Coaster review: Kraken

krakenAnother coaster from SeaWorld Orlando. This one predates Manta by quite a few years but that in no way diminishes its quality as a great coaster.

I first went on this coaster back in 2003, with my eldest last time we were in Florida, and again this time in 2009.

I didn’t have to wait very long at all to get onto this one. Again, as a single rider it was fairly easy to get onto the back row of the coaster, the position of choice for the true coaster-fan.

Kraken Vital Statistics

  • Type of ride: Steel ‘floorless’ coaster
  • Height: 149 feet
  • First drop: 145 feet
  • Top speed: 65 mph
  • Track length: 4177 feet
  • Riders: 32 (8 rows of 4 seats)
  • Ride time: 2:02 minutes**
  • Inversions: 7
  • Max G:Force: 3.9
  • Height requirement: 54 inches
  • Opened: 01/06/2000
  • Manufacturer: Bolliger and Mabillard, Monthey, Switzerland

For the uninitiated, a ‘floorless’ coaster has you sitting in a moulded seat with your legs dangling, the wheels and track are still below you, unlike an ‘inverted’ coaster where your legs dangle but the seats hang below the track. The ‘Nemesis’ coaster at Alton Towers, UK and ‘Montu’ at Busch Gardens are inverted coasters.

Kraken kicks off in the normal manner with the usual clack-clack-clack climb to peak at a not-to-be-sniffed-at 149 feet, giving a great view of the park below before twisting into its intial drop of 145 feet. Straight out of this is the first vertical inversion, then with a slight twist and time to draw breath straight into a second vertical loop. Plenty of Gs involved so far and you know there’s more to come.

Next, we have a clockwise corkscrew roll, before things get a bit messy with a twisty upwards loop and another roll into a swoop below ground level followed by a vertical loop and below ground level again before some touch of brakes leading into the second act.

Coming out of the brakes section, we dip below ground level again, up into a final vertical loop, dipping briefly below the surface again before popping up and diving underground and resurfacing into a final clockwise corkscrew inversion to finish.

If I could fault anything it would be that they could have ‘themed’ it up a bit around the underground concrete ‘bunkers’ as only the last underground one was made to look like rocks and had the Kraken draped around it.

** Like Manta, the ‘official’ ride time includes the initial climb and final trail round to the start again, neither of which I think really count. Actual ride time, from the end of the climb to ‘brakes on’ at the end is approx 1 minute.

Highly recommended.

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