March has been a big month for SeaWorld – first, the company announced a slew of mini-changes and -additions coming to its flagship Orlando theme park throughout 2021, and, now, it has revealed a brand-new opening date for its record-breaking water slide at its Aquatica water park.
(Before we plunge [get it?] into the news, don’t forget to get your SeaWorld, Busch Gardens, and Aquatica tickets here.)
Riptide Race is a dueling racer waterslide, meaning that two teams of two riders will, well, race against one another to the splashy finish line. This immediately puts it in the history books, not only becoming Florida’s first dueling slide, but also, for the time being, its sole one – all of which doesn’t mention the other record that it breaks, as well, becoming the tallest dueling racer in the word, at 68 feet. And here are a few other fun stats for you to chew on: Riptide will feature low walls on its two side-by-side tracks, which will allow the two groups of guests to eye each other on the way down, and it’ll feature some “high-speed tunnels, twists, and turns” along its 650 feet of slide. It also features the family-friendly height requirement of 42 inches, which means that children should be able to race against their parents – a set-up that, the company hopes, will act as a nice complement to its pre-existent roster of for-the-whole-family watery attractions.
Riptide Race was originally unveiled all the way back in November 2019, with a proposed opening date sometime in spring 2020, but COVID-19 sidelined those plans – an occurrence which has similarly afflicted the rest of SeaWorld’s Florida parks, such as Ice Breaker at SeaWorld Orlando and Iron Gwazi at Busch Gardens Tampa (not to mention all of the other theme and water parks all over the rest of the country, if not the world, of course). Getting Aquatica’s newest, headline-grabbing attraction back on track – and doing so in the immediate future! – is yet another sure sign of the amusement industry beginning to look past the pandemic, joining the likes of Universal kicking off its so-called announcement season for this fall’s Halloween Horror Nights or announcing the resumption of construction work on Epic Universe, its newest park.
But, it turns out, SeaWorld will be betting on Aquatica even more than just with the new water slide – joining Riptide will be two new dining venues, presenting the opportunity for guests to “refuel between races.” First up is Ke-Re’s Bar, an open-air sports bar that features some tropical theming and libations, headlined by this trio (with descriptions directly from the company):
- Pineapple Plunge – Malibu Coconut Rum and pineapple with a twist of Amaretto and butterscotch
- Orlando Vice – a flavorful fusion of two island classics: the Pina Colada and the strawberry daiquiri
- Ke-Re’s Riptide Margarita – Milagro Tequila, mixed with lemonade and the perfect balance of cranberry, strawberry, and lime
Joining it will soon be Papa’s Cantina, which provides the food portion of the new dining equation. Look for a “vibrant, one-of-a-kind” culinary experience here, serving up such comfort classics as empanadas and wings (along with some alcoholic flights, of course).
Aquatica Orlando’s Ke-Re’s Bar is already opened, Riptide Racers bows on Saturday, April 3, and Papa’s Cantina will follow suit “soon.”
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