Kraken (roller coaster)

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Kraken
Kraken logo.png
Kraken (SeaWorld Orlando) 01.jpg
Kraken's corkscrew
SeaWorld Orlando
Coordinates 28°24′40″N 81°27′30″W / 28.41111°N 81.45833°W / 28.41111; -81.45833Coordinates: 28°24′40″N 81°27′30″W / 28.41111°N 81.45833°W / 28.41111; -81.45833
Status Operating
Soft opening date May 27, 2000 (2000-05-27)[1]
Opening date June 1, 2000 (2000-06-01)
General statistics
Type Steel – Floorless Coaster
Manufacturer Bolliger & Mabillard
Designer Werner Stengel
Model Custom
Lift/launch system Chain lift hill
Height 149 ft (45 m)
Drop 144 ft (44 m)
Length 4,177 ft (1,273 m)
Speed 65 mph (105 km/h)
Inversions 7
Duration 2:02
Capacity 1500 riders per hour
G-force 3.9
Height restriction 54 in (137 cm)
Trains 3 trains with 8 cars. Riders are arranged 4 across in a single row for a total of 32 riders per train.
Quick Queue available
Must transfer from wheelchair
Kraken at RCDB
Pictures of Kraken at RCDB

Kraken (named for the fictional sea monster of the same name) is a steel floorless roller coaster located at SeaWorld Orlando in the United States. Manufactured by Bolliger & Mabillard, the ride features a total of seven inversions including two vertical loops, a dive loop, a zero-g roll, a cobra roll and a corkscrew. Kraken opened on June 1, 2000.

History[edit]

In 1999, Six Flags Great Adventure spent $42 million on new attractions including a prototype Floorless Coaster by Bolliger & Mabillard, Medusa (later Bizarro).[2] The immediate popularity of the ride,[3] led to SeaWorld Orlando and three other amusement parks to announce plans to install Floorless Coasters in 2000;[4] aside from the announcement of Kraken on May 6, 1999,[5] Six Flags Discovery Kingdom announced Medusa, Geauga Lake announced Dominator, and Six Flags Fiesta Texas announced Superman: Krypton Coaster.[4] Kraken was announced as costing approximately $18-20 million.[6] Kraken '​s announcement more than one year out from its opening was an attempt by the park to drive international attendance.[6][7]

Construction for the ride was well underway in January 2000.[8] During construction, Superior Rigging & Erection was responsible for erecting the supports and track of the roller coaster.[9]

On June 1, 2000, Kraken officially opened to the public.[10] At the time of opening Kraken held the record for the longest roller coaster in the state of Florida. It held this record until 2006 when Disney's Animal Kingdom opened the 4,424-foot-long (1,348 m) Expedition Everest.[11]

Characteristics[edit]

One of Kraken '​s trains descending the first drop

Statistics[edit]

The 4,177-foot-long (1,273 m) Kraken stands 149 feet (45 m) tall.[10] With a top speed of 65 miles per hour (105 km/h), the ride is the fastest roller coaster at SeaWorld Orlando.[10][12] The ride features seven inversions including two vertical loops, a dive loop, a zero-g roll, a cobra roll and a corkscrew.[10]

Trains[edit]

Kraken operates with three floorless trains. Each train seats 32 riders in eight rows of four. This gives the ride a theoretical hourly capacity of 1500 riders per hour.[10] The open-air trains feature seats which leave riders' legs dangling above the track.[6] Riders are restrainted with over-the-shoulder restraints (OTSRs).[13] As the trains are floorless, the station has a retractable floor for safe boarding.

Theme[edit]

Kraken is themed after the mythological sea monster of the same name, kept caged by Poseidon. Much of the ride is located above water, with three sections featuring subterranean dives.[6] The ride's station and surrounding area are themed as Kraken's lair. Eels are said to be Kraken's young and therefore feature throughout the ride's queue.[5][7] A SeaWorld Orlando spokesman stated "although it's a roller coaster, the theme of the ride brings it back to the sea, and to our (SeaWorld Orlando's) core".[7]

Ride experience[edit]

After riders have boarded and the station floor is retracted, Kraken departs with a right U-turn out of the station. This leads directly to the 149-foot-tall (45 m) chain lift hill. At the top, the train crests the lift hill and follows a fairly level turn to the right before dropping 144 feet (44 m) towards the ground. The ride then enters the first vertical loop followed by the dive loop. A zero-g roll, where riders experience a feeling of weightlessness, is followed by a cobra roll. A banked turn to the left leads into the mid-course brake run. The exit from the mid-course brake run drops down directly into the second vertical loop. A subterranean dive into Kraken's lair is followed by a corkscrew. The ride concludes with a final brake run and a short path back to the station.[10][5][14]

An overview of Kraken

Reception[edit]

The Orlando Sentinel commended the ride for "perfect timing and keeping folks guessing", giving the ride ratings of 4 out of 5 for both thrill and theming.[15] Sentinel reporter Dewayne Bevil, ranks the ride at number 7 in his Top 50 Orlando Theme Park Attractions list.[16] Although it was reported that the ride would be more exciting than The Incredible Hulk at the nearby Islands of Adventure theme park,[17] Mike Thomas of the Sentinel concluded that "Hulk clobbers the competition", with Kraken taking the number two spot.[18] In an interview for the Los Angeles Times Jerry Dane of the Florida Coaster Club described the floorless experience like "you are hung out there open and free". Dane also commended the ride's ability to provide different, yet equally good experiences in a variety of seats.[19] In 2012, Kraken was featured on the Travel Channel TV series Insane Coaster Wars, and received first place in the public-voted "Wrong Way Up" category.[20] Theme Park Review's Robb Alvey shared the view the Kraken was better than the competition which included Dollywood's Wild Eagle and Dorney Park's Hydra the Revenge.[21]

