Theme Park, Amusement Park and Attractions Industry News

Roller coaster-like ride planned for cruise ship

In a cruise industry first, Carnival Cruise Line’s Mardi Gras will feature the first-ever roller coasterlike ride at sea when it debuts in 2020, providing a unique open-air thrill ride on the line’s newest and most innovative ship.

A Spike Coaster by Maurer Rides, Bolt: Ultimate Sea Coaster is a rush of adrenaline offering nearly 800 feet (244 m) of twists, turns, and drops with riders reaching speeds of nearly 40 mph (64 kph). Bolt is an all-electric roller coasterlike ride that allows two riders in a motorcycle-like vehicle to race along a track 187 feet (57 m) above sea level, enabling guests to experience the sea in an exciting new way with breathtaking 360º views. The selection of the Spike Coaster was critical because a ship on the high seas can pitch and roll, causing the tilt of roller coaster track to change and impact the travel of a gravity-powered roller coaster. The Spike Coaster is electric powered, never gravity powered as a roller coaster is.

Built by Maurer Rides, Bolt begins with an action-packed launch where riders can achieve race car-like levels of acceleration and culminates with a high-powered hair-pin turn around Carnival’s iconic funnel. Riders’ speeds are posted after the race, and just like land-based roller coasters, guests have their photo taken during the ride for a memorable keepsake. And since guests choose their own speed, each ride is unique.

Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, said that Bolt is the cornerstone of innovations and features being designed for Mardi Gras, which will be the ultimate playground at sea for fun seekers of all ages. “Mardi Gras will be our most innovative ship ever with some truly special features and attractions, highlighted by Bolt, the first roller coaster at sea,” said Duffy. “Bolt will continue the tradition of Carnival providing exciting new ways for our guests to ‘Choose Fun.’ We are so thrilled to introduce this one-of-a-kind, game-changing, exhilarating attraction – our guests are going to love it!”

Mardi Gras will be based in Port Canaveral, Florida, which will feature a new state-of-the-art terminal. Itinerary information will be revealed early next month with additional details about Mardi Gras’ groundbreaking features announced throughout the year. A second XL-class ship will start construction in 2020 and be delivered in 2022 to mark the 50th anniversary of Carnival Cruise Line’s founding.

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