NASCAR: Circuit of the Americas Announces ‘Massive Amusement Park’ Set to Possibly Open in 2023

by Caitlin Berard
(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

With its 20 turns and more then 130 feet of elevation changes, the Circuit of the Americas already provides NASCAR drivers with a thrilling experience. And starting next year, NASCAR fans will be able to get in on the adrenaline rush as well, as COTA officials are hammering out the details of their new addition to the space – a full-size amusement park.

What to Know:

  • The Circuit of the Americas hosts NASCAR races, concerts, and other events
  • Starting next year, COTA will add roller coasters and other rides to its list of attractions
  • The new amusement park is called COTALAND

Circuit of the Americas NASCAR Track Chairman Talks COTALAND

Everything’s bigger in Texas. For Circuit of the Americas Chairman Bobby Epstein, hosting NASCAR races, concerts, and pop-up carnivals wasn’t enough. No, COTA needed a way to truly stand out among the rest. And for Epstein, the answer was obvious: a full-size amusement park. After all, what do NASCAR fans enjoy most if not high-speed thrills?

The portion of the park housing kiddie rides will open later this year. Next year, the full COTALAND will open its gates, treating visitors to dozens of rides on opening day, including five roller coasters.

“We’re building a massive amusement park that I hope opens in ’23,” said Bobby Epstein, Circuit of the Americas Chairman. “We’ll have 30-plus rides and two mega-coasters. One of them will be the first of its kind in the country. It’ll be an amusement park to rival any other.”

With the many events already housed within its walls, COTA already welcomes over 1 million visitors every year. However, Bobby Epstein expects the new addition to attract even more people to the Austin destination. “It just provides another thing for families to do,” Epstein said. “It gives a reason to get out of the house and not have to drive an hour or hour and a half away.”

COTA Officials Detail Ride Plans for COTALAND

Incredibly, COTALAND isn’t a new idea. In fact, COTA officials included the amusement park in the original plans for the space. “We actually had this as part of the original master plan,” said COTA chairman Bobby Epstein. “Our assets are concession stands, restrooms and lots of parking spaces. When you consider what you should do with a campus like that, you have to make it a destination.”

Matt Hughey, Manager of COTA Karting and COTALAND, gave us an idea of what to expect from the upcoming amusement park. They’re buying rides from all the world, including Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands.

Though there are dozens of rides planned for COTALAND, Hughey is particularly excited for the Circuit Breaker. “It’s a tilt coaster,” Hughey said. “It’s going to be the first of its kind in America. It does have a sister overseas. It’s just the most neat experience to be dangling facing downward waiting for it to drop.”