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SeaWorld San Diego’s Emperor dive coaster opens in March 2022

SeaWorld San Diego is launching the Emperor coaster in March 2022 – the tallest, fastest and longest dive coaster in California.

seaworld san diego emperor coaster

SeaWorld is opening a slew of new rides next year, and has now revealed that SeaWorld San Diego’s penguin-themed dive coaster Emperor is launching in March 2022.

Named after the world’s largest penguin, Emperor will be the tallest, fastest and longest dive coaster in California, as well as the state’s only floorless dive coaster.

Emperor will mimic the aquatic bird’s underwater diving ability, climbing to 153 feet and suspending riders on a 45-degree angle at the crown of the ride before they take on a 143-foot facedown vertical drop.

California’s only floorless dive coaster

Riders will enjoy speeds of more than 60mph, as well as inversions, an Immelmann loop, barrel roll, hammerhead turn and flat spin across nearly 2,500 feet of track.

Floorless ride cars can hold 18 riders in three, six-person rows. SeaWorld San Diego says this is the first seating configuration of its kind in North America.

“Our fans are eager to ride Emperor and we’re grateful for their enthusiasm and excitement to jump on this adrenaline-pumping dive coaster,” said John Dunlap, SeaWorld San Diego park president.

“Due to the unprecedented challenges of the last two years, the opening was delayed, we know this has been disappointing and we’d like to thank our guests for their patience for this long-awaited ride to open.”

Emperor named after world’s largest penguin

SeaWorld Emperor ride

SeaWorld San Diego is the only destination in North America to house emperor penguins. Other species at the attraction include king, Adélie, gentoo, chinstrap and macaroni penguins.

Dunlap added: “Opening just in time for spring break, this free-falling, feet-dangling ride is going to provide even more thrills that our guests and coaster fanatics have been craving.”

SeaWorld Orlando is finally opening its Ice Breaker roller coaster, the park’s first launch coaster, in February 2022. Ice Breaker features the steepest beyond vertical drop in Florida.

Elsewhere, SeaWorld San Antonio unveiled a new ‘screaming swing’ ride called Tidal Surge, while Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is set to open the Iron Gwazi hybrid coaster in March 2022.

Images: SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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