2010 Best Theme Park Attraction nominee: SeaWorld Orlando's Journey to Atlantis

December 18, 2009, 3:40 PM · SeaWorld Orlando's Journey to Atlantis joins the 2010 Best Theme Park Attraction tournament as the 16th seed in the Best Themed Ride bracket.

SeaWorld Orlando's Journey to Atlantis

This Mack water coaster debuted in 1998, as SeaWorld's first thrill ride. It's SeaWorld, where park rules dictate that you have to get wet, so it shouldn't have surprised anyone when the park's first roller coaster kicked off with a soaking flume-ride drop.

After boarding, riders proceed through a short dark ride sequence when the Siren beckons riders into the mythical city of Atlantis. But soon, the siren transforms into a demon and riders are expelled from the temple down the ride's signature waterfall.

After a turnaround, riders return to the temple for a final encounter with the siren/demon, in a short roller coaster segment leading to a final splashdown... and thorough soaking.

Here's a highlight video that SeaWorld prepared for Theme Park Insider:

Orlando's Journey to Atlantis was an immediate hit with crowds and has spawned two other versions in following decade. San Diego's drops the dark ride element, but substitutes a longer coaster and a unique indoor elevator lift. San Antonio's is essentially a basic shoot-the-chutes ride, with 360-degree turntables at the top of the lift and before the drop.

Over the years, riders have complained that the show elements have muddied, and that the whole ride building could use a sharp rehab. But JTA remains popular enough to win a place in this year's tournament. Whether it can beat the top seed in its bracket, however, won't be known until voting for the Best Theme Park Attraction tournament begins in March.

Replies (11)

December 18, 2009 at 3:58 PM · I really hope Journey to Atlantis does well. Despite its need for a rehab this is still a great attraction. It has a good theme, a pretty strong storyline and infuses a coaster and a flume ride together seamlessly.
December 18, 2009 at 10:56 PM · A couple of years ago I rode this for the first time and LOVED it. It's a shame that at the other parks they eliminated some of the best features. I wish Carowinds could get something as cool as this for a new water attraction especialy since the flume is now gone.
December 18, 2009 at 11:16 PM · Not a fan (I never really was!)
December 19, 2009 at 12:28 AM · Heehee... you forgot to mention that besides the mermaid/siren, there's also the magical seahorse. (I'm sorry, i'm a girl who likes cute things so I have to mention the cute magical seahorse in the ride).

The Archaeologist sends the seahorse to guide you through the temple and he's often shown as a stream of lights... but yea, it's easily missed and the effects often don't let you realize that.

Then the seahorse seems to mysteriously disappear after the mermaid turns bad.

and YES! I'm a fan of Atlantis! and YES! the park should clean up the effects. But I have to give it more props because it seems like this is the only ride between Busch/Seaworld that has a storyline-- and a good one too.

December 19, 2009 at 9:10 AM · I like the theming from the ground and all of that, but I do not like this ride at all. I feel that the storyline and flume parts being weak.

Oh well, we will see what happens!

December 19, 2009 at 1:15 PM · This is ride is good, (sometimes, depending on the mood your in...) but it's not THE best. It's just good.
December 20, 2009 at 7:16 AM · Well Prya. Youve got part of the story line right. Ita actually starts out that the Fable City has surfaced in a the sea near a Greek fishing vilage. And the local fisherman see a chance to make moeny buy taking visitors to the city of Atlantis in their "fishing boats". As you approch the dock and seated you pass by a samll fishermans home and he warns you to go away. But in the foutain the mermaid appears nad and Tells you to enoy your visit. Then you enter the next room and see the city on the right and a hologram of her appears and says. Welcome mortal man fear not for behold I give you the City of Atlantis! Enjoy your stay but take nothing.
Then you round the bend and sart the climd and her face appears agin and this time she changes into a sea witch and at one point in time the face actually slide forward and very birght and with green eyes. it appears someone has sotlin her pet seahorse. As you splash into the main lagoon and trun the bend you hear her say "leaving so so? I think not" and you climb again and go higher into the sotry to the treasure room. ANd the coater element kicks in at one time it was filled with fog, storbs and lasers,again gone,turned off whatever. And the audio was very load..giving the appearance that shes out to sink your bopat befor exting the cave and spash down ..beofre returning to the dock and exiting. But then everyione here is right it does need to be rehabed and all the show effects reurned. ANd when it first openned the hole struture had water running over its serface and down the wall. vwery effective. making it look wet.
December 20, 2009 at 9:01 PM · Wow. Best themed ride? That's a laugh. The effects are ridiculously cheesy. The storyline is near-impossible to understand. The mermaid must be bipolar, first welcoming you to her kingdom, then inexplicably attempting to take your life. Danny Elfman's Beetlejuice theme plays during the mild coaster section. Strange, unsatisfying attraction with a deceptively appealing exterior.
December 21, 2009 at 6:20 AM · Joshua, Read the whole sotry line. She welcomes you but warns you take nothing. And the fisherman took the sea horse and she wants it back..swerchig each boat to see who has it...
December 21, 2009 at 1:05 PM · David -
You shouldn't have to read the whole storyline. It's a theme park ride, not a novel, play, or intricate movie. It should be fairly simple to understand, and not one of my eight friends was able to figure out what was going on after two rides.
December 22, 2009 at 2:46 PM · I always have a good time on this ride. It has no chance of beating the top seed(which could be spider-man,Tower of Terror, or Revenge of the Mummy at USF) but nice to see it in the tourney.

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