No, actually, it's a flying... fish?
SeaWorld Orlando's Manta represents the Bolliger & Mabillard Flying Coasters as the 11th seed in the Best Roller Coaster bracket of the 2010 Best Theme Park Attraction Tournament.
Manta offers a 113-foot drop and four inversions - hardly awesome specs, absent context. But the exhilarating experience of the flying coaster's unique "seating" arrangement - riding prone, suspended underneath the track - coupled with the lush tropical setting of this installation helped earn Manta last year's Theme Park Insider Award as the 2009's Best New Attraction.
Here's Theme Park Insider reader Gareth H at the opening of Manta last year:
The original Bolliger & Mabillard Flying Coaster, Alton Towers' Air, opened in 2002, followed by Superman - Ultimate Flight at Six Flags Over Georgia, Six Flags Great Adventure and Six Flags Great America, Tatsu at Six Flags Magic Mountain and then Manta.
What's your take on Manta? Do you think it can pull the upset and advance into the second round? We'll find out when voting for the Best Theme Park Attraction Tournament begins in March. In the meantime, let's take the speculation into the comments.Tweet
But back onto Manta, which I reviewed in my summer road trip:
SeaWorld really hit the nail on the head with Manta. What it lacks in breakdancing yetis, it makes up for in smooth, sometimes very intense loops and curves. Add a few water hazards and seemingly haphazard trees, and voila: a first rate attraction that not even I could complain about. But I will anyway...
Although we were on the ride twice before 10am rolled around, SeaWorld stopped running the second track in the afternoon, drastically decreasing the loading efficiency. In addition, for most of the day there was no employee to guide parties to their seats, causing coasters to run with some half-empty rows. This is pretty inexcusable for a new attraction.
I give the ride a 9-Outstanding when riding in the back row, and an 8-Commendable in any other row. Until they fix their loading efficiency issues, I cannot award it 10-Perfection.
In that order.. so ok its lost out #1 spot to Hulk but it is one amazing ride.. Much better than Altons Towers's "Air", the only other flying coaster i have been on
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Anyway, its great! I must say that Seaworld really has the great coasters!