Sports & Entertainment

SeaWorld, Electric Eel Roller Coaster

Built within the existing developed theme park area of SeaWorld San Diego, the Electric Eel Roller Coaster is the second phase of SeaWorld's new Ocean Explorer attraction—completed by Rudolph and Sletten in 2018.  The building character of the new coaster project evokes the next generation of sea bases with clean, sleeker lines and edgy rockwork.

The main ride attraction launches from a SeaWorld base where guests are invited to experience the power of an eel. Designed as a combination of loops, twists and a nearly 150-foot-high ascent, Electric Eel gives riders an upside-down view of picturesque Mission Bay and propels them forward and backward as they speed through the ride’s station house.

Serving as General Contractor, R&S collaborated with SeaWorld’s in-house construction management team to successfully lead the project which broke ground September 2017 and completed two weeks early to open in May 2018.

Working within a fast-track schedule in a busy, operational theme park environment, the project team was charged with building a new 150ft tall, triple launch roller coaster capable of reaching a top speed of 62 mph, making it the fastest, tallest coaster in San Diego. Additionally, four, single-story support buildings were constructed, including a 1,130sf ride station, 830sf maintenance station, 100sf locker station, and a 450sf educational building. Complementing the new coaster ride, the educational building features a live eel habitat with a collection of moray eels.

The new attraction is sited on 1.2-acres within an inland portion of the theme park, rather than along the shoreline, to minimize views of the structure. Its “light green” and “pastel blue” color scheme was chosen to fit with the “Electric Eel” seascape theme of the attraction area, as well as to minimize its appearance by blending in with the sky on a clear day. Additionally, the roller coaster design consists solely of the track for the 18-passenger train and the open scaffolding necessary to hold the track aloft, resulting in a structure that is approximately 85% open to light and air.

Resulting from the collaborative team approach on the project, all project goals were met or exceeded, theme park attendance has reportedly spiked, and the Electric Eel attraction received accolades from theme-park enthusiasts and attendees.

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