ORLANDO, Fla. – SeaWorld announced Wednesday that it is building Orlando's tallest, fastest, longest roller coaster.
Scheduled to open in summer 2016, Mako will rise 200 feet and travel 73 mph over 4,760 feet of steel track -- nearly a mile long.
Mako sharks -- also called "blue pointers" -- are known for their top speed, making extreme jumps and the ability to quickly change course as they pursue their prey, SeaWorld said.
The new coaster will become one of the world's few true hypercoasters, a group of roller coasters known for high speeds and steep drops and hills that create a feeling of weightlessness or "air time." As the coaster cars crest each hill, riders float, nearly weightless, the park said.
"On Mako, you'll experience what it's like to be this apex predator, surging through the water at top speed and chasing prey throughout a massive reef," said Brian Morrow, SeaWorld's attraction creative director. "It will be a wild mix of fear, thrills and fun."
SeaWorld's new hypercoaster will be the centerpiece of the newly themed surrounding realm. A two-acre plaza now will be fully shark-themed, including Mako, Shark Encounter, Sharks Underwater Grill, shops, shark and shipwreck theming and educational experiences featuring sharks.
"It's this blend of education and thrills, immersing guests in an underwater world, that sets a SeaWorld ride apart from others," Morrow said.
Mako will also use a unique sound system to enhance the experience -- and not just for those on the ride, SeaWorld said. The full score of Mako will be heard and follows riders out of the station and up the lift hill. Custom surround effects and musical scores fill the realm, changing as the coaster dives through the area.
At night, specialty lights will accent the coaster trains, realm and track, flickering and shimmering, simulating fish being scattered by a mako on the hunt, the park said.