Published: May 5, 2009 at 11:56 AMYeah, Manta is a rush and a half. Gotta love the loops, they look inocuous enough when seen from the ground but man they pack a wallop when you're sitting in the back row. Amazing ride. Seaworld has a winner!
Published: May 5, 2009 at 12:25 PMThis looks an incredible ride. The water effect just looks beautiful! I have been on Air at Alton Towers and I agree with you about the restraints, they are extremely comfortable (apparently B&M use a rubber which adapts to your body).
Published: May 5, 2009 at 12:55 PMNot missing Air at Alton Towers, eh Gareth? ;)
Glad you enjoyed it, I myself have been looking forward to it for a long time. I'll hopefully get the chance to ride it this summer, assuming I'm going anyway.
'SeaWorld's offered to have Brian Morrow, Manta's design director, answer questions from TPI readers. Post 'em in the comments or e-mail 'em to me ASAP.'
Oh goodie! Here are mine:
1). I thought Manta was a great name for coaster at Sea World. Whose idea was it? Did you go through a list of names?
3). Did anything about Kraken inspire you while you were designing Manta?
2). This is going to sound ambitous but are you planning to put a Manta Ray in the aquraium? Any other standout creatures I should look forward to seeing?
3). Have you ridden Manta yourself? :)
Thanks in advance!
Published: May 5, 2009 at 1:01 PMThanks for the report, Gareth.
Manta is not so much a coaster as it is a work of art. Just beautiful. I can't wait to experience it next year.
Here's my question from the "what have you done for me lately" bin: Now that Manta is finished, what's next for SeaWorld Orlando?
Published: May 5, 2009 at 1:11 PMIs the entire course filled with sand? Was the decision to utilize sand based on the ride experience or complaints from park neighbors?
Published: May 5, 2009 at 1:19 PMFor Mr. Morrow:
How does the lie-down dynamic change the safety tests performed? Does it affect the maximum allowable G-forces on the body?
Also, what is the standard Safety Factor for a roller coaster like Manta? This one's a bit of a nerdy engineer question, but I'm curious.
Published: May 5, 2009 at 2:10 PMExcited to ride it next month. It looks amazing.
Seeing how it flips you and straps you in, and the lift reminds me a bit of Tatsu at Magic Mountain.
Published: May 5, 2009 at 2:27 PMFirst, Gareth, thank you for the article.
Manta is a awesome B&M. I had the chance to ride in the front row with no wait really (15 minutes) Monday and then in the back as well. It really is a completely different beast, and as I've heard others state, you really have to be a coaster junkie to handle the back with the G's you feel back there and "whipped" effect.
Question, hmmmm... The locking harness, is that the first of it's kind? I've been on Superman at SFGA, but don't remember it being that unusual.
Published: May 5, 2009 at 7:55 PMQuestion about the lift hill..........I am not sure if i am seeing it correctly from the video i have seen but is there a platform below the coaster on the lift hill. If not how do they let people off if they needed to evac the train if it got stuck ?
Published: May 5, 2009 at 8:33 PMExcellent work!
Looks similar to Superman, but I am betting is is MILLION times better!
Published: May 5, 2009 at 8:43 PMGareth, I have SO been looking forward to this entry. NOW I am superhyped and wanting to visit Manta-- and i'm SUPER jealous of you and annoyed that I had to choose between SeaWorld and my family on a day when I had no school. Oh well...
- Was Manta created already with the thought of incorporating SOME type of water creature to entertain guests during the line wait? I mean... what if the ride was called "Man O War?"
- Were there any difficulties to designing a coaster where its queue would would be an attraction itself?
Published: May 5, 2009 at 8:48 PMMy question for Brian:
What was the thought process of the creative team that led to the idea of a Manta Ray-themed coaster? Does the ride itself have an actual story (like Kraken and Journey to Atlantis do)?
Published: May 5, 2009 at 10:42 PMMr. Morrow, the Manta looks absolutely stunning and I'm excited to get out and ride it this summer. One question I have is how do you go about trying to make this or any coaster unique from others already built aside from the theming? Lastly, why did you decide to enter this industry and how did you get involved?
Published: May 6, 2009 at 9:32 AMThe ride looks great. Kudos to Sea World for the queue and the landscape. Hopefully they can keep that load time down. It's always been one of the weak points of the flying coaster, and it can cause lines to move very slowly. Dual loading stations help, but so do ride ops who know what they are doing. All the better reason to give you something to look at while you wait.
Published: May 6, 2009 at 12:36 PMI've collected the questions and sent them along. Will publish answers as soon as I get 'em.
Published: May 6, 2009 at 1:52 PMI think its ride is going to be awsome im going to seaworld May22.I just cant wait i've been counting down the days for me to go to seaworld.Ohh yea brian i was wondering if it was really hard to design and make Manta?Well I love your work you did really well.
Published: May 6, 2009 at 2:13 PMI would like to ask Mr. Morrow what you have to do to get an amazing job like the one he has.
Published: May 6, 2009 at 8:15 PMI was able to ride Manta today and the ride is amazing. One of the most exciting and intense coaster I have ever been on. Great ride overall.
On a side note, Brian Morrow was in the station during my ride. I walked right next to him after getting off.
Published: May 7, 2009 at 9:48 AMSeeing as I won't be traveling anywhere outside of Southern California in the next year or two I just have to ask if there's any plans of this awesome looking ride for Sea World San Diego. And if so, hopefully it won't end up mediocre like San Diego's Atlantis.
Published: May 9, 2009 at 3:13 PMHey, everyone. I rode Manta this afternoon. I got to SeaWorld around 2 PM today, and went straight to Manta. Using the single rider line (which doesn't start until you are almost at the end of the queue), I was on the next to last row within 5 minutes. After getting off, I got back on again and used the single rider line. 5 minutes later, I lucked into a front row seat. An hour later, I returned, and single rider was closed. The standby took about 10 minutes, and I rode front row once again.
Manta is incredible. A "work of art" like James says. Off the top of my head, only Expedition Everest, The Beast, and maybe Boulderdash could give this a legitimate fight over which would is truly the greatest themed coaster ever made.
With Sheikra, you get the sense that the water is just there because it's supposed to make a splash. With Manta, this is the first coaster I have rode that truly incorporates the water effects and the gorgeous scenery within the ride, as if the ride could not possibly be complete without them.
B&M has now created an almost perfect roller coaster, and Seaworld of all places now has two of the three best roller coasters in all of Florida. Kudos to SeaWorld.
Published: May 11, 2009 at 6:04 AMI was on Manta 8 different times this past Saturday, riding once in each row. The single rider line was great, but should have been at the front saving some wait time. The aguariums are a wonderful distraction while waiting making the time go by a little faster. I had a problem with people wanting to take pictures at every aquarium which only held up the line more. I didn't want to be pushy and ask to go around them while they looked on in awe.
I definitely like Superman Ultimate Flight at SFOG a lot better, especially the pretzel loop. The restraints are the same on both rides that make these rides very comfortable - unlike Borg Asimilator which hurts to ride.
Anyway, Manta is a wonderful addition to Sea World, but not in my top 10 list. It will be a great first flying coaster for the younger kids. I know my grandson will enjoy this ride when he attends the media event on the 20th with me. I didn't take him on Saturday as I wanted to preview the ride first.
See you on the ride,