Well, the week has come and gone that saw the opening of Orlando’s tallest, fastest, and longest coaster: Mako at SeaWorld Orlando. The day leading up to the opening of Mako welcomed great fanfare and even our first opportunity to see the area at night and that is where we begin.
The whole area of Shark Wreck Reef looks great at night:
Over by Mako we can see the ship wreck also looking gorgeous right along with the Mako entrance sign itself:
This was our first time getting to see Mako at night but it won’t be the last with the Summer of Mako Event taking place and the park staying open later during the summer. Read more about Mako night rides in my review of the coaster, at the end of this post!
The very next morning it was time for Mako’s official Media Day!
CAMERA ON TRAIN
We had a chance to ride with Johnny from johnnyupsidedown.com on camera!
Also, that day we had a chance to explore Shark Wreck Reef and some of the newer themeing like the Fins Gifts sign:
The themeing is mostly complete around the area, including some of this new coral on the themed supports:
Also in many places, we see new shark cut outs swimming around on some of the shark signs
Around Mako’s entrance you can see even more sharks highlighted with names on different shark themeing pieces, queue, and more in this quick area video:
We also had a chance to interview:
- Jim Kinsler, assistant curator of fishes and the resident shark expert at SeaWorld Orlando
- Mike Denninger, VP of theme park development and design
- Brian Morrow, VP of theme park experience and design
After all the media riding festivities were done, it was time to get to the day we had all waited for: Mako opening day: June 10th, 2016!
The park saw a massive crowd line up across the main bay-side bridge, and at one point the line was reported to have reached a 2.5 hour wait time! Though we were unable to make it to the park on opening day, SeaWorld was kind enough to provide us this video and the pictures of the festivities:
Brent: After riding Mako, I must say that it is one of the best, if not the very best, coaster in Florida. Mako provides relentless airtime, great speed, along with smooth and seamlessly flow from element to element. The experience that makes Mako a fantastic coaster begins even before you climb the lift hill. Mako lives in a realm of beauty and design known as Shark Wreck Reef. The reef is loaded with color, awe inspiring paintings, educational “pit stops” and amazing sounds that add so much to the ride experience. The art of bringing the two aspects together has made this my favorite area inside of SeaWorld Orlando.
Jim: Having watched this coaster since it was only a concept (even before it was announced officially) gave me lots of anticipation. A lot of my friends have been asking me what I though of the ride itself being that have a huge background of riding coasters with over 300 different coasters ridden around the country.
On Mako the coaster, I think the first time I said it was after about my 3rd ride: “This is, hands down, the best coaster in Florida.” I love hyper-coasters and I love airtime, Mako has plenty of airtime. It has been fun for me to already see Floridians and others that have never been on a coaster like this because the closest one like this to Orlando is in Atlanta or Charlotte. Mako easily is one of my favorite hyper-coasters and is probably in my top 10 steel coaster list if I were to make one.
On Shark Wreck Reef, this area has lots of educational opportunities but the way it is presented you don’t even realize it. One of my favorite elements is breaking down sharks by size and comparing them to different naval ships:
Overall, Mako and the area it is in, Shark Wreck Reef, is probably the best themed area in SeaWorld Orlando.
Stay tuned for even more coverage on Mako as we show off a first hand experience at the Summer of Mako, and be sure to check out where we’ve come from with our Mako Tag Page! Also, stay tuned for a cool giveaway contest with some neat Mako swag and maybe more!
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