by Daniel Westfall
I go to many Media Days around the country, and hands-down I have to say that SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, the chain that owns all the SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Parks theme parks as well as Water Country USA and Aquatica water parks is one of the best in terms of hosting these events.
The first thing to say about this is that every employee is happy to have you there. From the parking attendants that make sure you know where to go to the VIP escorts who are there to make sure you have every question answered and that you get everything you need, to the designers and park executives that make themselves available to all the media for easy access and provide great information.
As with most rides there is a strict "no lose articles" policy on this ride, and lockers are provided nearby, but unlike most rides, fanny packs are also provided by the park for riders to put small lose articles in (keys, a phone or a wallet) where you may not want to rent a locker just to stash these items. The fanny packs don't interfere with the restraints, which is really a lap-bar only system with a "comfort collar" that I will explain. The "comfort collar" is there simply for your "comfort" that you have something over your shoulders holding you it, though it is not really part of the restraint system. The straps are fairly lose and do not give any of the feeling of either the "child-lock vests" we had on wing-riders or the "head-banging" issues we had with traditional OTSR restraints.
It was my experience that the ride is most intense in the front row. Here you will experience the most extreme g-forces as you get pulled out of your seat through several negative-g and zero-g elements. Those preferring a bit tamer ride should ride in the middle of the coaster where you still get a lot of thrills, but a much smoother ride and better chance of being able to "re-ride."