“ Address: 7007 Sea Harbor Drive / Orlando / Florida / 32821 / USA „
I visited Seaworld at Orlando in September 2010.
One of the main ride attractions is The Manta, which is a relatively new ride, opening only in May 2009.
What is it?
The Manta is a rollercoaster ride which is shaped to look like and make the rider feel, like you are attached to a giant manta ray. The experience begins in the queue, where you walk through a maze of gigantic aquariums, filled with tropical fish and manta rays. This helps to ease the bordeom faced when the queues are long. This is essential as queing time can be over an hour during peak time. I was lucky as when I visited there was barely any lines and I was able to go on the ride 4 times!
The actual rollercoaster seats up to 4 people in a line, so most people will be able to sit with their companions/ family.
When you climb in your seat, you will be secured with a hoist, which is comfortable. Then, the bizzare bit which makes this ride so unique! The seats are tipped up so that you are facing downwards at the floor! The ride then
begins and you are taken upwards to a very high height of 140 foot. Throughout the ride you move in such a way that you feel as though you are swishing backwards and forwards like a manta would do in the water. It is one of the fastest and biggest rollercoasters in the world.
A 1-day pass to Seaworld will cost $85.95 for adults and $79.95 for children up to age of 9. Other options are available depending on how long you want to spend in Orlando.
This is a fantastic ride, and my favourite in Orlando, even slightly better than the Harry Potter Rollercoaster at Islands of Adventure (another must do). It really reminded me of how a manta would move too! The cost of the park is excessive, but then all the theme parks in Orlando are overpriced. A must do if you are visiting seaworld. Go on, brave it!!
I visited Orlando in May this year, our hotel was really close to Seaworld so, as you can imagine, we spent quite a lot of time there. Seaworld is one of my favourite parks and it is made even more fantastic by the launch of this amazing ride. The Manta is now, by far, my favourite rollercoaster in Orlando. This is down to it's really smooth 'flying' style, incredible track layout and the feelings you get as you ride it!
A BIT ABOUT THE RIDE
Manta opened in Seaworld on the 22nd May 2009, so it's still a really new coaster. It is designed to mimic the way a manta ray 'flies' seamlessly through the sea. The Manta experience begins in the attraction queue, with 10 aquariums located on the journey through to the ride itself. These aquariums display tropical fish, sea horses and over 300 rays! They are so beautiful to watch and this really sets the scene well for the whole ride. This is such a nice feature as queues can really build up for this ride, we waited 50 minutes once and that was during low season, this addition means that you won't recieve the normal boredom that comes with waiting in line. There is also an entrance for the aquarium only for those that don't wish to ride.
The train of the rollercoaster is shaped like a giant manta ray, with eight rows for passengers, each seating four to a row. As you board, your seat will be upright (they are quite high up in the boarding station, so if you're short like me, you have to give yourself a bit of a hoist up). You will then be securely fastened in with a locking shoulder harness that has a soft vest-type harness underneath, this makes it really comfortable, your ankles will also be secured by padded flaps. I was really worried before riding that I wouldn't feel safe in it, but you really do. You are then raised up into your 'lying down' position by mechanisms in the train so that your back is parrallel to the track. This feels really strange by the way, but in a good way, it also makes a really loud noise as you go up which just adds to the excitement! Your departure from the loading station is followed by the 140ft climb, as you are lying down you can see everyone below you (make sure to wave!...if your eyes are open that is) the views are amazing, you can see for miles! As you reach the top, you will begin by making a slow, steep turn downwards (again, this feels really strange due to the positioning, but in a good way, unlike anything I've felt before), then running into a steep 113ft drop followed by an inversion that flies you headfirst into the ground before climbing back up again. This is probably my favourite bit of the ride. Other great moments include the 'corkscrews' in the track, which just feel amazing, from lying down- to on your back- to lying down again, all in a really smooth motion. The bit where you dive into the lagoon is another great moment, this creates the illusion that you just skim the top of the water, by water jets underneath creating a 'splash'. By the way, if you sit on the outside seat to the right you may get a bit of the spray from the water (really nice in the heat!).
