Take a quick ride (legally) in Mission Bay on Friday when SeaWorld San Diego’s new Arctic Rescue, the longest and fastest roller coaster on the West Coast, opens to the public.
Named one of the most anticipated roller coasters of the year by USA Today 10Best, this will be the sixth roller coaster in the park, following Emperor, Electric Eel, Manta, Journey to Atlantis and Tidal Twister.
However, it is not just an exciting journey. It will also benefit non-profit conservation partner Alaska SeaLife Center, to help raise awareness for Arctic animals, including Alaskan marine animals in need.
The roller coaster simulates a snowmobile rescue ride, with three launches of up to 40 mph. Riders straddle snowmobile-style seats that lean into the embankments and twist and slide to heights of up to 30 feet along 2,800 feet of runway.
Manufactured by Intamin Worldwide, each train seats 16 passengers in eight two-person rows. There is a 48 inch height requirement so some youth will be able to ride.
“Arctic Rescue adds a new family thrill to the park that we are sure visitors will enjoy for years to come,” said Jim Lake, president of SeaWorld San Diego, adding that the goal is to combine education about marine mammals with “thrills.” and enthusiasm” that park visitors cannot find anywhere else.
The roller coaster is located next to the Wild Arctic exhibit.
Visitors will be able to learn more about Alaskan wildlife and the need for conservation while lining up for the ride. SeaWorld Rescue San Diego also partners with the Alaska center to rescue and rehabilitate animals, including seals, sea lions, beluga whales, otters and walruses.
The center is the only facility in Alaska that combines a public aquarium with marine research, education, and wildlife response.
“The Alaska SeaLife Center is pleased to expand our partnership with SeaWorld. For many years, SeaWorld has been a devoted supporter of the center’s Wildlife Response program,” said Tara L. Riemer, the center’s president and CEO.
Previous association included adopting Mitik, a walrus at SeaWorld San Diego rescued in 2012 off the coast of Alaska. She was deemed unbreakable, so SeaWorld took him in; as riders leave Arctic Rescue, they can tour Wild Arctic to see Mitik.
Tickets start at $70 for the remainder of the Memorial Day sale, which ends Sunday. Regular admission starts at $110.