Theme parks opening new attractions, coasters

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Hersheypark in Hershey, Pa., introduces a 200-foot-tall coaster called Skyrush, which will reach speeds of 75 mph and includes five zero-G airtime hills. Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., opened the 210-foot-tall Wild Eagle coaster in March. Busch Gardens Williamsburg in Virginia unveils a half-mile-long indoor-outdoor coaster called Verbolten.

Apocalypse at Six Flags America in Largo, Md., is a 100-foot-tall stand-up coaster, and the Stinger at Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom in Allentown, Pa., is a scorpion-themed boomerang-style coaster that features six inversions and face-to-face seating.

Based on attendance trends and season-pass sales, Speigel said the theme park industry is expected to see 7 percent growth or more this year, which is much better than expected. He attributes it to the number of new attractions, an improving economy, pent-up demand and other factors.

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Follow Mitch Stacy on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/mitchstacy.

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