The Manta track is 3,359 ft long and lasts just over two and a half minutes, reaching speeds of 56mph with a maximum G force of 3.7. Manta is the second longest, fastest and tallest rollercoaster in the world and was voted 'Best New Attraction' in 2009 by ThemeParkInsider.com, if you ride it, you can clearly see why.The minimum height requirement for this ride is 4ft6.
A 1-day pass to Seaworld will cost $79.95 for adults and $69.95 for children (aged 3-9). I would, however, recommend getting a Flex Ticket which is much better value for money if you plan on visiting more than one park. A 5-park pass will allow entry to Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, Seaworld, Aquatica and Wet & Wild for two weeks, with a 6-park ticket offering all of the above plus Busch Gardens. These start from around £167 for adults and £154 for children, shop around though for the best deals.
I absolutely love this ride, it's so addictive and unlike any other coaster I've ever been on. If you are visiting Orlando and plan on spending the day at Seaworld, you must ride this! , I lost count how many times we went on it. Expect long queues though, this is the newest attraction and it is very popular. This is quite an intense ride, not for the faint hearted or those with a fear of heights!
Manta the rollercoaster is situated in the Seaworld Park in Orlando, Florida. I have recently returned from Florida and out of all the rides at the attractions, Manta is definitely my favourite.
Manta is the newest addition to the Seaworld Park, and is the most popular. I can imagine that in peak season that the queues for this attraction would be very long, however I visited October 18th and I never waited more than 5 minutes to ride. However should you need to queue for longer the inside of the building leading up to the attraction is full of beautiful fish in large aquarium which can keep you fascinated for a little while.
The ride itself is actually very comfortable despite being lifted of the ground and being positioned facing the floor. This is to give the impression of you soaring through the waves or the sky in the case of this rollercoaster. It can seat four to a row so is ideal if you are wanting to sit with your friends whilst riding. There is a slow build up as you gain height above the ground and you can wave to all your friends below you and this also makes a good photo opportunity. Once you reach the top then you take off at fantastic speeds. The first loop is incredible and you can really feel the G Force. It lasts a decent amount of time and has great twists and turns along the way. I would highly recommend this ride for thrillseekers though not for the faint hearted or those with a weak stomach.
Manta is a roller coaster at SeaWorld in Florida. The attraction opened in May 2009 and the largest single investment in the history of any SeaWorld park.
Manta was build to be much more than a roller coaster. The experience begins straight away when you enter the attraction's queue. The area the ride us in is designed to resemble a seaside village. Sea world is famed for its animal attractions and they wanted to incorporate this with in the ride. So the attraction has ten aquariums containing 184,000 gallons of water. 3,000 different animals. As this ride is theme around sting rays of course the tanks including over 300 different rays. In one part you queue through an underwater tunnel allow you to observe the animals as if you were underwater themselves. This is a very strange feeling and one that i'm sure most of you have exsperanced at a local aquarium but this is different something you must see to understand.
Manta is the first flying roller coaster in the orlando area. It simulates the sensation of flight and is something you have to feel to describe. In this case, it is meant to resemble how rays appear to "fly" through the water.
Guests board the ride sitting upright in one of eight rows of the cars. Before the car departure your seat rises until you are parallel to the track. Guests are secured in their seats using a locking lap bar and a vest as well as flaps at the riders' ankles to hold their feet in place.
The cars styled with a lead car shaped like a manta ray. Its wingspan is a massive 12 feet wide. The ride is 3,359 feet long as has a first drop height of 113ft. It is a scary feeling the first time you plummet to the floor head first and then being trusted in to a 98-foot-tall pretzel loop. The ride has 7 inversions and reaches speeds in excess of 56 mph.
