At Sea World in Orlando, eager guests not only come face to face with exotic marine mammals, fish, and sharks, but they also brave one of the most legendary sea creatures of all aboard Kraken the ride.
Kraken is more than just another roller coaster, it is an innovative ride experience with a legend steeped in maritime mythology.
There is no one myth of the kraken, but there are several mythological references to this fearsome beast. The kraken is supposedly an underwater beast kept caged by the sea king, Poseidon, which he will release to wreak vengeance when necessary. Stories of the kraken as a ferocious sea monster are popular in Norway and Iceland, and many other cultures have tales of monstrous sea creatures as well. There is no one image of a kraken beast that is consistent throughout the various legends, but the creature is always considered large, swift, and dangerous. Some legends compare it more to an octopus or squid, while others liken to it an eel or gigantic sea snake.
Kraken the ride incorporates a bit of all these legends in its appearance and theming. The coaster's sea green and teal coloration is reminiscent of the waves which hide the legendary monsters, and the queue line leading up to the ride platform has artwork and quotations that relate to famous aquatic creatures of the deep such as the Loch Ness Monster, as well as the kraken legends. Riders can also visit the kraken's lair at the ride's exit - a chilled grotto with mystical, spherical eggs coated with rushing water and swirling with bubbles and tinted lights that add to the mystery of the creature. Loops of the kraken's serpentine body flank the ride entrance and exit areas, as well as its eel-like head with penetrating eyes and hungry fangs eager to prey on unsuspecting riders.
Kraken the ride first opened in June 2000 with appropriate fanfare as the tallest steel roller coaster in Florida, reaching a height of nearly 150 feet. The coaster is 4,177 feet long and reaches speeds of up to 65 miles per hour as it courses along the twisted teal track through a monstrous seven inversions, including sunken loops and a zero-gravity roll more torturous than the wildest sea tempest. The ride's finale includes a plunge through a misted tunnel bordered by crashing waterfalls before riders curve back to the station.
Kraken is one of only 13 floorless roller coasters in the world. Riders sit on elevated pedestals and the ride's tubular steel track races by beneath their feet, giving thrill seekers a unique open-air experience. Other floorless coasters can be found in several parks, including several Six Flags theme park locations as well as both Busch Gardens Africa and Busch Gardens Europe.
Tips for Enjoying Kraken the Ride
Riders must be at least 54 inches tall to ride Kraken, and passengers are secured by individual over-the-shoulder restraints and latching seat belts. Because of the coaster's dynamic motion and sudden dips, twists, and curves, guests with a history of heart, back, or neck problems or guests who are pregnant should not ride. Because the ride thrusts passengers through seven inversions in less than three minutes, guests who are susceptible to motion sickness may also want to avoid Kraken the ride. The final rush toward the beast's lair includes strobe lighting effects that can cause migraines or trigger seizures in sensitive individuals, so that should be another consideration riders make before braving the coaster.
Because of the floorless design of the ride, riders should carefully secure loose shoes before riding or leave them on the ride platform out of the way of other riders or ride operators. All loose articles, including hats, sunglasses, keys, cell phones, and other items should also be secured before riding. Because of the ride's dynamics and open air nature, no prosthetic legs may be worn on the ride, and guests with arm or leg casts will not be permitted to ride.
Kraken the ride is one of the most exhilarating steel roller coasters in the world, with its seven carefully engineered inversions as well as its uniquely nautical theme that makes it a perfect addition to Sea World Florida's superior lineup of rides and attractions.