This past week, SeaWorld San Antonio in San Antonio, Texas opened the world’s first “rescue coaster”, the Wave Breaker. So of course this coaster-loving momma just HAD to try the new attraction out. Here’s what we thought:
SeaWorld’s mission on informing visitors of their marine animal rescues just got stronger with the opening of SeaWorld San Antonio’s newest attraction, Wave Breaker: The Rescue Coaster. In fact, the inspiration for the coaster is inspired by the SeaWorld Rescue Team, which have helped to rescue and rehabilitate more than 30,000 animals over the company’s 50 year history.
Wave Breaker: The Rescue Coaster
Wave Breaker: The Rescue Coaster is the first ride in the SeaWorld portfolio that combines the thrill of a roller coaster with the adrenaline rush of a marine animal rescue. The sign of the coaster resembles a jet-ski, as you sit straddled, gripping the handlebars as you race over the water to rescue one of 3 animals – a sea turtle, sea lions, or a dolphin.
Wave Breaker features:
- Launch coaster: Uses friction drive propulsion, which uses electricity and friction to quickly propel the coaster train through two exciting launches.
- More than 2,600 feet of track
- Maximum Speed: 44 mph
- Seats: 8 coaches per train, 2 riders per coach
- Ride Duration: More than three minutes
- Height Requirement: 48 inches
- A Marine Sea Rescue theme throughout the queue line featuring stories & facts about rescue and rehabilitation.
What Did We Think of Wave Breaker
Wave Breaker is a unique experience, as it’s the first coaster that I have ridden that has you seated like you are riding a motorcycle. As you twist and turn on the coaster, you find yourself leaning into the banks and you actually feel as if you are on a jet-ski.
You begin the ride in an enclosed bay, where you learn what marine mission you will be participating in, a sea turtle, sea lions, or a dolphin. Then the door opens and you a launched out onto your mission. The majority of the ride is over water and includes many subtle twists and turns that truly make you feel as if you are jet-skiing over the water to get to your rescue.
The ride is incredibly smooth and quiet compared to most coasters. If you watch it from the ground, it looks calm and slower than it actually is. It features two fast launches – once at the beginning and once in the middle of the ride. Both launches are fast and smooth, shooting you over a hill and gliding down the other side.
It’s a very fun and unique ride. If you are not a fan of fast speeds and turns, this ride is not for you. But we honestly felt it was tamer than the other two coasters SeaWorld San Antonio offers. I personally feel it was much smoother and more enjoyable than the Steel Eel. And I love that the whole family can ride this coaster.
Because it is new to the park, my suggestion is to ride it early in the day, as the lines will be long this summer as the crowds get bigger.
Wave Breaker: The Rescue Coaster Story
The inspiration for Wave Breaker is a new way for SeaWorld to tell their rescue story. While most theme park rides are based on ride experience and thrills, Wave Breaker adds another dimension to the thrill. “We wanted to find a way to take these inspiration stories of animal rescues and marry it to a great ride where you feel like you are part of that story.” explains Mike Denninger, VP of Theme Park Development for SeaWorld Parks.
While at the Media Day for Wave Breaker, we had the opportunity to speak with 2 members of the SeaWorld Rescue Team who told our family stories of rescuing a shark and sea turtles. There are rescue teams at all the SeaWorld parks, including at SeaWorld San Antonio, who work with the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network to go down to the Texas Coast to help rescue and even rehabilitate at the park.
The Wave Breaker is a great opportunity for visitors to enjoy a thrilling ride while learning more about the mission of SeaWorld parks.
Disclosure: My family and I were invited to ride Wave Breaker on Media Day. I was not compensated for this article. All opinions are my own.