Theme Park Insider

SeaWorld Orlando Announces New Coaster for 2016

April 24, 2015, 7:38 AM · New SeaWorld CEO Joel Manby isn't wasting time getting down to business. The chain's Orlando flagship just announced plans for its first new thrill ride in years.

Here is the statement:

"Something is stirring beneath the surface at SeaWorld Orlando, preparing to rise from the ocean depths and soar to thrilling new heights. Get ready for the frenzy of SeaWorld’s new 200-foot-tall coaster. In 2016, this thriller will take its place atop the food chain as Orlando’s tallest, fastest and longest coaster. More details on the new addition will surface in late-May. SeaWorld is a one-of-a-kind theme park with a variety of attractions including awe-inspiring animal encounters, thrilling rides and spectacular shows. Follow #nothingfaster as the frenzy starts."

photo
SeaWorld Orlando's most recent coaster, Manta

This will be SeaWorld Orlando's first new coaster since the Theme Park Insider Award-winning Manta debuted in 2009. Manta is a Bolliger & Mabillard Flying Coaster, and SeaWorld Orlando's other non-kiddie coaster is also a B&M, the floorless Kraken, which opened in 2000. SWO also has a Mack custom water coaster, the original Journey to Atlantis, which opened in 1998.

Since Manta's debut, SeaWorld Orlando has opened animal habitat-focused attractions, including Turtle Trek and its most recent new attraction, Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin.

What are you hoping to see for SeaWorld's new coaster?

Update: "Drop the mic" response:

Replies (19)

April 24, 2015 at 9:08 AM · I don't really mind what the ride is like, I'll try it out next time I'm there in a few years and I'm sure it'll be good. My one hope is that it creates a spike in attendance so the Blackfish crowd who think the world is with them shut up.
April 24, 2015 at 10:39 AM · I'm not really a big extreme coaster fan, but if this can help drive more people into SeaWorld, then I'm all for it. I think a financially healthy and vibrant SeaWorld is good for Orlando theme parks in general, and while I think the park is currently not close to living up to its potential (either creatively or in terms of attendance), this move signals the management is at least starting to do something about that. This coaster, coupled with some re-energized (and/or new) animal exhibits and one or two new family dark rides over the next, say, 6 - 7 years could go a long way towards fleshing out SeaWorld in a cool way.
April 24, 2015 at 12:55 PM · Great move for SeaWorld! Question is, where is it going to be built? Could it be by the Bay Harbor Pavilions at the front of the park?
April 24, 2015 at 2:13 PM · There's a huge whole in Orlando shaped like a classic straightforward non-inverting hyper-coaster. Give us an 'Apollo's Chariot' or similar and I think they'll have a major hit on their hands....
April 24, 2015 at 3:00 PM · This has made me much less disappointed about being unable to join my family on their Florida trip this year. I've got a pretty strong feeling this will be a B&M Hyper since Florida doesn't have one yet and the information released so far sounds very much like a hyper. If not a B&M Hyper, then I'd expect a launch coaster of some sort (most likely a Mack) given SeaWorld's recent coaster installations. Whatever it ends up being, SeaWorld is about to become the coaster capital of Orlando (if it wasn't already) and has definitely become a must-visit destination when I finally get a chance to visit Florida.
April 24, 2015 at 3:15 PM · The reports I've seen that it will be located near Kracken.
April 24, 2015 at 4:22 PM · A roller coaster won't drive the attendance meter in the wake of Diagon Alley, Kong, Avatar, and Star Wars. Nevertheless, I wish the best for Sea World.
April 24, 2015 at 4:56 PM · A roller coaster will get SeaWorld going in the right direction. SeaWorld still needs to renovate Shark Encounter and Wild Arctic, but continue with the coasters and improve the kid's experience in the future. A SeaWorld resort hotel would be huge if done.
April 24, 2015 at 6:09 PM · The words "frenzy" and "top of the food chain" were used in the announcement, possibly teasing a shark themed coaster, especially as it is rumored to be built behind the Shark Encounter exhibit and running along I Drive.
April 24, 2015 at 7:56 PM · You mean ... they can build a ride from announcement to completion in around 1 year to 1 1/2 years???? Hmmmm ... I would have thought that's completely impossible.

