SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) - There's a new wild ride in town and SeaWorld is calling it EEL-ectrifying.
The much-anticipated Electric Eel, San Diego’s tallest and fastest roller coaster, launched at SeaWorld Thursday.
News 8's Ashley Jacobs took a ride on the coaster with a News 8 viewer (see below for more on that).
This new coaster hopes to "eelectrify" even the bravest thrill seekers, making them feel like an eel as they slither and dart around the track. It's the only ride with an upside-down view of Mission Bay.
The opening of the ride comes as the theme park reports a bump in attendance. But will this be enough to fix the park's tarnished image?
Video of Ashley with lucky viewer, Ellex King from the East Village, who won a ride on CBS News 8 for the first time.
As part of its comeback plan, the company has ended orca breeding and says its changed its shows to emphasize education and natural behavior over flashy lights and loud music.
It's also introducing new attractions that don't involve animals, like the Electric Eel.
"People are going to learn a lot of facts about electric eels... [and] rescue programs here as well," said SeaWorld's Tim Roberts.
The Electric Eel propels riders forward and backward as they speed through the ride’s station at more than 60 mph in seconds. Riders then rocket skyward nearly 150 feet to brave an inverted “heartline” roll and a twisting loop for an exciting feeling of airtime.
The Electric Eel area also features an interactive learning experience called Mission: Deep Discovery.
It's a habitat with mysterious moray eels, which was opened as part of the new Ocean Explorer attraction in summer 2017.
With the addition of the ride and increased attendance things have been looking up for the park.
Shares of SeaWorld Entertainment Corp. spiked Tuesday after the company announced a 15 percent jump in attendance during the first quarter. The company also reported a revenue increase of $30.8 million since the first quarter of 2017.
"We are happy about the progress we made in the first quarter and the continued positive results we are seeing year-to-date in April and are laser focused on continuing to execute as we enter the peak summer season," said John Reilly, Interim Chief Executive Officer of SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. "Our first quarter results were mainly driven by our new marketing and communications initiatives, the anticipation and receptivity of our new rides, attractions and events and new promotional pricing strategies. Despite this strong start to the year, we know we have significant opportunity for further improvement."
Congratulations Ellex King who watches @CBS8 @thecwsandiego from East Village! He won a ride on live TV with me on the new #ElectricEel @ClydeSeaWorldSD @HeatherNews8 @EricNews8 @nichellenews8 pic.twitter.com/oVEZoM2OEA— Ashley Jacobs (@AshleyNews8) May 10, 2018
News 8's Ashley Jacobs and Tim Roberts with SeaWorld take a ride on the much-anticipated Electric Eel, San Diego’s tallest roller coaster!
Beginning Thursday through July 4, 2018, U.S. veterans and up to three guests may enjoy free admission to SeaWorld San Diego as well as other SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment properties across the country. This new offer joins the ongoing Waves of Honor program that offers complimentary admission to any U.S. active duty military, activated or drilling reservist, or National Guardsman once per year, for the military personnel and as many as three direct dependents.
A San Diego family is continuing their fight for justice for their son after his accused killer, a twice deported undocumented immigrant, fled to Mexico.
Cooler than normal temperatures continue through Saturday. Marine layer clouds scatter by Friday afternoon, but persist through Saturday.
Amid an uptick of shootings across San Diego, on Thursday, community came together to discuss ways to stop gun violence in San Diego neighborhoods.
Crews dousing the smoldering remnants of a roughly 60-acre wildfire near Pala Casino had the burn area 100 percent contained Thursday night.
A terrifying scene played out in La Mesa earlier this week when an eighth grader was chased by a man with machetes on her way to school. The man accused – who allegedly had two machetes as he chased the 13-year-old girl – was shot by police and on Thursday was charged under unusual circumstances.
Imagine being at work, when suddenly your boss demands you stop what you're doing and take a break. In Thursday's Zevely Zone, Jeff's in the East Village with the San Diego Humane Society's first "kitten crash."
For four hours on Tuesday, a domestic violence suspect held police off with SWAT snipers positioned on rooftops in a Bay Terraces neighborhood. On Thursday, the man arrested answered to charges in court.
A furnace mishap at a South Bay funeral home briefly sent smoke from a crematorium into the air near the interchange of Interstate 5 and state Route 54 interchange Thursday, authorities reported.