On my recent trip to SeaWorld Orlando I got a fresh (and extra wet) ride on Journey to Atlantis. Water roller coasters are a fairly recent development. They merge the chute the shoot water ride with roller coaster elements. There are three Journey to Atlantis water roller coasters at the three SeaWorld parks.
After boarding the ride’s boats, I shoved off into the world of Atlantis, the mythical underwater city. For a while, guests float their way through the elaborately themed scenery until the tour takes a turn. The female voice you’ve been hearing as your guide turns out to be Medusa. Spoiler Alert: She’s not very hospitable and apparently, she’d like to send riders down a large drop. Maybe she’s upset about the Bizarro re-theming. The boat rounds a corner and approaches a dark lift hill with glowing green eyes at the top. This has to be pretty freaky for younger kids. As you crest the hill, the doors swing open and you drop down the ride’s largest plunge. I’ve never really gotten that wet and I tend to sit towards the front middle.
Now outside for on-lookers to watch, the boat floats around a curve to the right. It just so happened that the skies had opened up since I had boarded. So, even though I survived the splash without getting too wet, I was getting rained on steadily. The boat passed a ride op standing at a kind of mid-point station. After a very brief pause, the boat dropped into a bit small stretch of rapids and then up another lift hill as Medusa starts talking trash again. In case you haven’t noticed, there have been zero roller coaster elements to this point. At the top of this lift, you find yourself once again in Atlantis.
This second indoor section was quite a bit shorter and the boat’s pace seemed quickened. Almost out of nowhere the boat dives into a black hole of sorts. During this drop it’s pitch black and you finally get to ride the rails as the boat’s on a tracked roller coaster section. I couldn’t see much, but riding that huge vehicle on that wide track feels pretty cool and it’s very different than your standard coaster. After a short swoop and a turn the boat emerged in the sunlight once again with another smaller splash. Then, the boat floated on back to the station.
Journey to Atlantis has solid theming. It’s also lengthy, so you shouldn’t feel cheated if you had a long wait. I understand that Journey to Atlantis might have been a kind of a prototype as it was MACK’s first water roller coaster, but I do wish it had a larger roller coaster section. Still, for guests used to a typical water ride, Journey to Atlantis will blow them away. I’ll give it a 6 as it provides an above average experience for a roller coaster. I just wish that more of it was like an actual roller coaster. Most of the points here are for the ride’s theming.
Final Rating – 6.0 (Above Average)
Journey to Atlantis is by no means a traditional roller coaster, but it’s as intense as roller coasters in my Traditional category. It’s a 2 out of 5 on my Thrill Scale for its medium-sized drops. It’s a great family ride as long as your younger kids won’t be too scared of Medusa.
Read about SeaWorld Orlando’s world-class 1-2 punch in my reviews of Kraken and Manta.
What do you think of Journey to Atlantis at SeaWorld? Leave a comment below. Images courtesy of CoasterImage.