Ever since the opening of the famous Cyclone ride in 1927, roller coasters have been the most popular attraction in the amusement parks across the globe. They are considered to be one of the more approachable adrenaline rushes that most people enjoy. And adding more excitement to such roller coasters is virtual reality. SeaWorld Orlando has given its 17-year-old, famous floorless coaster an ultimate makeover; turning it into a cutting-edge virtual reality experience – Kraken Unleashed.
By attaching headsets and earphones to the old Kraken ride, the theme park has turned an already terrifying coaster into a heart-stopping journey to the bottom of the sea. Kraken Unleashed starts off nicely enough, with a friendly pod of dolphins, but it quickly turns into an underwater thriller. It is also being regarded as America’s first virtual reality roller coaster, where guests are chased by hungry sea monsters while riding at 65mph for real on a leg-dangling coaster.
The ride begins with a low-riding curve, twisting back toward the lift hill. According to the view from the headsets, passengers are into deep waters with an assortment of fishes and alongside small submarine-like vessels. The upward drift corresponds with the real-life ascent to the top of Kraken’s 149-foot-tall hill. Visually speaking, the experience is drastically different. Under Kraken Classic, you might get the chance to see which direction you might turn next. With Kraken Unleashed, it’s a guessing game. You’re left to the whimsy of the virtual-reality designers as you zip past sea life. The makers also say that there are bonus sights if you look around and not just straight ahead at the action. Well, to that we would just say Good luck!
Guests will also get up close and personal with the legendary Kraken sea monster on this VR ride. SeaWorld expects the ride to be wildly popular, so in keeping with the high-tech theme, holidaymakers will also be able to skip the queue by waiting in line virtually with a new app. Labeled as Spot Saver, this mobile site will allow adventure-seekers to join a queue with smartphones and turn up when it’s their turn to ride.
Well, if you aren’t ready to brave the deep yet, there’s also the option to enjoy the ride the traditional way, which you can choose once on board. You can also get a glimpse of what this experience will be like, with this video.