By Brady MacDonald
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
12:44 PM EST, November 12, 2010
It already feels as if 2011 is shaping up as a tweener ye
ar for new rides and attractions at U.S. theme parks.
Last year saw the blockbuster debuts of Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal's Islands of Adventure in Florida and the "World of Color" water show at Disney California Adventure in Anaheim.
And 2012 promises a long list of marquee additions headed by Cars Land at DCA and Transformers at Universal Studios Hollywood in California.
That leaves the summer of 2011 as the calm between the storms.
Photo gallery: View the Top 10 new U.S. theme park rides and attractions for 2011
My Top 10 list for 2011 includes major new attractions at Disney parks on both coasts; big roller coaster additions at Six Flags and Busch Gardens parks; and a throng of towering thrill rides at no less than eight other parks.
Which ride is No. 1? Click here to view the Top 10.
Naturally, every new ride can't make my Top 10 list. Below I've included other new rides and attractions that willmake their debuts in 2011 (many of them at smaller parks), as well as major ride renovations and relocations (many of them at Six Flags parks) and significant water park expansions.
Other new rides and attractions
* Canobie Lake Park (New Hampshire) – A compact version of the euro fighter dive coaster called Untamed with track supports themed to look like tree stumps.
* Lake Compounce (Connecticut) -- Fans will select the name for the Mega Disk-O spinning and rocking flat ride.
* Holiday World (Indiana) — Rudolph's Round-Up spinning flat ride and kiddie water slide play area.
* SeaWorld San Antonio (Texas) — The four-ride Sesame Street Bay of Play kiddie land.
* SeaWorld Florida — The Grand Reef expansion at Discovery Cove includes a saltwater reef pool where visitors snorkel or helmet dive with sea life.
* Disney's Animal Kingdom (Florida) — The Wild Africa Trek tour through the Kilimanjaro Safari Expedition savannah.
* Carowinds (North Carolina) — The Starlight Spectacular nighttime light show.
* Waldemeer (Pennsylvania) — The Flying Carousel wave swinger ride.
* Knoebels (Pennsylvania) — The oft-delayed Flying Turns wooden bobsled coaster remains a perennial possibility.
Renovations and relocations
* Six Flags Over Texas — The Texas Giant renovation adds a steel track and I-beam supports to the classic wooden coaster.
* Six Flags Great Adventure (New Jersey) — Chang stand-up coaster from Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom rethemed as Green Lantern.
* Six Flags Magic Mountain (California) — Superman: Escape from Krypton shuttle coaster makeover plus the relocation of a kiddie coaster from a now-shuttered Six Flags park in New Orleans.
* Holiday World (Indiana) — The Voyage wooden coaster gets new Timberliner trains that "steer" through turns and promise a smoother ride.
* Worlds of Fun (Missouri) — A restored 1926 carousel relocated from the shuttered Geauga Lake theme park in Ohio.
* Six Flags New England (Massachusetts) — Gauntlet wild mouse-style ride, relocated from Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom, becomes the park's 10th coaster.
* Dorney Park (Pennsylvania), Worlds of Fun (Missouri) and Valleyfair (Minnesota) — Planet Snoopy kiddie areas at each park.
Water park expansions
* Busch Gardens Williamsburg (Virginia) — Four water slides at Water Country USA, including two speed slides with trap door-style drops.
* Six Flags Great America (Illinois) — Water park expansion includes a vertical drop slide and surf simulator.
* Michigan's Adventure -- Beach Party water fortress with eight slides and a geyser that shoots water 90 feet in the air.
* Wild Adventures (Georgia) — A five-person inner tube slide at the water park.
* Holiday World (Indiana) – Safari Sam's Splashland water play area.
* Great Wolf Lodge (California) — New hotel with a water park near Disneyland.
As with any Top 10 list, my picks are subjective. If you disagree with the choices, add your opinions in the comments section below.
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