Kraken @ SeaWorld Orlando | Roller Coaster Reviews

Roller Coaster Reviews

Kraken at SeaWorld Orlando | Roller Coaster ReviewKraken at SeaWorld Orlando
Kraken at SeaWorld Orlando has been one of Florida’s most popular roller coasters for years. It’s a floorless B&M looper where riders face seven loops in unprotected, open air seating. I got the chance to ride it when I visited SeaWorld for the opening of Manta a few years ago.

Kraken’s Setting & Theme
Until Manta came on the scene, Kraken was SeaWorld’s main attraction in terms of rides. It sits next to a pond towards the far end of the park. As you approach the ride you certainly can’t miss its theme. SeaWorld, in typical SeaWorld Parks fashion, spent some money theming it with a large Kraken head near the entrance and some Kraken eggs in a small cave that non-riders can check out.

Other early B&M loopers Bizarro & Scream! largely borrow their layouts from one of my all-time favorite coasters; Kumba at Busch Gardens Tampa’s. Kraken however has a slightly different succession of inversions.

After riders board the relatively comfortable trains, the floor pulls away, the train is dispatched, and it begins its trip up the lift hill. 140 feet up, riders plummet back to the ground. I remember feeling more airtime and intensity on Kraken’s straight drop than the typical swooping drops found on so many B&M-designed coasters. Immediately, Kraken begins its onslaught of seven loops.

Kraken’s Loop-Filled Course
The train rises into a large vertical loop and then right into one of my favorite loops, the dive loop. They’re graceful, not too forceful inversions, but there’s sometimes a strong downward push of positive g-forces after you exit them. For me there was a little of this sensation on Kraken, but not as much as I remember experiencing on Kumba. The floorless trains head skyward again for an always pleasing zero-g roll. Then, back down and then right back up into a cobra roll. The cobra roll includes the fourth and fifth inversions back-to-back maybe five or six stories in the air. Next, riders get a short moment to catch their breath during a quick brake run. Kraken’s pacing during this first two-thirds is a bit too crammed in my opinion. They’re all fun and well-executed inversions, but I’d prefer them a little more spaced out.

Kraken’s Great FinaleKraken - SeaWorld Orlando - Roller Coaster Review
Kraken finishes really strong. The train is dumped out of the brake run and into a trench. There are horizontal concrete bars that provide a nice head chopper effect right before the riders are pulled up into a small vertical loop. It’s much tighter than the opening loop and the g-forces are great. Still, with a good bit of speed, the train climbs a small hill and then dives into a dark tunnel. A surprise corkscrew is waiting for riders right as they charge back into daylight on the other side of the tunnel. The inversion spins the trains one last time before the station brakes. There’s a good shot of the corkscrew in the photo to the right.

My Take
Kraken’s an excellent roller coaster overall. It offers a thrilling ride that includes seven loops that are experienced without pummeling your head very much, if at all. It’s open seating provides an added feeling of vulnerability or freedom depending on how much of a thrill seeker you may be. In comparison to other top looping coasters, I’d put it just a bit below Kumba. I prefer Kumba’s layout and I feel that it’s pacing and spacing of elements is a bit better. That ride’s also picturesque and a personal favorite. Kraken’s better than Bizarro at Six Flags Great Adventure (formerly Medusa) and just a smidge better than Superman Krypton Coaster at Six Flags Fiesta Texas. Final Rating – 9.0 (Excellent)

Note – This video was filmed by professionals with permission from the park. For safety reasons, please DO NOT take a camera on a roller coaster.

Kraken is rated ‘TH’ for Thrilling. It’s a 3 out of 5 on my Thrill Scale because of its seven loops. Also, the floorless trains won’t make timid riders any more comfortable as they’re completely open. See the full scale here.

What’s Your Take?
What do you think of Kraken? Leave a comment below. Images courtesy of CoasterImage.

8 Comments

  1. My favorite ride here in Orlando and probably tied with Montu as my favorite overall in Florida. Kraken definitely has the best drop in Orlando with it being straight rather than your traditional B&M swooping loop as you said.

    I have to disagree with your assessment of the first part of the ride being crammed. With all the space that SeaWorld had to build on, Kraken probably has one of the best and most well-spaced zero-g roll of them all in my opinion. The only other difference between the layouts of Kraken and Kumba in that regard is that Kumba's track before the cobra roll is SLIGHTLY more stretched out since it has to traverse under the bridge leading to the Congo River Rapids. Otherwise, they are pretty much identical. I think it's Kumba's jungle terrain that adds an additional element to its layout (and we all know how much you like terrain coasters).

    I would say that Kraken's last half is the part that feels crammed to me. The one thing that I wish Kraken had was more time in the subterranean dive before the corkscrew. A full-helix a la Kumba before the corkscrew would have been the perfect ending to the ride. Kumba's helix is probably my favorite part of that ride (reach out and touch the grass!!!). But still, Kraken is my favorite local coaster and I give it a 9 as well objectively.

    Reply
    • Crammed might not have been the best word. There was just something about the spacing of the elements. On Kumba the layout in the beginning is nearly the same, but I felt like I was 'going somewhere' while I was going through those inversions. It might have more to with the atmosphere and terrain of Kumba.

      The succession of elements in the final third or so are close together but they are different elements. A drop, loop, hill, drop into tunnel, corkscrew. At the beginning it was up into a loop, back to the ground, up into another type of inversion and so on.

      Reply
  2. Kraken- love this ride. When I went to seaworld 5 or 6 years ago, I kept going on this. There wasnt much of a line, so I went on like 3 or 4 times in a row. It is a very fun, good ride. The theming is excellent, especially with the giant kraken in front of the coaster! I agree with the 9 rating.

    Reply
  3. I like Kraken, it is probably my favorite floorless coaster.

    Reply
  4. I think my expectations were too high for Kraken as it left me feeling underwhelmed. Medusa at SFDK has a nearly identical beginning and I loved that ride so I can only assume I expected too much as Kraken has a far superior ending. The phenomenal ending was just too little, too late. Don't get me wrong this is easily a 9 for me and it was a fantastic ride, just not the Kumba killer everyone made it out to be.

    Reply
  5. I rode Kraken a couple times last year. When I first got down to that area, it was closed. :^( The first time I rode it, I waited out a 2-hour rain delay. Some would say that Wildfire at SDC is near floorless http://rcdb.com/720.htm?p=25535 What do you say. Wildfire was also my first B&M.

    Reply
  6. I think that the ride could have some more interaction with the terrain, like Manta. And I also think that the tunnels could be made of something that asphalt, like beautiful Montu "themed" Egiptian trenches. The ride is good, though, but I think i would give it a 8.

    Reply
  7. I definitely found this to be the best floorless I've been on, waaaay better than anything else of its type. I did enjoy that there was a great deal of terrain use, but I agree that they could have made some prettier terrain out of it. However, I found Kraken to be very intense and not at all rough…I loved it.

    Reply

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