Did you know that there was going to be a west coast version of Manta, at SeaWorld San Diego?
You can't miss that news now if you visit the San Diego park - SeaWorld's placed one of the new Manta coaster trains at the park entrance, to promote the upcoming ride.
San Diego's Manta will be a sit-down coaster from Mack Rides, a ground-hugging design with a top speed of 43 miles per hour and a maximum drop of just 54 feet (the park has to work within height restrictions imposed by the California Coastal Commission). So riders can expect a very difference experience from the original Manta, a Bolliger & Mabillard Flying Coaster at SeaWorld Orlando which won the Theme Park Insider Award for Best New Attraction in 2009.
SeaWorld spokesperson Dave Koontz told me today that over half the track has been installed on San Diego's Manta, and construction will begin next week on the show building that will house the ride's launch. Ride testing will begin in April in advance of the scheduled May 26 opening.
One more, though unrelated, new listing on the site: Katsura Grill, the new counter service restaurant that replaced the Yakitori House in the Japan pavilion at Epcot, opened officially today. Follow the link and rate away.Tweet
Anyway this Manta ride will not only be a fun ride experience but it's also going to be one of the best looking area in the park.
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I think a better idea would have been to make a west coast 'Kraken' but with a twist. Keep it as a floorless coaster but instead of a big first drop, have it launch out of the station into a series of inversions and small drops. That way you would keep the thrill despite the hieght restriction. A foorless launch coaster would be unique and, I think, a big draw.