SeaWorld San Diego’s ALL-NEW Arctic Rescue, the longest and fastest straddle coaster on the West Coast, has opened to the public on June 2. Named as one of the most anticipated coasters of the year by USA Today 10Best, this will be the sixth coaster to open at the Coaster Capital of San Diego following the immediate success of Emperor and Electric Eel, plus guest favourites of Manta, Journey to Atlantis and Tidal Twister. The ride will benefit nonprofit conservation partner Alaska SeaLife Center, to help raise awareness of arctic animals, including Alaskan marine animals in need in keeping with the Arctic-inspired coaster.
SeaWorld’s coolest new coaster invites guests to hop on a snowmobile and launch at up to 40 mph on a chilly adventure as they race through the unpredictable arctic climate to help animals in danger. Guests experience three exhilarating launches, each faster than the last, at 34, 38 and 40 miles per hour. The straddle snowmobile-style seats allow for an immersive ride experience for each rider as they lean into banks and turns and glide up heights as tall as 30 feet along the 2,800 feet of track. With its 48-inch height requirement, adventure seekers of all ages will enjoy the thrills and chills of Arctic Rescue. Manufactured by Intamin Worldwide, each train holds 16 riders in eight, two-person rows.
“Arctic Rescue adds a new, family-friendly thrill to the park that we’re sure guests will enjoy for years to come,” said Jim Lake, Park President. “We’re excited to bring the tallest, longest straddle coaster on the west coast to San Diego and provide new, lifelong family memories for our guests. With every innovation in the park, we push our mission forward of educating guests about marine mammals while providing them unique thrills and excitement they can’t find anywhere else.”
SeaWorld San Diego partnered with nonprofit rescue and research facility Alaska SeaLife Center for the opening of Arctic Rescue, which is located alongside the Wild Arctic exhibit. The partnership pays homage to the new coaster that was inspired by icy Arctic summits. Guests will learn more about Alaska’s wildlife and the need for conservation as they queue to board this highly anticipated ride at SeaWorld. SeaWorld Rescue San Diego also partners with the Alaska SeaLife Center on the rescue and rehabilitation of Alaskan animals including seals, sea lions, belugas, otters, and walruses, among others.
The Alaska SeaLife Center is the only facility in Alaska that combines a public aquarium with marine research, education, and wildlife response. While primarily dedicated to marine research and education, the nonprofit Center is the only permanent marine mammal rescue and rehabilitation facility in Alaska.
“The Alaska SeaLife Center is excited to expand our partnership with SeaWorld. For many years, SeaWorld has been a devoted supporter of the Center’s Wildlife Response program,” said Tara L. Riemer, President and CEO of the Alaska SeaLife Center. “SeaWorld has assisted the Center with incredible animal rescues including Mitik the walrus and Tyonek the beluga whale. This new collaboration will enhance our mission to share Arctic rescue and conservation stories with the public, especially SeaWorld San Diego visitors.”
Following their fun experience on the ride, guests are encouraged to walk through the Wild Arctic exhibit and witness the wonders of the park’s resident beluga whales, walruses, and ringed seals whose wild populations are being threatened by a loss of Arctic sea ice. Mitik, a resident walrus at Wild Arctic, was rescued in 2012 off the coast of Alaska at just a couple of months old by a local fisherman and rehabilitated by the Alaska SeaLife Center before being deemed non-releasable and finding a permanent home at SeaWorld San Diego. Mitik illustrates the importance of the relationship between SeaWorld San Diego and the Alaska SeaLife Center, and the bravery of the rescue teams whose experience is simulated by guests when riding Arctic Rescue.