For the cat-crazed and curious, the San Diego Zoo’s new Tiger Trail will give visitors the most personal visit possible with the biggest cats in the world. Highlighting the relationship between humans and tigers, the trail emphasizes the threat we pose to this endangered species. Journey across the Logwalk, representing illegal logging in Sumatra, then pass through a Pondok, representing a small market stand in which wildlife products are sold, some from poaching. Large windows are constructed in each site for tigers to walk as close as they please, but the Underwater Viewing may be the trail’s highlight, where visitors can watch these excellent swimmers splash around in a deep pool.
Falcon’s Fury (Busch Gardens, Tampa)
Feel what it’s like to be one of the world’s fastest predatory birds aboard Busch Gardens newest thrill ride – North America’s largest freestanding drop tower. 335 feet in the air, your seat will turn faced-down at a 90-degree angle so you can take a good look at the ground below before you plummet at 60mph.
Things always get a little crazy in Vegas, but the El Loco Coaster is taking it to new heights. To allow for tighter and faster turns, the El Loco has four-person carts to make each rider feel as if they are flying through every twist and turn. If 90-degree drops, 180 degree turns, doughnut rolls and and inverted drops aren’t enough, you can close your eyes and listen to the Loco music being blasted through each cart for the duration of this indoor coaster.
Minion Mayhem (Universal Studios, Hollywood)
If watching Despicable Me just isn’t enough, hop on Minion Mayhem to join the cast and storyline for a 3D motion adventure! After being launched into a trip through Gru's super-villain laboratory, Gru, Margo, Edith, Agnes, and the mischievous Minions race along with you through every step of your fast journey through the movie.
Thunderbolt Coaster (Luna Park)
On historic Coney Island, a new 2000-foot long coaster will take riders on a 65mph ride down a 100-foot vertical drop, then through countless more inversions and twists. Thunderbolt will be the first steel custom roller coaster in Coney Island since the debut of the Cyclone in 1927. The new Thunderbolt coaster will be complemented by the recently opened Steeplechase Plaza and carousel pavilion as well as other new attractions in the amusement area, just a few more additions to Coney Island’s revamping.
Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom (Six Flags Great Adventure, New Jersey)
Experience the tallest tower in the world upon Zumanjaro’s 415-feet tall scale, mounted upon the likewise record-breaking Kingda-Ka coaster! Blast to the top in 30 seconds, and wait for just a brief moment to take in your top-of-the-park view in the clouds before plummeting at 90mph, while Kingda Ka circles just above your head at 128mph. While waiting to board Zumanjaro, riders will pass an all-new animal area, where they can watch native African Anubis baboon play and interact in their habitat.
Goliath (Six Flags Great America, Chicago)
Breaking three records in just one ride, the world’s new tallest, steepest and fastest wooden coaster will debut at an unbelievable 180 foot hill followed by a near-vertical 85 degree drop. Reaching 72mph, the rest of the ride will be composed of even more breathtaking hills, twists, turns and jolts. Face three over-banked turns, a 180-degree zero G-roll twist, and two wild inversions, flipping through an inverted drop and a spiraling zero G stall.
Verruckt (Schlitterbahn Waterpark, Kansas City, KA)
German for “insane”, the world’s newest, tallest waterslide is taller than Niagara Falls and twice the height of the tallest wave ever surfed. Four lucky riders will hop in a raft and drop down 168 feet at 70mph, with nothing to hold on to but each other. Once they face the main drop, they’ll be shot up another 5-story hill by blasts of water and fall back down again. Only the insane will take on this terror.