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Flying High: Theme Parks Battle for Best New Ride for 2015

Image: Colossus
Colossus, the wooden coaster built in 1978 at Six Flags Magic Mountain, will be converted into a new roller coaster called the Twisted Colossus. Courtesy Six Flags Entertainment Corp.

The sun has barely set on the summer of 2014, and theme parks are already racing to claim the title of best new roller coaster of 2015. The Twisted Colossus may be the ride of the summer as Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California, morphs its 36-year-old wooden Colossus, which closed in August, into a new wood-and-steel hybrid with inversions and a "High Five"-style track where riders in different cars can seemingly reach out toward each other.

By keeping the old coaster's footprint and combining it with the new technology, parents can still take their children to Magic Mountain and talk about when they used to ride the same ride, said Martin Palicki, editor-in-chief of InPark Magazine, a trade publication. "They want that sentimentality to pass along," Palicki said. The Twisted Colossus will debut in the spring with 5,000 feet of track featuring over-banked turns, a Zero G Roll where track twists 360 degrees and a “Top Gun Stall” inversion where the train slows down upside down. Another front-runner for the 2015 season includes the Thunderbird, the country's first launched-wing coaster, which will open at Holiday World in Santa Claus, Indiana.

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— Amy Langfield