2013 New Theme Park Attractions for the Northeastern United States

This is the first in a series of articles on the 2013 new theme park attractions.   Nearly 200 new rides and attractions will open this summer across the United States and Canada at over 80 different theme parks, water parks, family fun centers, zoos, aquariums, and museums, according to the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA).   We’ve broken down the list according to region, and will feature the new rides over the next few articles.  Water parks and slides are the trend in the northeastern U.S., with dinosaurs, safaris, and LEGOs thrown in for good measure.  Continue reading for an overview of what’s coming to the amusement parks of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Pennsylvania.

Quassy Amusement Park’s "Splash Away Bay"

Quassy Amusement Park’s "Splash Away Bay." Photo courtesy Quassy Amusement Park

From IAAPA’s Press Release


Quassy Amusement Park in Middlebury, CT, adds three new water slides and doubles the size of its water park, which has been renamed Splash Away Bay.  Splash Away Bay includes a “BulletBOWL” tube slide, two “FreeFall” body slides, and a children’s play area featuring the “Fish Pond” splash pad.  The park also introduces the “Quassy Quest Laser Maze Challenge,” where players maneuver through a web of light beams in a race against time.


Six Flags New England, near Springfield, MA, opens “Bonzai Pipelines.”  The water slide complex includes six slides, all featuring a 50-foot freefall, 200 feet of darkness, and a 360-degree loop.

Six Flags New England, Bonzai Pipelines

New Hampshire

Santa’s Village in Jefferson, NH, celebrates its 60th anniversary season with the addition of three water slides to expand the Christmas theme park`s Ho Ho H2O water park.  Guests can wind their way down three 200-foot serpentine body slides, beginning from a height of 25 feet.  The new Elf’s Lodge contains dining options, changing rooms, rest rooms, and a first-aid station.

New Jersey

Morey’s Piers in Wildwood, NJ, introduces three new features and attractions.  “WildTrax,” a new thrill-tracking app for iPhone and Android users, allows guests to view statistics, earn badges, share photos, and more.  “ArtBox,” a new attraction inspired by the works and wares of local artists, features art studios, galleries, and a café.  “The Zoom Phloom,” a classic log flume ride, receives a full makeover and has been re-themed into “Sea of Life,”  complete with seals, star fish, turtles, and an octopus all hand-carved out of the existing rockwork.

Morey's Piers Zoom Phloom!

Carefully carved critters appeared from the rock around the Zoom Phloom! Photo by Maggie Warner © 2013 Morey's Piers.


Six Flags Great Adventure and Wild Safari in Jackson, NJ, introduces “Safari Off Road Adventure.”  Guests enter the fictional world of the Wilds Family, who traveled the globe to bring the most interesting and exotic creatures to their home.  Up to 35 passengers board Jeep-like vehicles and travel off-road through ponds, hills, and rugged terrain to see 1,200 animals from six continents up close and personal.

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor, in Jackson, NJ, unveils “Big Wave Racer,” a four-story-tall slide complex that sends riders headfirst down multiple lanes that stretch more than 1,800 feet in a race to the finish line.

Six Flags Great Adventure - Safari Off Road Adventure

New York

Darien Lake in Darien Center, NY, debuts two new attractions.  “Blast Off,” a ride designed to simulate a rocket launch, sends riders straight up a 185-foot-tall tower. Cutting-edge water technology, pyrotechnics, and high-value production have been added to the park’s “Ignite the Night” laser show. darienlake.com

The Great Escape in Queensbury, NY, debuts “Screamin’ Eagles,” a new interactive flying swing ride that allows guests to pilot their own flights.  Each vehicle has a stationary rear wing and a moveable front wing, allowing guests to dip, dive, and plunge at speeds of up to 40 mph.

Legoland Discovery Center Westchester, a $12 million, 32,300-square-foot indoor attraction designed for children ages 3-10 and their families, opens in Westchester, NY.  Its range of educational and interactive experiences includes hands-on play areas, a 4-D cinema, Lego master classes led by Master Model Builders, two Lego amusement rides, and Miniland – the venue’s signature re-creation of landmark locations and buildings throughout Westchester County and New York City, made out of more than 1 million Lego bricks.

Kingdom Quest Ride LEGOLAND Discovery Center

Kingdom Quest Ride LEGOLAND Discovery Center © 2013 The LEGO Group. All rights reserved.


Splashdown Beach in Fishkill, NY, undergoes a $13 million expansion that adds two attractions to the water park.  “Dizzy’s Water Whirler” is a spray pad featuring more than 30 interactive water elements and is part of the Bob the Builder Splash Works attraction.  “Arctic Plunge,” the first of six planned slides on the “Arctic Adventure” water slide complex, debuts this summer.

Splish Splash, a water park in Calverton, NY, near Long Island, opens “Bootlegger’s Run,” a new ride that uses hydromagnetic technology to create an experience that combines elements of a roller coaster and a white water raft adventure.  The ride takes a four-person raft uphill and downhill for a series of drops, including one that is nearly five stories high.


Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom in Allentown, PA, opens a dinosaur-themed animatronic exhibit, “Dinosaurs Alive!”  The attraction features life-size dinosaurs in five separate scenes depicting different aspects of dinosaur life.

Great Wolf Lodge Poconos opens The Great Wolf Kids Store, which features exclusive Great Wolf Kids souvenirs and gifts.  The store includes “Creation Stations” where children can stuff their own Great Wolf Kids character and decorate “Like Me” shirts – one to wear, and one to share with their new stuffed friend.

Hersheypark in Hershey, PA, introduces a new spray park, “Shoreline Sprayground.”  The 7,000-square-foot water play area includes 12 play structures and 16 dancing fountains, perfect for chilling down on a warm summer day.  The park also adds two new water slides to its Boardwalk.

Hersheypark Boardwalk

Hersheypark Boardwalk ©Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company


Float Away Bay,” a 605-foot-long lazy river, debuts at Idlewild and SoakZone in Ligonier, PA.  The 185,000-gallon “endless” river is designed for families with young children.  The attraction includes a large zero-depth entry bay and an overall depth of 2 feet 4 inches.  It features kid-sized tubes along with adult tubes and fun spray features to keep families entertained.

Knoebels Resort in Elysburg, PA, debuts the “StratosFear,” in which up to 12 guests ascend in a circular motion 148 feet in the air to the top of the tower then drop at speeds up to 47 mph.  “Crazy Submarine” also opens, allowing families to ride together as the submarine rises up and down on a circular arm.

The “Music Express” thrill ride debuts at Waldameer & Water World in Erie, PA.  Seating 60 guests, the ride spins forward and backward at 25 mph while playing Top 40 pop music hits over five large speakers.  The ride provides a different experience when illuminated with more than 3,000 LED lights.

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About Dave Parfitt

Married, father of two girls, and living in the heart of the Finger Lakes. I'm a runner with a PhD in neuroscience and a passion for travel.