In Amusement Today's annual Golden Ticket Awards, Kraken was ranked in the top 50 steel roller coasters numerous times since its opening. It debuted on the poll at position 48 in 2003,[22] peaked at position 26 in 2005,[23] before it off the poll in 2009.[24][25][26][27]

Golden Ticket Awards: Top steel Roller Coasters
Year 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Ranking [28] [29] [30] 48[22] 23[31] 26[23] 45[32] 40[33] 42[34] [24] [25] [26] [27] 48 (tied)[35]

In Mitch Hawker's worldwide Best Roller Coaster Poll, Kraken entered at position 12 in 2001, before peaking at 10 the following year. The ride's ranking in subsequent polls is shown in the table below.[36]

Mitch Hawker's Best Roller Coaster Poll: Best Steel-Tracked Roller Coaster[36]
Year 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Ranking
[nb 1]
12
10
22
16
21
28
22
33
33
39
[nb 2]
56

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ No steel roller coaster poll was held in 2000.
  2. ^ No steel roller coaster poll was held in 2011.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Anderson, Jamie J. (May 26, 2000). "Kraken Is A Real Monster". Orlando Sentinel (Tribune Company). Retrieved June 27, 2013. 
  2. ^ O'Brien, Tim (February 1, 1999). "Six Flags Great Adventure to turn into 'superpark'". Amusement Business 111 (5): 3. 
  3. ^ O'Brien, Tim (June 7, 1999). "Park attendance off to a great start for 1999". Amusement Business 111 (23): 1. 
  4. ^ a b Marden, Duane. "Roller Coaster Search Results  (Category = Floorless)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved May 4, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c "Sea World Orlando To Build New Roller Coaster For 2000" (Press release). SeaWorld Orlando. May 6, 1999. Retrieved June 22, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c d O'Brien, Tim (May 17, 1999). "'Angry Sea Monster' To Emerge At SeaWorld". Amusement Business 111 (20): 37,40. 
  7. ^ a b c O'Brien, Tim (September 13, 1999). "New Coasters Highlight Capital Park Improvements For 2000". Amusement Business 111 (37): 32, 38. 
  8. ^ Barker, Tim (January 24, 2000). "Seaworld Gets Kraken - New Ride To Open In Spring". Orlando Sentinel (Tribune Company). Retrieved June 27, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Services". Superior Rigging & Erection Company. Retrieved March 24, 2013. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f Marden, Duane. "Kraken  (SeaWorld Orlando)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 22, 2013. 
  11. ^ Marden, Duane. "Record Holders  (Longest roller coasters in Florida)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved September 16, 2011. 
  12. ^ Marden, Duane. "Manta  (SeaWorld Orlando)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 22, 2013. 
  13. ^ O'Brien, Tim (November 8, 1999). "$20 Mil Floorless Coaster To Have Superman Theme At Fiesta Texas". Amusement Business 111 (45): 21. 
  14. ^ Alvey, Robb (April 13, 2013). "Kraken Roller Coaster Front & Back Seat POV SeaWorld Orlando". Theme Park Review. YouTube. Retrieved June 22, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Kraken, SeaWorld Orlando". Orlando Sentinel (Tribune Company). Retrieved June 27, 2013. 
  16. ^ Bevil, Dewayne (February 24, 2013). "Kraken at SeaWorld Orlando". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved June 27, 2013. 
  17. ^ Barker, Tim (May 25, 2000). "Roll Over, Shamu - Kraken Making Big Splash Now". Orlando Sentinel (Tribune Company). Retrieved June 27, 2013. 
  18. ^ Thomas, Mike (May 25, 2000). "Can Kraken Beat Hulk? Let's Test It". Orlando Sentinel (Tribune Company). Retrieved June 27, 2013. 
  19. ^ Murray, Alicia Lewis (September 18, 2002). "SeaWorld Makes Splash With New Roller Coaster". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Retrieved June 27, 2013. 
  20. ^ "SeaWorld Orlando's Kraken Voted a Winner on Travel Channel's "Insane Coaster Wars"". Inside SeaWorld. SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment. July 23, 2012. Retrieved June 22, 2013. 
  21. ^ MacDonald, Brady (June 26, 2012). "Top thrill rides compete in Travel Channel's 'Insane Coaster Wars'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 22, 2013. 
  22. ^ a b "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 14–15B. September 2003. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  23. ^ a b "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 26–27B. September 2005. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  24. ^ a b "Top 50 steel roller coasters". Amusement Today. September 2009. 
  25. ^ a b "Top 50 steel roller coasters". Amusement Today. September 2010. 
  26. ^ a b "Top 50 steel roller coasters". Amusement Today. September 2011. 
  27. ^ a b "Top 50 steel roller coasters". Amusement Today. September 2012. 
  28. ^ "Top 25 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. August 2000. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  29. ^ "Top 25 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 7B. August 2001. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  30. ^ "Top 25 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 7B. September 2002. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  31. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 18–19B. September 2004. Archived from the original on April 3, 2007. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  32. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 26–27B. September 2006. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  33. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 11 (6.2): 36–37. September 2007. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  34. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 12 (6.2): 36–37. September 2008. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  35. ^ "2013 Top 50 steel Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 17 (6.2): 34–35. September 2013. Archived from the original on October 19, 2013. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  36. ^ a b Hawker, Mitch. "Steel Roller Coaster Poll 12 Year Results Table (1999 - 2012)". Best Roller Coaster Poll. Retrieved June 27, 2013. 

External links[edit]