Yukon Striker Canada's Wonderland

Our Ride & Roller Coaster Bucket List

Last year was amazing! Battling anxiety and grief, we decided to become roller coaster enthusiasts (we love theme parks!). It’s not that we hadn’t been on rides before but, as you get older and have kids, the thrill-seeking part of your soul can slip away. With six kids between us, we need all the stress relief we can get! After a fantastic time in 2018, here’s our 2019 Ride and Roller Coaster Bucket List!

Lagoon (April 2019)

Now that we live in Idaho, Lagoon is our home park. Technically, Silverwood is in the same state, but it’s farther away in northern Idaho. Plus, we just like Lagoon’s family-friendly atmosphere and, of course, one of our favorite coasters – Cannibal! The ride was built in-house, so there’s a truly unique feel to it. Definitely don’t miss the opportunity if you’re in the area!

Lagoon Cannibal

While there are taller, faster dive coasters (Yukon Striker at Canada’s Wonderland just shot to the top of that list!), Cannibal is still the tallest, beyond-vertical coaster in existence. Plunging 208 feet into a 116-degree drop is just… unbelievable!

Related post: Top 5 Rides at Lagoon Amusement Park

We’re also taking Caleb with us for the first time this year. He’s ridden the mountain coaster at Bogus Basin twice, but this will be the first time he’s been on an actual roller coaster. So exciting!

What we must ride at Lagoon Amusement Park (click the links for on-ride and/or reaction videos):

Universal Studios Hollywood (May 2019)

People visit Universal Studios Hollywood for the experience, not the thrill rides, but we’re still excited! Universal really does a great job of creating fun parks for guests of all ages. We don’t know if the new Jurassic World attraction will be open by the time we visit, but we’ve got our fingers crossed!

Universal Studios Hollywood

It’s a smaller park than Universal Orlando Resort, but we’ve got to say that some of the rides, like Revenge of the Mummy, are pretty great. You can still have a great time at Universal Studios Hollywood, but you won’t find any extreme roller coasters.

What we must ride at Universal Studios Hollywood (watch our video review of the park!):

Universal Studios Japan (May 2019)

After a long flight, Hayley and I will find ourselves at another Universal Studios park, but this one will be in Osaka, Japan! We’ll get to ride our first coasters outside of North America! Pretty cool! We’re really looking forward to visiting Universal Studios Japan and seeing if it lives up to everything we love about the other Universal Parks.

Hollywood Dream The Ride

Universal Studios Japan isn’t as big as Orlando, but has more thrill rides than Hollywood. We’re so excited to be able to say we’ve visited all three parks, including all three Wizarding World of Harry Potter locations!

What we must ride at Universal Studios Japan (watch our video review of the park!):

  • Hollywood Dream: The Ride
  • Hollywood Dream: The Ride – Backdrop (the roller coaster in reverse!)
  • The Flying Dinosaur (it looks crazy!)
  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
  • Flight of the Hippogriff
  • The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man – The Ride 4K3D
  • Jurassic Park – The Ride
  • Jaws

Fuji-Q Highland (May 2019)

While in Japan, Hayley and I are planning to hop on the bullet train to Tokyo for some sightseeing and thrill-seeking. While we’re there, we have to check out Fuji-Q Highland, a park located near the base of Mount Fuji. Does it get better than that!? This is near the very top of our 2019 roller coaster bucket list! 


Of course, we’ll have to ride Do-dodonpa, a launch coaster that accelerates from 0-112mph in 1.56 seconds. Oh, and there’s also a massive loop somewhere in the middle of the track. It’s the world record holder, naturally, for faster roller coaster acceleration!

