin features the only vertical lift in America as well as the steeped flume coaster drop in the world at 53 degrees. Additionally, the ride lasts a whopping 5 minutes. The ride is themed to a national park campground and features several signs and scenes that enhance the ride experience. 

    The ride begins with a relaxing journey through a few turns including a trip through Geyser Gulch where rides might get sprayed by one of the randomly shooting geysers. Next, riders launch at 30 feet per second over a small hill with an impressive splashdown. After a few more turns, riders climb the vertical lift to the 55-foot tall first drop. After a few more relaxing turns, the ride vehicle reaches the station. The coaster is set to be both relaxing and thrilling, and sure to be a hit on those hot Texas days. 

    3. Penguin Trek at SeaWorld Orlando

    Penguin Trek

    Penguin Trek at SeaWorld in Orlando is set to open later this year is a Bolliger and Maillard family launch coaster that is replacing the former Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin dark ride. We saw a similar situation last year when Busch Gardens Williamsburg opened DarKoaster. However, that coaster was manufactured by Intamin. 

    Penguin Trek will reach speeds of 43 miles per hour and riders will begin their journey within the same building that housed the former Antarctica attraction before being launched outdoors. The coaster features over 3000 feet of track and two launches, and with only a 42-inch height requirement, it is sure to delight younger guests looking for their first thrill. We expect that Penguin Trek will be a great addition to SeaWorld Orlando and that even thrill seekers will enjoy taking a ride with their younger or less thrill-seeking loved ones.

    Which family coaster are you most excited to see this year? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page.