SeaWorld San Diego has provided a behind-the-scenes look at some of the exciting features of the park’s new Bolliger & Mabillard dive coaster, Emperor, and unveiled one of the ride cars for the first time.
Emperor is a floorless dive coaster and will, in fact, be the tallest, fastest, and longest dive coaster on the West Coast, as well as the only floorless dive coaster. Named for the world’s largest penguin, Emperor will mimic this species’ amazing underwater diving ability. Fun fact: emperors can dive to a depth of 1,800 feet (549 m). Riders on the Emperor coaster will climb to 153 feet (47 m), where they will be suspended on a 45º angle at the crown of the ride before plunging down a 143 foot (44 m) facedown vertical drop accelerating to more than 60 mph (97 kph). Emperor is next to Journey to Atlantis on the east side of the park.
The coaster will feature two floorless trains each holding 18 riders in three, six-person rows. The graphics on the nose plates of the coaster are purple/blue and yellow, an homage to the bright coloration of an emperor penguin. SeaWorld San Diego is the only place in the western hemisphere with an emperor colony and was the first zoological facility in the world to breed the species. While cueing up to ride Emperor, riders can learn important and inspiring conservation information about penguins in general, with a special focus on emperors.
This exciting new attraction will also highlight an important new animal-conservation partnership between SeaWorld and Penguins International, an organisation dedicated to penguin conservation and research that will focus on penguin awareness and the conservation needs of this special aquatic bird. The partnership will include collaboration on educational elements that will be integrated into the attraction experience to educate guests on everything from penguin behaviour and the effects of climate change on their habitats, to the work that SeaWorld and Penguins International are doing to help the species.
The partnership with SeaWorld will help advance Penguin International’s conservation programs. A portion of the proceeds from sales of penguin merchandise will also be donated to Penguins International to support their important conservation, education and research efforts.