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SeaWorld Orlando (SWO) Discussion Thread

P. 263 - New Aquatica Slide!

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Better get there early!

 

When the park opens for the day, Kraken Unleashed will operate with a standard standby line. Once the wait builds to about 20 minutes, the standby queue will be cut off and Spot Saver will become available. If no more Spot Saver time slots are available for the day, you will be allowed to join a standby queue shortly before park closing

Source: http://attractionsmagazine.com/seaworld-orlando-introduces-spot-saver-virtual-queue-kraken-unleashed/

 

Back when I worked the park, the entire Kraken / JTA area is COMPLETELY dead by 8pm on 10p close days. I would guess that still holds true as the other side of the park is where the action is at night.

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AMEN!!! It's so dumb to me that a company (Premier) which made headlines and won awards and praise from all of us for taking OTSR's OFF of rides that didn't need it is now needlessly putting OTSR

Is this like spanking the monkeys?

The Ice Breaker animated POV looks pretty good, I think it will have a good amount of airtime and may be a surprise hit! With that being said can someone PLEASE explain to me why Premier insists on pu

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^Thanks for the info! I'm used to going there, and having there be virtually no wait for my beloved Kraken, so this VR thing is definitely bad news for those days... I guess I'll have to make it my first stop in the park, assuming I end up going in November as presently planned!

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^Thanks for the info! I'm used to going there, and having there be virtually no wait for my beloved Kraken, so this VR thing is definitely bad news for those days... I guess I'll have to make it my first stop in the park, assuming I end up going in November as presently planned!

Hopefully by then they will have it operationally better. You can see my post up there with a 6.5 hour virtual wait time. I didn't bother especially since that was right before Shamu Celebration show. I walked by Kraken once around 2:30 and it had a 400 minute wait listed. I'm sure it was more than that considering everything shut down for about an hour prior to that due to lightning.

 

I would just recommend getting to the park before opening and head straight there. At least with spot saver, you have to be in the park to reserve from your phone.

 

In other news, I walked onto Manta when I got to the park at 12:30 and rode twice without getting off. I also rode Mako 3 times with a 1 train wait. I didn't even need my free one time wuick queue. I used it anyway since I went through the trouble of reserving. I would have ridden more but with all the on and off rain and catching shows that's all I got coaster wise. Surprisingly the Skytower was open all day and got a ride on it with one cycke wait. Even Wild Arctic was a walk on.

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I rode it this past Sunday around 6:30-7pm,the wait time sign said 180 minutes,knowing that it had rained earlier and the park was emptying out I knew there was no way so I asked how long it actually was,they said around 40 minutes,knowing that might be as good as it gets I strolled in and was shocked to find that I would only have to wait two trains to get on,a train was leaving when I got there,the next group was already in their rows for the next one and I would be on the following one.I told myself I went from seeing the 180 min wait sign to then being told 40 minutes and then seeing how close I was to the front I thought there was no way it would even be close to the 40 minutes.However the whole loading/unloading is slow, having to clean the headsets and making sure everyone has it on correctly just takes time.There were plenty of attendants and they were very efficient but the process is still slow,nothing anyone can do about it,the wait that I thought would be 10-15 minutes was more like 25-30,I was still very happy I could get on in that time but I could imagine the wait wouldn't be very enjoyable on a busy day.I really enjoyed the experience,it truly put me in that environment and I almost forgot I was on a coaster I had probably ridden a couple hundred times.Having moved from south Florida a year ago and now being a local who frequents Sea World I have the luxury of trying to ride it at times I know the park will be dead,with the park staying open until like 10pm during the summer I'm assuming once the sun goes down the waits will be best at night.I think its a good addition to Sea World,it was a good coaster without the VR and low wait times but the park needed something unique to bring in the people to try it.Mako is still the best coaster in Florida in my opinion and the waits are never bad,and with it being such a rerideable coaster you can usually ride it multiple times in a short time,Kraken won't be that coaster you can get a bunch of rides in a row again but its now a fun, unique experience.

