Sea World Orlando is home to a couple of very good roller coasters. They started out with Kraken, the first B&M Floorless coaster in Florida, then opened Manta, the only B&M Flying coaster in Florida. Now, recently opened to the public, Mako is the only B&M Hyper coaster in Florida.
I personally was not there for opening day, but I was able to attend the Media Event on the day before and I had multiple opportunities to ride. I will admit, when the POV was released, I was not entirely impressed as I was comparing it to other B&M Hypers like Goliath (Six Flags Over Georgia), Dimondback (Kings Island), and Apollo’s Chariot (Busch Gardens Williamsburg). The ride seems short and condensed, it seemed like there were only a few good hills and it seemed too short in the videos. I think I can safely say that I was proven completely incorrect!
My first ride was very impulsive, I was attending the Media Event to help out with the 8AM-12PM shift so I was not really supposed to ride. But the opportunity was given to me and I jumped on a random seat. This seat happened to be in the 4th row, dead middle of the trains abnormal 7 rows. While the seats were being checked and the Media talent were filming their introductions, I noticed above me an LED light display, blue in color with projected shadows of sharks appearing to be swimming right above your heads. When the train dispatched, this screen turned purple and a school of sharks started to swim towards the front of the station following us out.
The chain lift greeted us immediately, it was quiet and quick, I had just enough time to realize I was on the ride and started to look around at what I could see. Kraken was immediately to the left and further from that, you could get a glimpse of a few slides from Aquatica. Before I knew it, the front of the train was climbing over the crest of the lift hill. The train started to fall over the hill and then continued to pick up speed, as my car started the curve. The drop was phenomenal! It continued to curve steeper and steeper until I finally landed back in my seat. After the drop, there was a “landing” element which was just a simple flat piece of track. This was a nice surprise, one that I was not expecting as coasters usually continue their curve into the next hill. Shooting up the next hill, there was an overbanked turn that seemed to have still provided a lot of air time. The third hill is the most impressive, I honestly think I received a full 5 seconds of airtime just on this hill. The 4th hill went up an S-curve and turned you around to head back to the station. The remaining hills produced plenty of air time for each of them and then comes the Mid-Course Brake Run. It was a little but if a jerk but not bad and it was very brief, then it drops and twists you away from the station, passing it into a full 90 degree side banked hill, and then wraps around the lake into the final brake run.
The train returned to that station and I was in shock, this amazing little coaster packed so much of a punch that I was left breathless and thrilled. It did not seem short, and it was just as much fun being able to re-ride it later that day. After I assisted ACE, I was able to ride it multiple times in multiple seats. There is not a seat on the train that isn’t good, but take these notes into consideration. There is one trim brake (speed check brake) and then a Mid Course Brake Run that feels worse the further back you are in the train. Even in the back row, it will not hurt you, it may just be more of a shock when the train passes through them. If you don’t mind the wind in your face, the front row will give you the best view and you’ll have plenty of airtime. The front row is a lot of fun after the Brake Run because you actually see how much that track twists! Rows 2 and 3 are perfect for those of you who don’t want the ride to be too intense; you will get the air time and the drop will be very manageable. From the 4th row to the last row, the airtime seemed to be about the same for me, but the further back you go, the more intense the drop becomes. In the back row, you FLY over that lift hill into the drop and get thrown out of your seat the entire way down.
Mako is a great addition to Sea World’s B&M collection and a perfect ride to fit in the area they have installed it. The theme around the new area looks amazing, colorful, and inviting. Guy Harvey painted a mural by the exit shop of the ride in dedication to the ride and the area. I hope everyone who visits Sea World is able to experience the area and the ride.
I’d like to give another special Thank You to Sea World and their PR Team for allowing ACE to partake in the Media Day. This opportunity is greatly appreciated and helps build a strong relationship between ACE and the Parks. Among that, I’d like to also thank all of the ACE Members who attended for keeping a professional, yet fun, atmosphere throughout the day. We all had a blast and look forward to riding the ride with other guests!