Thrill-seekers searching for the new biggest, tallest or fastest roller coaster rush may be slightly disappointed this summer.
The 2007 class of coasters at amusement parks across America isn't a record-breaker. In fact, one park is dumping two of its old coasters and another is re-engineering a wooden coaster to make it a little less thrilling.
That means a lot of new shows, water park additions and cartoon-themed features for small children. But there are still some offerings for the boardwalk adrenalin junkie, from new coasters that drop five degrees steeper than straight down to a seven-story swing in Missouri that takes riders 75 feet in the air.
``This year the parks are really kind of trying to capture the family market, as opposed to the teen market,'' said Steven Smith, operations manager for the Baker Leisure Group.
The new coaster class may be small, but it's diverse.
-- Maverick is set to open at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, but construction delays could keep it closed until next month or later.
When it gets running, the ride will take guests on a 95-degree drop -- steeper than straight down -- and at 70 mph speeds.
-- Mystery Mine at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., isn't the fastest, but may be the most highly themed new coaster. The ride simulates a spooky, abandoned coal mine and drops 85 feet at 95 degrees. Top speed on the 2-minute, 30-second ride is 60 mph.
-- Griffon at
-- Busch Gardens Africa in Tampa, Fla., is giving similar treatment to SheiKra, a 2-year-old coaster. The park will close the ride for three weeks to remove its floor this year, providing ``an unobstructed view of the 70 mph rush.''
-- Wicked at Lagoon near Salt Lake City is 110 feet high and goes up to 55 mph.
-- Tony Hawk's Big Spin is a relatively tame new coaster at two Six Flags locations -- St. Louis and San Antonio, Texas. The ride's cars spin as it goes around the track at 31 mph to simulate the skate star's tricks.
-- King's Island in Ohio adds its 14th coaster, a flyer called Firehawk. It takes riders 115 feet high and through five inversions at more than 50 mph. The park is also taking the signature loop out of its Son of Beast wooden coaster after a malfunction last year injured more than 20 riders. It was the first ``woodie'' with a loop.
Some other new attractions:
-- Disneyland re-launches its popular Submarine Voyage ride with ``Finding Nemo'' movie themes. Visitors to Tomorrowland take a trip to an active undersea volcano with the cartoon characters.
-- NASA makes its foray into the entertainment business with the new Shuttle Launch Experience at the Kennedy Space Center's visitor area in Florida. The $60 million ride simulates, as its name suggests, a shuttle blast-off and ascent into obit. Astronauts were consulted to make the ride as realistic as possible.
-- Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., opens its new comedy show featuring characters from the popular movie ``Monsters Inc.'' Instead of collecting screams, like in the movie, the characters try to elicit laughs, or ``gigglewatts,'' to power Monstropolis. Patrons are invited to text their own jokes, and anyone in the audience is fair game to tease.
-- Hersheypark in Pennsylvania celebrates its 100th anniversary with a new boardwalk. It will include four slides, a kid's play area and wave pool that simulates body surfing.
-- Silver Dollar City in Branson, Mo., launches its Giant Swing. The ride sends riders up 75 feet in opposite directions and nearly 230 degrees. The park says it produces ``back-to-back G-force kicks'' and sensations of weightlessness.
-- Blue Man Group debuts at Universal Orlando in a new theater. The bald, blue characters will perform a new show built for the expansion.
-- Six Flags Great America in Illinois adds a new ``Operation Spygirl'' stunt show from the creator of the television show ``24.'' A heroine battles the clock to save the world and defeat villain Max Condor.