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Journey to Atlantis - SeaWorld Orlando

fartsalad

Roller Poster
Is there any insight to what the future holds for JTA in Orlando?

With more than 1000 rides up until 2012, and only recently returning to ride..
seeing it in its current state was shocking.

At least 80% of the theming,story, video projections. Narration, props, animations, light FX, animatronics, music and sound.. all gone. No more popout evil lady at the lift and no chandelier falling on the drop.. Even what's remaining is in sad condition.

I'm aware of the financial implications from. COVID and management shakeups (i was an office staff when they split from AB) but what's happening to SeaWorld Orlando water coaster ?
 
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Jared

Hyper Poster
I thought to myself when getting off the ride yesterday it looked in such a state. Operations were pretty shocking too! Needs a huge cash injection to fix it up.
 

Matt N

CF Legend
I haven’t done JtA since 2016, but I remember the dark ride elements of it being really quite nicely done at the time! It’s a shame to hear that it’s deteriorated so much…

Correct me if I’m wrong, but they’ve removed the whole Medusa narrative from it now, haven’t they? I seem to remember watching a POV where it just played some nice gentle music during the initial dark ride section and then played random dance music for the rest of it… they removed the Medusa storyline to make it less sinister for little kids, didn’t they? It’s a shame, as I remember things like the whole “Leaving so soon? I think not!” before going back into the building being quite cool, but I can understand why they did it, as I can imagine that theming being quite scary for young families.

I also remember the coaster section being quite rough… not quite as rough as something like Poseidon, but not too far off. It’s a shame to hear that the retrack doesn’t appear to have solved this… perhaps roughness is simply inherent within Mack Water Coasters?

I must admit that I’m surprised to hear of the operations being sub-par, though; it dual loads like Poseidon, doesn’t it? With that in mind, I’d have expected it to be a right queue muncher!
 

Nicky Borrill

Strata Poster
We were extremely disappointed in it. but it was our first ride on Wednesday, so we assumed that's just how rubbish it was supposed to be. I wouldn't say the coaster section was rough, there's much worse in florida, but the theming was poor and I see you mention effects... 🤔 There's supposed to be effects on it??? 🙈
 

Matt N

CF Legend
There's supposed to be effects on it??? 🙈
From memory, it used to have some nice lighting effects, some little jumping water features that jumped over your head in the initial dark ride section, some nice projection mapping and a big Medusa head that flashed up over your head with strobe lights. That's what it had when I rode in 2016, anyway.

When I last did it, it had a proper synchronised audio track and storyline... correct me if I'm wrong here, SeaWorld aficionados, but I seem to remember it being something along the lines of:
  • Some fisherman gives you a magical seahorse, who takes you to the underwater city of Atlantis.
  • A friendly mermaid greets you and lures you in to meet the siren, but this turns out to be a trap, because the siren turns out to be Medusa.
  • Medusa then taunts you through little audio greetings throughout the ride (such as "Leaving so soon? I think not!" just before you head up the second lift hill).
  • You ultimately escape Medusa's clutches via the coaster section.
Apologies for the slightly vague description... perhaps a better way for me to show you what the ride used to be like would be to embed an old POV:
 

Nicky Borrill

Strata Poster
From memory, it used to have some nice lighting effects, some little jumping water features that jumped over your head in the initial dark ride section, some nice projection mapping and a big Medusa head that flashed up over your head with strobe lights. That's what it had when I rode in 2016, anyway.

When I last did it, it had a proper synchronised audio track and storyline... correct me if I'm wrong here, SeaWorld aficionados, but I seem to remember it being something along the lines of:
  • Some fisherman gives you a magical seahorse, who takes you to the underwater city of Atlantis.
  • A friendly mermaid greets you and lures you in to meet the siren, but this turns out to be a trap, because the siren turns out to be Medusa.
  • Medusa then taunts you through little audio greetings throughout the ride (such as "Leaving so soon? I think not!" just before you head up the second lift hill).
  • You ultimately escape Medusa's clutches via the coaster section.
Apologies for the slightly vague description... perhaps a better way for me to show you what the ride used to be like would be to embed an old POV:
Yeh the general brightly coloured theming was present, but I don't remember the lighting that is synced to audio, I don't even remember hearing that audio. Nor do I remember seeing any projection. The figure that appears above the lift was present though.

I could of course just have missed it all. But it certainly looks a lot better in that video than what I remember.

