3 AWESOME Announcements From Central Florida (Busch Gardens Tampa, Sea World Orlando, and Universal Orlando)

The last couple days brought big announcements for Central Florida’s theme parks. With two MAJOR Sea World parks announcements and a HUGE Universal announcement, the excitement is building up for central Florida’s next few years. In the next two years alone, we already knew of a King Kong ride, the world’s tallest roller coaster, Avatarland, the world’s tallest drop tower, a new Universal hotel, and even more! Now, after all of these amazing attractions, we get three more! Without further to do, here they are:

Sea World Orlando’s Mako Roller Coaster!

In case you haven’t checked Social Media, Sea World Orlando announced what they’d been teasing for a while, the tallest* and fastest roller coaster in Orlando, Mako. Mako is going to be a B&M hypercoaster. It will be 200ft tall and will have a speed of 73mph. Along with Mako, Sea World is also re-designing their Shark themed area of the park to go along with the new roller coaster. The press release is below with more details:

*Until the World’s Tallest roller coaster, Skyscraper, opens at Skyplex on I-Drive

SeaWorld Orlando’s Mako ™ quick facts:

  • Opening summer 2016, Mako will be the tallest, fastest and longest coaster in Orlando
  • Mako will be a hypercoaster, designed for speed and relentless “air time”
  • SeaWorld Orlando will now have a portfolio of five thrill rides: three distinctly different coasters, plus two family coasters.
  • The 2-acre realm of the park will now be fully themed around sharks: including Mako, Shark Encounter®, Sharks Underwater Grill®, themed gift shops, shark and shipwreck theming and educational experiences.

ORLANDO, Fla. (May 27, 2015) – Surfacing summer 2016 at SeaWorld Orlando will be Mako, a 200-foot-tall hypercoaster that will reach 73 mph along 4,760 feet of steel track — nearly a mile long — and leave riders feeling both breathless and weightless.  Named for one of the ocean’s fastest known sharks, Mako will be Orlando’s tallest, fastest and longest roller coaster.

“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.”

Mako’s tight turns and speed are inspired by reality.  Mako sharks — also called “blue pointers” — are known for their top speed, making extreme jumps and the ability to quickly change course as they pursue their prey.

The new coaster will become one of the world’s few true hypercoasters, a group of roller coasters known for high speeds and steep drops and hills that create a feeling of weightlessness or “air time.” As the sleek coaster cars crest each hill, riders float, nearly weightless.

Mako is manufactured by Bolliger & Mabillard, a company renowned among coaster enthusiasts. B&M has built many of the world’s top roller coasters, including SeaWorld’s Manta and Kraken, and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay’s SheiKra.

SeaWorld’s new hypercoaster will be the centerpiece of the newly themed surrounding realm.  The two-acre plaza now will be fully shark themed including Mako, Shark Encounter, Sharks Underwater Grill, shops,  shark and shipwreck theming and educational experiences featuring sharks.

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. Sharks are hunted for their fins — considered a delicacy in certain countries — and thousands are caught accidentally in nets. Several species of sharks are on the verge of extinction.

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

“Our fans will love how Mako complements our other rides. Kraken is big, monstrous and twisty. Manta is massive and glides smoothly, taking you on a flight like a huge ray. Mako is entirely different. It’s streamlined and fast, just like a mako shark. There’s no wasted motion, it’s all speed and dives.”

Mako uses a unique sound system to enhance the experience, and not just for those on the ride. The full score of Mako can be heard and follows riders out of the station and up the lift hill. Custom surround effects and musical scores fill the realm, changing as the coaster dives through the area.

At night, specialty lights will accent the coaster trains, realm and track, flickering and shimmering, simulating fish being scattered by a mako on the hunt.

Follow the Mako frenzy using the hashtag #NothingFaster. Visit  SeaWorldOrlando.com for more information and updates on the new ride.

So, what do you think about Mako? We think this ride will be a great fit for Sea World Orlando and we’re excited for the newest member of the Orlando skyline! Here’s some images of Mako (Courtesy of Sea World):

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The new “Shark” area of the park!
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The Entrance for Mako.
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The 200 foot hypercoaster will travel over the lake!
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This concept art is beautiful, this is such a great entrance plaza!
Busch GardEns Tampa’s Cobra’s Curse!

Yes, that’s correct, Sea World Parks is building TWO new roller coasters at their central Florida parks. Busch Gardens Tampa announced Cobra’s Curse, a Mack Rides spinning coaster! Cobra’s Curse will feature an elevator lift and great theming! The press release is below:

Tampa, Fla. (May 28, 2015) – Busch Gardens® Tampa puts a spin on family thrills in 2016 with a brand new family thrill ride – Cobra’s Curse. This spin coaster is the only one of its kind in the world, featuring a vertical lift and taking riders on a whirlwind adventure of exciting explorations.

Located in the Egypt area of the park, explorers will come face-to-face with an 80-foot snake icon, trek over the park’s Serengeti Plain® and discover the mysteries of an Egyptian archeological excavation.

