2012 Best Attraction Tournament: Manta vs. Cheetah Hunt
Published: February 29, 2012 at 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.