It's worth noting that it was down all day on our first visit.
 

fartsalad

Roller Poster
Yeh the general brightly coloured theming was present, but I don't remember the lighting that is synced to audio, I don't even remember hearing that audio. Nor do I remember seeing any projection. The figure that appears above the lift was present though.

I could of course just have missed it all. But it certainly looks a lot better in that video than what I remember.

It's worth noting that it was down all day on our first visit.
The Greek dude introducing "Elise" the seahorse as your guide to safety.. Atlantis going from beautiful to burning.. As the siren would melt away from the projections on then statues, the water flying around dodging the seahorse sparkle. The "now you've done it! You puny little pony!!! YOUR FRIENDS ARE NO LONGER WELCOME HERE.." ... "COME... TOO... MEEE...."

And the Beetlejuice film score played in sync going up the second lift hill and it crescendos until the chandelier breaks and falls down towards the boat.


The second half was so much more intense with the siren screaming in anger about your aided escape"no!!! NO!! NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!"
 

Nicky Borrill

Strata Poster
The Greek dude introducing "Elise" the seahorse as your guide to safety.. Atlantis going from beautiful to burning.. As the siren would melt away from the projections on then statues, the water flying around dodging the seahorse sparkle. The "now you've done it! You puny little pony!!! YOUR FRIENDS ARE NO LONGER WELCOME HERE.." ... "COME... TOO... MEEE...."

And the Beetlejuice film score played in sync going up the second lift hill and it crescendos until the chandelier breaks and falls down towards the boat.


The second half was so much more intense with the siren screaming in anger about your aided escape"no!!! NO!! NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!"
Such a shame :( Hopefully it gets some love soon.

I know Cara had seen an older video, and it was one of her 'must do' rides, but she came off disappointed, saying it was nothing like the video she saw too.
 

CanobieFan

Giga Poster
I was lucky enough to ride it in April of 1998 just a week or so after it opened. Its for sure gone way downhill from what it was, a shell of its former self. Hermes was the best!
 

Hyde

Matt SR
Staff member
Moderator
Social Media Team
Two things:
  • The ride saw a "rehab" in 2017, which at the time felt like the chance for SeaWorld to properly restore all special effects to their former glory. Virtually all effects were removed however, save simple uplighting and the jumping fountains. With that only being five years ago, it feels any hope for proper restoration to be gone.
  • I only just rode Atlantis at the end of 2021, and I will say - it was great! Totally understand that I never experienced the full OG ride (just as few if anyone here got to experience Disaster Transport with all of it's original effects 😅 ), but I still enjoyed the coaster in earnest. It's a weird, zany contraption that will always have been, ahead of it's time.
 

fartsalad

Roller Poster
Two things:
  • The ride saw a "rehab" in 2017, which at the time felt like the chance for SeaWorld to properly restore all special effects to their former glory. Virtually all effects were removed however, save simple uplighting and the jumping fountains. With that only being five years ago, it feels any hope for proper restoration to be gone.
  • I only just rode Atlantis at the end of 2021, and I will say - it was great! Totally understand that I never experienced the full OG ride (just as few if anyone here got to experience Disaster Transport with all of it's original effects 😅 ), but I still enjoyed the coaster in earnest. It's a weird, zany contraption that will always have been, ahead of it's time.
Your second point fills my heart with sentiment. I grew up literally one street over and spent my entire life in SeaWorld. JTA was basically a coaster I could walk to after school. It's still a very ambitious and unique footprint on SWF history.. hopefully it stays in some regards, but, i have a feeling by 2024 we'll be hearing of a new launched boat ride.
 

Tonkso

Mega Poster
I was lucky enough to ride it in 2005 when it still worked properly. The core ride is still fun (I disagree on the roughness) but the narrative no longer makes any sense.

To be honest, despite some headline coaster additions since my last visit, it really felt like SeaWorld had gone downhill. My partner last visited in 2015 not long after we'd met and had the same observation.
 

roomraider

Best Topic Starter
Having also ridden JTA in both its forms I agree it's a shadow of its former self these days. There isn't really a story to follow any more and the good effects are all long gone. Really is a ride that needs a proper refresh.
 

AidanCKY

Roller Poster
I remember it being amazing before they modified it.

The first scene with the story being told and water jets jumping about was so cool, it truly was something really special. Rode it again in 2017 and they've just removed most of the effects and painted some stuff in vibrant rainbowy colours.

And it made me sad we lost the Beetlejuice music on that specific bit of the ride. Really suited it well!

I remember riding it in 1999 when it was brand new and then 4 or 5 times throughout the years since then.
 
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