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SeaWorld Orlando (SWO) Discussion Thread

P. 266: Reef Plunge and more announced for Aquatica!

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  • 1 month later...
Ray Rush Coming to Aquatica Orlando in 2018

 

 

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.

 

I feel so honored that they named the ride after me.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Went to the park yesterday and had an awesome time. Few things to note:

 

-FINALLY did Kraken VR after about nine months of thinking "VR is stupid," and... I mean, meh? I liked it, I guess... the visuals were clean, it was all synced up really well (except for the audio, the headphones didn't work. I told a ride op and they gave me a re-ride pass. Score. ), just... I don't know, I just can't see this being a permanent thing. Give it a few years, I'm sure the VR portion will phase out sooner or later. It's so much better without the screen strapped to your face, I can tell you that much.

 

-Mako gets better and better every time I ride it. It was my first time riding in the back row, and holy wow. That first drop is fan-tas-tic. It's my number one for a really good reason.

 

-The entire area with Wild Arctic/Happy Harbor needs a HUGE update. The entire kids area is sunbleached colors central, and Wild Arctic is just... so.... BAD. The animation looks like the definition of early 1990's 3D animation, and the motions of the ride are genuinely painful. Ugh. The exhibit is still the best in the park somehow.

 

-Manta in the backseat is God. All I gotta say.

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^ I always made myself ride Wild Arctic because I really liked the animal exhibit (walrus for the win!) and I felt bad for the animals because I felt like no one ever saw them. (At least whenever I went it seemed deserted back there.). And I know you can go back to the animals without riding the ride, but idk. I liked Wild Arctic well enough. It desperately does need an update, and I hope they revamp it instead of just ripping it out.

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-The entire area with Wild Arctic/Happy Harbor needs a HUGE update. The entire kids area is sunbleached colors central, and Wild Arctic is just... so.... BAD.

That area will soon become a Sesame Street themed area. No date set yet, but could see them start construction either after Infinity falls opens, or around this time next year after the busy holiday season.

 

 

-Manta in the backseat is God. All I gotta say.

It's a whole different experience in the back row. I've ridden it since 2010 and finally rode in the back on my last visit. I started "greying out". The only coaster so far that's happened on (so far).

 

^ I always made myself ride Wild Arctic because I really liked the animal exhibit (walrus for the win!) and I felt bad for the animals because I felt like no one ever saw them. (At least whenever I went it seemed deserted back there.). And I know you can go back to the animals without riding the ride, but idk. I liked Wild Arctic well enough. It desperately does need an update, and I hope they revamp it instead of just ripping it out.

Technically, you aren't supposed to go in through the exit. They will turn you around if there are employees present.

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Technically, you aren't supposed to go in through the exit. They will turn you around if there are employees present.

 

I meant the non-simulator option I thought was offered, where you could just walk through if you wanted. I’m not sure if that’s how it worked, though; I always rode the ride.

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-Manta in the backseat is God. All I gotta say.

 

Not gonna argue with this statement. That feeling when you're being pulled over the top in the pretzel loop is a proper "oh shit" moment! Love it!

 

The pretzel loop was insane in all rows. I think the most noticeable thing riding in the back was that some of the elements that just seemed graceful up front pulled good Gs in the back. The first drop is what stood out most to me.

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I rode Kraken yesterday twice, once with and once without the VR. The VR is a solid "meh" out of 10. It would have been pretty neat if it were part of a more traditional motion simulator ride, but on the coaster, it took away more than it added to the ride. My mother on the other hand absolutely loved it, but refused to ride it again without VR because she found it too intense when she rode it years ago shortly after it was built. I'm glad I did the VR experience once to say I did, but probably would go for the traditional coaster experience in the future.

 

Additionally, the VR experience is NOT at all worth the sigificantly inflated dispatch times, as much as 240 seconds according to the screen in the station, which was more than twice Mako's dispatch times, and that was WITH rows 1-4 being designated non-VR to increase capacity. When all 8 cars were being boarded with VR passengers, dispatch times surged to over 300 seconds.

 

While it would obviously be an impractical (at the least) retrofit to Kraken, I would probably say that a double loading station is practically a necessity for VR rides due to the absurd dispatch times.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So it's being said on Instagram that VR has been completely removed from Kraken. The old restraints have returned, but the sci-fi theming still stands.

 

Has anyone been to the park recently? Can I get a source on this? Fingers crossed it's true.

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I've seen pictures, it's definitely gone with a sign saying it's temporarily gone. Good Riddance!

 

They're just getting ready to send it over to Kumba.

I hope this joke doesn't get me killed

 

In all seriousness, I'm seriously ecstatic that this is happening. I kinda liked the VR, but seeing fast dispatches on Kraken again is kind of a dream come true.

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I've seen pictures, it's definitely gone with a sign saying it's temporarily gone. Good Riddance!

