One of the company’s biggest years ever with record-breaking new rides and thrills
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment shared exciting ride car designs and new details of many of the company’s new attractions at the 2019 IAAPA Attractions Expo, the attractions industry’s premier trade show and conference hosting more than 38,000 industry professionals from around the world in Orlando last week.
SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay revealed the lead ride car design and details of their new park attractions, while SeaWorld San Diego announced the name of its thrilling 2020 attraction is Emperor.
Some of the record–breaking thrills and adventures coming to the parks in 2020 include:
- North America’s tallest hybrid coaster and the fastest and steepest hybrid coaster in the world – Iron Gwazi at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.
- The steepest beyond vertical drop in Florida – Ice Breaker at SeaWorld Orlando.
- The tallest, fastest and longest dive coaster in California and the only floorless dive coaster in the state – Emperor at SeaWorld San Diego.
- Florida’s first-ever duelling water slide - Riptide Race at Aquatica Orlando.
These are all part of a new attraction lineup creating a buzz and providing endless reasons to visit the parks again and again.
SeaWorld’s Rescue Teams have come to the aid of over 36,000 animals in need, always with the goal of returning them to the wild. As one of the world’s largest animal rescue and rehabilitation organizations, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment’s mission is to inspire guests to learn about and protect animals and their habitats through creates exciting, meaningful and memorable experiences. Many of the park’s new attractions will incorporate partnership with conservation organizations, connecting guests to real-world efforts to protect and conserve species worldwide.
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay - Iron Gwazi – Opening Spring 2020
A new legend is surfacing in 2020 at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay with the evolution of Iron Gwazi, North America’s tallest hybrid coaster and the fastest and steepest hybrid coaster in the world. Manufactured by Rocky Mountain Construction, Iron Gwazi will be 206 feet tall, feature a 91-degree drop, and reach top speeds of 76 miles per hour. The journey will include 3 inversions and 12 airtime moments as it races along more than 4,075 feet of purple steel track. With a 48” height requirement, Iron Gwazi will be an exciting thrill attraction that families can take on together.
While elements of the former wooden attraction will be integrated into the new ride, the steel track and reimagined layout of Iron Gwazi present an entirely unique experience that tells a different story. Iron Gwazi will highlight the best of both worlds — the classic nostalgia of a wooden coaster and the bold innovation of a steel coaster. Thriving and adapting over millions of years, this evolutionary crossroad is perfectly represented in the crocodile, the largest living reptile and the animal inspiration for Iron Gwazi.
Iron Gwazi Fast Facts
Opening date: Spring 2020
Maximum height: 206 feet
Maximum speed: 76 mph
Drop angle: 91 degrees
Track length travelled: 4,075 feet
Number of trains: two
Number of riders per train: 24
Minimum rider height: 48 inches
Ride elements: 12 airtime features, including three inversions
Manufacturer: Rocky Mountain Construction
SeaWorld Orlando - Ice Breaker – Opening Spring 2020
Making its debut in spring 2020, riders will shiver through family friendly adventures on SeaWorld Orlando’s first launch coaster: Ice Breaker. Named after the icy Arctic summits, Ice Breaker will feature four launches, both backwards and forwards, culminating in a reverse launch into the steepest beyond vertical drop in Florida — a 93-foot tall spike with 100-degree angle.
Located near the Wild Arctic attraction, the ride’s theme is reflective of this area with a nod to Ice Breaker’s conservation partner, Alaska SeaLife Center. Primarily dedicated to marine research, education and wildlife response, the Alaska SeaLife Center mission matches closely to SeaWorld Orlando’s, making them an ideal partner to help educate riders about the Artic and its inhabitants.
The opening of Ice Breaker is the perfect addition to SeaWorld’s ever-growing ride portfolio, and its 48-inch rider height makes it a family friendly thrill ride. From the roller coaster thrills of Mako, Manta and Kraken, to the water rapids of Infinity Falls and the flume fun of Journey to Atlantis, Ice Breaker joins the park’s famed attractions as a must-do experience in Orlando.
