I guess you could call the SeaWorld Sky Tower the oldest ride at SeaWorld Orlando Florida. Over the last few years, more emphasis has been put into the ride side of the park firstly with the Mission Bermuda Triangle (later revamped as Wild Arctic®) and then Journey to Atlantis® and Kraken®.
The new Manta roller coaster ride opens on May 22, 2009.
Journey to Atlantis
Journey to Atlantis opened in 1998 and is a 'watercoaster', a cross between a flume type water boat ride and a roller coaster (to compete with Pirates of the Caribbean and Splash Mountain at Disney Magic Kingdom).
You start your journey in a Greek fishing village with news that the city of Atlantis has risen again and at the beginning the ride is peaceful enough. You are then chased by evil spirits and the boat is lifted up only to plunge back down again. In total there are a series of five lifts interspersed with two major 60 ft flume ride plunges.
The ride lasts about 6 minutes and there is a 42" height requirement. You will get wet so make sure you keep that expensive camera dry !!
The latest ride is a steel tracked roller coaster called Kraken® (named after a mythical sea serpent) which is floorless which means the track is still underneath you but your feet are dangling in thin air as you sit on a pedestal seat. Kraken claims to be the tallest, fastest, longest and wildest roller coaster in Orlando.
There are coin operated lockers situated at outside Journey to Atlantis and Kraken where you can place loose or valuable items before going on the rides.
You will get wet on Journey to Atlantis !!
The ride was designed by Bolliger and Mabillard and opened in June 2000. There is 4170 ft of track and you climb to 150 ft above the park before starting the run. Part of the ride is over water before you descend below ground reaching speeds of 65 mph whilst the coaster loops, spirals, twists and dives around the course for a total of three below ground dives and seven inversions.
This is a full motion simulator helicopter ride where you 'journey' to Base Station Wild Arctic® in the arctic circle. Needless to say things do not go to plan and you soon experience perils along the way as you become caught up in a snowstorm. The ride is good but somehow it lacks the fun and style of the Star Tours ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios.
Base Station Wild Arctic is billed as a high-tech research station built around the hull of a 19th century exploration ship. After disembarking you can see polar bears, beluga whales and walruses amongst other exhibits. If you are not up to going on the ride or the queues are too long you can still visit Base Station Wild Arctic by just bypassing the ride.
SeaWorld Sky Tower
The Sky Tower is a dominant landmark both within the park and the surroundings as you drive towards SeaWorld. The 400 foot tower was built when the park first opened in 1973. It has recently been transformed as the centrepiece of the all-new Tower Island and is now surrounded by an ancient stone fortress and a bar overlooking the harbour at The Waterfront at SeaWorld.
It takes six minutes for the capsule that encircles the tower to slowly rotate all the way to the top and back down again. On a clear day you can see downtown Orlando and other area attractions from the top.
There is a small fee to ride the Sky Tower capsule.