Every year, when theme parks announce the new attractions that will be debuting the following season, a hefty proportion of the new rides are roller coasters. Despite the many other options available, nothing quite catches the imagination - or draws in huge crowds - like a major coaster.
2016 will see a particularly large crop of impressive new steel and wooden creations opening at theme parks all over the world. We've picked out 16 of the most impressive here, but we've barely scratched the surface - somewhere around 150 new coasters are expected to carry their first riders this year.
But to give you a taster, in no particular order, here are those that we consider to be the most intriguing.
16. Cobra's Curse (Busch Gardens Tampa, USA)
Manufacturer: Mack RidesType: Spinning CoasterTop speed: 40mphHeight: 70 feet
Busch Gardens Tampa already boasts an impressive line-up of coasters, and it will add to it in 2016 with a family-friendly spinning coaster from Mack Rides. Hosted in the Egypt area of the park, Cobra's Curse will use the former King Tut's Tomb walkthrough attraction to host an air-conditioned queue. While they wait, guests will be able to admire mambas, pythons and vipers, all hosted in a 400-cubic-foot snake exhibit.
The ride's most unique element will be a 70-foot-tall vertical elevator lift, which will send guests spinning towards the jaws of the snake king Venymyss. They will then race through an archeological dig site, where the remains of Venymyss' temple have been uncovered.
A second lift hill will see the cars locked into a backwards position, while for much of the rest of the ride the cars will be in "free-spinning" mode, allowing every individual ride to be slightly different.
15. Capitol Bullet Train (motiongate Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
motiongate Dubai will be the flagship park at Dubai Parks & Resorts when it debuts later this year. The park promises to bring Hollywood to the desert, featuring attractions based on the works of three major movie studios: Sony Pictures Studios, DreamWorks Animation and Lionsgate. It's certainly an impressive line-up, with the potential - if the budget matches the vision - to create a park that could rival Universal's best offerings.
It's the headline ride of the Liongate area that has captured the imagination, with the Capitol Bullet Train set to simulate a journey on the high-speed trains that link the Districts in the Hunger Games movies.
Little has been confirmed about the coaster itself, but concept art shows that it will be surrounded by familiar landmarks from the movies. The design looks similar to launched coasters installed by Intamin at other parks across the world. It'll be accompanied by Panem Aerial Tour, a simulator ride that will take guests on a hovercraft flight above Panem.
14. Valravn (Cedar Point, USA)
Manufacturer: Bolliger & MabillardType: Dive CoasterTop speed: 75mphHeight: 223 feet
Cedar Point's new addition for 2016 is Valravn, the third Bolliger & Mabillard Dive Coaster to be built in the United States. The ride's themed is based on the valravn, a supernatural bird of Danish folklore.
The park is billing Valravn as the tallest, longest and faster Dive Coaster in the world. After leaving the station, the train ascends a 223-foot-tall lift hill, before plummeting down a 214-foot vertical drop at speeds of up to 75 miles per hour. After passing through an Immelmann loop, riders experience a second drop of 131 feet, before racing into a dive loop and a 270-degree corkscrew-style roll.
Compare that to Oblivion at Alton Towers - the world's first Dive Coaster back in 1998. Its drop is 180 feet, and it has a top speed of 68 miles per hour. Crucially, though, it also has one stunning theming element...a gaping hole in the ground into which the coaster dives during its signature drop. Can Valravn's additional inversions and other thrilling elements make up for the lack of a similar "black hole" drop? We'll have to wait and see...
13. Lost Gravity (Walibi Holland)
Manufacturer: Mack RidesType: Steel CoasterTop speed: 54mphHeight: 105 feet
The yellow and black track of Lost Gravity, which opened in March, lends the coaster an air of menace. It's a Mack Rides creation, featuring new "Big Dipper" trains that seat four across in two rows.
The two-minute ride features two inversions, with the trains hitting a top speed of 54 miles per hour. The coaster stands at a relatively modest 105 feet tall.
No records broken here then, but Lost Gravity sneaks into this list by virtue of its unusual-looking trains and well-executed design.
12. The Joker (Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, USA)
Manufacturer: Rocky Mountain ConstructionType: Steel-Wood Hybrid CoasterTop speed: 53mphHeight: 100 feet
In 2016, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom becomes the latest Six Flags park to follow the current trend for converting aging wooden roller coasters into modern hybrids by laying a new steel track on top of the existing wooden support structure. In this case, the former Roar coaster, manufactured by Great Coasters International and opened in 1998, is being given the hybrid treatment by Rocky Mountain Construction. The ride will also receive a new DC Comics theme, based around Batman's arch-nemesis The Joker.
Some elements of Roar's original layout will be changed quite significantly. Most notably, the ride's height has been increased by around five feet to 100 feet, with the first drop having been re-profiled to make it steeper. In addition, a total of three inversions have been added to the circuit, reflecting the ride's new steel nature and transforming the experience completely.
The trains themselves will feature Joker theming, with each featuring six cars that can seat up to four riders each. Expect a smoother ride than Roar used to offer, thanks to the new construction...and expect to see many more of these hybrid conversions in the years to come.
11. Flying Aces (Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)
Manufacturer: IntaminType: Steel CoasterTop speed: 75mphHeight: 207 feet
Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is already home to the world's fastest roller coaster, Formula Rossa, and the park is not messing around in 2016 - it is opening no fewer than three new coasters, in addition to a new dark ride. The overall effect will be to completely transform the (mostly) indoor park into a new - and much better - experience.
The first of the new coasters to open is Flying Aces, which debuted in February. The ride features an aviation theme, inspired by Count Francesco Baracca, Italy's top fight ace of World War One. The prancing horse embled that adorned his plane was adopted by Ferrari in 1929.
Flying Aces boasts a number of unique features, most notably the world's tallest non-inverting loop at some 170 feet. The trains feature a bi-plane theme and the ride was manufactured by Intamin.