Like its sister park Busch Gardens, SeaWorld Orlando has been adding a new attraction or ride every year to distinguish itself from its movie-themed theme park rivals. Analysts have noted it also distracts from the criticism they can’t seem to shake over keeping killer whales captive.
The latest entry is Pipeline: The Surf Coaster, which will join Ice Breaker, a coaster that opened just last year. It is billed as the world’s first “surf coaster,” and a one-of-a-kind entry in the thrill ride scene.
What does this mean? Unlike most coasters, riders will be standing up in a surfing position. They will bounce up and down to simulate the experience of wave jumping as they are launched at top speeds of 60 miles per hour.
At some point during the nearly two-minute ride, riders will feel like they are hanging loose when their seats rise and fall to mimic the sensation of riding on a wave. The ride sends them through several gnarly twists and turns as it extends up to 110 feet in height, officials say.
This coaster is positioned in the park to greet guests near the opening entrance pathway, so you will get to see it whiz past.
Riders will have to be a minimum of 54 inches to ride, the height of the average 9-year-old.
It will officially open on May 27 with Pass Member previews beginning May 12.
Also similar to Busch Gardens, SeaWorld is adding food and wine festivals to the mix. This summer brings a Craft Beer Festival running on weekends July 28-Sept 4. They will be pouring over 100 craft beers from breweries across Florida, and there will be more than 15 food items paired to match the brew.
If you go
Admission: $89.99, age 3 and younger free. Parking is $30. 7007 Sea World Drive, Orlando. 407-545-5550. seaworld.com/orlando.