Rode Manta this Weekend!
So, I totally got lucky on Saturday while spending time at SeaWorld Orlando with my family. We are pass holders so I've been watching the Manta construction since the beginning. On Saturday, as we were exiting the park we noticed that the Manta was running with people on it! I quickly made my way over to the ride entrance and they were putting up a barricade to close it and I caught the eye of a crew member and asked if he'd let me squeek through. He agreed and I was amped as I made my way through the staging area. Let me first say that the staging area for Manta is one of the most beautiful you will ever see. There are enormous aquariums with hundreds of sting ray pups swimming around. These will really pass the time while waiting during what is sure to be long lines this summer.
I secured a place in line on row 6 of 8 and watched is the train before mine departed. When it returned everyone on the ride broke into a huge round of applause. This was promising.
When I got to my seat at the far left, I sat down and immediately noticed this coaster was going to be different. When the restraints came down there was a hydraulic shoulder harness behind the normal harness that allowed for a little movement while in the seated position. There were also restraints that locked around my ankles.
The hiss of pneumatics signaled the start of the ride and my seat began to tilt forward until I was completely prone flat on my stomach. This is where the secondary shoulder restraint came in to play and provided additional cushioning and shock absorption for the ride.
As the ride began to move I was immediately struck with the feeling of flight. There is an initial climb in the beginning in which you are looking straight down at spectators below and you just feel like you are flying over the crowd.
When the ride kicked in I tried to concentrate on where I was going to make a mental note of the path of the rails. Unfortunately, this effort failed as we looped around and I felt the most G's I've ever felt on a ride. There is something about being at the top of a loop while lying on your back that is disorienting but in a "Wow! I've never experienced anything like this" sort of way. Each twist and turn that followed made me feel like I was soaring over the park.
As with the previous group of riders, the train I was on burst into applause at the conclusion of the ride.
I will be riding again in the next few days and will try to post a more detailed description of the layout. No matter what though. Don't miss this ride.
Yes, very lucky. Glad you enjoyed. I am looking forward to many more positive reports.
I tried to get to Manta Monday mourning, but I had to go back later. It was up and running when I went back at about 4:30. The queue line with the aquariums is neat, but the big tank for the non-coaster people did not look like it was open yet. Nevertheless, stingrays are pretty cool. I like the dark one with glowing yellow spots; it looks like an alien. Back to the ride. I rode it four times in a row with only a bathroom and shopping break in between. While I was there, it did break down for a total of twenty-five minutes, so that was all I could handle. If there was anymore force at the bottom of the pretzel loop or speed after the mid-course breaks, we would need medical attention. Whether Manta has a flat spin, a heartline roll, an in−line twist, or a zero-g roll, they are just right. While you don't get soaked, the "wing dip" and waterfall are great. It seems like there are only inches between your finger tips and that rock wall !
Lucky you, and congrats! Sounds to me it is like the Superman Ultimate Flight.
That pretzel loop will probably be the main element that will always get to me.
^ In the early reports, comparing Manta to Superman would not be good for the Ultimate Flight. It will sound like a kiddie ride. The pretzel loop hurts (LOL).
Well till I have rode Manta, SUF is the only one I can compare it to as it's the only flying coaster I've been on. Pretzel loop still stands as the "holy crap!" part of the ride to me.
^^^I agree. I dubbed S:UF(SFOG, even though they're basically all the same of course)Superman: Mediocre Flight. LOL. I skipped the one in NJ. The pretzel is the only thing worth remembering. Hopefully, I'll like Manta like Nolefan.
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Yeah SFGAdv is the only one I've been on. It might not be memorable like Nitro, but at least I can experience what a flying coster feels like :)
And I can't wait for Manta when I hopefully ride it in August.
I'll be out there in 2 weeks for the media days, along with my kids, riding for the cameras. Looking forward to it, and can let you know what I think then. It certainly looks more interesting than S:UF at SFoG. It's been a few years since I've been on that one, so not sure how much of an accurate comparison I'll be able to make, but I'll give it a shot when the day comes.
It's certainly looking very nice, and getting excited as the day draws near.
Why don't we compare Manta to Tatsu? There may not be an obvious winner.
Manta was the first coaster that I've rode (One time, in the sixth row). It had a hour or so wait time. The queue was hands down the best that I've ever been through; It was a majestic underwater realm. It had multiple aquariums with all kinds of mantas, sharks, nautilus, fish, it was second to none. The ride was awesome! Very comfortable, the inversions where excellent. I felt just a tad of mist on the splash element. The drop after the MCBR was notable as it had an almost mini-freefall feeling that I haven't felt before on a flyer. It's considerably more thrilling than SUF, Manta is an excellent flying coaster.
I also rode Kraken one time (ridden before). It was a walk on. I rode in the back. It was running great, no head banging, or discomfort to speak. I always appreciate Kraken more than most, also it isn't the most physical coaster in the world, I love the last curved tunnel, head choppers, and the water surroundings.
I also saw the dolphin show which was excellent. I skipped alot of the rides/attractions that I've ridden before like JTA, Shamu etc. I went home a lil' earlier than I expected because of the storms that came, they had many like myself heading for the exits.
* This post was modified at 7/12/12 7:48:29 PM *
Manta at SeaWorld Orlando is my favorite "flying" coaster and Manta at SeaWorld San Diego is excellent as well.
* This post was modified at 7/13/12 12:55:04 PM *
As for the Dolphin show, also pretty good, but i wished the rows of seats in that stadium weren't so close together. It's just too close together imo.
* This post was modified at 7/13/12 3:24:39 PM *
*I mean the other entrance, separate from the main entrance.
* This post was modified at 7/13/12 4:03:01 PM *
Manta is nice, but Tatsu is probably my favorite coaster ever.
When we went to Orlando, it was fall and there were not very long lines at SeaWorld. My wife and I did the child swap, so she waited maybe 20 minutes, then I went straight on.