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SeaWorld Orlando (SWO) Discussion Thread

P. 276: Penguin Trek construction update!

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Wow I love way that splash down looks. And how close it appears to get to the water. I must admit that I am beyond jealous. If only SD could get a Manta. It looks as though you would definitely get a little wet in the back. But i'm sure its fun. I am amazed at how nice of a job they did with theming. I'm sure it even looks a million times better in person. Thanks for the photos everyone!

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"The only details I got were 'the pretzel loop is more intense than Superman: Ultimate Flight'." (missingmusician)


I wonder if it's as intense as the pretzel loop on Tatsu? That one is quite intense, especially in the last row.



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I haven't ridden Manta yet, but just as far as "looks" are concerned, this looks WAY better than Tatsu (which is obviously a given).


I was actually VERY dissapointed in the layout of tatsu and was hoping they would use the terrain of the mountain to their advantage (like revolution), and instead they just build it above the mountain.


Other than the Pretzel Loop, Tatsu is kind of meh for me.

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" i will tell you that a few employees that I was talking to one night HAVE been on Tatsu and they actually preferred Manta."

hmmm I wonder why?


But Manta does sound like a fantastic ride, it doesnt really match up to Tatsu in stature, but the scenery seems to make up for that a lot, the wing dip looks gorgeous and so does the whole ride. It'll be interesting to hear enthusiast's opinions who have ridden both this and Tatsu. Park employees seem just a tad on the biased side to me LOL

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I heard a few coaster enthusiasts say they like Manta over Tatsu, but then I heard an equal amount that preferred Tatsu.


I think it comes down to ride experience. Tatsu is really high up in the air, and from the ones that said they liked Tatsu better, that was their main point. Others that said Manta was better liked that it used its surroundings better.


I've never been on Tatsu, but the pretzel loop is really intense on Manta in the back row. Honestly, I haven't felt more positive G's on any of the 200+ coasters I've ridden except for Hypersonic XLC's launch.

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Tatsu is just really cool because of the amazing view, it is literally breath taking. I don't know how this will fare in Orlando, however. I think the only reason Tatsu is liked so much is because of where it is and what is does. Also, Tatsu's pretzel is awesome, but is not as fast as one right after the first drop. Hopefully, I will get to ride this this summer if I end up going to Orlando with my friend. I may not be able to though, because my friends family is doing a Disneyworld trip, and I am not going to ask to go to another park on their family vacation. Oh well, I can only hope.


The ride looks epic, the que and trains are all so awesome. I say Busch Entertainment gets another World Class Coaster.

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They got the splash down perfect! It looks just like the train is skimming the water. Craziness. And some people might be more biased to Manta because it is new. I remember I used to LOVE Tatsu when it first opened. And now I am kind of used to it. Give it a couple months and peoples opinions might change. But it no doubt looks an amazing ride. I can't wait to get on it.


Thanks for posting that video Justin87!

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Wow.....this looks to be not only an incredible ride, but the whole package of ride + themed experience. I would make a trip there just to check this out.


Just as shifting to more of a balance between family oriented and thrill attractions has been a recent trend in the industry, it seems as if a new trend developing is an emphasis on the entire ride experience rather than just the ride; instead of going for some type of record breaking ride or prototype, parks are taking proven ride concepts and adding something to set them apart. There's Manta (a heavily themed B&M flying coaster), Terminator Salvation (a heavily themed GCI wooden coaster), etc. Six Flags is taking existing popular coasters (the transformations of X2, Medusa at Great Adventure, and Superman at SFNE) and adding music, theming and other elements to create an experience beyond just the ride.


I am anticipating that there will be more of this in the years to come-it really makes sense: instead of a prototype, go with something proven to work and be reliable and add something new and different to the experience. Manta looks as if it has truly raised the bar as far as combining theming and thrills-kudos to Sea World.

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^ Everytime I watch the video the splash down sequences get me a little excited. I would love to be in the back and get misted. Seems like it would be quite refreshing. I just hope that it doesn't turn into X's fog on the bottom of the Raven turns and gets turned off after the first month after opening. But I highly doubt that. Doesn't seem like Busch would do such a thing.

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^ Even though it doesn't actually skim the water, it really does look like it does, especially if you stand right in front of the splash. This video didn't have that angle but it is a sight to see.


I remember when I was there that day, I spent a good portion of it watching it do the water splash maneuver because it was just so cool looking.


I also agree with Jhcbiinoc, there may be a trend moving in about going with proven designs and just adding themes or something to bring it up a notch. Manta is a great example and the themeing on it is simply off the charts. I really felt at times that I was at some tropical oasis.


Once the aquarium opens, this dual attraction (ride and exhibit) will be a must-see for both riders and non-riders. SeaWorld built a winner for themselves, an attraction that everyone can enjoy.

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AWESOME!!!!!! thank all of you for your updates. it is really awesome looking, and i really hope i'll be able to go sometime this week! the skim/splash area looks interesting, kinda wish thought that it was like sheikra's, so the kids could run up to it and get wet. but it looks graceful none the less! AWESOME!!!!!

