Tuesday, November 28, 2023

IAE17 NEWS: SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment Discusses 2018 Attractions at IAAPA Attractions Expo

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.


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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.


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.

Brian Morrow, Vice President Theme Park Experience Design at SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, unveils the Infinity Falls raft during IAAPA Attractions Expo. Photo by Rona Gindin for InPark.

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.


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

Tunnels: 1

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

Rona Gindin
Rona Gindin
InPark is pleased to welcome Rona Gindin ([email protected]), who joined our community of contributors in November 2017. Rona writes about tourism, business, travel, restaurant and lifestyle issues. Her work has appeared in Zagat, foodnetwork.com, Brides, Parenting, Endless Vacation and other publications and websites.

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