#936068 by Kraken
20 Jun 2017, 00:34
Kraken Unleashed should translate to "How to ruin a perfectly good rollercoaster".

Kraken in it's original guise (since it opened in 2000) was a high capacity, smooth floorless rollercoaster. A great fun ride and IMO, probably the best coaster in Orlando, until Mako opened.

But SeaWorld had to jump onto the VR bandwagon and dabble with Kraken to create Kraken Unleashed. Oh dear. You can no longer just queue up for the ride - but you can save a place in line at the ride entrance & be given a return time. Return in the time band and you only have a short wait before you ride. SeaWorld was quiet today and at Noon the return times being given were +315 minutes (yes, over 5hrs away).

You can opt to ride without the VR headset if you wish, but you still have the long wait for your turn to ride. Dispatch times have gone through the floor - it's one train every 5 minutes or so now as all the VR headsets have to be cleaned with alcohol wipes after each use. So we have gone from up to 1500 riders per hour on the original Kraken to about 400 riders per hour on Kraken Unleashed. Progress? I think not.

We rode with the VR headsets on and did not feel that the VR added anything to the ride. Indeed, some riders will find the VR headsets uncomfortable / heavy.

We're in no hurry to ride Kraken Unleashed again - if we do, it'll be without the VR headsets for sure. We'll stick to Mako and Manta. I am worried about Manta though, as Alton Towers have added VR to their ride of the same genre... please SeaWorld - don't ruin Manta too!
#936069 by buns
20 Jun 2017, 04:56

Thanks for the review.

I am inclined to agree - the addition of VR can only disrupt the rider throughput (as the VR sets need to be sanitised I understand) and surely the thrill of a rollercoaster is experiencing the ride itself rather than some "pretend" world.

Hope you are enjoyinf Florida

#936074 by Fuzzy14
20 Jun 2017, 12:33
I saw a video of Kraken Unleashed split screen with the new VR and I don't see how the VR added anything do it. Since I've never been on this ride before (I'm at a loss to explain why I've managed to miss it in 6 visits to SeaWorld) I'll definitely be trying it without.

SeaWorld aren't the only place having trouble with the virtual queuing system, I'm hearing some terrible reports back from Volcano Bay which sounds like they've rushed it into operation without testing. The new Avatar ride at DAK on the other hand, sounds tremendous.
#936075 by Kraken
20 Jun 2017, 13:54
TBH, the virtual queueing system on Kraken Unleashed worked exactly as it should. We returned in our timeslot (which was about 100mins after issue as we got there early) and were on the ride in under 10mins.

The issue is throughput - 400 riders/hr is a joke. At Noon, on a very quiet day, the virtual queue return time was at +315 minutes (over 5hrs). You don't need to be a genius to work out that on busy days - of which SeaWorld has many - huge numbers of guests are going to be unable to experience Kraken Unleashed (or get a virtual queue return time so late in the day they may have left the park before the timeslot becomes valid).

Sorry SeaWorld, Kraken Unleashed is a very backwards step that has cost you a lot of money to implement, but does nothing to enhance the guest experience IMO.

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