If you and your thrill-seeking clan are looking for the newest, coolest attractions at theme parks, look no further. We scoured the water parks, amusement centers and standalone attractions across the country to find out what’s worth checking out. Whether it’s a serene float through the land of Frozen, or a full-throttle race on the world’s fastest wooden coaster, here’s our look at the freshest crop of thrills at theme parks across the country.

The Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier (Chicago, Il)

If heights are your thing, step inside a 10-person gondola, and soar 200 feet into the air on Navy Pier’s brand-new Ferris wheel (which is 49 feet taller than the 20-year-old wheel it’s replacing). Winter, summer, rain or shine—the gondolas are climate-controlled, built to withstand storms and winds of 115 miles-per-hour (not that anyone wants to try), and set to be a year-round attraction.

Fun fact: If you're wondering what happened to the old Ferris wheel, it was moved to the much smaller city of Branson, Mo.

Ages: All

Opening Date: Summer 2016

Online: navypier.com/ferris-wheel

photo: Navy Pier

  • The Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier (Chicago, Il)
  • Skull Island: Reign of Kong - Islands of Adventure (Orlando, Fl)
  • Valravn - Cedar Point (Sandusky, Oh)
  • Frozen Ever After - Epcot (Orlando, Fl)
  • Battle for Metropolis - Six Flags Great America (Across the U.S.)
  • Ninjago World - Legoland California (Carlsbad, Ca)
  • The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Universal Studios Hollywood (Los Angeles, Ca)
  • DC Super Friends and Bugs Bunny Boomtown Kids Areas - Six Flags Over Georgia (Atlanta, Ga)
  • Fiesta Bay Boardwalk - Six Flags Fiesta Texas (Austin, Tx)
  • "The Jungle Book: Alive With Magic” - Disney’s Animal Kingdom (Orlando, Fl)
  • Lightning Rod - Dollywood (Pigeon Forge, Tn)


What other new attractions should we add to our story? Are you planning to visit any of these destinations this summer? Leave a comment below!

— Melissa Heckscher