Upcoming roller coasters that will blow you away in 2020 and beyond

If you like roller coasters, the next couple years are going to be a treat. 2020 in particular will be a massive year for the king of amusement park rides, as multiple major theme parks are spending big bucks to create amazing new coasters left and right. It's almost like there's a competition for your dollars or something!

Some of these upcoming rides are pretty much what you'd expect — just really, really great roller coasters. Others add a new spin by associating themselves with established brands and throwing you in the middle of some of your favorite franchises. And others (yes, there are more) seem so stomach-churningly scary that it might not be the worst idea to get your affairs in order before you strap in. Still, whether you're ready for them or not, they're coming to entertain and terrify us all. Here's a look at the upcoming roller coasters that will blow you away in 2020 and beyond.

Dragon (Legoland New York, 2020)

With their film franchise and their tendency to spoil Marvel movies with their toy sets, Lego bricks have never been more trendy than they are today. Still, the only way they can physically move you has traditionally been that little, hopping dance of pain when you step on one … at least, until Legoland New York rolls out its brand new Dragon roller coaster. According to USA Today, the fantasy-themed coaster will make its grand debut in the spring of 2020, along with the rest of the theme park, which will open in Goshen, New York, as the ninth and largest Legoland in the world.

Apart from the fact that the Dragon is located in the park's medieval-themed Knights' Kingdom area, details of the ride are rather scarce at the moment. However, if the dragon-themed coasters in smaller Legolands such as Billund Resort and Florida are anything to go by, the Dragon is likely a combined indoor/outdoor track that will start as a moderately paced tour inside a Lego castle filled with fantastic sights, knights, wizards, and dragons. After the calm indoor part, the train exits the castle and the ride suddenly speeds up into a more traditional roller coaster ride.

Mako (Seaworld San Diego, 2020)

Dive coasters are a special sub-category of roller coasters that offer the riders extreme 90-degree drops that send them plunging into the abyss. According to Kusi News, SeaWorld San Diego is pulling out all the stops in the dive coaster game with their upcoming 2020 ride, Mako. SeaWorld boasts that the track will be the fastest, longest, and tallest dive coaster in all of California, and to make things extra unnerving, it will also be the only dive coaster in the state that's floorless.

Mako will send its riders roaming an almost 2,500-foot track right up to its highest crown, where they'll be suspended at a 45-degree angle 153 feet up, their feet helplessly hanging in the air as they face a sheer vertical drop at 60 mph. Of course, that's only the "drop" part of their troubles; Mako will put riders through an absolute wringer with loops, barrel rolls, spins, and stall turns. In other words — we can't wait.

Max & Moritz (Efteling, 2020)

As anyone who has read Brothers Grimm can attest, fairy tales are no laughing matter. So when Attractions Magazine reported in 2018 that a Dutch fairy tale theme park called Efteling planned to build a $17.3 million roller coaster based on a famous German poem about two mean and naughty boys named Max and Moritz, most people aren't expecting the ride to be particularly gentle. While details of the ride are scarce, it will likely be family-friendly and retain the Swiss theme of its predecessor.

The Max & Moritz roller coaster is scheduled to open in 2020 in place of the park's old bobsleigh run attraction, and the park has enough faith in the project that it decided to postpone plans to expand and develop another area to focus on this. Still, even without hard technical specs, confidence is high that Max & Moritz will be a great addition to the world of roller coasters: Official artwork shows the coaster snaking through buildings, around forest trees, and even above a small lake.

Twisted Tiger/Uproar hybrid coaster (Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, 2020)

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is planning something very, very big for 2020. Said something is, of course, a roller coaster, but it won't be just any old ride. They're building a hybrid coaster (part wood, part metal) that's so brimming with superlatives it should be pretty easy to promote. Standing over 200 feet tall, the upcoming wood-and-steel coaster will be the tallest hybrid in North America, along with the steepest and fastest one in the whole wide world.

Tampa Bay Business Journal reports that the ride will be build on the site of the park's long-dormant old wooden coaster, Gwazi, and will use some of its restored elements as well. The park's recent trademark applications indicate that it might be called either Twisted Tiger or Uproar, and along with Florida's tallest launch coaster, Tigris, which opened in 2019, this upcoming beast of a ride should be more than enough to make the park worth a visit for roller coaster enthusiasts.

