Most Anticipated Theme Park Rides

By Constance Parten,

2012's Most Anticipated Rides

If you love theme park rides, especially roller coasters, get your travel bags packed, because 2012 looks to be a blockbuster year for thrill seekers in North America. From one of the tallest and fastest roller coasters in the world, to what is being dubbed as America's first "winged" coaster, the offerings on tap are some of the most exciting in recent years.

See the full list of the Most Anticipated Theme Park Rides of 2012.

Canada's Wonderland

One of the biggest and tallest roller coasters in the world, Leviathan will dominate the park's landscape. Leviathan is Wonderland's 16th coaster.

Opening: May 2012
Ride Manufacturer: Bollinger & Mabillard
Track Length: 5,486 feet
Lift Height: 306 feet
Angle of Descent: 80 degrees
First Drop Speed: 92 mph Ride
Duration: 3 minutes, 28 seconds
Total Investment: $28 million

Wild EagleWild EagleWild Eagle
Dollywood Pigeon
Forge, Tenn.

Wild Eagle, which is being dubbed the country's first "winged" coaster, offers seats outside the parameters of the track. It will begin with a 210-foot-tall lift hill where guests will likely be treated to an amazing view of the park's beautiful mountainous surroundings. Next, riders will dive 135 feet and then face four inversions including: a large vertical loop, a zero-g roll, an inclined Immelmann turn, and a giant flat spin.

Opening: March 2012
Ride Manufacturer: Bollinger & Mabillard
Track Length: 3,127 feet
Max Speed: 61 mph
Total Investment: $20 million

Despicable MeDespicable MeDespicable Me
Universal Studios
Florida Orlando, Fla.

"Despicable Me" will become the first-ever Universal animated film to be transformed into a theme park experience. Using high-definition digital technology, the new 3-D motion-simulator attraction will allow guests to be turned into minions, visit the secret lab of Gru, and be swept into an interactive dance party to show off their best moves.

Opening: 2012
Total Investment: Not disclosed

X-FlightX-Flight X-Flight
Six Flags Great America
Chicago, Ill.

This winged coaster will soar at speeds of 55 mph through 3,000 feet of drops and five inversions, including a barrel roll, a zero-g roll, and an extreme fly-through where the coaster speeds straight towards a structure, before making a last minute vertical flip to fit through a keyhole cut-out.

Opening: Spring 2012
Ride Manufacturer: Bollinger & Mabillard
Height: 120 feet
Track Length: 3,000 feet
Max Speed: 55 mph
Total Investment: Not disclosed

King's Dominion
Doswell, Va.

Windseeker will be a 30-story-tall swing ride that will soar high above the park's other attractions, rising almost as high as the parks iconic Eiffel Tower. Seated in two-person swings that will allow their feet to dangle, riders will slowly begin rotating in a circular motion as the swings ascend the tower. At the top, the swings will be reaching speeds between 25 to 30 mph, flaring out almost 45 degrees from the tower.

Opening: 2012
Ride Manufacturer: Mondial
Height: 301 feet
Max Speed: 25 to 30 mph
Total Investment: $6.5 million (estimated)

See the slideshow: Most Anticipated Theme Park Rides

"Walt: The Man Behind the Myth" airs Thurs., Nov. 24, at 8 p.m. ET "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Revealed" premieres Thurs., Nov. 24, at 10 p.m. ET

More from CNBC:
Top 10 Destinations for Family Fun
Best Educational Trips for Kids
Hidden Costs of Vacations