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Kraken (roller coaster)

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Kraken
Previously known as Kraken Unleashed (2017–2018)
Kraken logo.png
Kraken (SeaWorld Orlando) 01.jpg
Kraken's corkscrew
SeaWorld Orlando
Location SeaWorld Orlando
Park section Sea of Legends
Coordinates 28°24′40″N 81°27′30″W / 28.41111°N 81.45833°W / 28.41111; -81.45833
Latitude and Longitude:

28°24′40″N 81°27′30″W / 28.41111°N 81.45833°W / 28.41111; -81.45833
StatusOperating
Soft opening dateMay 27, 2000 (2000-05-27)
Opening dateJune 1, 2000 (2000-06-01)
General statistics
Type Steel – Floorless Coaster
Manufacturer Bolliger & Mabillard
Designer Werner Stengel
ModelCustom
Lift/launch system Chain lift hill
Height153 ft (47 m)
Drop144 ft (44 m)
Length4,177 ft (1,273 m)
Speed65 mph (105 km/h)
Inversions7
Duration2:02
Capacity1500 riders per hour
G-force3.9
Height restriction54 in (137 cm)
Trains3 trains with 8 cars. Riders are arranged 4 across in a single row for a total of 32 riders per train.
Spot Saver available [1]
Must transfer from wheelchair
Kraken at RCDB
Pictures of Kraken at RCDB

Kraken is a steel roller coaster located at SeaWorld Orlando in the United States. Manufactured by Bolliger & Mabillard, the ride opened as the second longest floorless coaster in the world on June 1, 2000, with a track length measuring 4,177 feet (1,273 m). It features a total of seven inversions and reaches a maximum speed of 65 mph (105 km/h). The coaster was named after a fictional sea monster of the same name. In late 2016, Kraken underwent a refurbishment and reopened as Kraken Unleashed in June 2017. A virtual reality experience was added to the ride, but due to technical difficulties and extensive wait times, the feature was permanently removed the following year.

History

Kraken (2000–2016)

In 1999, Six Flags Great Adventure spent $42 million on new attractions including a prototype Floorless Coaster by Bolliger & Mabillard, Medusa (later Bizarro). [2] The immediate popularity of the ride [3] led SeaWorld Orlando and three other amusement parks to announce plans to install Floorless Coasters in 2000; [4] aside from the announcement of Kraken on May 6, 1999, [5] Six Flags Discovery Kingdom announced Medusa, Geauga Lake announced Dominator, and Six Flags Fiesta Texas announced Superman: Krypton Coaster. [4] Kraken was announced as costing approximately $18–20 million. [6] Kraken's announcement more than one year out from its opening was an attempt by the park to drive international attendance. [6] [7]

Construction for the ride was well underway in January 2000. [8] During construction, Superior Rigging & Erection was responsible for erecting the supports and track of the roller coaster. [9]

On June 1, 2000, Kraken officially opened to the public. [10] At the time of opening Kraken held the record for the tallest and longest roller coaster in the state of Florida. It held this record until 2006 when Disney's Animal Kingdom opened the 4,424-foot-long (1,348 m) Expedition Everest. [11]

Kraken Unleashed (2017–2018)

On September 27, 2016, the park announced that the ride would undergo extensive refurbishment and reopen in 2017 with virtual reality headsets. It reopened as Kraken Unleashed on June 16, 2017. [12] [13] In early 2018, the virtual reality headsets were removed from the attraction’s ride vehicles and the ride went back to being Kraken due to technical difficulties. [14] They returned to the ride in June 2018. [15] Later that summer, the virtual reality was permanently removed due to slow dispatches and excessive wait times. [16] [17]

Characteristics

Statistics

The 4,177-foot-long (1,273 m) Kraken stands 153 feet (47 m) tall. [10] With a top speed of 65 miles per hour (105 km/h), the ride was the fastest roller coaster at SeaWorld Orlando until the opening of Mako in summer 2016. [10] [18] The ride features seven inversions including two vertical loops, a dive loop, a spiraling camelback ( zero-g roll), a cobra roll and a flat spin ( corkscrew). [10]

Trains

One of Kraken's trains descending the first drop

Kraken Unleashed operates with three floorless trains. Each train seats 32 riders in eight rows of four. This gives the ride a theoretical hourly capacity of 1500 riders per hour. [10] The open-air trains feature seats which leave riders' legs dangling above the track. [6] Riders are restrained with over-the-shoulder restraints. [19] As the trains are floorless, the station has a retractable floor for safe boarding.

