by Joe Tracy, editor of Theme Park Magazine
This June, SeaWorld San Diego will introduce its latest high-octane attraction, Arctic Rescue. Holding the title of the quickest and lengthiest straddle coaster on the West Coast, this close-to-the-ground thrill ride promises an exhilarating experience and a captivating story mixed with educational encounters. Let’s delve into what’s in store…
A Trip to the Wild Arctic
When guests enter the queue for Artic Rescue, they will head on a journey to the Wild Arctic Base Station, where they learn about the many animals affected by environmental issues. The Wild Arctic exhibit houses various animals, including beluga whales, walruses, and seals, many of which are directly impacted by Arctic sea ice loss. Guests will witness interactive exhibits and glimpses of these majestic sea creatures. By incorporating the pre-existing exhibit into the ride, SeaWorld San Diego aims to provide guests with a unique educational opportunity to learn about these animals and the issues they face in their natural habitat.
The base camp, a remnant of the bygone Wild Arctic simulator ride, has been intricately designed to instill in visitors the sensation of travelling to a genuine base camp.
Arctic Rescue: The Ride
The call has come in! Guests are needed to board a snowmobile-style vehicle to embark on an outdoor adventure through the unpredictable Arctic climate for an important rescue mission! It’s time to head to Mission Outpost and Base Camp!
Manufactured by Intamin Worldwide, the Arctic Rescue roller coaster carries 16 passengers in eight two-person rows. Arctic Rescue will have three separate launches that gradually increase in speed, reaching up to 40 mph. The roller coaster’s track extends 2,800 feet, taking riders as high as 30 feet in the air but mostly staying low to the ground to simulate the snowmobile experience.
“The ride is inspired by the heroic efforts of the SeaWorld Rescue Team and their dedication to rescuing animals in distress and in need of our care,” a SeaWorld San Diego representative told Theme Park Magazine. “On Arctic Rescue, guests will hop on a snowmobile and be on a rescue mission through the unpredictable Arctic climate to help animals in danger.”
To enhance the immersive nature of the experience, Arctic Rescue’s theming includes a Quonset Hut over the second launch, a helicopter in the ride area, rescue vehicles, and an overhead LED light feature in the station. This light feature will mimic a skylight, creating the appearance of the night sky or an aurora borealis. These elements pay homage to the former Wild Arctic simulator ride that Arctic Rescue is replacing.
Thrills and Education – The Story of Mitik
SeaWorld San Diego wants guests not just to experience the thrill of Arctic Rescue but to also learn about the efforts being made to save majestic creatures.
“Some of the animals impacted most by climate change and Arctic sea loss are ones you can see up-close here at our park in our Wild Arctic exhibit, including belugas, walruses, and ringed seals. Seeing and learning more about these animals inspire our guests to make changes that can make an impact on our world.”
Mitik, a resident walrus among the five at SeaWorld, serves as a poignant example of the challenges these magnificent animals face, according to SeaWorld San Diego. Found swimming alone and in search of sustenance off the Alaskan coast when he was just nine weeks old, Mitik was rescued by the Alaska Sea Life Center. Following a period of rehabilitation, he transitioned through several facilities before finally finding a permanent home at SeaWorld San Diego. See Explore More (Videos) below for information on Mitik.
As part of the ride experience, guests will spot a jet helicopter, an homage to the earlier Wild Arctic simulator ride (in operation from 1997-2019). This prior attraction, often characterized as an enthralling trek to Base Station Wild Arctic, took passengers across the astonishing and hazardous icy terrain of the Arctic Circle. Once situated within the Wild Arctic exhibit, the helicopter now resides as part of the decor during the ride experience.
SeaWorld San Diego
SeaWorld San Diego has a long-standing commitment to environmental conservation and education, and the addition of Arctic Rescue to its roster of attractions is a testament to this dedication. This innovative roller coaster not only provides guests with a thrilling, adrenaline-fueled experience but also encourages them to reflect on the importance of protecting the environment and its inhabitants.
In addition to Arctic Rescue, SeaWorld San Diego is home to a variety of other attractions, including the themed Journey to Atlantis ride, Manta, Tidal Twister, Electric Eel, and Emperor, which opened in March 2022. The park is continuously seeking ways to expand and enhance its offerings, catering to both thrill-seekers and those interested in learning more about the natural world and its inhabitants. Arctic Rescue is expected to continue that tradition when it opens soon.
Explore More: Videos
Arctic Rescue Teaser Video
Learn more about Mitik and the SeaWorld San Diego team
Explore More: Resources
- Website: SeaWorld San Diego