Candymonium hyper coaster (Hersheypark, 2020)

In 2018, Pennsylvania's Hersheypark announced it's building an entirely new area called Hershey's Chocolatetown. According to Coaster 101, the $150 million project is set to open in 2020, and its centerpiece will be a brand new, currently unnamed roller coaster. The park says the ride will be the park's largest and fastest, which is not bad considering Hersheypark is already home to a few fairly impressive coasters. Their Storm Runner and Skyrush both reach an impressive 75 mph, and the latter coaster is a very respectable 200 feet tall and 3,600 feet long.

This would put the 2020 coaster easily in the realm of hypercoasters, which are 200 to 299 feet tall. Apart from that and the fact that the park has said the new ride will be both longer and faster than Skyrush, precious little information has trickled out. However, there's a good chance we might know this massive new coaster's name. According to Amusement Insider, in May 2019 the park trademarked the name "Candymonium", which … is a pretty great moniker for a giant, chocolate-themed roller coaster, really.

Leviathan (Sea World Australia, 2020)

As Sea World Gold Coast Australia (not associated with the American SeaWorld) is happy to point out, the U.S. and Europe are not the only places that bet big on roller coaster antics. According to MyGC, the park is spending a cool $34.6 million to build New Atlantis, a brand new precinct themed after the mythical sunken continent and equipped with several new rides.

The most interesting one is, of course, a roller coaster. Coaster 101 tells us that the wooden Sea World Leviathan will "take you on the final frontier of your spectacular Atlantean journey." Riders will roar through a water-themed track that peaks at 105 feet as they discover waterfalls, ruins, and historic views. With speeds of up to 50 mph, it would be Australia's longest, tallest, and fastest wooden roller coaster. Oh, and in case you're keen to have a brand new perspective on roller coaster riding, there's also the fact that some of the seats on the ride will face backward.

Primordial (Lagoon, 2020)

There are few roller coaster projects out there more mysterious than whatever's going on at Lagoon, Utah. They're definitely building something, and said something looks an awful lot like a large roller coaster, but details of the project are few and far between. As Fox 13 in Salt Lake City notes, the park has decided to keep the specifics of the ride a closely guarded secret, so what's known about the project comes largely in the form of guesses and rumors on Reddit and assorted amusement park enthusiast forums that pay a surprising amount of attention to these things.

Current guesstimates indicate the ride's name might be Primordial (possibly with a prehistoric theme?), it might be a dark ride/roller coaster hybrid, it might open in 2020, and its construction area is more than twice the space of the park's current largest coaster, a mega-coaster called Cannibal. Seeing as Cannibal is already a pretty impressive ride that features water elements, a massive beyond-vertical free-fall drop into an underground tunnel and a 140-foot-tall inverted loop, this bodes fairly well for Primordial, particularly as the construction seems to include some preparation for underground elements.

Zadra (Energylandia, 2020?)

Energylandia is the kind of name that outright forces a theme park to be as thrilling and high impact as possible, and CoasterForce reports that in 2018, the Polish theme park more than lived up to that by announcing Zadra ("Splinter"), a massive steel-track wooden roller coaster that will act as the centerpiece for their new dragon-themed expansion area set to open in 2020.

Amusement Insider says Zadra will be a 197-foot-tall, 4,265-foot-long monster that reaches speeds of up to 71 mph and features three inversions during the ride. However, whether it actually finishes as planned is up for speculation because in early 2019, its construction received a devastating setback as high wind conditions knocked down a good chunk of the structure. It's probably just as well this happened before the ride's actual opening because "may or may not collapse during high winds" is the one feature even the most dedicated and thrill-seeking coaster enthusiasts are perfectly happy to skip.

Guardians of the Galaxy roller coaster (Walt Disney World, 2021)

Disney makes some of today's biggest movies and operates some of the most famous theme parks in the world, so it's not exactly a surprise that the two occasionally intertwine. According to Entertainment Weekly, one of their hottest movie franchises will take roller coaster form in 2021, when Disney World's Epcot will gain a Guardians of the Galaxy coaster. The indoor coaster is expected to be something of a trail blazer, with a ride system and vehicles that are nothing like the park's guests have ever seen.

Bob Chapek, chairman of Disney parks, experiences and consumer products, says the goal is to immerse the riders in the story of the ride as it unfolds, and instead of pointing straight ahead, each individual car will be programmed to spin and revolve toward the relevant parts of the story as it proceeds. Oh, and this thing will be pretty big. In 2018, its foundations required 960 trucks' worth of concrete, and the building that will house it is so massive that "the volume of four Spaceship Earth attractions" could fit inside it. Disney really likes the Guardians of the Galaxy, is what we're saying.