Ice Breaker Fast Facts
Opening date: Spring 2020
Conservation partner: Alaska SeaLife Center
Special features: SeaWorld Orlando’s first launch coaster and a quadruple launch coaster. Experience a reverse launch into the “steepest beyond vertical drop,” a 93” tall spike with 100-degree angle.
Maximum speed: 52 mph
Ride duration: 80-90 seconds
Number of trains: two
Number of coaches: three per train, with three rows per coach
Minimum rider height: 48 inches
Manufacturer: Premier Rides
SeaWorld San Diego - Emperor – Opening Summer 2020
SeaWorld San Diego has revealed the name of its record-breaking dive coaster is Emperor, opening in summer 2020. This new roller coaster will be the tallest, fastest and longest dive coaster in California, as well as the only floorless dive coaster in the state.
Climbing to 153 feet with their feet dangling in the air, riders will be suspended on a 45-degree angle at the crown of the ride before plunging down a 143-foot facedown vertical drop accelerating to more than 60 miles per hour.
Riders will also experience inversions, a barrel roll, an Immelmann loop, a hammerhead turn and flat spin as they race along the nearly 2,500 feet of track. Each of the floorless ride cars will hold 18 riders in three, six-person rows. The coaster will be located adjacent to Journey to Atlantis in the southeast corner of the park.
Emperor is named after the emperor penguin colony at SeaWorld San Diego, which was the world’s first zoological facility and the first place outside of Antarctica to successful breed, hatch and raise emperor penguin chicks. Twenty-three emperor penguin chicks have been hatched and raised at SeaWorld San Diego since 1979.
Emperor Fast Facts
Opening date: Summer 2020
Conservation partner: Penguins International
Type of ride: Tallest, fastest and longest dive coaster in California
Special features: 143-foot facedown vertical drop
Track length: 2,411 feet
Maximum speed: more than 60 mph
Maximum height: 153 feet
Train configuration: Floorless ride car, 18 riders per car, 6-person rows, 3-rows per car – the first seating configuration of its kind in North America.
Manufacturer: Bolliger & Mabillard
Aquatica Orlando - Riptide Race – Opening Spring 2020
Aquatica Orlando, voted Orlando’s No. 1 waterpark, is racing into 2020 with a one-of-a-kind new park attraction that will thrill park-goers—Florida’s first-ever duelling water slide, Riptide Race.
Starting atop a 68-foot tower, riders will be able to grab a raft and take their mark in side-by-side racing lanes at top speeds. Each raft holds a team of two, so every rider will have a partner as they plunge toward a hopeful victory. Riptide Race rafts feature low walls to ensure full view of the competition. Duelling face-to-face, racers will navigate tight loops and accelerations through indoor and outdoor sections.
Riptide Race Fast Facts
Opening Date: Spring 2020
Type of ride: Duelling pipeline
Maximum height: 68 feet
Minimum rider height: 42” (under 48” must have a supervising companion)
Length: 600 linear feet per slide
Key features: Three racing pipeline sections
Also New to SeaWorld Parks:
Sesame Place San Diego to Open Spring 2021
SeaWorld Entertainment and Sesame Workshop recently announced the location of a new Sesame Place theme park, opening in San Diego in spring 2021. It will be the second Sesame Place in the United States and the first one on the West Coast.
Sesame Place San Diego will feature all the fun, laughter, and learning of Sesame Street in a highly immersive way, with exciting family rides, water slides, live character shows, parades and interactive experiences that will extend the laughter and learning of Sesame Street. The original Sesame Place, currently the only U.S. theme park based entirely on the iconic children’s program, opened outside Philadelphia in July 1980 and has been a premier destination for families countrywide for nearly 40 years.
Sesame Place San Diego will open as a Certified Autism Center (CAC), mirroring its Philadelphia sister park, which was the first theme park in the world to achieve this designation. Staff-wide autism sensitivity and awareness training will be completed prior to the park’s debut, and robust pre-visit planning resources, including a park-specific sensory guide will be featured on its website, making it easier for parents to plan activities that satisfy their child’s specific needs and accommodations. Designated quiet spaces with adjustable lighting and comfortable seating will be incorporated into the park’s design.