SeaWorld’s 2019 coaster has completed track construction and will open next month. Tidal Twister will be SeaWorld San Diego’s 4th roller coaster, joining Journey to Atlantis, Manta and Electric Eel, and will officially open on Friday, May 24, 2019.
Tidal Twister is a prototype Skywarp Horizon designed by Skyline Attractions. 32 riders will board the 2 trains on opposite sides of the figure 8. The train will go back and forth until it hits its top speed of 30 mph.
The track consists of two highly banked turns, an airtime hill, and a zero-g-roll. And although it may seem like two separate trains moving on the track, it’s really one large train with seats on both ends. This is what will give Tidal Twister a unique dueling feel. When you’re going over the airtime hill, the other train will be simultaneously upside-down in the zero-g roll. In addition to interacting with the other train, you’ll be able to interact with the theming that is yet to be built, and you’ll feel like you can high-five the people nearby.
While 30 mph is pretty tame for a roller coaster, it makes Tidal Twister family-friendly. However, the fact that the coaster is low to the ground emphasizes the speed. Riders are seated back-to-back, so you’ll be able to see you friends and family’s reaction if you sit directly across from them.
By looking at the construction photos, we can see that Tidal Twister is going to be the brightest coaster at SeaWorld. The supports are bright pink, the track is purple, and the trains that were revealed at IAAPA are a nice shade of blue.
Now that the track is complete, construction crews are in the process of assembling the large train and drive mechanism so that the ride can start testing as soon as possible. In the construction photos above, the blue motors at the foot of the coaster will provide the energy to accelerate the train to its top speed of 30 mph. The ride does technically coast, though, as there are moments in which the train moves entirely due to gravity without being pushed by the drive tires.
In addition to the thrilling coaster experience, the surrounding area will be turned into a lush tropical landscape, complete with innovative animal exhibits. The tide pools that have gone empty in the past few years will hopefully feature more animals. In recent years, local sea stars were devastated by a wasting epidemic that affected the whole California population. In addition to the tide pools, the Aquaria: World of Fishes building is also being renovated to showcase the awesome conservation work done by Rising Tide Aquaculture.
Rising Tide Conservation is an organization that aims to help coral reefs by promoting the aquaculture of marine ornamental fish. The organization was founded by SeaWorld in 2009 and also collaborates with researchers at aquariums all around the country, including the Georgia, Florida, and Shedd Aquariums. Currently, nearly all saltwater fish are collected from coral reefs, and this can negatively impact struggling ecosystems when collection methods are done unsustainably. Rising Tide aims to reduce the demand for wild-caught fish by conducting research on how to breed them in an aquarium environment.
The work done by Rising Tide will now be showcased to the public through an interactive exhibit inside the Aquaria: World of Fishes. The coral reef aquarium exhibit will be totally renovated to show off a collection of aquacultured fish from Rising Tide. Coral inserts will make the aquarium look like a beautiful tropical reef. This “Research Support Aquarium” will be special in that SeaWorld will continually receive new fish to grow and send to other research institutions.
As you can see, the coral reef tank is being populated with aquacultured Yellow Tangs. In total, 650 fish will call the Research Support Aquarium home!
In addition to the new reef tank, the classic aquariums that Aquaria is known for will be returning. One aquarium will house piranhas, another will house freshwater game fish, and one will house kelp forest creatures such as leopard sharks and Garibaldi.
The Tidal Twister project will be a great addition to SeaWorld San Diego because it combines SeaWorld’s commitment to conservation with thrilling experiences for park guests. Tidal Twister will be a fun ride for people of all ages, the tide pools will allow park guests to directly connect with animals, and the aquariums will showcase beautiful fish and educate people about why we need to protect coral reefs.