By Rona Gindin
ABOVE PHOTO: Anthony Esparza, Chief Creative Officer for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, addresses members of the media during IAAPA Attractions Expo 2017. Photo by Rona Gindin for InPark Magazine.
Orlando — SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment announced several additions to its marine-theme theme parks at the IAAPA Attractions Expo.
The 150-foot-tall Electric Eel roller coaster will debut in San Diego by summer 2018. In addition to high speeds, the ride will have an educational area about moray eels.
New water rides will join the line-ups in San Antonio and Orlando’s Aquatica parks and Tampa’s Adventure Island.
Orlando will also gain Infinity Falls in 2018, a raft ride that tells an ecological story within a rainforest theme. It will have a 40-foot vertical drop.
The original Sesame Place in Langhorne, Pennsylvania, will gain a wooden roller coaster called Oscar’s Wacky TaxiTM in spring 2018.
New Sesame Street parades will inspire guests in the San Antonio and San Diego parks. SeaWorld also has plans to build a second theme park with a Sesame Street theme (the location has not been announced), and to build a new Sesame Street land in Orlando.
At Busch Gardens Williamsburg, the Battle For Eire™—Action VR Ride will be a motion-based simulator with a 360-degree virtual reality headset.
SEAWORLD SHARES NEW DETAILS ABOUT INFINITY FALLS:
During IAAPA Attractions Expo 2017, SeaWorld revealed the first of 15 custom rafts for its new Infinity Falls river rapids attraction opening summer 2018. The 8-passenger raft features custom theming and décor resembling supplies found on real white-water rafting expeditions. The circular raft design puts riders face-to-face and allows friends and family to enjoy this exhilarating attraction together.
Aboard the raft, riders will embark on an adventure through a lush rainforest environment inspired by some of the world’s most incredible freshwater ecosystems. The new attraction will feature the world’s tallest drop on a river raft ride and allow visitors to experience the feel of exhilarating rapids. The ride will also feature an innovative elevator lift designed to transport the rafts to the top of the ride’s 40-foot drop.
Infinity Falls will be the first attraction at SeaWorld to tell a story beyond the ocean and share a message of water conservation through the adventure of a white-water river expedition. This is just one example of the park’s new “Park to Planet” initiative, a mission to help guests understand some of the challenges facing the planet and inspiring them to help.
The new attraction will be the centerpiece of a newly themed area designed to resemble the basecamp of explorers and scientists. After riding Infinity Falls, the entire family can explore the village and take part in interactive experiences that combine play with education to create a positive impact on freshwater ecosystems, reinforcing “Park to Planet” in real time. SeaWorld’s Animal Ambassadors will also provide up-close encounters with animals native to South America.
STATS ON SEAWORLD’S 2018 ATTRACTIONS
Infinity Falls, SeaWorld Orlando – Summer 2018
Minimum rider height: 42 inches
Ride Elements: Tallest river rapids ride drop in the world at 40 feet
Vertical lift system
World class river rapids
Number of Vehicles: 15 rafts
Number of Passengers: 8 passengers per raft
Ride Manufacturer: Intamin
Oscar’s Wacky TaxiTM, Sesame Place® – Spring 2018
Maximum Height: 40 Feet
Length of Track: 1,200 feet
Maximum Speed: 33 mph
Number of Trains: 2
Number of Vehicles: 6 (2 riders per car)
Number of Passengers:12
Minimum Rider Height: 40” rider height requirement (with a supervising companion) or 46” height requirement for single riders.
Ride Restraint: Lap Restraint
Ride Manufacturer: The Gravity Group
Battle For Eire™ – Action VR Ride, Busch Gardens® Williamsburg – Spring 2018
State-of-the art 360-degree virtual reality headsets combined with a motion-based theater simulator
VR headsets, which are tethered to the motion simulator seats, will connect to guests’ head mounts via magnetic closure and are adaptable for size
A standard version of the video will be available for those interested in a more traditional experience
Attraction video was created in 4K resolution
Ride Manufacturer: Falcon’s Creative Group
Electric Eel, SeaWorld San Diego – Summer 2018
Maximum Height: 150 feet
Length of Track: 853 feet
Maximum Speed: 62 mph
Number of Trains: 1
Number of cars per train: 3 cars per train
Number of Passengers: 6 per car, 18 total per train
Minimum rider height: 54 inches
Launch speeds: Train will achieve maximum speed as it passes through the station inside several seconds of the start of the ride
Taumata Racer®, Aquatica® San Antonio -Spring 2018
Maximum Height: 56 feet
Length of Lane: 325 feet
Length of Drop: 56 feet in less than 10 seconds
Number of Lanes: 6 side-by-sides
Minimum Rider Height: 42 inches
Turn of Entry Tunnel: 180-degree turn
Ride Elements: Entry tunnel – first drop is 25 ft.; second drop is 30 ft.
Ride Manufacturer: WhiteWater West Industries Ltd
Ray Rush, Aquatica Orlando – Summer 2018
Maximum Height: 60 feet
Length of Slide: 508 feet
Maximum Speed: 33 feet per second
Maximum Decent: 46°
Number of Riders Up to 4 riders
Minimum Rider Height: 42 inches
Launch Velocity: 33 feet per second
Ride Elements: Triple Fusion Slide- Master Blaster, AquaSphere and Manta
Ride Manufacturer: WhiteWater West Industries
Vanish Point®, Adventure Island, Tampa Bay – Spring 2018
Maximum Height: 70 feet
Length of Slide: 423 feet
Maximum Speed: 40 seconds start to finish
Number of Riders: 1 rider at a time
Minimum Rider Height: 48 inches
Launch Velocity: 40 seconds start to finish
Ride Elements: 2-Drop Box “Super Loop” Slides; 1 – Tube Turbo Twister Bail-Out Slide