SAN DIEGO — The wait is nearly over for SeaWorld’s new roller coaster, which has been tempting San Diegans for several years now as its progress faces delays from the coronavirus pandemic.
“Emperor,” which the park says will become California’s “tallest and fastest floorless dive coaster,” will finally debut on March 12. For those who can’t wait any longer for the thrills, SeaWorld released new video this week that shows the entire ride from a first-person perspective.
The coaster looks as-advertised, with its most exhilarating moment arguably coming about 50 seconds in. After a suspenseful, 153-foot climb up a hill, riders are treated to panoramic views of San Diego as they round a bend and prepare for the ride’s vertical drop. There’s a satisfying “hiss” as the car comes to a halt, suspended briefly at a 45-degree angle. Riders enjoy a final glimpse of scenic Mission Bay and the rest of the park sprawling before them. Then they plunge at speeds of more than 60 miles per hour.
Each car on the dive coaster will hold 18 brave riders in rows of six. After the aforementioned plunge, they’ll be treated to more inversions, loops, turns and barrel rolls.
Thrill-seekers who want to check out the ride can buy SeaWorld tickets and season passes on the park’s website. There will be opportunities for season pass holders to try the coaster as early as March 2, but if you’re buying a single-day ticket to ride Emperor, make sure to book it for March 12 or later.
That month is looking like a boon for San Diego residents and visitors looking for entertainment options in the county: The new Sesame Place theme park in Chula Vista, owned by SeaWorld’s parent company, will also open in March.
You can watch an unedited version of the POV ride in the video player below: