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SeaWorld Orlando (SWO) Discussion Thread

P. 276: Penguin Trek construction update!

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Don't know how many of you followed @RealShamu on Twitter, but he threw a little party to a limited group of people tonight. It was pretty awesome, and so was Manta! Definitely better then the SUF's, maybe a tier below Tatsu but it's WAY more re-rideable then Tatsu is! I actually like it about the same, it seems like B&M really hit the "sweet spot" with their flyers with Manta.


I'll post a PTR from the party tonight hopefully tomorrow, it was a blast!

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Tonight's event was definitely a lot of fun. Riding in the dark was amazing. We also took some time to look around and explore the queue trying to find hidden mantas. In all we found six mantas, a shamu, and a dolphin, but apparently there are quite a few more things hiding in the rock work.


'Hidden' manta in the queue.


And as for the splash getting you wet, today we barely got wet at all riding on the very right side of any row, as it seemed the splash wasn't on as 'big' as it was the day before. It was more on par with the first day of public operation's splash, but still a tad ahead of the zero car.

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I'm not a fish expert or anything but I know they are not supposed to drop all the fish in at one time. Does anyone know if they are supposed to have the aquariums full by May 22?


In retail systems they give you a solution (Bio-Spira with Marineland systems) you put in the tank and after 24 hours you can throw in however many fish you want. They also sell it for consumer use but its a lower grade stuff.


However in a huge system like sea world I am sure its just filtered sea water so they shouldn't have to worry about it because there should be plenty of beneficial bacteria. But they won't put ALL of the fish in at once just in case.

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Just returned from Sea World's Media Day for Manta. The coaster officially soft opened today at noon, so they invited the media out to take some pics and ride the ray!


Since there have already been a ton of pics of the coaster in action, I took shots of the queue line as well as the yet to be open Aquarium/non-rider area.


The ride itself is great but intense! We rode in the front seat, and you get some nice negative G's at the top of the pretzel loop. But the bottom of the loop is pretty intense, and when I rode it in the back, I nearly greyed out!


The coaster is in an ideal setting right in the middle of the park, and the ops crew did a great job of keeping the trains running. Since there is a double loading station and 3 trains, you actually exit from the opposite side from where you entered.


Thanks to John from Marketing for showing us around!


Enjoy the pics, and Bryan should be uploading some video he shot as well!

Manta at Sea World 5-4-09 001.avi

The final splashdown filmed in HD. Oooo!!


Splash down!


Climbing out of the pretzel


First test run of the day


One of the many cool light fixtures. Can't wait to ride this at night!


The opening day crowd


And a beautiful mosaic on one of the outside walls


The aquarium


Outside more theming


There was a diver working in the area at the time.


Finally, they are growing a living reef/coral in this tank.


He looks happy!


A ray from underneath


The final room (or maybe it's the first room depending on where you enter) has a tank with an overhead viewing area. Basically, the ceiling is all water and the rays swim right over you.


Here's the octopus.


There is a cool tank with an octupus. It even has a pass thru so he can go from tank to tank!


The big tank as seen from the other side.


It's pretty awesome!


Help! I'm trapped!


In the non-rider aquarium side, there is a cool pop-up window similar to the one at Jungala. Eventually, there will be tons of fish swimming all around you.


Wheel enthusiasts rejoice!


The lead car


The whole train


The station and one row


Looking down the stairs from the station. There is cool lighting that simulates being underwater.


After the tanks, the line splits into two sides, each with a set of stairs leading to the station. The far right side was for Quick Queue as well as Single Riders.


Another tank with some cool rays


Hi Mr. Ray!


The big tank with lots of ray swimming about.



One of the many tanks. Some were still waiting for their fish to arrive


Without a flash


Inside is dark ( I used a flash) and air conditioned. Very comfortable on a hot day.


Exterior of the Aquarium and Station


The bridge to the indoor queue


As soon as you enter the queue, you pass under this waterfall. As the trains zoom by, they tend to spray the waiting guests.


O minutes! Sweet!


And more signage!




Some local media were out and about


The sign


More theming


The splash effect. Later on it's hard to see the jets as the water keeps moving.


The view as soon as you turn the corner at the front of the park


Another beautiful day at Sea World


Immersed in the world of the Rays – Standing in the queue line at Manta, SeaWorld Orlando’s all-new, must-see attraction, guests find themselves immersed in the mysterious world of the ray. Soon enough, though, they find out what it’s like to spin, glide, and fly like the biggest ray of all – the manta – when they go for a ride on the only flying roller coaster of its kind in the world. Manta is a blend of up-close animal encounters with a head-first, face-down thrill ride. Manta is now open, only at SeaWorld Orlando.