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Um..yeah...not happening today as expected...lol Mind you everything outdoors has been shut down at least the last 30 minutes with storms in the area.

I just don't get it. How is this acceptable at all? Between Volcano Bay's disastrous system and this, are the Orlando parks just TRYING to piss off guests and send them to Disney?!?!?

 

I really do not understand how either of these parks think this is "OK" to operate attractions like this.

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^

 

Volcano Bay I'm just going to avoid for the foreseeable future (not a big water park goer anyway), but I love Sea World, love Kraken, and am planning on going this year, so this is definitely a disappointing turn of events, and a little hard to understand as well...

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Kraken I can deal with as I understand how long the loading takes,Volcano Bay my preferred AP expires in 2 weeks and I had every intention of adding Volcano Bay to the pass but with the craziness of you can only have one reservation at a time and until that time comes all you can do is the lazy river or the wave pool or spending money eating or at the multiple bars(I think this was their original idea ) and that unless I upgrade my preferred pass to the premier I can't even get into Volcano bay in July I'm off that water park.Maybe if next year they add a standalone Volcano bay AP for the whole year so I dont even have to include it in my pass.Also the price for their AP passes has increased a staggering amount in the last 2-3 years(even the renewal price)even more if you add that waterpark,Orlando gets plenty chilly for a lot of months and now you tell me I can't even get in during one of the hottest months,Its like throwing money away for several months,I'm passing,Disney has an awesome deal on their 2 park water park AP.Over in the Universal park I've also had issues getting into Jimmy Fallon,I'm also hearing you can use an app but I've yet to try that,I was able to ride it several times when it opened but lately every time I go they tell me all the tickets the machine gives out are gone and that standby is closed and that they'll open it up again near closing time.What's the point of the cool virtual queue,maybe people don't have a problem making long waits inside,it is one of the best experiences in a ride queue,look at Flight of Passage,super long waits but at least you can do it if you want to,they're not telling you to try coming back before closing

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I've got to be honest, we're going back in September and we'll probably just skip Kraken entirely. It's a shame, it would be cool to check it out but it's not worth the aggravation for a ride that, in my opinion, is the weakest major coaster in the park (though it's still a lot of fun).

 

On a related note, when we were at Universal last week we had Express passes and rode every major ride that we wanted to ride in both parks with time for re-rides and just skipped Fallon entirely because we didn't want to deal with it and didn't care enough about the IP to justify the aggravation. The queueless system is noble in theory but it's stupid in practice.

 

As I mentioned earlier this is even more annoying at Sea World because your day is already so structured around showtimes (generally we always try to do Dine with Shamu and see One Ocean, Clyde and Seamore and Dolphin Days and that's really not an easy thing to do in one day) that having Kraken spit out a random return time that could screw all of that up is just too much of a pain in the ass to justify riding it IMO.

 

I wish they would at least designate non-VR hours where you can ride Kraken with it's typical 5 minute wait and not have to deal with any of this crap. Cedar Point does this really well with Iron Dragon, Six Flags has finally picked up on the idea too. Hopefully Sea World eventually follows suit.

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Just visited SeaWorld Orlando yesterday for a couple hours. Manta was a 30 minute wait, Mako was a 5-10 minute wait, and then Kraken… had a wait time between 300-400 minutes. It's such a shame they aren't running it a couple hours without VR like the Six Flags chain has been doing, as I'm certain a large amount of people want to ride without it.

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Went to Sea World today around 11:30,when I entered the park I opened the spotsaver site which gave me a 1:58 ride time on my phone,around 12-13:30 walked by Kraken where they had a booth where you could get a physical spotsaver ticket,at that time the tickets were giving return times of 3:34pm,I would say its not too bad overall but it was a Tuesday and not a weekend day,as long as you're not waiting too long once you actually get in line it's a pretty okay system,especially since I enjoyed the ride using the VR headset.Also did head over to Universal and was able to snag a return time for Fallon for about an hour later,Volcano Bay must be siphoning people from the theme parks as the waits were overall shorter than expected,so the park is doing some good.