 

I couldn't agree more, I can't wait to ride Kraken without the VR again. I really hope this VR on coasters trend dies out soon. It really doesn't add anything to the ride and the dispatch times are beyond horrible.

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  • 2 weeks later...
I've seen pictures, it's definitely gone with a sign saying it's temporarily gone. Good Riddance!

 

I’m glad that it’s gone! VR was a fun idea, but I’ve never seen it pulled off well.

I think the execution is usually well done, but VR should NEVER be used on a flagship coaster. It's a mess.

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Details for the Happy Harbor Overhaul into Sesame Street:

Happy Harbor Overhaul SeaWorld Orlando/

 

Partial quote from the article:

 

Based on site plans, attractions that will be removed as part of the renovation include the large Net Climb structure, Water Works, and Fun Ship. The Seven Seas Railway, a children’s train ride, will be relocated from its current position and will feature a reconfigured track layout when it reopens.

 

Attractions slated to remain include Shamu Express, Flying Fiddler, Jazzy Jellies, Ocean Commotion, Sea Carousel, and Swishie Fishies. It’s highly likely each of these attractions will be rethemed and renamed to fit in with Sesame Street. Also staying put are the Baby Care, First Aid, and Restroom buildings on the east side of the area.

 

Along with the relocated railway, it appears at least one new children’s flat ride will be installed as part of the overhaul. Plans also appear to show a second attraction of some kind, possibly a play or interaction area between the new attraction and the railway.

 

Visible in the plans is the new pathway theming – meant to look like a real street, complete with crosswalks. With the removal of the main pathway outside of the current Happy Harbor area, all guest traffic will be directed through the new Sesame Street area.

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To me this is a no-brainer. Why have a kids area themed to a damaged brand when you could theme it to the strongest intellectual property you own and actually market it and sell some merchandise?

 

 

Just curious, Outside of Sesame Place; Do any of the Busch/SeaWorld parks market/advertise that they have the Sesame Street characters? I don't remember SeaWorld San Diego or Busch Gardens Williamsburg advertising them.

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Tonight Theme Park Review was invited to visit SeaWorld Orlando for a preview of this year's Seven Seas Food Festival! The event returns for its second year at the park with new and returning food options available to enjoy throughout the park during weekends from February 17th through April 15th. Like with the previous year (and the festivals that preceded this) the event also features additional entertainment in the festival area near Bayside Stadium including a lineup of artists that will perform for guests during the event weekends.

 

With other parks seemingly dominating the food and wine festival market, it is feels like SeaWorld's Seven Seas Food Festival carves its own path with reasonable portion sizes, moderate prices and a combination of adventurous and more conservative menu items to appeal to guests of all tastes. The event menu will expand towards the tail end of the season with Latin flavors being offered in tandem with a series of concerts with Latin artists.

 

Overall, I continue to be impressed by this event year over year in that the standout food offerings and reasonable prices combined with the existing value of a day in the park make this well worth the visit!

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The event guide provides a full listing of all food and beverage items offered during the event along with the locations where you can get them.

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SeaWorld offers Food & Beverage Sampler lanyards for guests planning to try multiple items. These lanyards are a great deal in that they standardize the price of all items (including alcoholic beverages) to the point that you can save a little bit of money on each item.

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Over in the backside of the festival area are two themed booths where were able to start our sampling.

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The presentation of some of these food options were awesome! Here is the Pineapple Tofu Poke Bowl from the Polynesian Market!

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Just let the glorious sight of this pork belly sink in...

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The Key Lime Martini is a must try for any key lime lovers!

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And a look at the finished product! Cinnamon slow roaster pork belly with a sweet plantain mash!

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Shrimp Mac and Cheese!

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A delicious lobster roll and a seafood ceviche.

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The Sea Scallops Provencal were among our favorites we sampled tonight!

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The Guinness Chocolate Mousse is delicious too!

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Lamb being prepped...

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So many great items to choose from!

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Even more choices!

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There's no shortage of beverage choices during the event either!

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Caramel Corn and Ice Cream? A match made in culinary heaven!

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A look at the Asian Market in the festival area of the park.

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The Brazilian Market's items were all highlights of our evening.

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Pricing for the different Food & Beverage Sampling Lanyards.

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Some great local breweries get in on the festival action with many unique beers available on tap throughout the park.

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The event markets are set up throughout the park in convenient locations so that guests can enjoy these offerings as a part of their total park visit.

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Fresh crab cakes being prepared...

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The candied papaya looked delicious!

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Conch Fritters!

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The Wild Boar Smoked Cheddar Sausage at the Florida Market.

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The Bananas Foster Cheesecake Cone is definitely a unique offering.

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Fresh calamari coming up!

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If you'd believe it, SeaWorld has introduced the chocolate covered soft pretzel for consumption during the event!

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The Hawaiian Pineapple Dream Cake was a favorite of mine last year, so I was happy to see it return this year.

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Over at the Flamecraft Bar you can find lots of local brews on tap!

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