SeaWorld Orlando Kraken Unleashed – The New Level of Theme Park Immersion

On Friday June 16th, 2017, SeaWorld Orlando premiered Kraken Unleashed, one of the new virtual reality (VR) roller coasters popping up around the theme park world. We were one of the very first to experience this new technology on SeaWorld’s Kraken roller coaster, continue reading for our thoughts and review of Kraken Unleashed. Kraken Unleashed Logo

Kraken Unleashe RPOV Riders

The first thing we should mention is that when guests approach Kraken Unleashed, they will be asked to get a return time ticket (similar to the virtual line system at Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon at Universal Studios Florida) and will return later in the day with a minimal wait. The fact that SeaWorld is already implementing this system means they know how busy this will be!

Once you enter the Kraken Unleashed queue, you’ll notice the area has been re-themed to an expedition facility. Posters line the walls reminiscent of spectacular underwater events that take place (or perhaps a mythical land at a theme park just down the street). Inside the queue, safety videos now constantly remind guests how the process of loading and unloading will go, and more importantly how to put on their VR helmets.

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Once you board your coaster train, you’ll notice a black pouch in front of you, where your VR helmet is stored. I should note that you are not required to wear the VR helmets, if you are worried about that causing a negative experience on your roller coaster ride. The helmets themselves are extremely difficult to put on. However, there is a SeaWorld team member manning each row of the vehicles to help get guests setup quickly and more importantly get you on your way. I see this being a huge issue for the Operations team. In writing this, I am not aware if the current dispatch times from the station have improved, but as far as I have personally heard, the cycle times are high (meaning the rides hourly capacity will be low).

Kraken Unleashed Preparation

The coaster itself has not changed, so for a frequent rider of the coaster like myself adding the VR is a nice upgrade. I suggest, if this is your first time riding Kraken, ride the coaster without the helmet first, then a second time (if you can handle it) with the VR. The VR experience is remarkable. The clarity of what you’re seeing paired up with the motions of the coaster ride, makes an amazing remarkable experience that SeaWorld has truly succeeded in. Below is my ride through of the coaster along with the FULL Virtual Reality experience.

If you get the chance to head to SeaWorld Orlando this summer, and you are brave enough to conquer it, then experience Kraken Unleashed. This ride upgrade blew me away and I cannot wait to ride this coaster once again!

DISCLOSURE: SeaWorld Orlando invited us to this media event for the 2017 offerings. However all opinions expressed are those of the author. All photos and video produced by Matt Dobrovolsky. For more family travel news, reviews, and trip reports, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on InstagramTwitter and “like” our Facebook page, too.

About Matt Dobrovolsky

Matt is an avid theme park lover and has been going to Disney World since the age of three. Matt was known as the "Disney Geek" all throughout school and in 2013 he moved to Orlando, Florida to finish his Hospitality Management degree at University of Central Florida- Rosen College of Hospitality Mgmt. During his time at Rosen, Matt got the opportunity to work for Disney Legend Ron Logan who is now a professor at UCF. Matt has been working for Disney since 2010 at the Disney Store in Paramus, NJ and was a participant of the Disney College Program in Spring 2011. In 2014, he began his career with The Walt Disney World Resort on the Fastpass+ Team at Magic Kingdom and since then has worked at many attractions including Mission Space, Test Track and was part of the opening team for Star Wars Launch Bay at Hollywood Studios. Matt currently works at Star Tours at Hollywood Studios and runs a YouTube channel: DarthVader92 showcasing the latest from the Theme Parks in Central Florida and the attractions themselves.