Edwards Concrete Company, Winter Garden, Fla., started the "Ride the Flying Ray" roller coaster at Sea World in Orlando, Fla., in January 2009 and completed work April 30, 2009. During the construction of this project, there were no safety violations, injuries, or accidents. The schedule was maintained and the roller coaster was able to open on time.
The project consisted of adding a new roller coaster to Sea World's Orlando theme park. It included adding sea themed facilities to enhance the ride experience. Some of these facilities included pedestrian walkways, bridges, a cave, and beach trails.
Edwards Concrete's scope of work included providing 6200 square feet of themed beach paths, 35,000 square feet of exposed river rock pedestrian paths, 800 square feet of stamped stone work, 15,657 square feet of stamped wood planks, 3800 feet of curbs, and 6000 square feet of sidewalks. During construction, it used 1522 cubic yards of concrete, 12,000 feet of lumber, and 5565 person hours, all with only 12 experienced employees.
The themed ride required the creation of weathered surfaces like those one could find at a beach, such as wood planks, stones, and beach paths through sand dunes. In order to accomplish the look of beach paths leading to the ride entrance, seashells, green and blue tumbled glass, bird footprints, sand limestone, and palm fronds were incorporated into the work. The loading platform for the roller coaster was designed to look like a wooden boardwalk and incorporated Bomanite stamped wood plank patterns to accomplish the desired look using multiple concrete colors. A beach cave was constructed at the entrance to the ride that used the same weathered Bomanite stamped wood planks, but the Sea World art director wanted the wood deck to look as if beach sand had blown onto it. This was accomplished by stamping a sand pattern over the stamped wood planks.
The project also included a small footbridge and walkways through a cave that were stamped with a Bomanite stone pattern. New pedestrian roadways and seat walls were also poured throughout the park that required exposed river rock to match the rest of the park.
The ride was built in the middle of the existing theme park while it was open, and with minimum disruption to park guests. Many tasks required working at night and had to be completed before the park opened the next day. The confined, restricted, walled site made it difficult to maneuver and accomplish tasks on the owner's demanding schedule.