“This isn’t your ordinary spin coaster. In true Busch Gardens style, we’re putting a twist on this attraction and taking riders on an unforgettable and exciting journey,” said Busch Gardens Park President Jim Dean. “

“The addition of a family spin coaster complements the selection of thrill rides Busch Gardens offers, and we know it’s an attraction that guests from across the globe will enjoy,” Dean added. “We continue to find new and exciting ways to offer thrills for the entire family, and we know Cobra’s Curse will even further solidify Busch Gardens as Florida’s Thrill Leader.”

Get a sneak peek of Florida’s newest and most exciting family thrill ride on the Busch Gardens YouTube channel.

Visit CobrasCurse.com for more information. Or, be the first to know about new events, special deals and future announcements by following the park’s blog at buschgardenstampablog.com, or “Like” the Busch Gardens Facebook page and follow @buschgardens on Twitter and Instagram.

What do you think of Cobra’s Curse? This seems like a great addition to Busch Gardens Tampa that will provide family thrills to all!

Cobra's Curse Key Rendering
Here’s the overall image of the ride! Doesn’t it look great?
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This giant snake is a large element of theming.
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Even the station will be heavily themed!
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Here’s a closeup of the Cobra’s Curse elevator lift.
Universal Orlando Resort’s Volcano Bay Waterpark!

Yes, the best of all was saved for last. The waterpark that has been rumored for years is finally coming to Universal Orlando Resort! Universal sent out a surprise tweet this morning with this video in it:

Instantly the “twitterverse” exploded as all of us theme park nerds cheered on Universal! At 11am they finally announced Volcano bay, which will be a revolutionary and innovative waterpark. Here’s the press release:

ORLANDO, Fla. (May 28, 2015) – Universal Orlando Resort today announced a project of remarkable vision: to bring to life an entirely new water theme park experience. Called Volcano Bay at Universal Orlando Resort, it will join Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure and become the resort’s third incredibly immersive park.

Universal’s Volcano Bay will be a place for the entire family. It will be a whole new generation of experience that reimagines what it means to be a water park.

Imagine a place that offers radically innovative, thrilling attractions, peaceful moments of relaxation and an inspired guest experience that will forever change the perception of water theme parks. It will be set in a highly themed, completely immersive environment inspired by postcard-perfect tropical islands. And it will be the kind of special place that only the Universal team – the same team that has changed the face of Universal Orlando Resort in recent years – can envision and create.

Universal’s Volcano Bay will be located within Universal Orlando Resort, just south of the Cabana Bay Beach Resort. Work is already underway and more details will be released in the future.

Universal’s Volcano Bay is the next in a series of boldly creative experiences that have opened and will continue to open at Universal Orlando. It began with The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade in 2010 and quickly moved to Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, Springfield, hometown to America’s favorite animated family, The Simpsons, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley, eight new venues at Universal CityWalk, the breathtaking Cabana Bay Beach Resort and more. It will include Skull Island: Reign of Kong and Loews Sapphire Falls Resort in 2016.

And then – in 2017 – will come Universal’s Volcano Bay.

About Universal Orlando Resort
For 25 years, Universal Orlando Resort has been creating epic vacations for the entire family – incredible experiences that place guests in the heart of powerful stories and adventures. Guests can soar above Hogwarts with Harry Potter, swing above the streets with Spider-Man, grab a Krusty burger in Springfield, join the ranks of the Minions and so much more.

Universal Orlando’s two theme parks, Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure, are home to some of the world’s most exciting and innovative attractions. Its on-site resort hotels, Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, the Hard Rock Hotel, Loews Royal Pacific Resort, and Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort are destinations unto themselves. Its entertainment complex, Universal CityWalk, offers dining and entertainment for every member of the family. And just minutes away is Wet ‘n Wild, a family water park.

Universal Orlando Resort has unveiled 18 new guest experiences in the past five years – powerful attractions, incredible dining opportunities and a dramatically themed hotel. And more is on the way. Coming in 2016 is Universal Orlando’s fifth on-site hotel, Loews Sapphire Falls Resort; and Skull Island: Reign of Kong, a groundbreaking attraction in Islands of Adventure. And in 2017 will come Universal’s Volcano Bay, an entirely new water theme park experience.

Universal Orlando Resort is part of NBCUniversal, a Comcast company. Follow us on our blogFacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

WOW, This is awesome! Universal just keeps announcing more and more! This park is going to be a great addition to the Universal lineup! Here’s what we can see from the pictures:

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Here’s the Overview of the Volcano themed waterpark!
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Based on the concept art, there will be a large wave pool at the base of the Volcano and in the background, you can see a slide tower.
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Here’s the ending of a speedy looking slide.
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At the top of the volcano, which is according to permits going to be over 200ft tall, will have a HUGE waterslide, which could easily become the world’s tallest!
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Also, there appears to be Polynesian themed bungalows in the back.

It’s been an AMAZING week for the Orlando (and Tampa) parks! Two coasters and a Waterpark! How could this get better? What do you think of these new additions to Orlando?Let us know on Social Media! Thanks for reading the blog! Be sure to follow us here on WordPress and share with the buttons below! Also, you can find us on YouTubeFacebookTwitterGoogle+, and Tumblr!

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