Theme

Kraken Unleashed is themed after the mythological sea monster of the same name, kept caged by Poseidon. Much of the ride is located above water, with three sections featuring subterranean dives. [6] The ride's station and surrounding area are themed as Kraken's lair. Eels are said to be Kraken's young and therefore feature throughout the ride's queue. [5] [7] A SeaWorld Orlando spokesman stated "although it's a roller coaster, the theme of the ride brings it back to the sea, and to our (SeaWorld Orlando's) core". [7]

Ride experience

After riders have boarded, the station floor is retracted and the front gates open. Kraken Unleashed departs with a right U-turn out of the station. This leads directly to the 153-foot-tall (47 m) chain lift hill. At the top, the train crests the lift hill and follows a fairly level turn to the right before dropping 144 feet (44 m) towards the ground. The ride then enters the first 128-foot-tall (39m) vertical loop followed by a diving loop, passing by Mako's lift hill. A spiraling camelback (zero-g roll), where riders experience a feeling of weightlessness, is followed by a cobra roll. A banked turn to the left leads into the mid-course brake run. The exit from the mid-course brake run drops down directly into the second vertical loop. A subterranean dive into Kraken's lair is followed by a corkscrew. The ride concludes with a final brake run and a short path back to the station. [5] [10] [20]

An overview of Kraken in 2007, showing the ride as it looked prior to Mako's construction on the opposite side of the lake

Reception

The Orlando Sentinel commended the ride for "perfect timing and keeping folks guessing", giving the ride ratings of 4 out of 5 for both thrill and theming. [21] Sentinel reporter Dewayne Bevil ranks the ride at number 7 in his Top 50 Orlando Theme Park Attractions list. [22] Although it was reported that the ride would be more exciting than The Incredible Hulk at the nearby Islands of Adventure theme park, [23] Mike Thomas of the Sentinel concluded that "Hulk clobbers the competition", with Kraken taking the number two spot. [24] In an interview for the Los Angeles Times, Jerry Dane of the Florida Coaster Club described the floorless experience like "you are hung out there open and free". Dane also commended the ride's ability to provide different, yet equally good experiences in a variety of seats. [25] In 2012, Kraken was featured on the Travel Channel TV series Insane Coaster Wars, and received first place in the public-voted "Wrong Way Up" category. [26] Theme Park Review's Robb Alvey shared the view that Kraken was better than the competition which included Dollywood's Wild Eagle and Dorney Park's Hydra the Revenge. [27]

In Amusement Today's annual Golden Ticket Awards, Kraken was ranked in the top 50 steel roller coasters numerous times since its opening. It debuted on the poll at position 48 in 2003, [28] peaked at position 26 in 2005, [29] before it off the poll in 2009. [30] [31] [32] [33]

Early reception to Kraken Unleashed was mixed, with theme park enthusiasts noting long dispatch times [34] as the main detractor. Overall VR experience seemed to be positive, however. [35]

Golden Ticket Awards: Top steel Roller Coasters
Year 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2013
Ranking 48 [28] 23 [36] 26 [29] 45 [37] 40 [38] 42 [39] 48 (tied) [40]

