As SeaWorld continues its transformation into a serious theme park contender it is adding rides at quite a rate. One of The Biggest and Fastest Rides added to date is the Electric Eel. Standing as the tallest and Fastest Coaster in San Diego the Eel is quite a ride. We take a ride on the beast to see if it can help Seaworld recover from the recent damage done by the negative press. We have to say we like this ride a LOT, but it does have a few issues.
- Location – Seaworld – San Diego
- Type – LSM Launch Coaster
- Duration – 55 Secs
- Height Restriction – 54 In
- Average Queue time – 5 mins – 60 Mins
- Skip The Line – YES – $24.99
- Additional Info – Multi-Launch coaster, topping out at 62Mph and 150ft, Tallest and Fastest Coaster in San Diego.
What is The Electric Eel
The Ride is a Skyrocket II, the same as the Superman: Ultimate Flight Ride at Six Flags Discovery Kindom. This is a tried and tested ride and perfect for SeaWorld due to its compact size and relatively inexpensive construction. However, the ride is not for the faint-hearted. At Parks such as SeaWorld, rides are often a little watered down compared to some of the best. But Electric Eel is nothing of the sort! It is a top-shelf coaster that would fit into any lineup at any theme park.
The Launched coaster is seriously intimidating and causes quite a few Queue line back-outs. The Ride features really solid ride elements that are genuinely thrilling. Honestly, we didn’t expect such a great ride to be lurking in SeaWorld and it really is a great surprise and one that bodes well for SeaWorld’s Future. If they keep adding rides like this to the lineup they will have a great attraction for years to come, well after the Orca have moved on!
The Queue Theming is non-existent. You meander around a Sparse garden area with a few cacti and other desert plants before reaching the main loading area. Here you start to get exposed to the full impact of the ride as the Train blasts through the station. We have never seen so many people queue for a ride and back out right at the station. We think as people are at SeaWorld and not at a Sixflags they do not expect a ride of this magnitude and getting up close to the train barreling through the station at approaching 60 MPH sends them running!
The big problem with the Electric Eel is its single carriage and the fact the entire ride needs to perform its sequence before unloading and then re-loading. When the Park gets busy this leads to horrendous wait times and if the Park rebuilds its image and consumer trust it could become un-rideable due to intolerable wait times. As it was the park was very quiet when we visited and we pretty much walked on. But with only 18 Riders per sequence and a tiny throughput of 500-700 per hour MAX, any serious numbers at the park and things will become terrible.
The Ride itself is a serious beast of a ride. The LSM Launch system is not actually strong enough to accelerate the trains up the initial lift hill so you get an initial launch, a stall mid-way up the hill, you roll back and receive another launch in reverse, and then stall right at the top of the Non-Inverting loop. For this reason the Back Row is by far the best position. You are almost inverted and VERY high at this second Stall point and it adds a lot to the experience. The Front’s as always is great but at this stall you are pretty low and still upright.
The final pass through the station where the final kick gets you up to 60+mph and over the top. This is a really powerful blast of electric power and it really feels like you are moving now, The train RAORS through the station, and it’s very unnerving to those waiting in line. You fly up the lift hill through a barrel roll and onto the top hat.
The Train is now 150feet up but the process of getting up the hill has scrubbed off most of the speed so when you hit the Zero-G roll, it’s a slow agonizing roll with 150ft of space between you and the ground and only a lap bar holding you in place! It is quite a rush! You then enter the non-inverting loop where the speed rebuilds and while you don’t actually go upside down through this section it feels very much like it and is another thrilling part of the ride.
The final roll gets you back to the station where the train is slowed down, heads back up the first hill, stalls, and arrives back into the station backward, where it is brought to a halt.
The ride itself is silky smooth, with no bangs or jolts just effortless smooth loops and rolls. There is a little tension on your waist while you are suspended upside down at the top, but really that’s the least of your concerns as you just hope the lap bar holds and stops you falling 150ft to the ground…or maybe that’s just me.
Overall the Ride is a very solid piece of engineering, The Skyrocket II has a few different versions now up and running around the world and is a well-respected and admired ride. It really has a lot going for it as a ride system. The issue is its limited capacity and the lack of any real theme. Yes, it’s blue and is called the Electric Eel, but that’s about it. It is also very much a thrill ride. It is big, intimidating, and properly scary. Only real fans of high-octane rides will enjoy or even entertain this ride. We travel the Country and ride everything, and there has not been a single ride we have balked at, So for us, Electric Eel was just damn good fun, but other people were simply fleeing in terror!
While SeaWorld has always been seen as a Family Animal Park, it is transitioning fast into a fully-fledged themepark and Electric Eel is front and center of this evolution.
The fact it is a copycat ride is also not a big draw for the park, you can ride this in quite a few places, with the best still being Superman: Ultimate Flight Ride at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom. So this is not a banker to get people into the park just for the rides. But it’s a solid addition to what is already a fun and interesting place to visit.
In Short, it’s not a reason to visit the park, but it’s definitely something to not miss if you do decide to visit.
Have Your Say
Have you Ridden Electric Eel? What did you think? Did it take you a bit by surprise being this badass in SeaWorld? Or did you actually find it a bit tame? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. If you have any questions fire away as well, we would love to hear from you.