The Deep Abyss - Student Project- We need feedback!

Sea World Orlando: If this coaster were made, what would you think?

From Delirium Dreamer
Posted March 2, 2010 at 12:18 PM
I am a senior-level college student working in my Entertainment Marketing class on a project that involves the launch of a potential brand-new coaster at SeaWorld. My group and I are in need of some input, from you- the target market- as to what you do and don't like about indoor LIM coasters.

-Do you prefer them themed?
-Do you like little specks of light throughout the ride, or to be completely in the dark?
-How important are the inversions to you?
-What type of inversions would you like to see? -Would you go to the park specifically if a special event were offered? (i.e.: ACE event or otherwise)
-How far are you willing to travel to experience this coaster?
-Is a storyline important to the theming of the ride?
-Where, do you think, you are most likely to see advertisements/ promotions for this ride- and pay attention to them?

Please discuss. Thank you for your time!

From Anthony Murphy
Posted March 2, 2010 at 12:48 PM
I wouldn't mind some kind of theme or storyline. Personally, I think an indoor roller coaster, based upon the name, would be best, especially in the dark. I would use the Space Mountains and Rockin Roller Coasters as reference points with an indoor roller coaster!

From David Graham
Posted March 2, 2010 at 12:57 PM
Anthony, you forgot they could use Mummy as well, and there are many others.

Also as a thought say it's the SWO, we have the famous FL summer storms, indoor coasters can still operate, so that is always a plus.

I'll try to answer your other questions later when more time.

From Anthony Murphy
Posted March 2, 2010 at 2:27 PM
You are right, but Space Mountain is a "classic roller coaster" which is what I thought of!

From Nick Markham
Posted March 2, 2010 at 6:57 PM
Delirium, here are my thoughts on your coaster project:

-First off, there are already 3 fully indoor coasters in the Orlando area, and 2 are LIM launch coasters, making it very difficult to market a unique experience what is really what theme park goers want the most

-Next, can you create your own coaster design? If so, we can help you come up with something unique and realistic

-If you can't, here are some good options of decent coaster types not yet in Orlando that would still work nicely under the 200 foot height limit (ordered by what I think is the best for Sea World):

1. B&M Hyper Coaster- No Launch, but very tall, very fast, and is always a type of coaster EVERYONE loves even when it has no inversions!

2. 4th Dimension Coaster- If X2 in SFMM is able to be so awesome where it is at only 175 Feet, it would be PERFECT in Orlando, where nothing of the type exists. In fact, it would be the Easternmost of its coaster type in the world, not to mention 3rd of its kind!

3. Intamin Stormrunner- There is only one in the world, and at 180 feet, it delivers an amazing launch, crazy inversions, and makes everyone love it!

4. Zierer Tower Coaster- At only 110 feet, this coaster is decievingly thrilling. There is only one in the world down in my home park LAgoon in Farmington, Utah, but it launches using LIM at 50 mph up a 110 foot vertical tower, back down into a near 90 degree turn around into a vertical g-roll and finshes off with some trhing little hills and turns. Now, the best part of this coaster is that it is thrilling, compact to fit in any area and, (the best marketing tool) can have seat inserts for small riders making the height limit only 36" making it available to almost all ages!

And finally, to answer your questions:

- Do I prefer themed? Yes, but if the quality of the ride is good, it is fine without theming. However, the audience Sea World directs to enjoys at least some theming, so check out its other coasters in the park to compare the amount of theming needed or desired.

- If indoor, COMPLETLY dark is reccomended. But again, I am not big on the indoor idea.

- Inversions are a very nice bonus, but not neccessary. I marked the non-inverting B&M hyper on the top of my list for a reason

- How far would I travel? We have no idea what type of coaster you will even choose! Right now with your idea, I can take a 1 hour flight to the nearby California to get an indoor coaster, so I probably would need something BIG to impress me. Uniqueness is key.

-Storyline is something Sea World uses with all of its attractions and so is needed in some way.

-Advertisements should first be made all across the internet, mainly in places such as Twitter or Facebook. Second would be TV advertisements NAtionwide, though mostely locally. And third would be YouTube advertisements. All parks use ALL of these to advertise.

Well, I hope this isn't too much for you to take in, but I just seem to be absolutly fascinated with your project. I hope you take at least some of my advice!

From rick stevens
Posted March 2, 2010 at 11:16 PM
I agree with Nick, but to add to your input...I think themeing is a must.

As far as inversions, it depends on the ride. Some really need the adrenaline input of different situations, but others are great without them. It depends on the themeing.

Travel is based on the monetary input of the subject and can be subjective. Some are willing to spend "whatever" on a vacation, others are all about the cost.

Interesting subject for discussion. I look forward to your conclusions.

From Tyler Bell
Posted March 3, 2010 at 2:22 PM
Your rollercoaster should be greatly themend with at least three inversions.Also your coaster should do manuvers that an indoor rollercoaster doesnt do,like a cobra roll ,If its a SeaWorld coaster you dont want it completely dark.Have it themend to a Shark,Whale,Dolphin etc.The coaster could be based on these animals taking a journey through the sea.

From Tim W
Posted March 3, 2010 at 2:55 PM
Theming and a story line are an absolute must! Space mountain would suck if it was just a coaster in the dark, and your were riding "rockets". The Mummy would be absolutely nothing without its themeing. And Rock n' roller Coaster would be ho hum if it was lacking its music theme. The theme makes the greatest coasters so great. Thats your basis right there. As for me inversions are not important when having this type of coaster. They make a nice addition, but can't be overdone. If overdone, it distracts the audience from the theming, which is not the aim. Stay away from being pitch black, as no ride should be pitch black. They should be able to see something in the ride. As for the length i'd travel, location is key. I would tend to visit this ride more if it was in sea world orlando, as compared to the others. But, thats just my opinion as i am frequently orlando bound. Finally, im most likely to see advetisements on online sites. That is where all info is pretty much leaked first. You hardly ever see ride announcements on tv, until its open or a few weeks before the opening. Park advertisements are nice, but if its announced opening in 6 months, more than likely people arent going to visit in another 6 months. Either way, the internet is the most effective way of spreading the word. Its fast and appeals to everyone that deeply cares about a new attraction.

