Friday, December 6, 2013

Sea World Australia Opens New Storm Water Coaster

Combining a Mack water coaster with some pretty neat theming has resulted in the newly opened Storm Coaster at Sea World - Gold Coast in Australia.  The parks down there are just starting their summer season, so a new ride opening is perfect timing for the crowds on holiday!

Themed to the effects of a strong tropical cyclone, the Storm Coaster features the final plunge seen above that takes coast guard themed boats below the water level, then up into rapids that lead to a themed indoor section.  Designed by Mack rides, the Storm Coaster is a clone of the water coaster at Djurs Sommerlan.  It stands just under 100 feet tall and has a large helix section after the initial lift hill, a maximum speed of over 40 miles per hour and around 1,500 feet of track.

The theming used to show the effects of the storm includes many crashed shipping containers, upturned boats, and other props under the ride's main path.

After the final plunge there is, of course, a splash, but during the gradual turn back to the boarding area there are special effects scenes of damage that depict faux flames and water explosions - a pretty neat way to end the experience.  There's a low-quality point of view video of the Storm Coaster as part of this news article, if you want to take a peek.

The Storm Coaster replaced the Bermuda Triangle dark/splash ride at Sea World - Gold Coast, which closed in 2010.  I'm pleased to see another instillation of the Mack water coaster hardware, as there have been relatively few over the years.  North America park visitors will recognize the system as having been used on Journey to Atlantis in both SeaWorld Orlando and San Diego.