Beware the Shark: Mako Roller Coaster | SeaWorld


  • Mako Roller Coaster

    The good news: It is described as the tallest, longest and (perhaps best of all) fastest. The bad news: It won’t be here until next year.

    But that gives us plenty of time to think about the latest area super roller coaster, Mako, named after the shark. And to compare it with others.

    SeaWorld Orlando’s new coaster goes up to 73 miles an hour. That’s faster than most autos on main highway I-4 in Orlando.

    So if speed is your only goal, this is the one for you. But how does it all compare to others?

    Here are some quick questions and answers:

    Are you ready for 73 miles an Hour?

    Q: How does that 73 mile an hour speed compare with others in the area?

    A: The Incredible Hulk Coaster at Universal’s Islands of Adventure goes 67 miles an hour.

    Q: Is it the fastest anywhere?

    A: Here, yes. But you have to go to the United Arab Emirates for Formula Rossa. It goes 149 miles an hour.

    Q: Does the thrill really compare to, say Universal’s Kraken?

    A: Depends. Various coaster experts highly praised Kraken’s floorless feature (feet dangling in the open) as among its most exciting elements. The only thing for sure is that Mako will be more thrilling than more family-geared Disney coasters.

    Q: How long a ride is Mako?

    A: Three minutes. (By way of comparison, Kraken is 2 minutes 2 seconds).

    Q: Why is it named Mako?

    A: The shark is known for its high speed and ability to quickly change direction.

    Weightlessness?

    Q: Will you experience upside down or weightlessness?

    A: Not upside down but weightlessness, yes.

    Q: Special features?

    A: SeaWorld officials say riders will experience the feeling of being thrown out of the ride. That should be enough excitement that it’s worth waiting for.

    Q: How would you describe Mako’s experience?

    A: You will feel like a predator shark zooming through the water at top speeds (for sharks) and chasing your intended “prey” through a massive reef, say designers.

    Q: Will Mako be a stand-alone ride?

    A: It will be part of a 2-acre Shark's Realm at SeaWorld, which will also include the park's Shark Encounter and Sharks Underwater Grill.

    Q: Is this obviously a new reason to visit SeaWorld over other parks?

    A: No question. It will be the tallest in the area, at least for now. Skyscraper is a new ride planned for International Drive. That will be 500 feet tall. But it will not be open until 2017.

    Is this the start of something new?

    Q: Is this a major change in SeaWorld’s general operations and visitor appeal?

    A: Very possibly. It is an indication that long-established SeaWorld wants to become more of an older kids park. With the new ride, SeaWorld Orlando will have five thrill rides: three distinctly different coasters, plus 2 family coasters. More thrill rides are expected in the future. ###