Share thoughts, photos, and reviews from visits to Carowinds or any other amusement park
By Edwardo
#97296
After getting to my sister’s family’s home Wednesday nite we took most of Thursday easy. Later in the evening my sister, nephew, and I went to Disney Springs to hang out for a while since I’d not been after the change over, and I had Blaze Pizza for dinner (and it was good. Then on Friday morning we headed into Orlando around 11am on our way to Sea World.

We were fortunate that my nephew was able to get us tickets thru work at no cost. We had to meet him and some of his workmates there, and once we arrived at the park I saw the packed parking lot. Of course, I knew it would be busy, this being one of the busiest times of the year in Orlando. Normally I wouldn’t want to go to a new park on such a busy week, but it worked out pretty well.

ImageSea World Orlando 2017 by C. E. Beavers, on Flickr

We got in line for the tram, but that line was massive so we just walked over to the front entrance and met everyone. I’d been texted the previous day that it was around a 45 minute wait just to get tickets and get inside the park, and this was obvious when you got to the gate. We, however, walked over and got in the ten or so minute line to get in the front gate. Our first stop once inside was to Guest Services as my sister wanted to get a Handicapped Pass, since she has some major back issues and other health problems, so standing in line isn’t really an option. Once we had that in hand we went to the restrooms and started our day.

We passed by some pink flamingos, then Manta on our way over to check out Kraken. I wasn’t interested in the VR, neither was my sister. We went to the entrance and, although the park was super packed, the lines were never bad, save for Manta. And the way they do the handicapped pass is that you give them the sheet for eligible rides and they give you a return time, much like Disney. And basically they looked at the wait time and assigned your time based on that. With Kraken being a 30 minute wait we were asked to come back in 30 minutes for our timed ride. As we walked back towards Journey to Atlantis, we noticed that it was a walk-on, so we headed there first.

ImageSea World Orlando 2017 by C. E. Beavers, on Flickr

Journey to Atlantis-I’d read about this ride quite a bit and watched POVs. Interestingly enough, I knew that most of the effects no longer worked, and that was the case today. You head into the first themed section which, according to what I’ve read, is something about a fisherman, a fairy (or some such something), and then an attack by a stationary Medusa like creature that is supposed to attack before going up the first lift. The first drop out the front is fun and you get pretty wet, which isn’t great when its in the 40s in Orlando. Then you splash around, head up inside the building again where nothing really works theming wise, and then there is the coaster section behind the building before you hit the brakes. I think it could be much better, I wish they’d fix the thematic issues, though.

At this point we were ready to head over for my ride on Kraken. You head up the exit stairs and get in the Quick Queue line. After a few moments a ride attendant came down and got us and put us in line for the next train.

ImageSea World Orlando 2017 by C. E. Beavers, on Flickr

Kraken-Loading is…long, at best, but oh well. Of course I never rode prior to the new version of Kraken, but the coaster itself hasn’t changed. I liked the first drop, loop, inversion, etc. I wasn’t aware that the ride dives into deep trenches as much as it does. It may rank as one of my most favorite flourless coasters once I think about it some more.

We walked over towards Mako to get a return time. As we were able to get into the park for free, we’d decide to take advantage of the all you can eat day pass, so after getting a 30 minute return time then went to order our food pass on the phone (which was a pain in the backside, as the Sea World app kept opening up the website and it wouldn’t add the food option to the cart, ugh). Afterwards we walked over by the shark feeding area for a bit. We hung out by the shark area and asked if the shark restaurant was on the all you can eat pass (Its not, but you get a 30% off with it). Then we went by a bird enclosure to look at the birds, before walking thru the Antartica section. Soon it was time for our ride on Mako.

ImageSea World Orlando 2017 by C. E. Beavers, on Flickr

Mako-I had heard great things. My sister had ridden it before and loved it. I like the shark effect on the ceiling. We were strapped in and ready to go in no first drop is major. Loved it. Very Fury-esq, just obviously not as tall. Would have been a great opportunity to add in some major sideways airtime, but we didn’t get any. Bummer, but the element is still fun. Then you hit another large hill with airtime, the turnaround, then three more hills in rapid succession with B&M’s standard floaty airtime. After the mid course brakes you have several small hills, some high banked twists and turns, a dive by the water, then the final brake run. The ride was really great. This may be my new favorite sub-300 foot B&M speed coaster. It definitely gives Goliath in Georgia a run for its money.

