Saturday, February 24, 2018
Things To Do

SeaWorld announces opening date for Mako, Orlando's highest and fastest roller coaster

Brace yourself thrill seekers, the fastest, tallest and longest roller coaster in Orlando will open June 10, SeaWorld announced Monday.

Mako, a shark-themed hypercoaster — a designation given to a roller coaster with a drop greater than 200 feet — is the central attraction of a new two-acre shark realm in the Orlando theme park. The area will also include Shark Encounter, Sharks Underwater Grill, gift shops, and shark- and shipwreck-themed educational experiences.

It is an example of SeaWorld's new business model, CEO Joel Manby said last month when he announced the company will no longer breed orcas and will phase out theatrical shows in the next two years. Manby pointed to the opening of Mako as an example of the way the company will champion sea life with educational exhibits and create attractions based on them.

Named for one of the ocean's fastest known sharks, Mako will put riders on a coaster train to the top, at 200 feet tall, then drop at a top speed of 73 miles per hour before a 125-foot turn into a 115-foot airtime hill, giving riders a moment of weightlessness.

Starting Monday, the park began showing a new live presentation for visitors who want a preview of the ride design, construction and experience. The presentation, called Mako Rising, is being shown at Nautilus Theater daily at 11:45 a.m. and 2:45 p.m.

Admission to SeaWorld is $99 or $79 if purchased in advance at SeaWorld.com. For Florida residents, SeaWorld is offering free admission through the end of 2016 to children 5 and under whose parents register for a Preschool Card. The card must be activated by May 27.

Attendance, revenues and the company's stock price had dropped sharply after the 2013 documentary Blackfish called into question the treatment of killer whales at SeaWorld. That led to a management shakeup and a year ago the company installed Manby as CEO. Since announcing an end to orca breeding, SeaWorld has seen more than a 20 percent increase in its stock.

Contact Sharon Kennedy Wynne at [email protected] Follow @SharonKWn.

Comments

Saturday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYAutosXfinity: Rinnai 250 qualifying9 a.m.FS1Trucks: Active Pest Control 200 qualifying10:30 a.m.FS1Xfinity: Rinnai 2502 p.m.FS1Trucks: Active Pest Control 2004:30 p.m.FS1Baseball, spring trainingRays at Red Sox1 p.m.MLB;620-AMWhite Sox at Marine...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Some ideas for things to do outside in spring

Some ideas for things to do outside in spring

Published: 02/23/18
Annihilation' is strange, beautiful biological mystery

Annihilation' is strange, beautiful biological mystery

Published: 02/23/18
SoundBytes: The Shadowboxers, Lit, O-Town, Saba, Wolfgang Gartner and more

SoundBytes: The Shadowboxers, Lit, O-Town, Saba, Wolfgang Gartner and more

— The Shadowboxers will open for their mentor Justin Timberlake on May 15 at Amalie Arena in Tampa. You might remember the pop-rock group from their several performances around the 2017 College Football Playoff national championship game in Tam...
Published: 02/23/18
Top things to do on Friday

Top things to do on Friday

Here are our editors picks for things to do on Feb. 23.
Published: 02/23/18
Your 4-year-old daughter could land a role in ‘Waitress’ at the Straz

Your 4-year-old daughter could land a role in ‘Waitress’ at the Straz

TAMPA — Could your 4-year-old be the next Lulu? A touring Broadway show wants to find out. Waitress, which runs April 24-29 at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, is looking for a local 4- to 5-year old to play a small but c...
Published: 02/23/18
Top things to do on Friday, Feb. 23

Top things to do on Friday, Feb. 23

Blast Friday: The Romantics: The family-friendly food and craft vendor festival featuring a free live concert and a beer garden. 5:30 p.m., 400 Block of Cleveland Street, Osceola Avenue and Cleveland Street, Clearwater. Free. (727) 464-7200. Pasco C...
Published: 02/23/18
What to watch this weekend: ‘The Walking Dead,’ ‘Good Girls,’ catch up on ‘Heathers’ and ‘Jessica Jones’

What to watch this weekend: ‘The Walking Dead,’ ‘Good Girls,’ catch up on ‘Heathers’ and ‘Jessica Jones’

Nude zombie alert: The Walking DeadThe Walking Dead isn't slowing down anytime soon. The hit zombie series returns for the second half of its eighth season Sunday and AMC recently announced it was renewed for a ninth. In this season's first eight epi...
Published: 02/23/18
The Florida Orchestra taps composer Michael Ippolito to capture the state’s sound

The Florida Orchestra taps composer Michael Ippolito to capture the state’s sound

ST. PETERSBURG — The composer sat in semi-darkness, his hand drifting like a slow pendulum at his side. On the Mahaffey Theater stage, the violins led a creaking and mysterious journey through a cypress swamp, the inspiration for the first movement.T...
Published: 02/23/18
Author Allison Winn Scotch gives a nod to Steven King

Author Allison Winn Scotch gives a nod to Steven King

NightstandAllison Winn ScotchScotch, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, is the author of several novels. Her newest, Between Me and You, set in Los Angeles, is the story of Ben and Tatum, a couple whose marriage is unraveling, due perhaps ...
Published: 02/23/18