Wikipedia defines kraken as “a legendary sea monster of giant size that is said to dwell off the coasts of Norway and Greenland.” In Orlando, the sea monster lives on as a roller coaster at SeaWorld.
While it’s not the newest coaster in the park, it still gives a good ride and is the only floorless roller coaster in town. Launched in 2000, Kraken held the title for the tallest and longest coaster in the state of Florida until Disney opened Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom in 2006.
Kraken soars 153 feet in the air and has a max speed of 65 mph. By contrast, Mako at SeaWorld stands 200 feet tall and has a max speed of 73 mph.
Once you board the train, a shoulder harness secures you in your seat and the floor retracts before leaving the station. You climb a lift hill before you drop 144 feet and begin you journey through a series of loops, including a zero-gravity loop, rolls and a final spin before returning to the station.
Just last year, SeaWorld tried to give the roller coaster some new life by installing virtual reality headsets on the ride and gave it the new name, Kraken Unleashed. It was known simply as Kraken until this revision.
To experience VR, the coaster’s restraints were modified to accomodate the headsets. Riders could choose to wear them or not. Those that did viewed a VR movie that involved underwater scenes with the legendary monster itself.
The changeover to VR increased load times dramatically. Team members would need to assist riders putting on the headsets, making sure they had a proper fit so they would not fly off during the ride, and then assist with removal and cleaning.
Somewhere along the way, someone realized this was an issue and in January 2018, VR was removed and the old restraints installed. Officially, SeaWorld has said VR is temporairly unavailable due to “technical reasons.”
Shortly after VR was installed, I rode it. The video was not clear and I left the ride feeling a little woozy, so I was happy to see it return to its original state. Whether or not VR will make a comeback is yet to be seen.
As an 18 year old coaster, she’s doesn’t give the smoothest ride and can be a headbanger at times. But being Orlando’s only floorless coaster, she offers something unique to the theme park lineup.
Join me in this 4K HD front-row POV video for a ride on Kraken Unleashed at SeaWorld in Orlando – VR not included!