Inside look at SeaWorld's new virtual reality coaster 'Kraken'

Kraken gets virtual makeover, bubble show

ORLANDO, Fla. - The theme-park wars are sizzling in Orlando, and SeaWorld is entertaining the fun frenzy with two new attractions. 

Old fave the Kraken, a head-spinning coaster with loops and corkscrews that debuted in 2000, is being taken to a whole new dimension.

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Riders now have the option of the standard whirl or donning free virtual reality goggles projecting an immersive undersea adventure (that goes horribly wrong, of course, culminating with a showdown against the namesake beastie). Although the idea of not knowing where you're going sounds even more perilous, ride designers say the VR experience is actually smoother and, for the faint-hearted, more enjoyable than the usual screamfest.

If the Kraken (real or virtual) is too pulse-quickening for your taste, try the new 30-minute show POP. SeaWorld is pairing up with legendary performance artist Fan Yang whose medium of choice is bubbles. But these aren't your birthday-party gift-bag bubbles. These beauties can stretch for dozens of feet, not to mention dance, change colors and bend and blow in shapes you've never seen before. (Watch the video up above, and you'll see a square bubble. Yeah, I was impressed.) The finale will feature a tsunami of bubbles that wash over the audience for an immersive thrill.

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By the way, if you buy your one-day SeaWorld ticket a day in advance, you can save $20. Click here for more deals and details.

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