SAN DIEGO, CA
Is SeaWorld San Diego’s new Tidal Twister a ground-breaking new roller coaster creation or a souped-up thrill ride? And more importantly: What does it matter SeaWorld’s newest attraction has stirred up a lot of debate about whether it’s a full-fledged roller coaster or a next-generation flat ride, industry-speak for the spinning attractions typically found on carnival midways. But the foremost authority on roller coasters — the Roller Coaster Database — has rendered its decision. After consulting with the ride manufacturer, RCDB has added Tidal Twister to its comprehensive collection of nearly 5,000 coasters worldwide.
SeaWorld’s “world’s first” Tidal Twister dueling roller coaster debuting Friday doesn’t actually have trains that race one another and won’t look like any roller coaster you’ve ever seen. Tidal Twister has ignited debate among ride enthusiasts about whether the trains “coast” along the track, a key qualification of a coaster, and if either train can “win” the duel.
Florida-based ride manufacturer Skyline Attractions calls the first-of-its-kind ride a high-speed dueling figure eight roller coaster. The new SeaWorld ride features a nearly 300-foot-long single-rail figure-eight track with an airtime camelback hill that crosses over a zero-g corkscrew twist in the middle. The 30-mph Skywarp Horizon ride from Skyline Attractions has two trains that are attached in the middle and powered by drive wheels. The track rises a mere 16 feet above the ground and will be surrounded by faux rock work.