Kraken at SeaWorld Orlando | Roller Coaster Review
Kraken at SeaWorld Orlando has been one of Florida’s most popular roller coasters for years. It’s a floorless B&M looper where riders face seven loops in unprotected, open air seating. I got the chance to ride it when I visited SeaWorld for the opening of Manta a few years ago.
Kraken’s Setting & Theme
Until Manta came on the scene, Kraken was SeaWorld’s main attraction in terms of rides. It sits next to a pond towards the far end of the park. As you approach the ride you certainly can’t miss its theme. SeaWorld, in typical SeaWorld Parks fashion, spent some money theming it with a large Kraken head near the entrance and some Kraken eggs in a small cave that non-riders can check out.
Other early B&M loopers Bizarro & Scream! largely borrow their layouts from one of my all-time favorite coasters; Kumba at Busch Gardens Tampa’s. Kraken however has a slightly different succession of inversions.
After riders board the relatively comfortable trains, the floor pulls away, the train is dispatched, and it begins its trip up the lift hill. 140 feet up, riders plummet back to the ground. I remember feeling more airtime and intensity on Kraken’s straight drop than the typical swooping drops found on so many B&M-designed coasters. Immediately, Kraken begins its onslaught of seven loops.
Kraken’s Loop-Filled Course
The train rises into a large vertical loop and then right into one of my favorite loops, the dive loop. They’re graceful, not too forceful inversions, but there’s sometimes a strong downward push of positive g-forces after you exit them. For me there was a little of this sensation on Kraken, but not as much as I remember experiencing on Kumba. The floorless trains head skyward again for an always pleasing zero-g roll. Then, back down and then right back up into a cobra roll. The cobra roll includes the fourth and fifth inversions back-to-back maybe five or six stories in the air. Next, riders get a short moment to catch their breath during a quick brake run. Kraken’s pacing during this first two-thirds is a bit too crammed in my opinion. They’re all fun and well-executed inversions, but I’d prefer them a little more spaced out.
Kraken’s Great Finale
Kraken finishes really strong. The train is dumped out of the brake run and into a trench. There are horizontal concrete bars that provide a nice head chopper effect right before the riders are pulled up into a small vertical loop. It’s much tighter than the opening loop and the g-forces are great. Still, with a good bit of speed, the train climbs a small hill and then dives into a dark tunnel. A surprise corkscrew is waiting for riders right as they charge back into daylight on the other side of the tunnel. The inversion spins the trains one last time before the station brakes. There’s a good shot of the corkscrew in the photo to the right.
Kraken’s an excellent roller coaster overall. It offers a thrilling ride that includes seven loops that are experienced without pummeling your head very much, if at all. It’s open seating provides an added feeling of vulnerability or freedom depending on how much of a thrill seeker you may be. In comparison to other top looping coasters, I’d put it just a bit below Kumba. I prefer Kumba’s layout and I feel that it’s pacing and spacing of elements is a bit better. That ride’s also picturesque and a personal favorite. Kraken’s better than Bizarro at Six Flags Great Adventure (formerly Medusa) and just a smidge better than Superman Krypton Coaster at Six Flags Fiesta Texas. Final Rating – 9.0 (Excellent)
Kraken is rated ‘TH’ for Thrilling. It’s a 3 out of 5 on my Thrill Scale because of its seven loops. Also, the floorless trains won’t make timid riders any more comfortable as they’re completely open. See the full scale here.
What’s Your Take?
What do you think of Kraken? Leave a comment below. Images courtesy of CoasterImage.