SeaWorld San Diego’s plans to build “the tallest, fastest and longest dive coaster” in California received approval this week, and the amusement park said construction will likely begin within the next few months.
A spokesperson for SeaWorld San Diego confirmed Thursday that the California Coastal Commission had approved the dive coaster one day prior, when SeaWorld presented commissioners with its plans for the new attraction.
The ride — dubbed “Mako” — is slated to open in 2020 in the southeast corner of the park, next to the Journey to Atlantis attraction.
SeaWorld San Diego first announced plans for the coaster back in January, saying Mako would also be “the only floorless dive coaster in the state.” On Thursday, the amusement park said that’s still the case.
“Dive” coasters are roller coasters with near vertical drops, and “floorless” means riders are seated and harnessed with their feet dangling in the air.
Mako’s near vertical drop comes in the form of a 143-foot, facedown plunge at speeds faster than 60 mph, SeaWorld San Diego said. Riders will also zoom through a series of inversions, barrel rolls, an Immelmann loop, hammerhead turns and flat spins across nearly 2,500 feet of coaster track.
Guests will ride in rows of six, so there will be plenty of chances to glance over and see the wild expressions on riders’ faces as they brave the thrilling attraction.
SeaWorld San Diego said the theme of Mako will revolve around animal conservation, with a spotlight on sharks, and includes a partnership with a shark conservation group.