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...As I mentioned earlier this is even more annoying at Sea World because your day is already so structured around showtimes (generally we always try to do Dine with Shamu and see One Ocean, Clyde and Seamore and Dolphin Days and that's really not an easy thing to do in one day) that having Kraken spit out a random return time that could screw all of that up is just too much of a pain in the A$$ to justify riding it IMO.

This is so very true. While I had no intention of even riding Kraken, I checked to see when I could get on it for s&$%s & giggles (knowing it would be outrageous). As I showed earlier, the first available was about 6.5 hours later and 20 minutes before the only night time Shamu show. Even if I had wanted to ride it I would have had to pass that one and try again a little later to reserve. The show was among the priority to do list for this visit since I may not be back until September either.

 

 

Trip Report:

We arrived about 12:15 and was in the park by 12:30. We ate lunch before since we were staying until close. Rain was definitely in the forecast and it came through not long after arrival. Even with the rain that was on and off between 1 & 6pm, I was able to accomplish most of what I wanted to do yesterday. Because of the coming rain, we decided to go extra bare minimum and only carry a bottled water into the park (outside of keys, wallets & phones). So no camera (until later when I did get it).

 

I first headed to Manta to ride since I had skipped it the last couple times I've been. To my surprise, it was a walk-on. I only had to wait for the 2 trains in the station to do (they were running both sides). I was even able to re-ride. I rode 2nd row the first ride and last row for the 2nd where no one was waiting. I think that was the first time I've ridden the back and was by far much more intense in the pretzel loop than I have ever experienced. It may be the most intense moment I've ever had on a B&M coaster. I was close to graying out. Crazy since I've been on it many times since it opened. I think I went to the front more since it's one where it makes a difference visually at least.

 

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Next we went to the 1:30 showing of Dolphin Days. We got in there right at 1 when they opened it up to get a great seat since it was our first time seeing it. The last time we came to the park they cancelled the first showing at 10 and we were leaving by lunch for other engagements outside the park. Storms started coming through shortly after and they kept delaying. At 2pm they finally cancelled so people could go on with their day and invited us all to try again for the 3pm showing. Had it not been raining we would have moved on well before the cancellation. We left our umbrellas in the car since we didn't feel like carrying anything extra.

 

Once the rain let up we walked over to see what kind of line Empire Of The Penguin had since it was still lightly raining and to kill time. The sign said a 5 minute wait. Looking at said line, it had not updated and was more like 45. I figured it would be like that since it's an indoor attraction. Not a loss anyway since we didn't plan originally to ride it.

 

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Then we walked back to see what they have done to Kraken. It wasn't running at the moment because of the weather. Posted wait time? 405 minutes....with a virtual queue...laughable...lol I honestly really don't care for the new look overall. I do like the tentacles, but that's about it. I know many thought the old head was cheesy, but it completed the entrance plaza to me. I wish they would have made a new head to go with the tentacles. They also had the area closed off where the eggs used to be and where you could view the corkscrew at the ride exit. Hopefully they will open it back up a little more once things get smooth with all this.

 

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We then walked over to the JTA aquarium before going back to see the 3pm Dolphin Days.

 

Dolphin Days...what can I say? I liked the show and there was definitely more interaction with the dolphins. However because Blue Horizons was the first show I ever saw at SeaWorld, it will always be tops for me. I first saw it the first year it was performed so it was great in the earlier years. I have the DVD and my own recordings so it will live on for me. Because of the rain and 90 minute delay to watch it, we ended up not viewing the manatees, dolphins (in DC), Stingrays or Manta Aquarium like normal and decided to make our way to the skytower, which surprisingly ran all day until the park closed. That's almost unheard of for when we visit...lol The windows had too much condensation to even bother getting any pics. Oh well.

 

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After Skytower, we headed over so I could ride Mako. In that short of time the rain started coming down again. While I'm sure some people like riding 73mph on a coaster in the stinging rain; I'm not one of them and went through the Shark Encounter.

