A new roller coast at the SeaWorld near San Diego is allegedly going to try to mimic our favorite sport.
Dubbed Arctic Rescue, the so-called “straddle coaster” will have customers sit on a seat akin to a snowmobile and hold onto handlebars, as they and 15 other linked riders cruise the track in eight rows of two, lean through turns and have three separate acceleration events that propel them at speeds up to 40 MPH. It is schedule to open in the spring of 2023.
OK, we know what you cynics are thinking: Being tied to a rail with 15 other people and topping out at 40 MPH while looking at palm trees and experiencing Southern California heat doesn’t exactly replicate any of the snowmobiling you have done! We get that.
But it is interesting that SeaWorld apparently thought our sport was so cool that they would design next year’s big roller coaster release trying to re-create experiences that we all somewhat take for granted. A PWC ride in San Diego may seem more apropos, but if they think our sport is more cool or trendy, who are we to argue?
The San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper did an article on the coaster. In that article, SeaWorld’s VP of engineering said, “With most coasters, you sit down in a seat but with this one you’ll ride a snowmobile, almost like you’d sit on a bicycle and you straddle the seat and hold onto handlebars… You’re held into the seat, but with a lot of coasters your shoulders are also restrained… Here, you feel like you’re riding an actual snowmobile.”
Yeah, well maybe not exactly like riding a snowmobile, but it might still be cool. Below is the full press release that SeaWorld released today.
SeaWorld San Diego Announces New Family-Friendly Straddle Coaster, Arctic Rescue, to open in 2023
SAN DIEGO, Sept. 28, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — SeaWorld San Diego is thrilled to announce that the highly anticipated coaster, Arctic Rescue, will open in Spring 2023. Joining other thrill rides at the theme park, Arctic Rescue will be the longest and fastest straddle coaster on the West Coast. This family-friendly multi-launch ride invites guests to hop on a snowmobile and launch at up to 40 mph on a chilly adventure as they race through the unpredictable arctic climate to help animals in danger. With its 48-inch height requirement, adventure seekers of all ages will enjoy the thrills and chills of Arctic Rescue.
SeaWorld’s coolest new coaster will feature a unique indoor launch station where passengers will start their journey inside of the Wild Arctic exhibit and launch outside straddling a unique snowmobile style vehicle. Guests will race through the Arctic and experience three exhilarating launches, each faster than the last, at 34, 38 and 40 miles per hour. The straddle snowmobile-style seats allow for an immersive ride experience for each rider as they lean into banks and turns and glide up heights as tall as 30 feet along the 2,800 feet of track. Manufactured by Intamin Worldwide, each train will hold 16 riders in eight, two-person rows.
“We’re continuously looking for ways to add new experiences to the park for our guests and this new coaster is a great addition to our ride line-up and a perfect complement to the Wild Arctic exhibit,” said Jim Lake, SeaWorld San Diego Park President. “The ride is also an educational opportunity for guests to learn more about climate change, how it impacts animals in the Arctic and what they can do to help the issue. I truly feel that seeing these animals up-close at SeaWorld allows guests to build a stronger connection and encouragement to take action to help protect them.”
Unpredictable climate fluctuations and global warming is happening in the Arctic three times as fast as the rest of the planet. As a result, the Arctic sea ice that many animals rely on for survival is melting, threatening the survival of many species and forcing them to change the way they hunt, breed, and migrate. The ride is inspired by the heroic efforts of the SeaWorld Rescue Team and their dedication to rescuing animals in distress and in need of care. Riders will race the unpredictable arctic climate to save these animals in danger. Arctic Rescue is incorporated in the Wild Arctic exhibit which is home to a ringed seal, walruses, and belugas, some of the species most impacted by Arctic sea loss. The new ride will bring awareness to the pressures the Arctic is facing and allow guests to visit, see and learn more about each animal whose species call the Arctic their home.
Arctic Rescue will be the perfect addition for the Coaster Capital of San Diego and SeaWorld’s ever-growing ride portfolio, which includes Journey to Atlantis, Manta, Electric Eel, Tidal Twister and Emperor, voted one of 2022’s top best new attractions in the country by USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice poll. Arctic Rescue will join the park’s famed attractions as a must-do experience for coaster enthusiasts everywhere.
Pass Members Are the First to Ride
The best way to experience Arctic Rescue and all that SeaWorld San Diego has to offer is with an Annual Pass. All Pass Members will receive exclusive ride times to experience Arctic Rescue before the ride opens to all guests in 2023. SeaWorld San Diego is launching another incredible year for Pass Members with the BEST VALUE for guests which includes amazing benefits ranging from no blockout dates, up to six free guest tickets and access to NEW exclusive events. Additional benefits include FREE parking, special savings on merchandise, food, and beverage options, ride quick queue and behind-the-scenes animal tours among other perks. Passes start at an affordable $12.50 a month.
Fans who want to double the fun with unlimited visits to both SeaWorld San Diego and Sesame Place San Diego, the only theme park on the West Coast based entirely on the award-winning show Sesame Street®, can add-on a Sesame Place annual pass for as low as an additional $6/month. For a full overview of the Annual Pass options visit seaworld.com/san-diego/annual-pass.
For more information, park hours and to purchase tickets, visit SeaWorldSanDiego.com. Events and times are subject to change. Follow SeaWorld San Diego on Facebook and Instagram for the latest park updates and information.
About SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc.
SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. ( NYSE: SEAS) is a leading theme park and entertainment company providing experiences that matter, and inspiring guests to protect animals and the wild wonders of our world. The Company is one of the world’s foremost zoological organizations and a global leader in animal welfare, training, husbandry and veterinary care. The Company collectively cares for one of the largest zoological collections in the world and has helped lead advances in the care of animals. The Company also rescues and rehabilitates marine and terrestrial animals that are ill, injured, orphaned or abandoned, with the goal of returning them to the wild. The SeaWorld® rescue team has helped more than 40,000 animals in need over the last 55 years. SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. owns or licenses a portfolio of recognized brands including SeaWorld, Busch Gardens®, Aquatica®, Sesame Place® and Sea Rescue®. Over its more than 55-year history, the Company has built a diversified portfolio of 12 destination and regional theme parks that are grouped in key markets across the United States, many of which showcase its one-of-a-kind zoological collection. The Company’s theme parks feature a diverse array of rides, shows and other attractions with broad demographic appeal which deliver memorable experiences and a strong value proposition for its guests.