SeaWorld Orlando unveiled plans Thursday to open a twisting water rapid ride that will be the centerpiece of a new themed rainforest attraction.
Infinity Falls is scheduled to debut in the summer of 2018. The ride’s 40-foot drop is the world’s tallest river rapid drop, according to SeaWorld officials.
Inspired by the South American rainforests, riders will rush through the feel of an exhilarating Class IV rapids. Guests will sit atop a family-style raft that will wind through a lush jungle setting. A vertical elevator will lift each raft to the top of the ride.
Infinity Falls is the first new attraction SeaWorld Orlando has opened since the Mako roller coaster debuted last June. The new ride will be located between the Nautilus Theater and Shamu Stadium.
“Infinity Falls continues our commitment to investing in our park, and developing new ways to entertain and inspire our guests with meaningful, fun-filled vacations,” said Jim Dean, president of SeaWorld Orlando Parks.
The new ride is just another example of how SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment is moving away from animal shows, which have been criticized by animal rights groups for keeping wild animals captive. The company stopped breeding orcas last year and has vowed to focus on education and conservation.
SeaWorld Orlando’s last new ride was the Mako roller coast, which debuted last June.
The designers were inspired by the flowing rivers found in the rainforests of South America. Infinity Falls will be the core of a newly themed rainforest canopy area, which has yet to be named.
After riding the rapids, guests can explore the village and take part in interactive experiences that combine play with education to create a positive impact on freshwater ecosystems. SeaWorld’s Animal Ambassadors will also provide up-close encounters with animals native to South America.