Top 5 Rides We Can’t Wait To Get Back On In 2020
Photo by Blackpool Pleasure Beach
As with every winter, the UK off-season has been dominated with news speculation about the rides that will be opening for the first time over the coming months.
In 2020, we’ll see a new 10-inversion roller coaster at Flamingo Land, The World of David Walliams at Alton Towers and Black Mirror Labyrinth coming to Thorpe Park, to name a few.
But what about the old favourites that we’ve missed in the months since Halloween? Today, we’re counting down five rides that we’re looking forward to getting back on in 2020. We’ve tried to include a variety of rides from a range of parks across the UK, but excluded rides that haven’t operated before this upcoming season. This list is pure opinion and disagreement is encouraged.
5. Quantum (Thorpe Park)
It may come as a surprise to see this understated flat ride ahead of the likes of Stealth and The Swarm on our list, but, like most people, we didn’t get a chance to ride Quantum at all in the 2019 season. Numerous maintenance issues led to the ride being almost completely disassembled at one point in the year, creating concerns that it may not reopen at all. Thankfully, this Fabbri classic was featured on the 2020 Thorpe Park map, and we’re hopeful of a much better year for the ride.
This Flying Carpet certainly flies under the radar for most park-goers, but it packs a real punch and almost always has a manageable queue. There’s an intensity about the swinging motion of the ride that’s easily underestimated by people who don’t know what they’re getting themselves in for. Quantum was one of the biggest things missing from our Thorpe Park trips last season, and the resort boasts a stronger line-up when it’s open.
4. Wicker Man (Alton Towers)
There are very few wooden roller coasters in the UK that can still be called ‘new’. This makes Wicker Man something of a novelty on these shores, and it also happens to be one of the best rides in the country. The 2018 GCI was a huge success in its opening season, and this is the consolidating third year in which it finally stops being ‘a new ride’ and becomes ‘a great ride’.
With any luck, the success of Wicker Man will remind Merlin that new rides at their theme parks do not need to be the world’s tallest or scariest or first anything, so long as they are good. And, if the Alton Towers team can maintain the special effects on this ‘coaster for as much of the season as possible, it could be in for a very good year.
3. LEGO City Deep Sea Adventure (Legoland Windsor)
So, you could argue that this one is technically cheating, because this ride has undergone a name change and received a visual overhaul over the winter. But the ride formerly known as Atlantis Submarine Voyage is still essentially the same, underneath the aesthetic changes. Nonetheless, we’re excited to see how the once out-of-place facade looks alongside the other sleek structures of LEGO City.
While we don’t know the full details of what, if any, changes will be made to the interior of the ride and particularly the story, that’s just another reason to head there early next time we get a chance to visit the park. It’s a fantastic chance to get up close to some unique and interesting marine wildlife, including some beautiful fish and a few sharks too. We only hope that the wonderful LEGO submarine situated outside still looks great in its new surroundings!
2. Dragon’s Fury (Chessington World of Adventures)
While Vampire continues to steal the headlines at Chessington as it enters its 30th anniversary year, we still feel that the park’s Maurer spinning ‘coaster that is the better of the two rides. Dragon’s Fury is a fantastic family roller coaster located right at the front of the park, impossible to miss as you enter, and it’s earned that pride of place. There’s definitely an argument to be made that this is one of the best family ‘coasters in the country, as well as being Chessington’s best ride full stop.
However, there’s something else that makes this year a particularly notable one for Dragon’s Fury. With Paultons Park opening Tornado Springs in May, there’ll be a new spinning ‘coaster- Storm Chaser– in the UK, and it already feels inevitable that many will be comparing Fury with Chaser. No matter which comes out on top, Chessington’s Asian-inspired adventure is filled with enough powerful drops and turns to keep guests coming back.
1. Icon (Blackpool Pleasure Beach)
Our #1 pick may not come as a big surprise, but it’s the only ride on the list that’s actually already been open this year. Icon is the new centrepiece of Blackpool Pleasure Beach, their star attraction, and has been in the heat of the action during their annual WOW Weekends through February and March. Almost two years on from the opening of the UK’s first double-launch ‘coaster, it continues to draw in the crowds.
Icon isn’t universally loved by ‘coaster fans throughout the UK, but it’s clear that the majority look forward to riding this beast every time they visit Blackpool. It’s by far the newest, smoothest and most technical roller coaster in the park, and being the first brand new big ride at the Beach since 2000’s Valhalla made the hype surrounding it inevitable. With a front-row queue introduced last season, this could be another year of evolution for Icon.
Do you agree with our picks? Comment your thoughts below and tell us what your #1 would be. Thanks for reading!