Several roller coaster rides across the country shut down permanently last year and more are shutting down this year.
Theme parks often update their lineup of roller coasters to keep their guests and passholders returning to the parks for their thrill rides.
Classic rides that draw lines of people seeking a thrill will continue to operate for years. Older rides in which visitors have may have lost interest or maybe some newer rides that have chronic breakdowns will shut down to be replaced by newer rides to pique riders’ interest.
Several roller coaster rides across the country shut down permanently last year, which ranged from rides that had been running almost 20 years to one that was only open about three years.
Roller Coasters Close Around the Country
Harley Quinn Crazy Coaster at Six Flags (SIX) – Get Six Flags Entertainment Corporation Report Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, Calif., opened in August 2018 only to close in 2021. The ride was considered a very rough ride and often was not operating, according to a Theme Park Tourist report. Those problems led to its permanent closure.
Goliath at Six Flags New England in Agawam, Mass., also shut down in 2021 after opening in 2012. The ride was a giant inverted boomerang roller coaster that was originally featured as Déjà Vu at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, Calif., from 2001 until closing in 2011 and relocating to Massachusetts. This particular style of coaster was known to have issues and downtime, according to Theme Park Tourist.
Wicked Twister, a double-twisting impulse coaster at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, opened in May 2002 and closed in September 2021 because of the covid-19 pandemic. The ride had two 215-foot towers and reached speeds of up to 72 miles per hour, making it the tallest and fastest coaster in the world at the time of its opening, the report said.
Finally, the wooden Cheetah roller coaster at Wild Adventures in Valdosta, Ga., opened in 2001 featuring a 95-foot drop. The ride closed in 2020 because of the covid pandemic and it, too, never reopened.
While these rides shut down and others may soon replace them, in some cases rides close down and are altered into new rides on top of the original structure. This happened beginning in 2015 at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in California when the park closed its Roar wooden roller coaster that had opened in 1999, as Fandom reported.
Discovery Kingdom reopened the roller coaster in May 2016 and reinvented it as a steel hybrid conversion known as The Joker. The roller coaster’s original wooden structure remained with steel rails installed for the smooth new ride. Gone was the back-breaking wooden track that might require one to see a chiropractor after riding the former Roar coaster.
Longtime Theme Park Ride Shutting Down
Hersheypark in Hershey, Pa., on July 8 announced on Twitter that it will close its wooden roller coaster Wildcat on July 31, but did not say what would replace the ride. The message only said: “Stay tuned for details later this year. The park’s website also has a message reminding visitors to ride Wildcat before it closes and to purchase a Fast Track pass to skip the long lines predicted for final rides.
Wildcat is a 3,100-foot long ride that rises 85 feet high at 48 miles per hour and is completed in 1 minute at 15 seconds. The ride, manufactured by Great Coasters International, opened at Hersheypark in May 1996.