A grouchy coaster, an immersive VR experience, a triple-launch coaster and rapids in a rainforest river are some of the adventures to debut at SeaWorld, Busch Gardens and Sesame Place in 2018.
SeaWorld Chief Marketing Officer Denise Godreau and Chief Creative Officer Anthony Esparza revealed details on the company’s seven new attractions on opening day of the 2017 IAAPA Attractions Expo in Orlando this week. Godreau also shared a new advertising campaign extending nationally in the coming year, and the addition of a Sesame Street parade at SeaWorld San Diego and San Antonio.
Inspired by the rainforests of South America, SeaWorld Orlando debuts its latest attraction in summer 2018 – Infinity Falls. Featuring the world’s tallest drop on a river raft ride, the adventure winds through a lush, freshwater rainforest while sharing the importance of water conservation. The realm will include interactive stations with a focus on play that inspire guests to care for and protect our oceans and waterways.
Infinity Falls Ride Stats
• Minimum rider height: 42 inches
• Ride Elements: Tallest river rapids ride drop in the world at 40 feet
• Vertical lift system
• World class river rapids
• Number of Vehicles: 15 rafts
• Number of Passengers: 8 passengers per raft
• Ride Manufacturer: Intamin
Sesame Place will debut its first wooden coaster, Oscar’s Wacky Taxi, in spring 2018. The family-friendly coaster is one of the largest new attractions in the park’s 37-year history and will feature a bright yellow, taxi cab-inspired train with everyone’s favorite grouch at the helm. The hybrid wooden-steel coaster will send riders soaring down a first drop of 40 feet, traveling over 1,200 feet of track with twists, turns, plenty of airtime hills and a mid-course tunnel.
Oscar’s Wacky Taxi Ride Stats
• Maximum Height: 40 Feet
• Length of Track: 1,200 feet
• Maximum Speed: 33 mph
• Tunnels: 1
• Number of Trains: 2
• Number of Vehicles: 6 (2 riders per car)
• Number of Passengers: 12
• Minimum Rider Height: 40” rider height requirement (with a supervising companion) or 46” height requirement for single riders.
• Ride Restraint: Lap Restraint
• Ride Manufacturer: The Gravity Group
A new virtual reality attraction, the first for Busch Gardens Williamsburg, debuts next spring. Battle For Eire –
Action VR Ride is a motion-based theater simulator with state-of-the-art 360-degree virtual reality headsets, creating an experience unlike any other in the attraction industry. Located in the Ireland village of the park, it features a fierce fairy warrior named Addie, who leads riders on an adventure through her Irish homeland.
Battle For Eire Facts
• State-of-the art 360-degree virtual reality headsets combined with a motion-based theater simulator
• VR headsets, which are tethered to the motion simulator seats, will connect to guests’ head mounts via magnetic closure and are adaptable for size
• A standard version of the video will be available for those interested in a more traditional experience
• Attraction video was created in 4K resolution
• Ride Manufacturer: Falcon’s Creative Group
SeaWorld San Diego’s new Electric Eel will be the tallest and fastest roller coaster in San Diego when it debuts summer 2018. This triple-launch experience will thrust riders forward and backward, accelerate to more than 60 mph in seconds and rocket skyward nearly 150 feet, opening up an upside-down view of Mission Bay. Both rider and non-riders can also learn about the elusive eel through an interactive game and an exhibit with real California moray eels.
Electric Eel Ride Stats
• Maximum Height: 150 feet
• Length of Track: 853 feet
• Maximum Speed: 62 mph
• Number of Trains: 1
• Number of cars per train: 3 cars per train
• Number of Passengers: 6 per car, 18 total per train
• Minimum rider height: 54 inches
• Launch speeds: Train will achieve maximum speed as it passes through the station inside several seconds of the start of the ride
Taumata Racer, Aquatica San Antonio – Spring 2018
Taumata Racer is a high-speed, competitive waterslide where riders zoom downhill on six side-by-side lanes, headfirst on bodysurfing mats. The thrill ride launches riders in an entry tunnel that makes a swooping, 180-degree turn, then straightens out to make two additional descents over the 375-foot slide length and 55-foot drop in under 10 seconds.
Taumata Racer Stats:
• Maximum Height: 56 feet
• Length of Lane: 325 feet
• Length of Drop: 56 feet in less than 10 seconds
• Number of Lanes: 6 side-by-sides
• Minimum Rider Height: 42 inches
• Turn of Entry Tunnel: 180-degree turn
• Ride Elements: Entry tunnel – first drop is 25 ft.; second drop is 30 ft.
• Ride Manufacturer: WhiteWater West Industries Ltd
A brand-new family raft slide is splashing into Aquatica Orlando in spring 2018. At nearly 60 feet tall, Ray Rush 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 half pipe 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 Slide Stats
• Maximum Height: 60 feet
• Length of Slide: 508 feet
• Maximum Speed: 33 feet per second
• Maximum Decent: 46°
• Number of Riders Up to 4 riders
• Minimum Rider Height: 42 inches
• Launch Velocity: 33 feet per second
• Ride Elements: Triple Fusion Slide- Master Blaster, AquaSphere and Manta
• Ride Manufacturer: WhiteWater West Industries
Guests are in for the slide of their lives when Adventure Island Tampa Bay’s new drop slide, Vanish Point, opens in spring 2018. Inspired by the point on a wave where water and gravity form a perfect partnership, the crest of this 70-foot tower challenges you with two 425 ft. wave paths. Step into one of two skyboxes and face your fears as the floor disappears beneath you. Or, get horizontal on a 455-foot long slide ending with a high speed finale.
Vanish Point Ride Stats:
• Maximum Height: 70 feet
• Length of Slide: 423 feet
• Maximum Speed: 40 seconds start to finish
• Number of Riders: 1 rider at a time
• Minimum Rider Height: 48 inches
• Launch Velocity: 40 seconds start to finish
• Ride Elements: 2-Drop Box “Super Loop” Slides; 1 – Tube Turbo Twister Bail-Out Slide
New Sesame Street Parades, SeaWorld San Diego and San Antonio – Summer 2018
SeaWorld Parks and Sesame Workshop have helped families discover the wonder and joy of childhood, with a Sesame Place park near Philadelphia and through successful Sesame Street play lands at SeaWorld and Busch Gardens parks. In 2018, the iconic brand expands inside SeaWorld San Diego and San Antonio with the addition of a neighborhood street party parade, featuring everyone’s favorite Sesame Street friends, themed floats and performances along the parade route.
The two companies recently announced the extension of their nearly 40-year partnership, extending SeaWorld’s status as Sesame Workshop’s exclusive theme park partner in the United States and to include the development of an additional Sesame Place theme park, the continuation of Sesame Street characters in park, and a new Sesame Street land to be built in SeaWorld Orlando.
Stay tuned to our website and socials as we provide coverage for all of these new experiences in 2018!