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SeaWorld Orlando (SWO) Discussion Thread

P. 276: Penguin Trek construction update!

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I heard Friday also but I dont know. I thought they might wait tell some of the track shows up as they did for Sheikra at BGT. I looked all around the park and any area I could see from the tower and no track on site just yet. I would love to see the annoucement Friday as I would really like to have all the rumors put to rest..

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Here is the official annoncement just in from Sea World:


SeaWorld Orlando Announces New Mega-Attraction Coming In 2009

-- Manta, Ride The Flying Ray --


ORLANDO Fla. (May 29, 2008) -- SeaWorld Orlando announced today the next generation of SeaWorld thrills with Manta -- a new mega-attraction which will seamlessly transition guests from the awe of encountering rays in underwater flight… into the sensation of actually being one. Swooping over sea and sky, Manta will inspire riders with amazing underwater animal habitats, then soar them face-down, in a horizontal position, aboard a manta-inspired flying coaster. Manta opens summer 2009.


The Manta flying coaster will create a new level of immersion into the animal world -- in a way only SeaWorld can do -- enveloping riders in a sensation of oneness with the ocean's most powerful and graceful creature as they soar, dive and plummet through the air.. and at times within inches of the sea.


The journey begins the second guests enter a mythical village filled with artisan-created engravings and artwork that celebrate ray legend and lore. No ordinary queue line – the attraction starts with the first step inside. Anticipation builds as guests wind through caverns adorned with ray-inspired art in marble, jewels, and mosaics, all hand-created and left behind by artists who were moved to pay tribute to the beauty, grace and intrigue of these animals.


Whether guests choose to ride or not, the attraction is a world unto itself. Floor-to-ceiling windows create mesmerizing face-to-fin encounters with 300 rays, as well as thousands of fish and mysterious creatures native to oceans all over the world. Shark rays, spotted eagles rays, leopard rays, cownose rays, and oscillate river rays float past guests with fluidity and grace in a view new to SeaWorld. Enhancing the feeling of awe, elaborate lighting, sound and rushing waterfalls further submerge guests into this underwater universe.


The experience then evolves from seeing ... to being.



Inspired by the underwater flight of these powerful creatures, guests will fly face-down, in a horizontal position, underneath the belly of a coaster train shaped as a giant manta. With a wing span of 12 feet, the giant manta will soar over sea and sky in the most graceful flying coaster ever created.


Gliding, swooping and diving up to nearly 60 mph, through four inversions on 3,359 feet of track, riders will feel as if they are a ray, taking flight effortlessly from sky to sea -- so close at times that the Manta's wings skim the waves.


"This ride is uniquely SeaWorld,” said Dan Brown, Vice President and General Manager of SeaWorld Orlando. "SeaWorld is famous for connecting guests with the sea and its amazing creatures, and Manta does this in a way that has never been done before, creating a true sense of oneness between human and animal.


"The sensation of Manta also will be like none other in the world – guests will be inspired by the grace and power of live rays, then feel as if they, themselves, are gliding through air and water,” said Joseph Couceiro, Chief Marketing Officer for SeaWorld's parent company, Busch Entertainment Corporation. "No one but SeaWorld can unite thrills and ocean animals into such a unique experience.”


The 4-acre, 140-ft tall attraction will be located inside the main entrance to SeaWorld, and become an icon in the park with its unique design. Towering over SeaWorld's 200-acres, the manta-themed coaster – cloaked in hues of dark purple, ultramarine blue, and cobalt – will lure guests into the world of the mysterious ray.


SeaWorld is working with the renowned Swiss coaster design company, Bolliger & Mabillard for the design of Manta.


