Park News - (7/12/2023) According to this article the pieces of a new roller coaster along with other rides lie scattered around the parking lots at the Circuit of the Americas as part of the planned COTALand amusement park. Unfortunately it was confirmed that COTALand won’t be ready to open in 2023, with delays in the fabrication process for several major attractions to blame. Elsewhere rumors have blamed some of the delay on permitting issues as well, but at this time there seems to be no solid timeline as to when the park might be ready to open.
I imagine we won’t have a better idea until we start to see the majority of the rides go vertical.
(5/6/2023) After a bit of a silence, the local news reports that a new site plan has been filed with the city of Austin for “COTA Land” for review. There are few details about the 21-acre park beyond that, other than saying it will be located near turns 19 and 20 of the race track and will include about 30 rides, including three roller coasters. This would include the current Texas Wildcat that is already operational on the property as well as the previously announced Circuit Breaker and Palindrome coaster projects.
With the plans now filed with the city, hopefully upon approval work will begin to be fast tracked to get some of the new rides and attractions already on site installed and running.
(4/15/2023) In an interview about a MotoGP race taking place at COTA, the subject of the planned COTALAND amusement park comes up. The plans are still on, and just taking longer than they expected, but the “amsuement park is going to be bigger and better than anyone probably realizes, it’s very comparable to Six Flags.” As planned, it will feature more than two dozen rides and roller coasters. Currently they’ve “got about 25 rides just sitting out here on site, already ready to be assembled.”
(4/1/23) So are there troubles at COTALAND? Various posts have confirmed that the much-hyped COTALAND theme park experience would not be ready to open this year as anticipated, and now isn’t expected to open until the end of 2024. While a number of smaller rides were previously set up and on-site, those will only operate on select weekends, usually timed along with major race events taking place on site at the track.
The previous COTALAND.COM website landing page has now been removed, and internet traffic is now being redirected to the main CircuitOfTheAmericas.com website instead when you try to visit. Unfortunately this move doesn’t give the most confidence in believing that everything that was announced for COTALAND will still come true.
COTALAND seemingly arrived out of thin air in the mind of ride enthusaisats in the middle of the pandemic when what was once a collection of small kiddie rides suddenly bought and opened a classic Schwarzkopf Wildcat coaster in 2021. Since then the start-up theme park concept has announced several major new rides, and none of them have managed to get built.
This list would include:
The world’s first Skyblazer from US Thrill Rides that was announced in late 2021 with a late 2022 opening timeframe.
Palindrome, a new custom steel roller coaster from Gerstlauer also announced in late 2021 with a late 2022 opening timeframe.
Circuit Breaker, an incredible new Tilt Coaster concept from Vekoma was announced in Spring 2022 with the intent to open it in Fall 2023.
While I can’t say anything about SkyBlazer or Circuit Breaker, there were social media posts showing off the parts and pieces of Palindrome being delivered to COTALAND about 5 months ago, but from what I’ve heard there has been no sign of construction yet. According to the rumor mill the park may have had some issues with obtaining all the proper building permits they need. Unfortunately, other than that, COTALAND’s dream of becoming a haven for thrill seekers has been a lot of talk and nothing to show for it. With “COTALAND” itself being delayed until late 2024, this unfortunately doesn’t clear up what will be included in the park when it does open. Will it just be Palindrome, or will they manage to get everything they’ve announced up and running by then all at once?
2022?? - Skyblazer - DELAYED - (11/17/21) According to a release from US Thrill Rides, they have sold their first Skyblazer attraction, which will be going to Austin, Texas in the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) amusement area. The Skyblazer will hoist 18 riders at a time into the sky before dropping them 200 feet into the massive swing arch. Look for the Skyblazer to be ready to open in Spring 2022.
2023 - Palindrome - DELAYED - (10/24/22) Just posted to Facebook the other day, COTALAND was seen showing off the new trains for their Palindrome coaster from Gerstlauer. While I haven’t see any kind of construction footage from the site for the coaster, you can see lots of support pieces are also on site in the background of the photos.
(11/18/21) The mystery Gerstlauer Infinity coaster has been announced as Palindrome, and it will be a unique looking shuttle coaster experience coming to COTALand in Austin by late 2022. Based on the animation, the coaster would send cars up a vertical lift hill and drop through into a course that ends with a large spike, before rolling backwards through the entire course, coming to a stop again rolling backwards up the first drop and into a brake zone / track switch at the bottom that would send the cars back to the station. Another interesting thing is that the coaster will fly over (inverted) the main road into the park area, so it will definitely be a showpiece for COTALand.
It is interesting to go from a place that I’ve never even heard of, to a place that is adding some major new attractions. This will be a place to keep an eye on going forward and the plan is to have the coaster up and running in time for the Formula 1 race next year. Check out the animation for yourself below.
Fall 2023 - Circuit Breaker - DELAYED - (12/10/2022) Some new concept art I haven't seen before showing off the new Circuit Breaker coaster (Vekoma Tilt Coaster 2.0) concept coming to COTALAND in late 2023 can be found at Blooloop this week, including an aerial view of the whole layout.
2023 will be a big year for Vekoma, as the company will open three high profile rides in North America (Big Bear Mountain at Dollywood, Tron Lightcycle/Run at Disney’s Magic Kingdom and Circuit Breaker) as well as a number of bit name international projects at parks like Hong Kong Disneyland (Wandering Oaken’s), Liseberg (Luna), Furuvik (Lightning), three coasters at Energylandia and a number of new coasters to various Fantawild parks opening in China.
(11/20/22) Circuit of the Americas has revealed the promotional video for their new Circuit Breaker roller coaster project that will bring the very first Vekoma Tilt-Coaster to North America.
(4/2/22) COTALand is at it again and just surprised everyone with the announcement of the first Vekoma Tilt Coaster coming to North America with a custom layout. Coming in 2023, COTALand is calling this coaster Circuit Breaker and it will feature two trenches, four inversions and a couple of exciting looking pops of airtime along the way.
The first Vekoma Tilt Coaster design was called Gravity Max and it opened way back in 2002 at Discovery World in Taiwan. The concept never caught on at the time and Vekoma never made another one until now.
Now, you may be thinking you’ve seen pictures of a few new ones in China that have opened over the past 6 years, including a dueling version (Battle of Jungle King) but all of those are actually clones of the Vekoma concept created by Chinese roller coaster maker, Jinma Rides, also known in the industry as Golden Horse. If you’ve heard of “Golden Horse” before, the company has become well known in the industry for creating “knock-offs” of various popular coaster designs in China.
So Circuit Breaker will be the first time Vekoma has returned to the concept and based on the track design and that incredible looking first inversion element, they are now adding their modern and fun looking design concepts to the mix in order to revive the Tilt Coaster concept for a new generation.
(1/24/22) COTAland dropped a teaser at the ACE Winterfest event regarding their future plans. Apparently the attraction has another coaster in development that will open in the Fall of 2023 and will be “Americas First and only ______ Coaster.”
So fill in the blank with whatever you can imagine. The rumors are already running a bit crazy with what it could be, so allow me to add my own two-cents into the mix. Considering they have already established a relationship with Ride Entertainment and Gerstlauer to provide their first roller coaster, I wouldn’t be surprised if they return to that source for their second coaster. Perhaps following up Palindrome with some kind of new Launched coaster. My second hunch looks more to the idea of bringing some kind of “first” coaster design to America that does not already exist, and if we go with something more compact and budget friendly, my second hunch may be to build America’s first “Double Heart” coaster from Zamperla.