19 for ’99: Steel Eel at SeaWorld San Antonio

Welcome to another entry in our “19 for ’99” series where we’re showcasing 19 roller coasters that opened in 1999. This week we’re taking a ride on Steel Eel at SeaWorld San Antonio.

By Lonelysoulq at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26630023

Steel Eel is what you might call a “mini-hyper” coaster; it’s top height of 150 feet falls short of the 200-299 foot range a standard hyper coaster falls into. But just by looking at the layout without knowing the height you’d call it a hyper coaster because it has all the characteristics: no inversions, many airtime hills, and a lapbar only restraint.

Steel Eel at SeaWorld San Antonio

The 150 foot drop takes you right alongside the park’s central lake where you’ll hit the top speed of 65mph. The 3,700 feet of track can be seen from just about anywhere inside the park.

Steel Eel is a D.H. Morgan Manufacturing creation, sandwiched between Mamba (1998) and Steel Dragon 2000. Just like how Arrow switched from steel lattice work to tubular columns for Tennessee Tornado in 1999, Morgan also did the same for Steel Eel. The entirety of the layout (except for the stairs on the mid-course brake run) is supported by round columns, a departure from the previous hyper coasters which used scaffolding looking supports for the highest hills of the ride.

Steel Eel POV Video

Take a ride on Steel Eel by watching the point of view video below, courtesy of our friends at Midway Mayhem.

Have you ridden Steel Eel? What coaster do you think will be next in our 1999 series? Share your thoughts about the coaster in the comments section below.