 

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As the rain got lighter made it over to Wild Arctic to do that and see the Beluga, Walrus & Seals. In the gift shop on the way out I found a nice plate and matching spoon rest that were on clearance. I was surprised they were on clearance and was happy I waited since I was last there in April and wanted them. Since we had made purchases we decided to take it out to the car and get our umbrellas. Of course, once we got back in the park we never opened them again...go figure. I did decide to grab my camera to get some pics and video of the nighttime shows.

 

It was just before 6pm when we got back in the park and were planning to see Sea Lions tonight which started at 6:30. Since Mako was so close and the rain stopped, I went and rode Mako while my partner got a seat at the show. I had a free quick queue as a June pass member perk and used it, even though there was a 2 train wait. Well I took the time to reserve, print and redeem so why not? Plus I had no way of knowing how long the line actually was, even with the 5 minute posted wait. It was a great ride as always. I only had time for the one ride for now and headed over to see the show.

 

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I always enjoy the Clyde and Seamore shows, and the latest version of Sea Lions Tonight does not disappoint. It's definitely the best show in the park currently; even better than their daytime show. They do a great job at keeping the script revised with the attractions they parody in the park. The segments parodying Dolphins Days & Kraken Unleashed had me in tears....cause they were so true...lol

 

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After the show I took another quick spin on Mako before heading over to Mango Joe's for dinner. Then we caught some of the Club Sea Glow dance party at Bayside Stadium before heading back to Shamu Stadium to see Shamu's Celebration: Light Up The Night.

 

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I've always enjoyed the night time Shamu shows over One Ocean. However, while this one was ok, it just doesn't have the same effect on me as Shamu Rocks did. Part of it may have been the orcas weren't all performing on queue at times. It was still better than One Ocean to me, which has just honestly been boring to me since it was introduced and why we normally skip it. The next (and last time) we'll see it (One Ocean) will be September when my sister brings my nephew down for his 10th birthday. I guess like the dolphin shows, it's just a change I'll have to either learn to like...or skip altogether when I visit. Fortunately I have the Believe DVD and my own video of it for memories as well.

 

After the show I went and got my first night ride on Mako. I must say it's even better in the dark! One guy on my row was not feeling the nighttime rush. He was ready to go...lol I wanted to ride again and went to an empty row (half the rows were empty) and was asked to go back through the line. I didn't argue and just didn't ride again. They let me on Manta earlier in the day, but hey...whatever. Different ops, different ride...just got lucky before. That's too long to walk around for me when you've been there most of the day on 2 hours of sleep.

 

To end the night we went through some shops on our way over towards Bayside Stadium to watch Ignite. We chose to sit by the water next to the vendor spots used during the events instead of from the stadium. Plus it was a shorter walk to the exit. I also was able to record without an obstructed view. Well...besides this guy who insisted on walking in front of us to go stand in the grass for 2 minutes and then back to where he was. I must say I was very impressed with Ignite and feel it one of the better night time closing shows I've seen. I did video of it, so no pics. I will say the heat coming from the fire blasting pyrotechnics was crazy. I think they should try and incorporate some of that into the New Years Eve celebration. I'm glad we ended up staying because after Shamu I was pretty much ready to go. It was worth seeing it live, especially since I may not be back before it ends.

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I've got to be honest, we're going back in September and we'll probably just skip Kraken entirely. It's a shame, it would be cool to check it out but it's not worth the aggravation for a ride that, in my opinion, is the weakest major coaster in the park (though it's still a lot of fun).

 

On a related note, when we were at Universal last week we had Express passes and rode every major ride that we wanted to ride in both parks with time for re-rides and just skipped Fallon entirely because we didn't want to deal with it and didn't care enough about the IP to justify the aggravation. The queueless system is noble in theory but it's stupid in practice.

