Thrilling development

Austin’s COTA reveals thrilling attractions for intensified amusement park in 2022

Austin’s COTA reveals thrilling attractions for amusement park in 2022

SkyBlazer ride
The thrilling SkyBlazer ride is not for the faint of heart. Courtesy of Circuit of the Americas

Austin’s COTAland amusement park is getting ready to take visitors on a thrill ride — or two thrill rides, to be exact.

The Circuit of the Americas announced on November 16 that COTAland, scheduled to formally debut in 2022, will become home to two thrill rides: the SkyBlazer and the Palindrome. COTAland reps say it’s the only place where people will be able to take advantage of these two rides next year.

COTA has long been known for its racetrack, which hosts the U.S. Formula 1 Grand Prix and other racing events, but also features a variety of entertainment offerings, including its karting track, zip line, and holiday and music experiences. With the addition of COTAland, the property aims to take amusement to the next level.

“COTA is working with the attraction industry’s best creators and producers to make COTAland a go-to amusement park destination,” Matt Hughey, senior manager of COTAland, says in a news release. “COTAland will feature everything from rides for young children to hair-raising experiences that will thrill even the most experienced theme park lovers. Something for everyone!”

The SkyBlazer seats 18 riders side by side on a circular platform before raising them off the ground and then sending them hundreds of feet into the air.

“After a few moments of anticipation, the rip cord releases and sends patrons into a momentary free fall before the swing motion catches them and sends them soaring over the enthralled onlookers,” the news release says.

The Palindrome roller coaster will feature a 95-foot vertical lift hill, a top speed of 51 mph, two inversions, and a vertical “hop-stall” before riders experience the ride again — in reverse.

Today, the park features “kiddie” rides, including a Ferris wheel and a carousel, but the SkyBlazer and Palindrome will elevate at least some of the experience to the adult category. Other rides planned for COTAland include the Skyflyer, Wacky Worm, and Texas Wildcat.