SeaWorld San Diego’s record-breaking “Emperor” dive coaster opens March 12

Emperor dive coaster at SeaWorld San Diego

“Emperor” opens at SeaWorld San Diego on Sat., March 12. | Photo via SeaWorld San Diego

Javier Laos/Javier Laos

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We’ve got a gnarly twist for you today: details on the “tallest, fastest, longest” dive coaster in all of California, officially opening on Sat., March 12, right here in San Diego. The “Emperorride will reign at SeaWorld. Buckle up — ‘cause we’re diving in.

Emperor dive coaster at SeaWorld San Diego

If you open your eyes (you brave soul, you), you’ll catch a glimpse of Mission Bay + the Pacific Ocean from the coaster.| Photo via SeaWorld San Diego

🎢 Fast facts:

  • “Emperor” is the first and only “floorless” coaster in California — meaning riders’ feet will dangle in the air.
  • Max speed: 60 mph.
  • Track length: nearly 2,500 feet.
  • The ride is 153 feet tall, with a 45-degree incline.
  • Featured twists, in coaster talk: inversions + a “hammerhead” turn, an “immelmann”, a “barrel roll,” and a “flat spin.”
  • Oh, and we should probably mention there’s a vertical drop: 14 stories (or 143 feet), facedown.
  • You must be a minimum of 52 inches tall to ride “Emperor” (and max of 78 inches).
Emperor dive coaster at SeaWorld San Diego

Remember, that vertical drop is coming. | Photo via SeaWorld San Diego

According to SeaWorld, the ride is named after the Emperor penguin — the world’s largest penguin (fitting, right?) — and will “mimic this species’ amazing underwater diving ability.”

Another standout element: the ride cars will each hold 18 riders in three, six-person rows — the first seating configuration of its kind on a dive coaster in North America.

Access to “Emperor” is included in admission to the theme park, whether you’re an annual pass-holder, a Fun Card member, or visiting for the day.

Find it:
📍 500 SeaWorld Dr., San Diego

Pro tip: if you’re not much of a coaster person but love penguins, you can see Emperor, King + smaller varieties at the Penguin Encounter indoor exhibit at SeaWorld. That’s definitely more my speed.

Emperor dive coaster at SeaWorld San Diego

The “Emperor” at SeaWorld San Diego will reign as the “tallest, longest, fastest” dive coaster in California when it opens on March 12, 2022. | Photo via SeaWorld San Diego

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