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10 new amusement park rides for summer 2012

James Y. Lee
June 14, 2012

Need a few reasons to take some long weekends this summer?  Here are 10 new-this-summer amusement park rides from around the world that we think will be worth the wait in those mind-numbing lines.

Tired of spending layovers in an airport?  Download Yahoo! TimeTraveler on your iPhone to create custom itineraries based on your location and amount of time you have to spend.

Transformers: The Ride - 3D
Universal Studios, Hollywood, CA

Transformers: The Ride - 3-D recently debuted at Universal Studios Hollywood. The $100 million attraction developed by Michael Bay and special effects company Industrial Light and Magic has visitors riding a 12-person Transformer vehicle and watching the 3-D action from 14 screens. That's enough stimuli to make even the most ardent workaholics want to call in sick a few days this summer.

SeaWorld, San Diego, Calif.

On Memorial Day Weekend, SeaWorld, San Diego, opened its giant Manta roller coaster. If its 54-foot drop sounds like too much, you can safely play with these sea creatures at the attraction’s accompanying 100-gallon aquarium.

Six Flags Great America, Gurnee, Ill.

Experience drops and barrel rolls while your feet dangle. This wing coaster launched in May at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Ill.

Busch Gardens, Wiliamsburg, Va.

Verbolten, which opened in May, is America’s first roller coaster that drops the train and the track.

Canada’s Wonderland, Vaughan, Ontario

Experience the longest 3 1/2 minutes of your life on Canada’s tallest and fastest roller coaster, new this May.

The Swarm
Thorpe Park, United Kingdom

A powerful wing coaster that makes you feel like you’re about to crash into structures, that proved to be too much for crash-test dummies, and that has been described by fighter pilots as “gut wrenching"? Sign us up. The apocalyptic-themed ride rolled out in March at Thorpe Park in the UK.

Mirabilandia, Italy

At almost 200 feet, the highest water coaster in the world opens this month at Italian amusement park Mirabilandia. Make sure you check out this hilarious teaser video.

Grizzly Gulch
Hong Kong Disneyland

A 100-person team of craftsmen from around the world was employed to create a replica of Yellowstone National Park. Too bad you’ll be too busy screaming your head off to appreciate it while you’re at Hong Kong Disneyland in July.
Viaggio in Italia

Ferrari World
Abu Dhabi

This new kid-friendly ride isn't the most exhilarating experience on our list (it's a peaceful, screen-simulated aerial voyage through the sites of Italy), but it’s the perfect excuse to get to Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, the largest theme park in the world, and a chance to ride the fastest roller coaster in the world (149 mph), Formula Rossa.

Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier
Galveston, Texas

Galveston's brand-new $60 million theme park is packed with 16 rides, such as the 50 mph Iron Shark and the state’s tallest swing carousel, the Gulf Glider.