A new lien filed by Bolliger and Mabillard confirms they were working with SeaWorld on a new Custom Launch Coaster. Let’s take a look!
As you’re probably aware, SeaWorld Orlando filed plans for their 2021 attraction in January. Code-named “Penguin”, not much was known about the project at the time of the filing. In recent months, speculation has ramped up about the possibility of this project being the world’s first Surf Coaster, a new product from B&M.
While we still know next to nothing about what a Surf Coaster is, we do know SeaWorld received a shipment from B&M in March of this year containing roller coaster equipment. On the surface, this didn’t seem too unusual, as SeaWorld already has 3 B&M coasters, so it could have just been parts for any of those rides. However, the quantity of items in the shipment (14) and the weight of the shipment (22,605lbs) indicated that it could potentially be roller coaster trains. Most interesting though, was the code SF-A used to identify the contents of the shipment. B&M uses a code for each of its projects comprised of a two character abbreviation for the product type and one character for the project number. For example, Mako was B&M’s 15th Mega Coaster project, so its code was MC-O. The SF-A code on this shipment matches no existing B&M product codes, but SF would make an obvious abbreviation for Surf and the letter A indicates it’s the first project for this product type.
Due to the unprecedented nature of the current global pandemic, SeaWorld unfortunately had to defer payments for all their capital expenditures back in March. This has caused almost all of the vendors who were working on projects at their parks to file liens due to non-payment. (This topic has been covered extensively in the community, and I’d recommend reading this Orlando Sentinel article if you’re unfamiliar with liens.) One of the inadvertent side affect of these liens is the vendor has to specify the project they are filing the lien for, which has lead to some interesting discoveries – for example, earlier this month, a lien filed by PGAV confirmed that the Penguin project was indeed a new roller coaster:
Just yesterday, a new lien filed by Bolliger and Mabillard has confirmed that they were working with the park on a new custom Launch Coaster. While this still doesn’t definitively prove this project is a Surf Coaster, it does at least provide more strong evidence for its case. B&M’s only other in-house launch coaster to date was a Wing Coaster, and if this project was another launched Wing Coaster, I’d imagine they would have referred to it as a Wing Coaster, and not a Launch Coaster – but that’s just my own speculation.
Of course, given the ongoing pandemic and the current state of the amusement industry, it’s extremely likely this project will be delayed beyond 2021, but we think it’s pretty unlikely it gets cancelled altogether. According to two liens above, SeaWorld has already paid nearly 4 million dollars for this project, and it also seems they’ve already received parts from B&M – so hopefully once we start to get beyond COVID and the amusement industry starts picking up again we’ll see this project move forward!