It’s finally happening.
After long pandemic delays, SeaWorld Orlando’s newest roller coaster will open Feb. 18, the company announced Monday.
Ice Breaker was originally expected to open in the spring of 2020 but like so many things in life during these COVID-19 times, that was upended. For months, SeaWorld-goers walked past the dormant coaster, wondering when you might hear passengers’ screams coming from the ride. It seemed like long ago — almost two years exactly — when the park held a construction tour for the media to show off the ride’s progress.
Now with a firm opening date, the Orlando-based SeaWorld Entertainment hopes the new ride will draw in guests as theme parks continue to recover from the costly pandemic.
The orange and blue steel coaster built by Premier Rides travels up to 52 mph and has a height requirement of at least 48 inches, which makes it a more family-friendly thrill ride.
“Named after the icy Arctic summits, Ice Breaker will feature four airtime-filled launches, both backward and forward, culminating in a reverse launch into the steepest beyond vertical drop in Florida — a 93 feet tall spike with a 100-degree angle. The thrills continue as riders fly over a near-vertical tophat maneuver into a series of exciting twists, turns, and airtime hills,” the company said in a news release.
SeaWorld annual passholders can preview Ice Breaker before the opening date, getting to ride it as early as Jan. 30 until Feb. 15.
Ice Breaker isn’t the only big ride opening at SeaWorld’s Florida properties.
Iron Gwazi, which Busch Gardens Tampa Bay describes as the world’s tallest and fastest hybrid coaster, opens in March, according to the park’s website. Iron Gwazi will run as a wood and steel hybrid coaster and is built by the famed Rocky Mountain Construction.