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Six Flags Great America’s X-Flight is scheduled to open this May. Credit: Six Flags Great America

By Angie Jaime

Spring is here early (thanks global warming) and that means only one thing — time to take a family vacation to scope the season’s latest theme park expansions.

Heartland thrill junkies can soar at 3,000 feet on Six Flags Great Americas latest, X-Flight. Five inversions, a 12 story drop and a zero-gravity roll are more than enough to get the adrenaline pumping. Designed by the Swiss engineers behind the Raging Bull, SUPERMAN and BATMAN rides, the X-Flight is the first of its kind in the US. The unique “wing” design pairs riders on either side of the track, creating the illusion of free flight. This ride will make its home in the County Fair section of the park, replacing the old schoolIron Wolf in May.

Disneyland kicks off the primavera party with tike-friendly rides at New Fantasyland.  First phases of expansion will start in Storybook Circus, centered on an overhaul of the famed Dumbo ride. After the initial opening, the classic will double in size and feature twice the flying pachyderms.  Brave kids can take to the sky with The Great Goofini on The Barnstormer, a newbie to the Storybook Circus. Led by a Goofy-as-circus-pilot, this ride embodies a daredevil stunt plane adventure.

On the other coast, Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man at Islands of Adventure will be revamped with all-new, 4K digital high-definition animation, new high tech 3-D glasses and upgrades to the set, audio and lighting systems. Celebrating its centennial, Universal Orlando is also rolling out Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular, a nighttime show lauding their impressive history in film. Though 100th birthday additions will be revealed throughout 2012, this springmarks the start of the biggest theme park revisions.

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Angie Jaime is the Content Coordinator at Orbitz and CheapTickets. A Chicago native, she’s been surfing in Hawaii, hiking in Mexico and backpacking through Europe.

Tagged: Family, Tips & advice

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