SAN DIEGO — SeaWorld San Diego announced the beginning of construction Friday of its new “dive” roller coaster, advertised as the tallest, fastest and longest such coaster in the state.
The theme park began preparing the coaster’s future site for the installation of its foundation and utilities Friday, which is also National Roller Coaster Day. SeaWorld first announced plans to build the ride in January in an area adjacent to the Journey to Atlantis attraction that has previously been a parking lot.
The coaster will climb 153 feet before plunging back down 143 feet while reaching speeds of more than 60 mph, according to SeaWorld officials. The ride will include nearly 2,500 feet of track and “floorless” cars that will hold 18 riders in three six-person rows.
The park originally announced that the ride would be named “Mako” after the endangered shark species, which is considered the fastest shark in the world. However, that name is still up in the air and park officials are considering several options.
The ride will also feature elements of aquatic animal conservation. SeaWorld plans to partner with a conservation group for the ride’s conservation efforts, but that partnership also remains to be determined.
The ride is being built by Swiss roller coaster manufacturer Bolliger and Mabillard. The company has built four other roller coasters for SeaWorld since 1997, one in San Antonio and the other three at SeaWorld Orlando.
The new ride is scheduled to open next summer.