Unsurprisingly, the ride will be located in the park's Future World.

​Parc Asterix launch coaster (Parc Asterix, 2021)

Parc Asterix in Paris is based on the popular French comic book of the same name, but don't think for a second they're only focusing on roasting wild boars, sculpting menhirs, and fighting Roman legions. In fact, Amusement Insider reports the park is gearing up for a gigantic new roller coaster: one that eschews the traditional acceleration method of lift hills in favor of a propulsion system that will launch the riders into full speed without the space-eating slowness of lift hills.

The currently unnamed ride is scheduled for 2021, and will feature a sneaky switch-track that will lead the cars into a half-pipe launch section without slowing down. The track is over 3,500 feet long (though in practice it will be longer thanks to the multiple launch section visits) and 167 feet tall, and it will reach 66 mph. As a cherry on the awesome sundae, the ride will also reportedly feature a very impressive 23 airtime moments — points of ride where the rider will feel negative G-force.

Unnamed megacoaster (Walibi, 2021)

Belgium's Walibi amusement park has an ambitious three-year plan to put out a brand new roller coaster every year, and the project Amusement Insider seems most excited about is their unnamed 2021 ride. The Intamin-built megacoaster will be the highest one in the Benelux countries (Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg) and France and is set to feature 15 "negative gravity" airtime moments. The coaster's currently estimated height will be 164 feet, it will feature at least one steep 80-degree drop, and as you can see from the POV ride video by Amusement Insider, it will have just about every twist and turn imaginable. Enthusiasts rattle off terms like S-curves, Stengel dives, bunny hops, double-downs and non-inverting cobra rolls, all of which amount to one thing: Two minutes or so of a roaring, rollicking good time.

Of course, it must be noted that the current layout of the coaster is of the "not 100% confirmed by the park" variety, so a few twists and turns may be subject to change. Still, it's hard to imagine them suddenly scratching the plans and opting for bumper cars instead.

​Tron Lightcycle roller coaster (Magic Kingdom, 2021)

In May 2019, the Magic Kingdom Park at the Walt Disney Resort saw some interesting developments when the first support columns of their upcoming Tron-themed attraction were installed. According to WDW News Today, the new Magic Kingdom ride will be an indoor coaster based on Tron Lightcycle Power Run, a firm crowd favorite at the Shanghai Disneyland, and is expected to open by the park's 50th anniversary in 2021. As its name attests, the ride will be based on the famous lightcycle racing scenes in the Tron movies: Riders board a train of two-wheeled lightcycles and zoom through a digital landscape.

If the Shanghai version of the ride is any indication, the finished product will be an exciting ride where the riders play the part of a team of "digitized" humans sent to compete against some of the most intimidating programs in the Tron "grid" in an effort to capture eight Energy Gates to win the race. That sounds a little convoluted, but don't worry. According to Coaster Kings, Shanghai's Tron Lightcycle Power Run might be the best ride Disney has ever created … and really, what's the likelihood that they'll give arguably their most famous resort a worse version of the shining crown jewel of their coaster family?

The Polaris/Orion gigacoaster (King's Island, TBD)

A gigacoaster is a very specific type of roller coaster that focuses on altitude instead of speed. A coaster can only join the Giga Club if it has a drop of at least 300 feet, and Coaster Critic tells us there are only a handful of operational ones in the world. That makes the construction of a new one a major deal among enthusiasts, so people pricked up their ears when it was reported in May 2019 that the Kings Island amusement park in Mason, Ohio, was working on a mysterious new ride that seems an awful lot like a gigacoaster. Experts say the blueprints for this "Project X" are absolutely those of a coaster with an estimated 305-foot drop. The local paper Journal-News reports that the coaster's name could be either Orion or Polaris based on trademark applications by the park owners, and coaster forums have been awash with speculation about the upcoming ride. Fans have even created visualizations of the ride, like the one above, based on the blueprints. (Coaster fans are dedicated people.)

So when is the ride coming? And how cool will it be? Cincinnati's WCPO notes that park officials are playing their cards pretty close to the chest, but seeing as the company that owns Kings Island also owns four of the six active gigacoasters in the world, it's pretty safe to say this one won't be a merry-go-round.