Signed

Walt Disney Corporation

/sarc

April 25, 2015 at 4:12 AM · Exciting news! If the Rao Family does make it back to Florida in 2016, this announcement cements SeaWorld on our list of parks to visit. With Kraken, Manta, and "Great White" or "Frenzy" or whatever, SeaWorld will likely have the top three coasters in the greater Orlando area!
April 25, 2015 at 12:12 PM · In all honesty what Sea World needs to do is continue to build HIGH dark ride attractions, similar to Antarctica. They need to compete with Disney, and even if people have something against them with their animals, they're going to still need to visit if they want to go on the next dark ride they have. They need to build more dark rides. Renovating exhibits like they've recently announced still won't change those minds against them, they need to build dark rides. Rides that even those people will still have something against Sea World, will still need to come if they want to ride them.
April 25, 2015 at 12:56 PM · I'm so excited for SeaWorld! This is where The Park Operator needs to go in order to see an increase in Park Attendance. I'm a AP for the SD Park and love everything that comes with it. Congrats Joel Mandy!!! Awesome News! Now lets get some IP's and we're good to go!
April 26, 2015 at 5:24 AM · Question - Isn't the new Skyscraper 545ft? Does that not count as tallest roller-coaster in Orlando once completed? or because its not a stand alone structure disqualify it?
April 26, 2015 at 11:19 AM · @ 192.171.51.110 : Why not? Parks that close in Winter doing that in 6 months...
April 27, 2015 at 4:10 AM · its about time sea world IMO has been going down hill last few years they need to up there game to compete with wot disney and universal are doing
April 29, 2015 at 12:55 AM · @ 72.239.16.221
Seaworld can't compete with Disney on dark rides, so they are better going after the other end of the market which Disney doesn't really touch, thrill rides.
On our next Florida trip I was planning to do Busch Gardens as Cheetah Hunt is new to me but skip Seaworld. If the new coaster is open at Seaworld then I might take a trip there too, the Shamu show doesn't interest me, but some of the animal exhibits are interesting and the coasters are great :-)
April 29, 2015 at 1:29 AM · I think this is the perfect play for SWO, as there are plenty of people who visit Orlando who are roller coaster fans, but are lacking in quality options. With two great B&M coasters, SWO is already the single best Orlando park for thrill rides. And that is sad. I only hope they do another B&M.

Making a side trip out to BGT is not convenient, so if done well, this cements SWO as the go-to park for roller coasters in Orlando.

April 29, 2015 at 7:14 AM · I'm so glad Seaworld's getting a new coaster and for 3 reasons!

1. The last time Seaworld gave us a new, actual attraction was 2009. I made a passionate argument in the Star Wars vs Marvel debate that we shouldn't criticize a certain someone for taking a while to build new rides, but six years?! Six frickin' years and all we've gotten is a couple of new animal exhibits?! Let's see what Disney and Universal have done over the course of six years.

Disney has:

-expanded Fantasyland, giving us 3 new attractions and revising 2 older ones

-given us a new-and-improved Test Track

-closed down Maelstrom and is currently building a new Frozen-themed ride.

-given us a new-and-improved Star Tours

-and closed down Camp Minnie-Mickey and is currently building a new Avatar-themed land

Universal has:

-built a new Transformers ride

-rethemed the entire area around the Simpsons Ride into a Simpsons-themed land (even including a new ride)

-given Spider-Man some TLC

-built not one, but two Harry Potter-themed lands

-and is currently building a new King Kong-themed ride.

When your competition is building and constructing at a much faster rate than you, and it's taking a huge toll on attendance numbers, it's time to step up your game. Animal exhibits are great in their own way, but not enough to keep the turnstiles turning.

2. Seaworld already has two of the best coasters in Florida, so we can sleep well knowing that tis one's gonna be great.

3.This is Seaworld's chance to show up those tree-hugging (actually, tree-marrying) hippies at PETA. I haven't seen Blackfish, nor is it high on my list of priorities, but I know any claim that Seaworld abuses their animals is crud. I've been to this park a dozen times, so I can say for sure that no one in the amusement industry cares as much about our planet's natural wildlife as much as they do.


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