Photo credit – Jason Collier, SeaWorld


Surrounded by Rays – At SeaWorld Orlando’s must-see new attraction, Manta, hundreds of rays – including the cownose rays shown here -- surround guests as they wait in the queue line for the only flying roller coaster of its kind in the world. Manta is a blend of up-close animal encounters with a head-first, face-down thrill ride. Manta is now open, only at SeaWorld Orlando.


Photo credit – Jason Collier, SeaWorld


Top of the Drop – Riders on Manta, SeaWorld Orlando’s new attraction, get ready to drop over 100 feet and find out what it’s like to spin, glide, skim and fly like a giant ray as they experience the only flying roller coaster of its kind in the world. Manta is a blend of up-close animal encounters with a head-first, face-down thrill ride. Orlando’s must-see for the summer, Manta is now open.


The thrill seekers are (l- r) Brittany Tollerton, Emily Ludder, Adam Shipton and Alison Valentino.


Photo credit – Jason Collier, SeaWorld Orlando


Dive Deep. Fly High -- A theme park visit gets turned upside down for riders on Manta, SeaWorld Orlando’s new attraction. The only flying roller coaster of its kind in the world, Manta is a blend up close animal encounters with a head-first, face-down thrill ride. Manta – Orlando’s must-see for the summer – is now open. Go to RideTheFlyingRay.com to discovery more.


The thrill seekers are (top to bottom) Brittany Tollerton, Donnie Gallagher, Mari Delgado and Emily Ludder.


Photo credit – Jason Collier, SeaWorld Orlando

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Thanks for the pics!



Manta has to be one of the most beautiful coasters ever. From the queue, to the scenery, to the actual coaster. This ride looks stunning!



I can wait to ride it this summer.

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Thanks for the pics and video. Really great to see how they incorporated the animal atttractions with the coaster. It's quite stunning. I can only pray that one day that whoever winds up owning Seaworld San Diego can install such a great ride.

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So in the first pictures, the ones I am assuming came from the media, why do they keep saying that its the only coaster like that in the world? I can only assume that they mean that its the only coaster to have animals and waterfalls and stuff like that built in?


Still though, I am simply in awe at the attention to detail for this ride, its stunning. Wasn't planning on going out to Orlando til HP opens, but this just changed my mind!


Thanks for the pictures john, they are fantastic!

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So in the first pictures, the ones I am assuming came from the media, why do they keep saying that its the only coaster like that in the world? I can only assume that they mean that its the only coaster to have animals and waterfalls and stuff like that built in?


That is exactly what they mean. SeaWorld says that this is the only coaster like this in the world referring to combining a roller coaster attraction with animal interaction and a story seamlessly. There is basically a whole story that begins right when you walk into the line. Going from being with the rays (seeing) and then becoming a ray (being).


Want to understand the storyline and see the queue? Brian Morrow gives us an inside look with a tour of the queue while explaining the "story." Great footage! A must see in my opinion.



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That...looks...stunning! Thanks to everyone for the great pictures and videos. It seems like they've accomplished just what they were aiming for, with a seamless aquarium/coaster/atmosphere experience. I cannot wait to get down to sea world and check it out in person.


I just have a quick question concerning the queue (pardon the alliteration). Is there any area where the queue has some sort of cattlepens or other means of containing the extra long waits? Not that I prefer standing in a seamless mass of people, but I'm just wondering how much of the line will fit into the interior queue. For example, if the wait is 45 minutes, does that fill the queue house/aquarium and spill onto the path, or is it big enough to hold at least an hour or more of wait?

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wow! thanks for the updates! this is the best theming on any coater i've been on, way better than Dueling Dragons! Though the overhead aquarium gives me the chills...something about breaking glass and attacking ninja rays...


can't wait to ride this! one month!!!

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Great TR John! The ride and themeing look beautiful! I will reserve judgement on the ride untill I get to experience it myself. However, I love the way it has been incorporated into the area. SWF did an excellent job of blending this monster into an already existing beautiful park.

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I've been on my fair share of coasters, and maybe I'm just not reading all of the warning signs, but do most rides include a clause that you need to make sure your prosthesis is property attached.


I can just see it now. Some kid is going to have finally worked up the nerve to ride Manta, his first major coaster! Right as he goes to get in line for the ride, he watches the train fly by and some guys arm rip off and fall to the ground.


$50 for a trip to Seaworld, $25,000 for the counseling after seeing the arm rip off, the expression on the kids face, priceless.


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You know the main reason I really want to ride this is because of the awesome line. But don't get me wrong, I can't wait to experience my second flier.(I can't wait till Sunday to ride this thing!)

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