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You win some, you lose some: Mantis to close next month, as Falcon's Fury opens officially

September 2, 2014, 9:11 AM · Cedar Point announced this morning that its Bolliger & Mabillard stand-up coaster, Mantis, will close on Oct. 19.

Mantis opened in 1996 and featured a 137-foot initial drop and four inversions, including a 119-foot vertical loop. Note, though, that the press release video says that Mantis will be "squashed," suggesting that, like, Six Flags Magic Mountain's Colossus, the ride might not be completely torn down, but transformed in some way. The "take one last stand" might be the real tell. New trains and a new name, anyone?

Mantis

In the meantime, Busch Gardens Tampa announced this morning that, as of today, the Falcon's Fury drop ride is open officially, after a few weeks of start-and-stop soft openings, and a several-month delay for part fabrication and installation.

Initial reviews have been strong for the new ride, which featured a unique face-down rotation before the big drop.

Replies (13)

September 2, 2014 at 9:39 AM · It is being converted to a floorless coaster.
September 2, 2014 at 9:55 AM · Stand up coasters are uncomfortable, and they inflate load times due to the cumbersome loading seats. Nothing but a good change in my opinion.
September 2, 2014 at 12:19 PM · I'm happy to see Falon's Fury finally open...Busch Gardens has really gotten burned by drop towers. I can't wait to try the new one out in late October!!

Today's Cedar Point announcement was a bit of a downer. Many were hoping for the details of the park's first dark ride in a long time, and the Mantis announcement, something that pretty much everyone knew already, was rather anticlimactic. It's been pretty widely reported that Mantis will become a sit-down floorless coaster, and the fact that they didn't give even give any details about the conversion is rather pathetic.

September 2, 2014 at 3:56 PM · If Mantis gets re-theme into Sonic the Hedgehog-themed ride, Well, it's ok. I Think?
September 2, 2014 at 7:13 PM · Yep, that's a rebrand. Doesn't mean that CP is done announcing things though..

On a slightly different note, I hadn't ridden Mantis in years. A little uncomfortable on the bits and pieces if you know what I mean. That little workaround in the loading station that guys figured out...yeah doesn't always work.

September 2, 2014 at 7:48 PM · I enjoyed Mantis a lot when we visited CP in August. It marked the first time I rode a stand up coaster and was not entirely uncomfortable. However, I am all for making it a floorless coaster because then it will be more like Kraken, one of my favorite B&M rides.

I am, however, very disappointed CP did not announce the addition of a new, innovative dark ride. That park really really really needs a dark ride or two, or three.

September 2, 2014 at 9:43 PM · I went to Busch Gardens today to ride Falcon's Fury and be there on Opening Day. Well, the park had few people in it, the parking lot only filled to tram stop 1, there were no special anything for this opening day. I guess BGT knew not to waste time and effort on this long delayed day, one day after "summer" season ended.

As for Falcon's Fury, since the crowds were low, I never saw more than about 4 ride loads (32 people) in line. I rode it twice, facing north (great) and facing south (so-so). Think sun and vista. The lift and drop were very exhilarating. At the top, when you rotate face down...you are completely pressed against the over the shoulder restraint with all your weight on the restraint. A few seconds later you drop about half way before it slows and the seat starts to rotate back.

I wear glasses and had them strapped around my head. The load operator on the first ride insisted I take them off and put them in the small cubby boxes in front of the seats. The second ride, the operator didn't say a thing and I wore them with absolutely no problem of them slipping off. There is a taped rather stern instruction announcement at the beginning saying no glasses (and no loose objects in general), if caught you will be expelled from the park. This is for cameras and phones anyone tries to use when riding.

It's a good ride, unlike any I've been on and very nerve wracking. I'll do it more times just so I can see the view in all directions.

September 3, 2014 at 6:50 AM · Why Mantis? Burn down the piece of crappie Mean Streak!
September 3, 2014 at 7:45 AM · Mr. Duda, why looking south is so-so? By looking south don't you see downtown Tampa?
September 3, 2014 at 8:05 AM · I think he had mentioned that it might be because you're looking into the sun.

It's good to hear that they're being really aggressive with loose items. The last thing anyone wants is for one idiot to try to POV the ride, and drop their camera/phone on someone, causing not only a serious injury, but potentially change the way the ride operates. I know glasses are a bit of a touchy subject with ride ops, because it can be difficult to tell if a person's eye wear are just standard sunglasses/designer glasses or prescription glasses. I don't think any ride op wants to take away someone's glasses that are needed for them to see and appreciate a ride like Falcon's Fury.

September 3, 2014 at 9:00 AM · Daniel, yes, Tampa is far to the right when facing south and it is a collection of tall buildings while everything is flat. But, as you rise, the first thing you see is a large parking lot behind Desert Grill. Very non-pretty. North was my non-glasses ride, so blurry view but nice with the college (USF) near-by. I saw a guy with a leg cast and wheelchair get loaded, very easy to do with the set-up they have. Once locked in, there is no wiggle-room. I fit in end seats very well (where single riders always get seated).

Russell, the glasses problem seems to be unsettled. Who the loader is, how senior, who is allowed to say OK, these determine policy. The drop forces are not very bad and you move face first which keeps them in place. As long as you have secure strap, I can't think glasses will ever fall off.

Because of the weight eventually being shifted to stomach area, I think it may be very uncomfortable for heavier people. Also, there is an adjustable strap that goes from between your legs and into the clasp on the over-the-shoulder restraint. I almost maxed out the strap length, so there is a limit to how big a person can be. I did not see a test seat.

September 3, 2014 at 3:39 PM · Will it go to MI ADVENTURE? they could add a quicker path and demolish the train for it. green is a real mantis color.
September 3, 2014 at 4:28 PM · I absolutely LOVE the floorless conversion idea for Mantis! Do up some floorless trains, put the same type of restraints in that they use on the Gatekeeper and Banshee or even Maverick, and it'd be golden. No more coming off the ride in pain from having your ears bashed in or having to worry about your "parts" ...and it would still maintain all the things I absolutely LOVE about the Mantis like the turnaround first hill, the giant vertical loop and first few elements, and make the parts that killed me enjoyable!

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