SeaWorld Orlando is one of 10 Worlds of Discovery parks operated by Busch Entertainment Corporation. The other Florida Worlds of Discovery parks are: Aquatica, SeaWorld's waterpark in Orlando; Discovery Cove in Orlando; Busch Gardens Africa and Adventure Island in Tampa. For guests looking for the best value and flexibility when planning their vacation, multi-park tickets are available. Admission to Discovery Cove includes seven days of admission to either SeaWorld or Busch Gardens. For more information on multi-park tickets and vacation planning tips, guests may visit www.seaworld.com or call (800) 327-2424. Worlds of Discovery, based in Orlando, Fla., employs more than 21,000 people nationwide. On the Web at www.WorldsofDiscovery.com.








Total Animals: 3,000

Gallons of Water: 184,000 gallons total

Aquariums: 10

Species: 60+

Rays: 304

Sea Dragons: 23

Sea Horses: 20

Fish: 2,500+ (tropical fish, cardinal fish, invertebrates).

Underwater Views: Floor-to-ceiling, nine feet tall views; including a 220-square-foot overhead viewing panel for observing schools of rays circling above.

Exterior Lagoon: 16,300 square feet



Type of Ride: Flying coaster

Seating: Horizontal, face-down, four people across

Thrills: Flies through sky and over a lagoon

Height: 140 feet

Maximum Drop: 113 feet

Top Speed: 56 miles per hour

Inversions: 4

Track Length: 3,359 feet

Vehicle wing span: 12 feet

Cycle Time: 2 minutes, 35 seconds

Manufacturer: Bolliger & Mabillard; Monthey, Switzerland

Height requirement: 52 inches

Trains: 3 per track; with 32 people on each train

Capacity: Approximately 1,500 people per hour

Opening date: Summer 2009



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Sounds pretty awesome to me! I'm not expecting a terribly intense ride, but the overall experience sounds pretty cool, and the ride is actually bigger than I expected. I will definitely have to find myself in Orlando next year.


I hope they release a full layout sometime.

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Wow, this is almost the size of Tatsu-I was expecting something slightly larger than Air-, and it sounds like it might even be better than Tatsu. I'm not a fan of flying coasters, but this sounds like it should be a lot of fun, and I might actually ride it if I'm ever in the park. The thing I'm most excited about this though is the theming, and I can't wait to see how the coaster interacts with the environment/exhibit.

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This looks pretty awesome. I like how the ray exhibit itself is a walk through. originally it made it seem like the coaster would fly through the exhibit, which means you probaly wouldn't see much unless it was traveling up the lift hill. I'm still kind of curious to see how the wings "skim" the water without completely slowing the train down.

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^Hmm, yeah. Makes you wonder if they've tweaked the trains a little to accommodate more guests?


^^Well, they might just have a few small indentions on the tips of the "wings" that splash up water. If you think about it, just having the tips of the wings on one side "skimming" the water probably isn't going to have that much of an effect on the velocity of a several-ton train.


I'm just throwing that out though. Hard telling how much contact with the water the trains will actually have.

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I'm VERY impressed by this so far. To me, this just proves that B&M hasn't "lost their touch" as so many claim. It's really all up to a park to show the cohones, and pony up the funds to build something bold like this. Other parks (with the exception of Tatsu) may be content with off-the-shelf models with slight variations, but at least I know I can always go to Orlando for the goods.

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I found this interesting:


Height requirement: 52 inches


Aren't all other B&M's 54 inches?




Maybe this will help a little with the line of crying kids that go through the exhibit and find out they can't get on the coaster. I remember the all the kids being denied one year at Kraken... it was quite loud from all the crying! They were stuck with the water coaster.



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^^ I thought that was merely concept art and wasn't in any official press release.


This looks really nice! I love the idea for the queue, I'm surprised there has not been one like it yet. And it sounds surprisingly longer then I thought it would be, can't wait to see the layout.

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Pity it won't be operational at Spring 2009. I'll be in that area again beginning of Spring and would have loved to ride it.


True... early spring is when I usually go to Florida, to escape the winter, but all the new Orlando attractions are opening later than that.


I think this looks pretty cool! I'd like to see a layout, but already it's taller and longer than I thought. I haven't ridden kraken yet so this gives me two good reasons to go there in the future.

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