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Take a ride on SeaWorld's Manta: POV video

Written by
Published: May 21, 2009 at 5:16 PM

I stayed behind in Los Angeles today, to ride Magic Mountain's Terminator Salvation roller coaster (review coming later tonight), so I asked Theme Park Insider reader Gareth H to step up and take a ride on SeaWorld Orlando's Manta for us on the ride's official media day.

Would you like to ride along - virtually, at least? Well, check out the video:

Thanks, Gareth!

Readers' Opinions

From Pyra Dong on May 21, 2009 at 6:09 PM
GARRRRGH stop rubbing Manta in my face!!!!! I watched the video and kicked myself over and over again. You have no idea how many times in the past few weeks I would just look at my boyfriend and say "Manta?" and he's reply, "Uhhh... don't you have work in the next hour?"

Thanks for being the guinea pig Gareth! I really really (10x) can't wait now to get my butt to SeaWorld.

From M. Ryan Traylor on May 21, 2009 at 6:32 PM
The wing dip water effect is probably the most amazing coaster water effect I have seen.
From Gareth H on May 21, 2009 at 6:39 PM
Ha ha, it was fun, and completely new to me, but a great morning

Fun fact for you, although the ride is called "Manta", there are actually no Manta rays in the aquariums!

Too big!!

And back row, WOW, some major G's. If you get the chance to get on and get on the back row, you'll know exactly what I mean.

Thanks For the opp Robert :)

From James Rao on May 21, 2009 at 6:49 PM
Great job, Gareth! Thanks for the POV and the intense feeling of jealousy I am now experiencing!
From Joshua Counsil on May 21, 2009 at 7:19 PM
So ... did you edit out your screaming, or were you just very unenthusiastic about the ride?
From Gareth H on May 21, 2009 at 7:40 PM
If it were recorded with me sitting in the back row, I would have had to have edited out something, its just so great. The front row isn't so intense, and I'm not a screamer (That's what she said!!), but it does still throw some G's at you. I just tend to close my eyes at anything intense and scream on the inside. Check my eyes carefully and you'll see, lol..
I think that, having a mic attached, and a camera pointing at me, I held back a little excitement. (Plus the nerves, etc, lol)
From steve lee on May 21, 2009 at 10:08 PM
M Ryan, the wing dip effect really only visually works from the angle that the camera was at. From most other angles, it's terribly obvious that there's no actual contact with the train and it's just water jets. Cool effect, but not nearly as impressive as I was lead to believe.

But that's quite possibly the only negative thing I can say. The ride is phenomenal and the entire environment surrounding the coaster is stunning (do NOT miss the "underwater viewing" area for the aquariums). Gareth is absolutely right about that back row ride. The force on that pretzel loop is downright obscene.

My biggest concern before riding was that the whole affair seemed awfully short. As we were waiting in the station, it seemed like the ride was less than a minute from the initial drop to the final brake run. It probably will end up being too short for some folks, but I think there's a helluva lot of punch packed in there. Each element seems precisely placed for maximum impact - certainly more than you'll see from one of the Superman clones (and anyone daring to compare this to a flying dutchman deserves whatever pain I can inflict on them).

My biggest concern after riding was that maybe this thing is a bit too intense for the more lackadaisical guests at Sea World. Once the ride opened to the general public (they got one train, media got the other), they were quickly showing wait times of 90 minutes. So at least for now it looks like that concern was unnecessary as well.

Great add for Sea World, and Florida in general. The pressure is now on Universal to deliver an equally thrilling coaster. I guess we'll see how that goes in a month or two.

From Deidre Dennis on May 21, 2009 at 10:10 PM
This looks incredibly smooth and it also reminds me of Tatsu at Magic Mountain. Loved that one, too.

Can't wait to ride Manta in about 28 days! Thanks for the video!

From Gareth H on May 21, 2009 at 10:17 PM
They have 3 trains, and 3 were running earlier today when the Media were out. One train was solely reserved for us no the Media Side, as the front row was solely reserved for the forward and rear facing camera.

The other 2 trains were for the "General public". Around midday they removed one of the trains, and the queue went from 45 to 70 then 90 in a matter of an hour!

The Media train was never full except toward about 12.30 when the coaster enthusiast club we riding non stop. (They were invited and I'm guessing the group was about 50 strong).

One thing that did impress me was that when its up and running fully, they can fill 1500 seats per hour. Pretty impressive for a Busch (Cough, sorry InBev) coaster.


I think at some point there will be a warning posted about the back 3 rows being very intense and not suitable for younger, or older riders.

From Don Neal on May 22, 2009 at 6:05 AM
Great video. I was really impressed with how quiet the coaster was. That had to add to the effect of flying.
From William Clark on May 22, 2009 at 8:03 AM
Yeah, Manta is intense. A ride in the back row is a must. Nicely themed queue area too though. Very peaceful watching the graceful rays swimming about. That Guitarfish is something extraordinary as well. Excellent new attraction for Seaworld. Grand Slam!
From Joshua Counsil on May 22, 2009 at 8:43 AM
Cool. Can't wait. Good report, Gareth.
From 79.69.243.53 on May 22, 2009 at 12:23 PM
does manta have larger seats for bigger people?
From Gareth H on May 22, 2009 at 4:02 PM
I don't think it does ahave any larger seats, due to the flying aspect of it, although I will say that the seats are very generous, and there is a test seat out the front if you are concerned.
From steve lee on May 22, 2009 at 3:05 PM
I didn't see anything posted about larger sizes, but Gareth is absolutely correct. The seats are extraordinarily generous. I'm not exactly svelte and I had no issues whatsoever. I saw guys bigger than me riding it and they seemed to manage okay as well.

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