Tween reporter's first impressions of SeaWorld Orlando's new Mako roller coaster
My 11-year-old daughter has not yet met a roller coaster she didn’t enjoy, and SeaWorld Orlando’s Mako hypercoaster is no exception. She rode it several times during a media preview day and again the next day with her dad. Here are some of her thoughts about the new attraction, which is Orlando’s tallest, longest and fastest coaster to date:
** The hypercoaster lives up to its hype. Both my daughter and my husband rode it repeatedly and found it thrilling. The first 200-foot hill is the tallest – and most nerve-wracking – in Orlando, and the series of hills afterward deliver on airtime.
** My daughter said that she especially enjoyed the end of the Mako ride when the trains travel through Shark Wreck Reef, the new area of the park dedicated to shark education. At night, visitors on the ground will see lights that flash to simulate fish dispersing when a mako shark is hunting its prey.
** Others may like that 90 percent of the almost mile-long ride takes riders over water, according to Mike Denninger, vice president of theme park development and design. This supports the idea that riders are supposed to feel as if they are a mako shark.
** My daughter rode in the front row and the back row of a Mako train (two times each) on media day, and she said she liked the back better because it’s a more exciting ride. Ride designers explain why here. She recommended, though, that if guests are nervous about this coaster, they should choose a center row for more stability.
** Both my husband and my daughter, however, like SeaWorld’s Manta better than Mako because they like the inversions and corkscrew features. That’s personal preference, of course.
** Also, they found Mako’s queue less enticing than that of Manta. Mako’s riders join a queue that is half outside and half inside. The inside portion features two video screens, one for safety explanations and one with shark conservation information. Compare that to Manta’s queue, which is mostly inside with air-conditioning and colorful tanks of fish.
** Finally, a reminder: Guests cannot bring bags in the queue or on the ride. Lockers are available at the start of the queue for $1 for one hour and can be purchased through a self-service kiosk. There are unattended small bins in the boarding area for phones, sunglasses and other pocket belongings.
Take a look at Mako for yourself with this video of my daughter's first ride on the attraction:
DISCLAIMER: My family and I are annual pass members at SeaWorld Orlando. However, admission was complimentary for my daughter, son and myself, and we were given access to ride Mako and interview team members on Mako media day.