SeaWorld gives first look at new 200-foot-tall 'Mako' roller coaster


SeaWorld Orlando gave WFTV an inside look Wednesday at their newest thrill ride in the works.

Park officials said the 200-foot-tall "Mako" will be Orlando's tallest, fastest and longest roller coaster. Officials said Mako will be a hyper coaster, designed for speed and relentless "air time."

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SeaWorld said the coaster will reach 73 mph along 4,760 feet of steel track.

"On Mako, you'll experience what it's like to be this apex predator, surging through the water at top speed and chasing prey throughout a massive reef," said Brian Morrow, SeaWorld's attraction creative director. "It will be a wild mix of fear, thrills and fun."

It's been a tough time at SeaWorld with decreasing revenues and dropping attendance since the documentary Blackfish caused controversy over the treatment of animals.

But things are changing.

"For 2016 we're upping the thrills," said SeaWorld president Donnie Mills.

"Would you expect that to make up the difference in loss attendance you've seen?" asked WFTV reporter Janai Norman.  

"I don't know about the math of loss and plus and minuses," said Morrow.

"Do you figure any kind of numbers when you are thinking an attraction like this? How many more people it could bring?" Norman asked.

"Of course, but we don't share that information publically," said Morrow.

The theme park said it also will have a portfolio of five thrill rides: three distinctly different coasters, plus two family coasters.

"I anticipate people will come to this attraction because it's the best coaster in Orlando and it gives our guests the diversity of things to do within our park," said Morrow.

The two-acre realm of the park will be themed around sharks, including Mako, Shark Encounter®, Sharks Underwater Grill®, themed gift shops, shark and shipwreck theming and educational experiences.

The entire realm is created to make guests feel they’re underwater, part of the group of sharks and toothy animals that have taken over a shipwrecked reef.

In the plaza, guests will learn about the impact humans are having on sharks and why these animals are critical to the environment.

"It's this blend of education and thrills, immersing guests in an underwater world, that sets a SeaWorld ride apart from others," said Morrow.

The coaster is slated to open in summer 2016.




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