An all new monster has debuted at SeaWorld Orlando. Kraken Unleashed is the all new virtual reality (VR) . Kraken originally opened in 2000 as Orlando’s only floor-less coaster, and still is the only one to this day. The ride received a complete re-imagination with virtual reality headsets, a new entrance, and a new look all around.
We had the opportunity to interview two people from SeaWorld: Brian Morrow, VP of Theme Park Experience and Design; and Steve Welch, Creative Director of Entertainment. Brian tells us all about the history of Kraken Unleashed, and Steve tells us all about the summer offerings, all part of Electric Ocean. Find that, plus on-ride video, a tour of the new queue, and more in our video from media preview below:
Before you board the coaster, riders will first be required to utilize Spot Saver, a new system to hold your place in line to avoid long waits. You can book a reservation on the SeaWorld mobile app (once you enter the park) or at one of the computers at Kraken’s entrance. This is a picture of a ticket riders will pick up when they first go to Kraken for their return time. Riders will only have a ten minute window to return to take on the new experience:
There are televisions throughout the line describing guidelines to help speed up the loading process. The televisions show how to open the headset from its pouch and how to put it on your head. There will still be an operator to assist you while you board with both your headset and your restraint as always.
Check out our on ride video with Brandon Blogs:
The queue line has some new paint and new theming in it as well:
The loading process was slow today but as time progresses and the operators are more confident the load times should speed up. This screen helps to show which seats are secure on the train. We first saw this idea at Mako when it debuted last year:
Park President of SeaWorld, Jim Dean, said in a statement:
“Summer at SeaWorld has never been better. The debut of Kraken Unleashed means there is a new thrill leader in town. In addition to Orlando’s tallest and fastest coaster, Mako, and the destination’s only flying coaster, Manta, we now have this new technology for a virtual reality experience that takes SeaWorld to a whole new level of excitement.”
Michael M: It is the best virtual reality coaster I’ve been on. (The only other VR coaster I’ve done is Fun Spot and Six Flags Fiesta Texas). The sound is what sets Kraken apart from any VR coaster at Six Flags or Fun Spot. I was also happy that there were multiple operators for the train each helping riders wear their headset. The ride starts in a submarine and we encounter multiple creatures throughout the ride, all the way to the end, even after you’ve reached the ocean’s surface.
Stay tuned as we cover more of SeaWorld’s night time events, from Sea Lions Tonight to Ignite, and the new fireworks show as well.
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