 

As I mentioned earlier this is even more annoying at Sea World because your day is already so structured around showtimes (generally we always try to do Dine with Shamu and see One Ocean, Clyde and Seamore and Dolphin Days and that's really not an easy thing to do in one day) that having Kraken spit out a random return time that could screw all of that up is just too much of a pain in the A$$ to justify riding it IMO.

 

I wish they would at least designate non-VR hours where you can ride Kraken with it's typical 5 minute wait and not have to deal with any of this crap. Cedar Point does this really well with Iron Dragon, Six Flags has finally picked up on the idea too. Hopefully Sea World eventually follows suit.

 

I agree with you! I also would like some designated non-VR times to ride Kraken without all the headache and long waits. VR coasters are a good idea on paper, but the cleaning and long waits makes it clear simulator rides are the better way to go. Besides, people love the view on coasters. I love the visuals. I enjoy simulator rides too, but why ruin a good coaster to basically turn it into a simulator ride?

 

Side note: I see the mimes are back for Sea Lions Tonight show. That's great. I always enjoy a good laugh and their antics. I would like them back every show. Those crossing guards and their annoying whistle, ugh, I can do without.

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Got to go the park the other day for a couple hours to see a few of the new attractions, didn't get a chance to see Pop or Sea Lions tonight but did the other new stuff.

 

Kraken Unleashed: Awesome. I've never been on a VR coaster before but it was amazing, the movie was gorgeous and synced up great to the coaster. Went up earlier in the day to grab a return ticket, then when we came back we only had to wait in the line for 15 minutes which was awesome. They did run out of return tickets later in the day so its smart to either go get one first thing or use the spotsaver website once you get into the park to make sure you get a ride

 

Dolphin Nursery: Way better than the old one, they have cool underwater viewing areas and little portholes you can sit in, and the baby dolphins where coming over and checking everybody out and the whole area just looked way nicer

 

Ignite/electric ocean: I think everyone needs to check this show out this summer. It was really cool how they let you stand on the stage at bayside stadium to watch the show if you want and its the best place to do it from, there is loads of fountains, lasers, lights, fireworks and fire and if you stand on the front of the stage are pretty much surrounded by everything so its super immersive. The music was good and the dancers and acrobats in the area before Ignite started were awesome to watch, and they were really good at interacting and engaging with the guests

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  • 2 months later...
How busy does the park get/the waits for the coasters in mid Oct on a Friday, Saturday, and Sun? Thanks!

Other than around major holidays and some summer weekends, you should be fine just about any day; especially in October. Likely walk on to 15-20 minutes at most. The only thing that will have a line longer than that would be Antarctica Empire Of The Penguin. You can however skip that and just view the penguins like I usually do...lol There may be a lot of children in the park for their Spooktacular event (Sat & Sun), which is in it's own area that's normally closed off when there are no events.

 

[EDIT TO ADD]

If you're just looking to go one day, Friday would be the least busy with school in session.

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How busy does the park get/the waits for the coasters in mid Oct on a Friday, Saturday, and Sun? Thanks!

 

Wait times for coasters are rarely an issue at SeaWorld.

I remember when we went in October 2009 and pretty much everything was a walk-on (including Manta) which was a pretty refreshing change of pace from what you'd see at Disney or Universal.

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It's that wonderful time of year again in Central Florida where special events fill the parks and guests have even more to enjoy on top of the already stellar experiences offered year round! SeaWorld Orlando continues to offer a family-friendly, daytime offering for guests of all ages to enjoy during their day at the park. Shamu's Halloween Spooktacular is a fantastic complement to the park's existing lineup and adds a unique trick or treating option for guests to enjoy throughout the day. There is even a special Halloween show offered during the event in the Pets Ahoy theater, Countdown to Halloween, which features characters from Sesame Street.

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Added SeaWorld's Halloween Spooktacular decor can be found throughout the park.

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I'm not sure how new this is but there's a choose-your-own-flavor Dippin' Dots stand!

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I kind of went crazy with this opportunity...

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SeaWorld's Halloween Spooktacular extends throughout a good portion of the park and there are many treat stops for guests to enjoy!

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Be on the look out for pumpkin fish!

