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2012 Best Attraction Tournament: Incredible Hulk Coaster vs. Manta

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Published: March 23, 2012 at 7:54 AM

We've haven't forgotten about the roller coasters. Today in the 2012 Theme Park Insider Tournament, we're selecting a coaster for one of the two spots in the Best Roller Coaster tournament final.

We've got two of Orlando's top coasters for your consideration today - Universal's Hulk and SeaWorld's Manta. Which is your pick to go on to the finals?

Incredible Hulk Coaster - at Universal's Islands of Adventure

Incredible Hulk Coaster

Manta - at SeaWorld Orlando

Manta

Voting is open for 24 hours. Please tell us in the comments why you voted the way you did, and if you'd like to drum up some more votes for your favorite, feel free to link to this post on Facebook and Twitter.


Monday: It's 1. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey vs. 5. Twilight Zone Tower of Terror for spot in the Best Themed Ride final.

Readers' Opinions

From 97.104.194.146 on March 23, 2012 at 8:13 AM
Really tough vote between smoothest coaster (Manta) & the best opening for any ride (The Hulk)
From Melanie Howe on March 23, 2012 at 8:17 AM
This vote is going to be close one, I'll bet. They're both great in their own ways. I've ridden Hulk more times than I can count, Manta only once.

Manta's beautiful theme wins hands-down, but when it comes to the actual ride, I'm still trying to figure out if I loved Manta or hated it. I came off the ride feeling very confused.... I'm just not sure I like flyers. Part of the problem was that I was in the front row, which wouldn't have been my first choice. I don't know.... I just don't remember that much about it other than feeling the whole experience was very "odd". I'm finally getting a chance to ride it again in April and I'm hoping for a more definite opinion to form :-)

The Hulk, on the other hand, thrilled me the very first time I rode it and has continued to do so ever since. That first launch is a perfect stomach-dropper. My favorite seats are the back two rows and the ride is always great. It seems like the coaster has gotten a LITTLE rougher in the last couple years, and it could certainly use some paint TLC, but it's going to get my vote today.

P.S. -- Not looking forward to Monday's vote... At all!

From Mark Hollamon on March 23, 2012 at 8:27 AM
The launch of the Incredible Hulk Coaster is the best 5 seconds in theme park history, period!
From Mark Kausch on March 23, 2012 at 8:31 AM
Y'know, this one is so close, I'm tempted to stay out of it, especially since I haven't ridden either. Eh, at the very least, I'll put it off for awhile.
From Sylvain Comeau on March 23, 2012 at 8:31 AM
The Incredible Hulk is a great coaster; unfortunately, it's also the kind of ride that gives me a headache. I refuse to ride it again until I hear about a refurb.
As for Manta, I haven't been to Sea World yet.
So I have to abstain from this vote.
From Mike Gallagher on March 23, 2012 at 8:35 AM
I've only been on Hulk, and only twice. I believe it's highly over-rated. Since I've never heard or seen a bad word about Manta, and I've come to like flyers, that's how I voted.
From 31.85.141.70 on March 23, 2012 at 8:45 AM
I've ridden both and it's a really tough call. I went with hulk in the end as the launch is spectacular. Both are great rides though. This tournament is getting tough!!!
From Dominick D on March 23, 2012 at 8:47 AM
I've never been on either, but I voted Hulk because it's the freaking Hulk!
From Joshua Conlon on March 23, 2012 at 8:59 AM
Even though I've never ridden either coaster, I'm voting for Hulk. It just looks like a better ride from video I've seen.
The whole flying coaster thing doesn't really appeal to me. Not to say that I wouldn't ride Manta given the chance.
From Mark Fairleigh on March 23, 2012 at 9:00 AM
I'm a lifelong coaster chicken working his way up the ladder...currently enjoying myself on the Mummy rung with hopes of graduating to the Hulk one day...total Universal-bias here. The Hulk!
From TROY DAVIDSON on March 23, 2012 at 12:08 PM
I rode Manata once it is was O.K. Not a big enough draw to ride it again and I hated the fact they kept you in that crazy position after the ride was over and the other coaster was loading. Hulk is great...however it is not as smooth as it used to be and is getting quite rough. Hulk needs a rehab badly and/or new coaster trains. The new paint job on Hulk looks great. I voted for Hulk despite it's roughier ride.
From James Rao on March 23, 2012 at 9:42 AM
I love Hulk, but this battle is not between two one trick ponies like Hulk's last win. Therefore I will go with the ride that offers the more consistent thrill, Manta.
From Carl Stovall on March 23, 2012 at 10:02 AM
This is a tough vote for me since these are two can't-miss attractions. The first 10 seconds of Hulk is one of the greatest thrills out there. Unfortunately, after that beginning, I could take or leave the rest of the ride. Manta, on the other hand provides a smooth, unique experience and destroys Hulk with its beautiful theming. My vote today goes to Manta.
From Caroline Davis on March 23, 2012 at 10:35 AM
Manta really should be winning this, but I think the Incredible Hulk is one of the most iconic roller coasters in the world. I do love the Incredible Hulk a lot, but Manta is tied as my favourite coaster (with Intimidator 305).
From 204.88.30.111 on March 23, 2012 at 10:57 AM
I voted for the Hulk. I love Manta, and think it is a great coaster, but the Hulk is just special. Its THE iconic ride at UOR. The moment you walk off the people movers and into CityWalk you can hear The Hulk roaring in the distance. Its the first ride you see as you come around the corner.