References

  1. ^ Kubersky, Seth (June 15, 2017). "SeaWorld Orlando introduces Spot Saver virtual queue with Kraken Unleashed". Attractions Magazine. Retrieved June 20, 2017.
  2. ^ O'Brien, Tim (February 1, 1999). "Six Flags Great Adventure to turn into 'superpark'". Amusement Business. 111 (5): 3.
  3. ^ O'Brien, Tim (June 7, 1999). "Park attendance off to a great start for 1999". Amusement Business. 111 (23): 1.
  4. ^ a b Marden, Duane. "Roller Coaster Search Results  (Category = Floorless)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved May 4, 2013.
  5. ^ a b c "Sea World Orlando To Build New Roller Coaster For 2000" (Press release). SeaWorld Orlando. May 6, 1999. Retrieved June 22, 2013.
  6. ^ a b c d O'Brien, Tim (May 17, 1999). "'Angry Sea Monster' To Emerge At SeaWorld". Amusement Business. 111 (20): 37, 40.
  7. ^ a b c O'Brien, Tim (September 13, 1999). "New Coasters Highlight Capital Park Improvements For 2000". Amusement Business. 111 (37): 32, 38.
  8. ^ Barker, Tim (January 24, 2000). "Seaworld Gets Kraken - New Ride To Open In Spring". Orlando Sentinel. Tribune Company. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
  9. ^ "Services". Superior Rigging & Erection Company. Archived from the original on April 7, 2013. Retrieved March 24, 2013.
  10. ^ a b c d e f Marden, Duane. "Kraken  (SeaWorld Orlando)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 22, 2013.
  11. ^ Marden, Duane. "Record Holders  (Longest roller coasters in Florida)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
  12. ^ Pedicini, Sandra (September 26, 2016). "SeaWorld will introduce virtual reality roller coaster". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved January 30, 2017.
  13. ^ "SeaWorld Entertainment Unveils Major New Attractions For 2017". September 27, 2016. Archived from the original on February 2, 2017. Retrieved January 30, 2017 – via PR Newswire.
  14. ^ Yates, Erik (January 21, 2018). "Is SeaWorld Orlando's Kraken got the leash on again? VR headsets removed". Behind The Thrills. Retrieved May 27, 2018.
  15. ^ "SeaWorld Florida". Screamscape. June 22, 2018. Retrieved July 12, 2018.
  16. ^ Wynne, Sharon Kennedy (September 20, 2018). "Reality bites: SeaWorld abandons virtual reality headsets on Kraken coaster". Tampa Bay Times. Times Publishing Company. Retrieved September 20, 2018.
  17. ^ Russon, Gabrielle (September 18, 2018). "SeaWorld: Kraken roller coaster ditches virtual reality headsets". Orlando Sentinel. Tronc. Retrieved September 20, 2018.
  18. ^ Marden, Duane. "Manta  (SeaWorld Orlando)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 22, 2013.
  19. ^ O'Brien, Tim (November 8, 1999). "$20 Mil Floorless Coaster To Have Superman Theme At Fiesta Texas". Amusement Business. 111 (45): 21.
  20. ^ Alvey, Robb (April 13, 2013). "Kraken Roller Coaster Front & Back Seat POV SeaWorld Orlando". Theme Park Review. YouTube. Retrieved June 22, 2013.
  21. ^ "Kraken, SeaWorld Orlando". Orlando Sentinel. Tribune Company. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
  22. ^ Bevil, Dewayne (February 24, 2013). "Kraken at SeaWorld Orlando". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
  23. ^ Barker, Tim (May 25, 2000). "Roll Over, Shamu - Kraken Making Big Splash Now". Orlando Sentinel. Tribune Company. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
  24. ^ Thomas, Mike (May 25, 2000). "Can Kraken Beat Hulk? Let's Test It". Orlando Sentinel. Tribune Company. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
  25. ^ Murray, Alicia Lewis (September 18, 2002). "SeaWorld Makes Splash With New Roller Coaster". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
  26. ^ "SeaWorld Orlando's Kraken Voted a Winner on Travel Channel's "Insane Coaster Wars"". Inside SeaWorld. SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment. July 23, 2012. Retrieved June 22, 2013.
  27. ^ MacDonald, Brady (June 26, 2012). "Top thrill rides compete in Travel Channel's 'Insane Coaster Wars'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 22, 2013.
  28. ^ a b "Top 50 steel Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 14–15B. September 2003. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2013. Retrieved September 8, 2013.
  29. ^ a b "Top 50 steel Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 26–27B. September 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2013. Retrieved September 8, 2013.
  30. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. September 2009.
  31. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. September 2010.
  32. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. September 2011.
  33. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. September 2012.
  34. ^ @TouringPlans (June 15, 2017). "Kraken Unleashed is running 1 train right now with 8–10 minutes between dispatches (about 200 riders per hour)pic.twitter.com/RMmMDiGoe0" (Tweet). Retrieved June 18, 2017 – via Twitter.
  35. ^ Park Pass [@ORLParkPass] (June 13, 2017). "The #KrakenUnleashed VR experience exceeded my expectations. Has a few flaws, but overall good! ~@MrBrianORL" (Tweet). Retrieved June 18, 2017 – via Twitter.
  36. ^ "Top 50 steel Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 18–19B. September 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 3, 2007. Retrieved September 8, 2013.
  37. ^ "Top 50 steel Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 26–27B. September 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2013. Retrieved September 8, 2013.
  38. ^ "Top 50 steel Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. 11 (6.2): 36–37. September 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2013. Retrieved September 8, 2013.
  39. ^ "Top 50 steel Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. 12 (6.2): 36–37. September 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2013. Retrieved September 8, 2013.
  40. ^ "2013 Top 50 steel Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. 17 (6.2): 34–35. September 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2013. Retrieved September 8, 2013.

External links