After Mako we went to get something to eat and, while in line, my sister ran into someone she graduated with. We ate on the waterfront porch. Then we went back to Antartica to get a return time for Empire of the Penguin, which was a 45 minute wait. This gave us ample time to rest. I’d planned to walk around the park as my sister sat for a while and rested, but there was a 20 minute dolphin show getting ready to start, so we hit that up instead. The show was good, featuring several dolphins and birds, but the music was corny. After the show ended we walked around the long way and went to our next ride.

ImageSea World Orlando 2017 by C. E. Beavers, on Flickr

Empire of the Penguin-I have to say, I had decently high hopes. I’d read some decent reviews, but nothing much about it. The area is very well done, and the pre-show was cute. When I realized it was one of the trackless RFID rides, I was very excited, especially finding out that the ride vehicles spin and bounce. We boarded and…it was over like two minutes later. I mean, the ride section is well done, but its waaaayyyy too short. Then we hit up the penguins at the end of the ride, even went down and watched them diving, which is really just amazing to see. Then we were pretty much done.

The day was getting long and we had yet to ride Manta, so we went to get our return time for that. It was about a 30 minute wait so that was how long until our return. My sister decided to sit by the entrance and I went around the park by myself for some photos. I walked over by the dolphin nursery and over by the lake. I walked around and saw that there was a Shamu show starting later, which would be a great way to end the day. I walked by the area where the new rapids ride is going in, then back across the wooden bridge, eventually making it back to Manta to meet up with my sister and get our ride on.

ImageSea World Orlando 2017 by C. E. Beavers, on Flickr

Manta-I do want to mention that I liked the printed net under the lift with the manta ray design on it. That was cool. So I rode Acrobat back in September at Nagashima Spa Land, which is an exact clone of Manta, meaning I knew what to expect. Granted, this version has slightly nicer scenery, though both rides are well done. And they both have the splash element. I liked the familiar first drop and pretzel loop. One good thing about these layouts is that after that its a decent run at swoops, turns, and some inline twists, not at a high enough speed that makes you sick, especially after the massive positive Gs on the pretzel loop. This was my sister’s first flying coaster. She was not amused. It will likely be her last.

After this my sister definitely needed a break from rides, so we went in to the aquarium. She rested near the entrance to one of the underwater viewing tunnels. We wanted to use our food pass again as some time has passed, so I suggested that we eat dinner, hit up the shark encounter, then hit up the Shamu who. After all of that we’d have another shot to use our food pass one more time before leaving. The shark enclosure was really decent, and larger than I’d expected.
We decided to head on over to the stadium and get decent seats for Shamu, which was a good call. We were able to get really decent seats before it filled up, sit and rest for a while, run to the restroom, and catch the show. It was really well done. I know these shows are on their way out, but I enjoy seeing the Orcas. If they’re going to end up getting rid of the shows everywhere, I hope that they do end up making large well done habitats for the Orcas that people can see and interact with them up close (limited interaction, of course).

ImageSea World Orlando 2017 by C. E. Beavers, on Flickr

It was time to start heading out of the park. We stopped at a bakery and I got a really good oreo cheese cake, then we went towards the entrance and backtracked to another restaurant to have another small snack. The park was still open for a couple hours but we were done. We went to the front of the park and took the tram to the overflow lot. I really liked Sea World. This one was playing a mixture of themed music and Xmas music, unlike the park in San Antonio, which played no music other than around some of the rides. But I enjoyed myself. It was a long, leisurely day. I got all of the credits, save for the kiddy ride as we barely walked thru that section. Next time I’ll go when the weather is a little nicer and watch more shows.

ImageSea World Orlando 2017 by C. E. Beavers, on Flickr

ImageSea World Orlando 2017 by C. E. Beavers, on Flickr

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