Theme Park Insider

2012 Best Attraction Tournament: Manta vs. Cheetah Hunt

February 29, 2012, 8:20 AM · It's all SeaWorld Parks in the 2012 Theme Park Insider Tournament today, as we've got a "surf and turf" match-up of two popular Florida coasters in the Best Roller Coaster bracket. Representing the "surf," it's SeaWorld Orlando's Bolliger & Mabillard flying coaster, Manta. And representing the "turf," it's Busch Gardens' Intamin coaster Cheetah Hunt. Forget the pictures we typically run with these entries. Today, we're running with on-ride videos.

Manta - at SeaWorld Orlando

Cheetah Hunt - at Busch Gardens Tampa

Voting is open for 24 hours. Campaign for your favorites in the comments, or rally the troops on Facebook and Twitter.

Tomorrow: Screeching tires or screaming Muppets? It's Lights! Motors! Action! vs. MuppetVision 3D in the Best Show bracket.

Replies (16)

February 29, 2012 at 8:49 AM · Been on neither, but my vote for Manta is based on what I've and elsewhere..about these rides.

Never read a bad word about Manta. Cheetah Hunt seems to have disappointed many.

February 29, 2012 at 8:54 AM · going to be first time on both this sept can't wait
February 29, 2012 at 9:24 AM · On Manta, you can pretend your Superman, on Cheetah Hunt, you can pretend to be a hunter. Manta wins by miles.
February 29, 2012 at 9:55 AM · I haven't ridden either of these as yet but should be able to do both in November this year - can't wait!

I suspect the reason Cheetah Hunt disappointed some of the coaster fraternity was that they assumed Busch Gardens were going to deliver another extreme thrill machine - a reasonable assumption since all the other major coasters at the park deliver pretty solid thrills and regularly score highly in coaster fan polls. However I think Busch pulled a blinder here as they have created a terrific FAMILY coaster - something original and clever that totally fits within their ethos and portfolio of attractions, but which allows people who would not normally venture onto say Montu or Shiekra to enjoy a coaster experience. I'm really looking forward to riding it and reckon it will be a total blast. I already expect it to rate high on my 'fun-ometer'.
That said I also can't wait to ride Manta which seems to be just one of the most perfectly conceived coasters ever - from line to ride, theme to thrills. Manta is the winner here for sure, but it isn't because there's anything wrong with Cheetah Hunt.

February 29, 2012 at 10:22 AM · As much as I loved Cheetah Hunt, and wasn't one of the disappointed, I have to follow my heart.
My heart leaves little pieces in Seaworld, and says Manta.
February 29, 2012 at 10:51 AM · Kelly, that's so beautiful (sniff, sniff..)

Well said (typed?)

February 29, 2012 at 10:58 AM · Have not ridden Cheetah Hunt yet, so by default my vote goes to Manta. But, even if I had, I think my vote would still go this way. Manta is one of the most fun coasters I have ever ridden, perfectly themed, smooth, and thrilling. Manta is one of my favorite coasters, a true masterpiece.
February 29, 2012 at 11:38 AM · Sadly, I have not been to either park since 2007, so I should abstain. But, based upon which coaster I am MORE EAGER to ride, I will also go with my heart and choose Manta.
February 29, 2012 at 1:31 PM · More than glad to vote against Cheetah Hunt. It never should have been here in the first place.
February 29, 2012 at 1:45 PM · Haven't been on either but, voted for Manta because I like flyers. I'm a big fan of Batwing at Six Flags America.
February 29, 2012 at 1:45 PM · I haven't been on either one, but since Tatsu is one of my top five steel coasters I voted for Manta. While Cheetah Hunt looks like a good ride, it also seems a bit overrated.
February 29, 2012 at 2:11 PM · Manta is in my top two roller coasters that I've been fortunate to ride. You really get a beautiful feeling on this ride, there is a strong thrill factor about it, but it's got that lovely flying feeling that just stays with you. The theming is great as well.

I haven't been on Cheetah Hunt though. I hate voting but not having gone on both rides, but in this category I can't imagine that Cheetah Hunt is as good as Manta. I really thought this one would be a straight win for Manta. I'm curious as to why people voted for Cheetah Hunt. It looks good, just curious.

February 29, 2012 at 4:29 PM · Why does Cheetah Hunt look much better in the video than I remember from actually being on the ride? I think we were so P.O.'d and hot by the time we got through the almost 2 hour queue that it simply was unenjoyable.

Quick Queues on the next trip, for sure....

Manta is very similar to Superman with it's speed and elements. Even though it a slower speed coaster, it allows you to take in more as you are soaring around. I will never forget the first time I rode Superman, what a completely different experience.

Had to go Manta on this one.

February 29, 2012 at 4:36 PM · I think this is an interesting match up thematically. Both rides have secondary attractions: Manta has its incredible queue, while Cheetah Hunt has the actual cheetah area. When it comes to the secondary aspects, I think Cheetah Hunt wins just because it's great close-up views of these majestic animals.

Pity about the ride, though.

Cheetah Hunt is a bland, ultimately boring ride while Manta is one of the crown jewels of flying coasters (I have not personally ridden Tatsu, so I cannot compare the two. I've heard conflicting reports on which is better, usually flavored by an east coast/west coast bias). Manta wins by a mile here.

March 1, 2012 at 3:57 AM · After having ridden neither coaster - gee, that didn't really come out right, did it? - I went for Cheetah Hunt after watching both vids. Only flyer I've been on is Top Gun at California's Great Adventure (yeah, I'm dating myself), and it was meh. Actually, I think I've been on another, but it was so overwhelming, I can't remember where/what/when.
March 1, 2012 at 5:04 AM · Thanks Mike...I try not to be overly dramatic obviously :-))

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