And the the ride. That is the BEST opening of any ride ever. Sure the cars need a refurb as the back half of the track is getting rough to ride, but I still love it.

From AJ Hummel on March 23, 2012 at 11:34 AM
I haven't been on either, but Tatsu is in my top five steel coasters so I voted for Manta. The beginning of Incredible Hulk looks outstanding, but the rest of the ride doesn't appear to be significantly different from other B&M coasters and seems less themed than Manta.
From Mike Gallagher on March 23, 2012 at 11:44 AM
Caroline, nice to see some I-305 love. It's my #1 steel,a nd I'm less than a month away from my next ride on it!
From Rob Pastor on March 23, 2012 at 12:32 PM
Conversation overheard coming from the direction of the Hulk....."HULK clobber Manta".....
From 153.9.81.234 on March 23, 2012 at 1:01 PM
I love both of these rides so much. Hulk has that incredible launch, but Manta has such a view. No seat is bad, and the further back you ride, the faster it is.

I went with Manta, but that's because I love to look around on coasters and you can do it in every seat on this one.

From David L. on March 23, 2012 at 4:17 PM
I haven't ridden either(but that will change soon!). I expect Manta to be a slightly faster, longer, and more thrilling version of Superman at SFOG, but with a great consistent theme. Hulk seems to have a great launch, and a decent theme(nothing to Manta though). Beyond that, it seems very similar to the Georgia Scorcher, minus the standing. So between the two, Manta gets my vote by a long shot. Seaworld created a world class e-ticket. Universal put a decent parkinglot coaster over water, added a great launch, and some mild theme(comparable to some of SFOG's coasters).
From 24.92.210.111 on March 23, 2012 at 4:34 PM
My vote was for Manta. Incredible Hulk has an incredible first half, but once you hit the first set of brakes, the ride becomes boring for the second half. Manta has incredible theming as well as the fact that its a unique experience riding a coaster in a flying position. The finale on Manta with the train coming very close to the water is an awesome feeling as well.
From TH Creative on March 23, 2012 at 4:38 PM
There was about a three month period between 1999 and 2000 that I rode The Hulk virtually every day. The launch, the height, the initial succession of inversions, the "backyard." Just a great, iconic coaster. My mid-morning coffee break was spent riding The Hulk. And (for the record) lunch was spent watching the Wild, Wild, Wild West Stunt Show.

But I have to be honest. I have to vote for the competitor that is truly the better themed attraction. So my vote goes to the Jungle Cruise.

From N B on March 23, 2012 at 4:53 PM
This was a tough vote as I am a huge fan of the flying coasters, but the launch on Hulk gets me every time. I also like the fact that is "roars" and you can hear it from the Hard Rock and Royal Pacific hotels.

Manta, Superman: First Flight etc... are pretty tame when it comes to speed and initial hill height but they do make you feel like you are flying, especially in the front row.

Tower of Terror vs FJ will be close, they are both great rides.....

From Derek Potter on March 23, 2012 at 5:33 PM
This is where Hulk's run should end. Aside from a launch that isn't the best in the business (Sorry everyone...Dragster wins that title by a mile), the track afterward is standard B&M elements that can be found everywhere. Not that this is a bad thing, but the best attraction winner doesn't is either unique or the first of it's kind. Except for the launch, Hulk is neither.

Maybe it's just that I'm tired of seeing this one in these polls because it resides in Orlando. It is a good coaster, but when I make a list, it doesn't even crack the top ten

If for no other reason than to burn down an overrated sacred cow, I choose Manta.

From Mark Kausch on March 23, 2012 at 10:32 PM
How can you guys say Hulk doesn't have themeing? The first half is the Great Green Machine and the second half is Bruce Banner. Or David if you are Bill Bixby.
From Joshua Counsil on March 24, 2012 at 12:35 AM
Two terrific coasters, no doubt. The thrills and aesthetics are on calibre.

But Manta takes the cake for its queue. I'll take an aquarium over a hot, sweaty spiral any day.

From steve lee on March 24, 2012 at 5:22 AM
I have to follow the Expedition Everest logic and refuse to vote for Hulk until it is restored to its former glory. As has been mentioned numerous times already, the coaster is far too rough compared to what it used to be. A certain level of roughness is to be expected as a coaster ages, but Universal has exacerbated that by not taking the coaster down for a refurb in a very long time.

Which isn't to say Manta isn't excellent as well. Manta is a superb coaster in a park that shouldn't have to rely on coasters to get people in the gates. It gets my vote until Universal gets their act together. They can't go another year without addressing the big green elephant in the room.

From James Rao on March 24, 2012 at 6:01 AM
Steve, be thankful Universal took some time out to update their best ride (Spider-Man), but don't expect any more love until the London side of Harry Potter world is complete. Universal is too concerned with its Harry Potter fetish right now to address any more of IOA's maintanience problems!
From Sylvain Comeau on March 24, 2012 at 8:57 AM
I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds the Hulk too rough. When is Universal going to get the message? Refurb that beast, please.
From Tim Odom on March 26, 2012 at 5:26 AM
Completely missed this vote, but the right coaster won. Manta is fantastic, a wonderful ride. But Hulk, even with it's roughness, is just better. And the first 30 seconds of Hulk is simply the best 30 seconds around.

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