The signature piece of the ride is when Manta enters the second part of the course. The ride dives down towards a lagoon near that is near the parks entrance. The ride will pass extremely close to the water, such that the wings will appear to skim the surface. Water jets in the attraction's main lagoon create a "splash effect" as the car passes by.
This ride is scary. The feeling of laying down doing all this makes your head spin and not understand what is going on. You must try this ride saying all that, it will blow your mind.
Manta - Wow what can I say!!!
From the outset this is an impressive roller coaster. Even standing watching it makes you feel alive!!
Manta is the singular most impressive roller coaster in the whole Sea World park. It is based around the swooping and diving of a manta ray hence the position you adopt to ride. Swooping and diving hanging from the underneath of a giant set of manta wings is an unforgettable experience.
This ride has only very recently opened and is therefore incredibly popular. The downside to this is that the queues are extermely long. There is an option to ride as a single rider and even in this queue we waited for over 45 minutes. This was in July in the middle of the day, however I do not imagine it would be that much different any time of the year.
If you are not riding then try and stand at the side where the ride shoots over the water. This is only about 1 foot above the water itself and if you are quick then you can get a fantastic photo as it passes by.
My recent visit to Florida re-established my love of roller-coasters. My youngest has inherited the coaster-gene, so looks like I'll have a new coaster-buddy for some time to come.
The newest coaster in Florida at time of writing is Manta, at SeaWorld Orlando, which opened on 21 May 2009.
I rode this coaster on 6 July 2009, less than 2 months after opening. Unfortunately the height requirement ruled out my new buddy, so as a single rider, I braved the 40 minute queue in the baking sun.
The queuing was reasonably pleasant with a large part of it indoors in a sea-themed cavern with a very impressive built-in aquarium to keep you occupied while you wait. As seems to be common these days, the queue separated into 'front row' and 'other'. At the risk of starting a heated debate I, in common with lots of other coaster-freaks, will opt for the back seat most of the time. You guys waiting an extra twenty minutes for a front seat? I laugh at you. In this instance, being a single-rider it was fairly simple to get to the back seat row and eagerly wait my turn.
Manta Vital Statistics
* Type of ride: Steel 'flying' coaster
* Height: 140 feet
* First drop: 113 feet
* Top speed: 56 mph
* Track length: 3359 feet
* Riders: 96 (3x trains, each with 8 rows of 4 seats)
* Ride time: 2:35 minutes**
* Inversions: 4
* Height requirement: 54 inches
* Opened: 21/05/2009
* Manufacturer: Bolliger and Mabillard, Monthey, Switzerland
For the uninitiated, a 'flying' coaster requires you to sit in a moulded seat, pull a fixed harness down over your front and clip it to the seat using a small belt/buckle. Your legs are then clamped in place using ankle cuffs, a bit like those seats where James Bond gets caught by the baddie. Before the coaster starts, the whole seat-row ensembles are rotated though 90 degrees and locked parallel to the track so you are facing the ground. The 'Air' coaster at Alton Towers, UK was my first 'flying' coaster some years ago.
The ride starts off with the usual ratchety climb to the impressive 140 feet peak and, as you climb you of course wave to the watching gallery below, since you're facing downwards. The view of the park is as impressive as it is brief when the clacking sound stops and the weight of the coaster takes you over the apex of the climb. With a twist and a glide, the coaster hurtles down towards top speed and into the the first and main inversion, a full vertical loop with the trains on the inside, exerting substantial g-forces, pushing you back into your seat. At this point, you realise this ride is a bit special.
There are then a variety of twists and turns, including the next two inversions, both in an anti-clockwise corkscrew style before a mini-respite and a touch of brakes to slow us down for the more 'scenic' phase of the ride.
So, into a couple of twists, followed by a swoop over the pond where a wing-dip is simulated with a spray from the surface of the water and we head into our final clockwise corkscrew inversion to finish.
** The 'official' ride time includes the initial climb and final trail round to the start again, neither of which I think really count. Actual ride time, from the end of the climb to the 'brakes on' at the end is approx 1 minute.
This review also appears in my blog