02182-20230601 SeaWorld San Diego Media Day—Arctic Rescue coaster+ORCA Encounter&audio&training+Manta&Electric Eel coasters+SeaWorld Rescue-R3

New Arctic Rescue straddle coaster at SeaWorld San Diego is AWESOME

SeaWorld San Diego has been undergoing a major transformation. For thrill seekers, there are several spectacular rollercoasters.

Does the thought of going really fast on a snowmobile, motorcycle or quad get your adrenaline pumping? SeaWorld has you covered, as they launch the “fastest and longest straddle coaster on the West Coast” (2,800 feet of track).

As the backstory goes, the ice is melting and the Arctic animals are in peril. It’s time to hop on your snowmobile, hold on tight to the handlebars and ride to the rescue on the brand-new, family-friendly Arctic Rescue straddle coaster — at speeds up to 40 miles per hour.

The experience is about as close as you can get to blasting along a trail on a snowmobile (or a motorcycle or a quad). FUN TIP: try to ride in the very front, where it is just you and the off-road trail ahead.

Riding the Arctic Rescue straddle coaster is like riding a real off-road vehicle. You get on it just like you’d get on a snowmobile, motorcycle or quad. As you lift your leg over the center section, grab hold of the two grips on the handlebars. Once underway, your speed builds sharply, as you head out on the trail. Lean into the high-speed, banked turns and imagine that you’re twisting the throttle. Hang on tight as you accelerate hard through the three launch sections.

You’ll surely want to ride this again and again!

Of course, there is much more to see and do at SeaWorld San Diego, with marine life, many long-term exhibits and shows, and seasonal and holiday-themed entertainment throughout the year.

One of my favorite things to do at SeaWorld is watch the ORCA Encounter presentation.

This educational and entertaining presentation reveals a wealth of fascinating information about these marvelous and intelligent animals, as they demonstrate their behaviors.

We learned that the Orcas live in every corner of the ocean. There are at least ten types of killer whales, differentiated by their size, social structure and habitat. The differences are subtle, but noticeable when compared side-by-side.

The black and white coloration of the Orcas has a purpose. It camouflages the outline of their bodies in the water, to make it easier for them to surprise and capture their prey.

When viewed from below, the Orcas white bellies match the brighter surface of the water, giving them the perfect camouflage.

It looks like their eyes are in the white patch at their side, but that is a distraction. Their eyes are actually located in the black area just in front of the white patch.

The fin on the back is called the dorsal fin. It is mainly used to help stabilize the Orca in the water, but it can also be used to help regulate body temperature.

On selected evenings, you can end your day with laser shows and fireworks.

There are merchandise and experience perks for annual passholders – and the price of those annual passes are in the range of what some parks charge for a single day or two.

It’s fun to just hang out for a while with the marine life.

You could easily spend your time watching the sea lions cavort, the dolphins swimming around and the Orcas Practicing their behaviors between shows with their devoted trainers. It is obvious that the training is enjoyed by the trainers and Orcas alike. One element of the training included a trainer holding up a large, round mirror. The Orca seemed to be fascinated by its reflection.

While I was watching them, one Orca swam towards me — unseen under the water, and then it surfaced at the edge of the pool, stopping by to basically say hi as far as I could tell, before swimming back to its trainer. Very cool!

I wonder, with all of the new construction, if SeaWorld has plans to build an indoor “dark ride” too, perhaps themed to their marine life conservation efforts?

To find out more about the new Arctic Rescue straddle coaster, the rest of SeaWorld San Diego and the low prices of their annual passes, visit https://seaworld.com/san-diego/.

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Copyright © 2023 by Jan Wagner – AutoMatters & More #793

Jan Wagner


  1. David Sperry on June 30, 2023 at 5:16 pm

    Jan, I thought I had commented but I don’t see it. I’m sure I read somewhere that SeaWorld is phasing out the Orca presentation because of criticism of keeping these beautiful creatures in captivity. Have you heard something similar?

    Great photos! David.

    • Jan Wagner on July 1, 2023 at 12:50 am

      I don’t remember exactly how I was secured to the rollercoaster but I think I would have remembered it if I felt like I was about to go flying off of it.
      MAs for the Orca shows, I am pretty sure that SeaWorld San Diego no longer gets new Orcas for the park, so eventually they will all be gone.

  2. David Sperry on June 30, 2023 at 11:46 am

    Jan, SeaWorld San Diego is doing all out to become a full fledged amusement park, competing head to head with Disney and Universal.

    I do have a few questions. I see that passengers on the Article Rescue straddle the seat and have a safety brace across their knees. But then the coaster actually goes upside down with no apparent safety belts for the upper body. Did you feel safe?

    And I also thought SeaWorld was phasing out their Orca whale presentation because of criticism of such large mammals being held in captivity. Is it only at some locations that Orcas are being discontinued?

    Great photos, David.

  3. Irv on June 30, 2023 at 8:20 am

    Great story and fantastic photographs.

    • Jan Wagner on June 30, 2023 at 8:53 am

      Thank you. This rollercoaster is just the right speed for me — and it does not turn upside down!

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