I really like it. Swing launch, some thrilling turns, and no inversions. Great little stepping stone coaster between kiddie rides and the big, tall, upside-downey coasters.
However, there's another reason why I'm actually impressed by it. Please allow me to geek out a little: I really appreciate how they solved the challenges of the building site, which I presume is why the coaster didn't at all turn out like Wave Breaker. This picture from The Coaster Kings (source) shows what they had to build on:
Put simply, the available land is really cramped, and split by the Bayside Stadium's access road to boot. The coaster has to cross that access road somehow to utilize the bit of land on the other side. Moving any buildings (the stadium at the very top, some big buildings just outside the picture's left edge, and the Mango Joe's eatery) or the access road itself would be prohibitively expensive. Presumably, so would building in the lake be, either because footers in water are a hassle or because the activities at the stadium requires the space (a lot of the lake around Wave Breaker at San Antonio is fenced off with a pretty wide clearance around the track). So all in all, the site is fairly constrained. Additionally, the ride's station needs to be close to the existing paths, which effectively means on the very right side of the plot since the coaster wouldn't fit around it if it was placed left of Mango Joe's.
A conventional launch like Wave Breaker's requires a fairly long straight piece of track, and at some point the track has to turn too, so we're talking a J shape around 80-100 meters long and a 30-ish meters wide, with more track attached at either end. That would have to fit on this land somehow, without touching any of the buildings. And the land on the left is not really big enough to house a post-launch turnaround, so something would have to be done to bleed some speed before getting there.
A swing launch is an elegant solution, since it can cram a pretty fast launch into a tiny area by launching over the same piece of track multiple times. Moreover, with a vertical spike you only have to have a turn at one end of the launch track. The rear of it can just stick out wherever (in this case, a tower structure on the other side of the path). Squeezing in that launch track AND a post-launch direction change (in the form of a top hat) on the land by the lake shore is pretty neat, I'd say. The layout gets the train up to top speed and pivots it into another direction, all in the 80-by-20 meter plot between the path, the lake and the stadium. Then they manage to put a turnaround on the little site at the other side of the access road without having to put a single footer in the parking lot (Wave Breaker's flat turns are semicircles around 25-30 meters wide - they could fit on the land, but either the entrance or the exit of the turn would have to go over the parking lot and require footers in the middle of it), and from there on the layout returns to the station with a minimum of faff. They even avoid touching the cluster of trees next to the parking lot.
For an avid fan of games like RCT and Parkitect, this is a very neat example of coaster architecture. The designers fit a pretty decent layout on a challenging bit of land. Yes, something like Wave Breaker would have been cool too, but it's big and sprawling and the available site just isn't. Instead, Premier and SeaWorld have worked with what they have, and even if the coaster ends up poorly executed, the concept itself is pretty solid. In a sense, it reminds me of Taron, which is another coaster squeezed into an impressively tight space for its size. So yeah, it gets my sign of approval.
I think the ride actually does have a single inversion, though I think it’s more akin to a Stengel dive than an actual roll. At least that’s what Midway Mayhem has been reporting, and they’ve been ahead of other sites in terms of information.
I concur, @Pokemaniac! I do love it when coaster engineers find a creative solution to rise to the challenges like the ones faced by SeaWorld Orlando, instead of going for the easy way out. SeaWorld could've just bulldozed that entire area which would've allowed for a more exciting layout, but this provided them with an interesting obstacle - working around preexisting park infrastructure like the access road, stadium and waterfront. When building coasters in Parkitect and formerly in RCT3, I always prefer to weave their layouts into the terrain and/or around pathways as well as other rides rather than doing them on flat land. For me, designing a coaster on a flat piece of land is rather uninspiring (unless there are other rides that it needs to maneuver around and through), and I've found that my favorite virtual coaster layouts always come from the sites with challenges. Whether it be the aforementioned pair of terrain and other rides, height restrictions, or even pathway and building interactions, I really do appreciate it when a park goes the extra mile to cram a creative coaster layout into an awkward and/or tight location!
Pretty sure they couldn't, not in a practical sense at least. It's not like Parkitect where you get money back from deleting stuff. They wanted to keep Mango Joe's, the stadium, the access road, and all the footpaths in the area. Demolishing any of it would be expensive, and rebuilding it even more so, and money isn't an unlimited resource. I think they really were in a situation where they had to be creative if they wanted to use that land for anything reasonably big.
In the video posted on the previous page, it has none. Maybe the banking of the turnaround qualifies according to some definitions, but for all intents and purposes it doesn't seem to "go upside down", which is a very important feature for the more timid riders.