After missing its scheduled summer opening, the Infinity Falls raft ride is now set to debut on Oct. 4 at SeaWorld Orlando.
The ride is touted as the world’s tallest river rapids attraction, featuring a 40-foot drop and an elevator-like vertical lift system. The eight-passenger raft will go areas themed like “a lush rainforest environment,” featuring multiple drops and turns and some interactive water elements.
“From the excitement of the thrilling rapids, to the unique vertical lift element, Infinity Falls is an adventure that appeals to the entire family,” said Mark Pauls, parks president of SeaWorld Orlando.
Ahead of its official debut, the ride will be in soft opening mode through Oct. 3. This means SeaWorld guests may be able to experience the attraction, but there’s an increased chance for unexplained and unannounced closures.
First announced in April 2017, the ride was originally supposed to open in the summer. Construction on the ride’s 67-foot tower topped out in July. The expectation was an official opening date would shortly follow, but no such announcement came.
SeaWorld’s interim CEO, John Reilly, mentioned on the company’s second-quarter earnings call in August that it will aim to open new attractions in time for summer in the future.
“I’m disappointed with the late opening here, he said. “And we’re committed going forward in that we expect to open our ride attractions and events sooner in the season so that we can have the benefit of the summer season.”
A new, hit attraction could add to what’s already been a positive 2018 for SeaWorld after years of declining attendance and image problems. Through the first six months of the year, the company reported 700,000 more guests had visited their parks across the country compared to the same period in 2017.