The revamp of the Kraken Roller Coaster at SeaWorld Orlando is nearly complete, and when the ride reopens on June 16, 2017, it will bear little resemblance to its original form. Now renamed Kraken Unleased, it will immerse riders in an undersea world and an exciting story line that includes the namesake monster, along with other legendary and extinct sea creatures. Even the well-known beast guarding the ride's entrance will give way to a brand-new creature.

Old roller coaster adds new virtual reality

Kraken Unleased retains the ride’s original track, which includes two vertical loops and a total of seven inversions.

At 149 feet tall, it’s quite a bit lower than the towering 200 foot Mako roller coaster at SeaWorld Orlando, but it’s still known for packing a wallop. Now the real-world thrills will be enhanced by a VR headset that covers the rider’s eyes and ears, blocking out the normal sights and sounds with a musical score and stunning visuals.

SeaWorld shares Kraken Unleashed details

SeaWorld Orlando recently gave the media details on what park guests can expect this summer when they challenge Kraken Unleashed. You can see the presentation in the video below. It includes screen shots of the virtual reality environment, as well as a teaser video designed to stoke excitement:

After the group presentation at SeaWorld Orlando, Brian Morrow, Vice-President of Theme Park Experience Design, talked about Kraken Unleashed and the park’s other big upcoming project, the new Infinity Falls river raft ride that’s slated for 2018.

You can hear all the details directly from Morrow in the video below.

Coaster is part of SeaWorld's new direction

The new ride experiences, which follow last year’s opening of Mako, are part of a shift at SeaWorld Orlando away from its live animal shows and toward an emphasis on thrill rides and a rescue and conservation message that runs through multiple attractions at the park.

For example, although Mako is a roller coaster designed with a breathtaking amount of air time, it has elements throughout the queue line that focus on teaching guests about sharks and their plight in the wild. The park's other major roller coaster, Manta, is focused on the namesake creature. Riders glide below the track, and the ride includes an aquarium where guests can observe mantas and other aquatic animals.

June 16, 2017, is the grand opening date for Kraken Unleashed at SeaWorld Orlando, so guests who want to immerse themselves in the virtual reality experience will be able to do so just in time for the summer vacation season.