Make us your home page
Instagram

Here's what's new at SeaWorld Orlando this summer: Mako the hypercoaster

SeaWorld begins its post-Shamu business model with Mako, below, the shark-inspired attraction that will be Orlando's highest, fastest and longest coaster when it opens on June 10.

After years of resisting pressures to do away with circus-like orca shows and breeding, SeaWorld made a reversal in March. The orcas living at SeaWorld parks will be the last. Joel Manby, the company's new CEO, pointed to Mako as an example of the kind of attraction this company in transition will feature: a thrill ride with an environmental message.

The coaster will be tall, fast and smooth, with a distinctive series of high hills, but no loops or inversions. The thrill of a hypercoaster is air time, or moments of weightlessness, that lift the rider out of the seat. At 200 feet tall and a top speed of 73 mph, Mako will give riders "relentless air time," said Mike Denninger, senior director of rides and engineering for SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment.

To fulfill Manby's promise to promote aquatic conservation, SeaWorld is partnering with marine biologist and wildlife artist Guy Harvey, right, to educate visitors in the queue line about shark research and preservation around the world.

The 2-acre realm of the park will now be fully themed around sharks. That includes Mako, the Shark Encounter and Sharks Underwater Grill, an upscale restaurant with underwater views of sharks swimming in their aquarium. Custom surround effects and musical scores will fill the area of the park, changing as the coaster dives through.

At night, specialty lights will accent the coaster trains and track, flickering and shimmering, simulating fish being scattered by a shark on the hunt. Mako sharks — also called "blue pointers" — are known for their top speed, extreme jumps and the ability to quickly change course as they pursue their prey.

SeaWorld

7007 SeaWorld Drive, Orlando

Admission: $69-$79 advance, $99 at the gate, $79 children, 2 and younger free. Numerous deals are found online for Florida residents and with advanced purchase. Toll-free (888) 800-5447. seaworldparks.com

Here's what's new at SeaWorld Orlando this summer: Mako the hypercoaster 05/24/16 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 24, 2016 10:48am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of July 24-30

    Events

    Tampa Bay Comic Con: The geek fest returns to the Tampa Convention Center from Friday-Sunday, bringing celebrity appearances including Val Kilmer (Batman Forever), Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek's Uhura), Kate Beckinsale and numerous comic book artists and writers. Also, comics, videos, toys, action …

    Shaun Audit poses for a photo at opening day of the 2015 Tampa Bay Comic Con at the Tampa Convention Center. (Friday, July 31, 2015.) [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
  2. On the Camino de Santiago, Day 19: A peregrina spends the whole day under the weather, and part of the day under the table

    Travel

    Day 19: El Burgo Ranero to Puente Villarente: 25.4 km, 7.5 hours (Total for Days 1-19 = 454 km (282 miles)

    This list pretty much sums up my day:

    Eat two bananas

    Walk 13.1 kilometers

    Nap

    Walk 6.2 kilometers

    Nap

    Eat half an apple

    Walk 6.1 kilometers

    Crash< …

  3. On the Camino de Santiago, Day 18: Despite feeling ill, this pilgrim passes the midpoint in her 500-mile journey on foot

    Travel

    Day 18: Lédigos to El Burgo Ranero: 34.3 km, 12.25 hours (Total for Days 1-18 = 428 km (266 miles)

    Today was a struggle.

  4. Actor John Heard dies at age 72

    Blogs

    John Heard, who played so many roles in the '80s but was probably best known as the dad in the Home Alone movies, has died, according to media reports. He was 72.

  5. On the Camino de Santiago, Day 17: Think 11 miles of nothing but straight trail and open, flat fields sounds easy? Think again.

    Travel

    Day 17: Villarmentero de Campos to Lédigos: 33.5 km, 10.25 hours. Total for Days 1-17 = 394 km (245 miles)