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Treat stops are marked with signage like this and the lines move very quickly.

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There is no limit as to how many times you can go back through treat lines... So feel free to go back for more!

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There are roaming Halloween characters from under the sea that you can encounter near the Halloween Spooktacular booths.

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Hanging out with the natives...

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Candies offered during the event are notable like Skittles and M&Ms.

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Even more friendly characters over by Wild Arctic!

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Tootsie Rolls!

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Looking towards the festival side of the park...

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Don't forget to look around--you may find some friendly spooks hanging out throughout the park.

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Smarties are always a go-to option for candies that last a long time...

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Another rogue pumpkin fish in a while!

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Guests can meet and take a photo with a mermaid while at the event.

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They grow up so quickly!

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M&Ms!

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Lots of waterfront entertainment for guests of all ages in the festival section of the park.

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Some neat set pieces.

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Guests can control the water fountain in the park's central lagoon with this neat control panel on the water's edge.

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Sesame Street Countdown to Halloween is the special show offered only during SeaWorld's Halloween Spectacular for younger guests and their families

Edited by jedimaster1227
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  • 2 weeks later...

Count Von Count is at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, too--that vampire gets around.

 

Looks like a nice alternative to the scarier stuff at Universal.

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Ray Rush Coming to Aquatica Orlando in 2018

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NEW FAMILY RAFT SLIDE OFFERS THREE-IN-ONE THRILLS FOR GUESTS OF ALL AGES

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ORLANDO, Fla. (October 12, 2017) – A brand-new family raft slide is splashing into Aquatica, SeaWorld’s Waterpark in spring 2018. Ray Rush promises to be a fully-loaded water adventure which will combine three unique slide elements, never before seen at Aquatica, into one action-packed attraction the entire family can enjoy together.

 

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At nearly 60 feet tall, Ray Rush is where family and friends can take on three exciting thrills as they slide, splash and soar like never before. First, riders will be launched at 33 feet per second with water jets designed to propel rafts into the first of several enclosed tube sections. Next, riders will swirl into a colossal translucent sphere which spins the raft around the slide walls before entering another enclosed tube section. Finally, riders will drop into an open-air halfpipe that resembles the shape of a manta ray. Rafts will soar back and forth on the wings of the manta before entering the final enclosed tube section that ends with a splash.

 

“Ray Rush will offer a ride experience you won’t be able to get anywhere else in Florida. Aquatica will be the first waterpark in the state to combine these three unique elements into one attraction” said Cathy Valeriano, Aquatica Orlando vice president. “Ray Rush is the perfect addition to our attraction portfolio, complementing what is already one of the most family-friendly waterslide lineups in Orlando.”

 

Ray Rush will have a height requirement of 42” to appeal to families with children and will accommodate up to four riders per raft. The new slide will be located on the north side of the park next to Walkabout Waters.

 

In order to make way for the new attraction, HooRoo Run will close permanently on October 31, 2017. To accommodate construction, Walhalla Wave will temporarily close on this date and re-open in spring 2018 alongside Ray Rush. For a limited-time, Aquatica Pass Members will receive a one-time Quick Queue to ride both HooRoo Run and Walhalla Wave on select days in October before construction begins in November.

 

The best way to experience Aquatica is with an Aquatica Orlando Annual Pass. For a limited-time, Florida residents can purchase an Aquatica Orlando Annual Pass for only $10 per month with EZpay. Aquatica Pass Members enjoy unlimited admission and free parking as well as discounts and the opportunity to be among the first to ride Ray Rush when it opens in spring 2018. For more information, visit AquaticaOrlando.com.

 

Assemble your squad and get ready to turn up the fun at Aquatica in 2018. Get the latest Ray Rush updates by following Aquatica on Facebook and the SeaWorld Blog. Join the #RayRush conversation using #SplashSquad2018.

Edited by robbalvey
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For those of you that like to keep score, it looks like a WhiteWater installation with an AquaSphere and a Manta. Appropriate for being called "Ray Run".

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