From Anthony O'Neal
Posted March 3, 2010 at 4:22 PM
Answering your questions in order:

-Yes, a themed coaster would be preferred (by me, at least). I think in this instance (the ride being for Sea World), certainly focusing on animals from the deep oceans would be a good theme.

-I would prefer it to be predominantly dark, but if there were a way to incorporate animals with bioluminescence (like those that use "light lures") into the theme without compromising the rest of the ride, that may be cool. You could be heading towards this light, only to find out at the last second that it's a predator trying to draw in prey, which would be the coaster, in this example. This would also provide the park with a natural and dynamic marketing image. There are vampire squid, viper fish, and pelican eels, for example.

-I like inversions, but they're not essential. It's dependent on the rest of the ride. I agree with a previous poster that sometimes the rides just need them for a pick-me-up.

-If they were included, then perhaps just some simple rolls or twists. As above, you may need something that packs a bit more punch.

-Other than Opening Weekends and Halloween events, I don't typically go for special events.

-I live in a place that's pretty close to several theme parks (Cedar Point, Six Flags Great America, etc.), so for a single coaster, I probably wouldn't go very far. However, for a good overall park or collection of parks, I would be willing to fly to wherever it is. Certainly, I would fly to Florida.

-I think so. I think it ties everything together. For example, the storyline that I proposed in the answer about the theme of the ride would be a good one.

-Social networking sites, the park's website, television ads. That's probably where I would see them.

Interesting project. Please let us know what your final project looks like!

From Adam Nodjomian
Posted March 4, 2010 at 3:26 PM
Here's my opinion:

1) Yes, I think theming is imparitive especially in an Orlando park like Sea World Orlando. They could have done a bit more with Kraken's theming, Atlantis is not bad, and Wild Arctic has very good in-ride and post-show theming, but it lacks any good pre-show theming (I haven't visited Manta yet so I cantjudge on its theming.)

2)If you're going to have a themed ride, it should have some show scenes, maybe simple and quick but I dont see Sea World creating a totally dark ride, especially ifit's going to have a storyline.

3&4)To me, inversions are unecessary. Of my top 5 roller coasters, 3 have inversions, but if they do have inversions it's not for the inversion (Griffon/Sheikra for the 90° drop and Hulk and Volcano for the launch). Rides such as Apollo's Chariot at Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Diamondback at King's Island are amazing and neither have any inversions whatsoever. Just pure speed. I'm sure that the ne Intimidator 305 will also move into my top 5 after it opens this spring and it also has no inversions to speak of. If you are going to put inversions, I would also suggest barrel rolls, twists, or other zero-g experiences like them which are the main inversions found on my 2nd favorite coaster: Volcano at Kings Dominion.

5)The only theme park event I have ever visited was the Epcot Flower and Garden Festical in 2009. We just happened to be there while it was going on last Spring Break. The main drive for us to visit theme parks are price, lower prices, more of a chance we will go.

6)I agree with most of the other posters that a new coaster will probably not make me want to visit a theme park right away. In fact, I would probably wait a couple of years until its popularity had died down a bit, especially in a big-name park such as Sea World. On the other hand, if you centered a whole land around this new attraction (i.e. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Islands of Adventure) then I may want to visit it soon after it opens, as I hope to do with Harry Potter.

7)For me, storyline is pretty important, but if it's a great coaster then no, the theming is not as important. Even so, I would expect a stronger storyline from the Orlando parks. All of Sea World's attractions lack a good central storyline, excluding maybe Wild Arctic. a well-themed and great coaster would look really good on their resumé. In a park such as Kings Dominion or Busch Gardens, storyline is not as important, since you don't expect it to be and the thrill is usualy the main drive behind your reason to ride, not a good storytelling adventure.

8)Finally, my main places for ads would be on a website such as this one or a social networking site like Facebook.

Hope this helps!

And if I may ask, are you in the program to eventually work for someone like Imagineering or Universal Creative or does it just so happen that you had to do a project on theme parks?

If you can't answer I compeletly understand.

From Robert Niles
Posted March 4, 2010 at 5:37 PM
SeaWorld coaster in the dark? Gotta be a deep-sea submersible theme.

I don't think that inversions necessarily fit this theme, but it's gotta be dark, with the occasional "glow in the dark" sea life.

And the initial drop has to be long, and intense, as should the ascent at the end. A powered ascent here would be a must, and could be a unique element.

My $.02

From Terry O'Neal
Posted March 5, 2010 at 8:31 AM
-Do you prefer them themed? Yes

-Do you like little specks of light throughout the ride, or to be completely in the dark?
In and out of darkness is good, little stars of light could be included in theming.

-How important are the inversions to you?
Inversions are extremely important.

-What type of inversions would you like to see? -
Inverted coaster inversion. Cobra Roll, zero-g roll, vertical loops.

Would you go to the park specifically if a special event were offered? (i.e.: ACE event or otherwise)
If it was close and the special event was truly something special (limited access, ride developers present) I would go.

-How far are you willing to travel to experience this coaster? Depends on the greatness of the coaster. I would travel anywhere in the US or Canada to get there if it was awesome.

-Is a storyline important to the theming of the ride? No

-Where, do you think, you are most likely to see advertisements/ promotions for this ride- and pay attention to them? Television, RCDB, Theme Park Insider.

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