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!
Investigators say 54-year-old Peter Chadwick killed his wife back in 2012 and disappeared while he was free on bond in 2015. Now they're hoping a new reward and podcast series will help lead to his capture.
A judge in Pasadena on Wednesday dismissed 10 felony charges against a so-called "Dine-and-Dash Dater" who was accused of walking out on checks while on first dates with numerous women at Southland restaurants.
The City of Santee has formed a new committee to tackle issues stemming from highway 52. Residents say ever since the extension from the 125 to the 67 opened several years ago traffic in the city has gotten steadily worse.
A bill giving cities in San Diego County and the county itself the authority to establish a neighborhood electric vehicle transportation plan was signed into law Wednesday by Gov. Jerry Brown.
The 14th annual Mama's Pies Thanksgiving Bake Sale will run from Oct. 8 through Nov. 19 and include two dozen local bakers, it was announced Wednesday.
Six more women may be victims of sexual assault by a prominent orthopedic surgeon who was featured in a TV reality dating show, and his girlfriend, authorities said Wednesday.
A group of San Diego-based federal, state and local officials on Wednesday announced their support for Measure G, the SDSU West Initiative, and their opposition to Measure E, the SoccerCity initiative.
A San Diego couple says they are heartbroken after their family pet was attacked by another dog at a park in Allied Gardens over the weekend. The couple's dog is in critical condition and News 8 has learned this isn’t the first incident at the park involving the same dogs.
After a season-opening loss against Stanford, suddenly the San Diego State University Aztec football team could make it three wins in a row on Saturday night when they host Eastern Michigan. News 8's John Howard has a preview of the game from SDCCU Stadium.
Think for a moment about who your best friend is; now consider if you could open a nonprofit organization with that friend to help the world. What would it be?