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We were at SeaWorld today, Manta had a soft opening after 2 PM. After a 30 minute wait in a beautifully themed line (lots of aquariums with stingrays and other fish) we had an awesome ride! Can't wait to go again!

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Here's a short video I shot today with a few different angles of the water splash:



They were running it quite a bit faster than they were yesterday. Today it seemed to move faster than the train, whereas yesterday, it was a tad behind the zero car. We actually got wet in the front row today. Yesterday, in the front row, it wasn't close enough to us to get us wet.

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I arrived at the park today around 2:15 and waited around the coaster for about 25 minutes and all of a sudden HERE WE GO!!!!!


First off the themeing around the coaster as all can see is absolutely breath taking. Pictures and video don't do the area complete justice, and really hats off to the team at sea world for completely revitalizing a dead zone in the park.



The queue house is fantastic and completely different than anything I have ever seen. When Kraken was being built this is how I hoped the queue would turn out. Now most of the aquarium tanks are uninhabited but once full it will complete an amazing experience. There are also lighting effects that were simulating an underwater environment through the second portion of the queue house which I thought was a great touch. Once we passed all the aquariums we went up a flight of stairs to our right and arose into the station house. We were placed in row four on the third train to be dispatched for the day. Now I have seen photos of the trains but man let me tell you they have to be the sexiest coaster trains I have ever been on. After about a 5 minute delay we were CLEAR FOR DISPATCH!!!


Now let me start off by saying I have only been on one flyer before and it was superman at SFGradv. It was a cool experience but not really my thing. Manta on the other hand actually made me scream and laugh the whole way through. The lift is quiet and quick, and the drop whips around picking up just smooth as glass speed. The pretzel loop is by far the most intense inversion I have ever been on, and I was in the middle! The g-forces were just kicking The second inversion isnt intense but still somewhat forceful. The downward turn into the third inversion is fast and forceful. The midcourse breakrun doesn't even slow ya down. The splash down effect is amazing. The second half is nowhere near as intense but just graceful and with some great near misses.


All in all this ride is a welcome addition to Sea World, it very well may be the best coaster in Orlando. I know thats alot to say but man it just kicked butt. I'm a universal fan boy and I'm here to tell ya HRRR has its work cut out for it.


A couple of pics from today, they are from my phone. I forgot the camera at the house, yeah I'm ashamed


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Don't know if anyone notice but doesn't the pictures and videos of the water splash effect look bigger than the first day? I think it does which could explain getting wet in the middle of the train.


I remember reading somewhere a while back that SeaWorld can control the size and overall look of the splash and that could be what they are doing; trying to see what looks best considering it is still in the "testing" stage. Could you imagine if they turn that thing up to create a HUGE splash.

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Today my brother surprised me by driving us over to Seaworld in hopes that we'd catch a soft opening. We were lucky enough to arrive at the beginning of the day's preview and after a half-hour's wait, we were finally able to ride.


While I won't go into my detailed Manta report just yet (I'll have plenty more to say soon), I will say that the ride not only exceeded my expectations, but bumped Seaworld up in my priority list when planning visits. Bryan Morrow and his team did an amazing job with the design of this wonderful attraction and B&M's smooth flowing trackwork and design helped to make Seaworld a major contendor this year against Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando.


Our first ride on Manta...


It should be noted that the neighboring residents of the Manta area aren't very happy with the new attraction and have taken actions to defile and deface the addition in whatever way possible.


And like this report, the ride wraps up at the brake run.


I could definitely get used to this view!


The height of the splash can be seen here.


It was at this point that the color returned to my brother's face.


The zero car deserves its own photo. No doubt about that.


Another train makes its way up the (fast moving) lift...


More water to be had.


And there is this last flat spin...


While not wholly convincing, it does look very nice.


See the effect at work.


Just for reference, here is a photo of how close the track comes to the water.


Does this remind you of the concept art?


Get ready for a slew of splashdown photos...


Another beautiful piece of art in the form of the attraction sign/logo...


A copy of the "Backside of Water" adorns the entrance of Manta. My camera can go no further.


Digital wait time signs are much preferred to those old manual clocks. Manual updating via turning minute hands is now a thing of the past.



And then I got in the seat, pulled down my restraint for a photo and then tried to exit, only to find myself locked in. Unfortunately, I made a fool of myself while I frantically attempted to free myself--the little handle does the trick.


Like with many major coasters at the Busch parks, there is a test seat near the entrance of Manta.


An outdoor locker location is conveniently placed next to the entrance of the attraction.


Manta will be included on the park's Quick Queue system, adding a little more to the ticket's value.


I guess its justified as tradition... Everyone else does it, right?


Being a closet Modern-design enthusiast, these lamp covers simply stun me.




The bottom of the pretzel loop provides for a great photo moment.


Into the pretzel loop we go!


This shot almost makes Manta look like an inverted coaster...


See what I mean?


Ride photos are sold at the exit of the ride...


The action portion of the ride is certainly intense at times (depending on where you sit), but it makes the ride thrilling enough.


If the aquarium is anything like the queue, we have alot to look forward to seeing.


Up we go!




This looks new!

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