What we must ride at Fuji-Q Highland (watch our video review of the park!):

  • Do-dodonpa
  • Takabisha (steepest drop in the world, but not as tall as Cannibal!)
  • Fujiyama

Tokyo Dome City (May 2019)

There’s a roller coaster right in the middle of Tokyo with a keyhole pass. It goes through the center of the Big-O, the world’s first centerless Ferris wheel. WHAT?! Of course, we have to check this out and see it for ourselves! We’re not sure how much time we’ll have in Tokyo, and Fuji-Q Highland is our priority, but we’re gonna try to make it!

Thunder Dolphin Roller Coaster

For our 2019 roller coaster bucket list, here’s what we must ride at Tokyo Dome City:

  • Thunder Dolphin

Nagashima Spa Land (May 2019)

Who knows if we will actually have time for this, but we’re keeping Nagashima Spa Land on our radar. There are some cool rides here as well as a giant Ferris wheel and water park. Of course, it’s also home to Steel Dragon, the world’s longest roller coaster. Anytime I say I’m going to theme parks in Japan, this is the one ride everyone asks about. Let’s hope we can squeeze it into our schedule!

Acrobat Roller Coaster

For our 2019 roller coaster bucket list, here’s what we must ride (if we can!) at Nagashima Spa Land:

  • Acrobat (flying coaster!)
  • Steel Dragon 2000 (longest roller coaster in the world!)

Cedar Point (June 2019)

No exaggeration, I’ve been trying to get to Cedar Point for 33 years. I’ll write more about that when I review the park, but it’s going to be emotional to finally walk through the gate! Of course, this is the Roller Coaster Capital of the World — Cedar Point is home to 18 coasters — so it’s gonna be crazy!

Cedar Point Top Thrill Dragster Tower and Sign

Words cannot express how excited (and terrified) I am by the prospect of finally getting on Top Thrill Dragster. The coaster reaches a height of 420 feet! AHHHH, are we nuts?!

Here’s what we must ride at Cedar Point (watch our video review of the park!):

Canada’s Wonderland (June 2019)

A reasonable drive from Cedar Point, we’ll visit its sister park, Canada’s Wonderland in my home and native land! I visited Canada’s Wonderland as a kid, but it’s been about 32 years since then. A lot has changed, even though some of the old rides are still there!

Yukon Striker Canada's Wonderland

Aside from feeding Josh’s need for poutine and Swiss Chalet north of the border, we’re driving the distance to get on one ride — The Yukon Striker! Construction has been completed and now the ride can officially claim its status as the tallest, fastest dive coaster in the world!

What we must ride at Canada’s Wonderland:

Universal Orlando Resort (September 2019)

We’ll have Caleb with us on this adventure, and we couldn’t be more excited. We’ll be staying at the new Universal’s Endless Summer Resort: Surfside Inn & Suites, an affordable, wonderful option for larger families like ours. I’m not sure I’m going to get any sleep because I’ll be so ready to hit the parks. We really, really love Universal! 

Universal Studios Islands of Adventure Hogsmeade Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

While we have our favorite rides at both Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure, so we’ll be sure to hit those first. Of course, we’re super thrilled for the chance to ride the new Hagrid launch coaster at Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Here’s what we MUST ride at Universal Orlando Resort for our 2019 roller coaster bucket list:

Walt Disney World Resort (September 2019)

With Caleb along for the journey to Orlando, we’ll have to stop in at the Magic Kingdom and Epcot. After all, the Epcot Food & Wine Festival will be going on at that time! Of course, Caleb will probably be a lot more interested in seeing Mickey Mouse. He would lose his mind if he saw him in real life!

Walt Disney World Animal Kingdom Expedition Everest

Even though we’ll have a little person with us, we’ll still be ticking items off our 2019 roller coaster bucket list. In fact, we want to make sure he gets started on his own list! Here’s what we must ride at Walt Disney World Resort:

  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Space Mountain
  • Splash Mountain
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • Soarin’ Around the World
  • Test Track

Yes, there are a few things on here that aren’t roller coasters, but we think including some kid-friendly thrill rides brings balance to this crazy list, right?

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