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SeaWorld Orlando (SWO) Discussion Thread

P. 272: New Howl-O-Scream 2022 details released!

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I have finally had the pleasure to ride Manta and have finally come to my conclusion of which ride is better. Manta or Tatsu?


Well to be honest I liked Tatsu better. However if you factor in the ambiance of Manta then Manta wins. Manta as a ride is tame. It is a good solid ride. The section after the block into main brake is the most exciting part in my opinion.


The queue for Manta is breath taking. As well as the water splash effect and the waterfall fly by. I think just the tanks alone are enough to go visit the ride area. And I honestly sat there for an hour watching trains cycle by the slash. It is a very beautiful ride. Very graceful. I think it is an AMAZING addition to the Sea World Orlando park.

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I also forgot to add that one observation was that though wait times were never more than 50 minutes. Dispatch times were in my opinion not very good at all. Sometimes it would be 4 minutes until a train would go into flight after restraints were checked. Tatsu definitely has better dispatch times. However I noticed that the way trains can occupy the station blocks was different than Tatsu. So that may be a factor.

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^How so? I know Tatsu and the Ultimate Flight in Georgia share the same block system in the sense that the ride has four blocks (Station, Lift, Main Brake, Transfer) with the station as a whole acting as one block, though obviously there is a split between both stations. This was a modification of Air's block system, which differs somehow, but not sure on the specifics. I just know Tatsu's layout. I would have assumed it would have been the same for Manta.

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Well it seemed to be something that happened at all of the parks in Central Florida. I know that on Tatsu as well as all other rides at SFMM when a train leaves station the dispatch enable has to be let of and the re pushed in order to advance from Transfer to station. But on most if not all of the rides it seemed as though the train in transfer would come into station as soon as 3/4 of the departing train was out of station.


On Manta specifically they would only do one side at a time. Tatsu is much better at multi tasking. But its also easier when the ops can communicate via PA system. Like "Clear One" and Clear Two".


I really hope that made sense. I can just say that I was surprised at how slow dispatches were going. It made Tatsu look like it was turbo charged.

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^That's not necessarily true. Tatsu is different as each station exit needs to be reset so that the brake calipurs in the stations reset, so the advance buttons must be released and repressed. However rides like Riddler's, you can keep pressing the buttons, and the train in transfers will roll right into the station if its clear. Some rides, like Scream and Silver Bullet, have "split blocking" where the train in transfers will enter the station while the train hasn't fully exited the station (which is that 3/4 thing you were talking about) but who knows, maybe Busch just has different operating procedures than Six Flags...

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I was there for a little bit on both Friday and Saturday nights and the wait times were about 30 minutes on average. Although on Friday it was down to about 5 minutes by 9:40 or so. The more I ride Manta, the more I like it. Maybe it's all the night rides I've been getting lately, but the ride seems a tad faster now than early on. It could have broken in, or maybe they're using a different combo of wheels now, I'm not really sure. Anyway, I think it's close to my favorite ride in Orlando. I'm really surprised at how well it turned out given that I wasn't a big fan of flyers before.


The public all seems to rave about the ride and I can't believe the number of people that just stand around, watch it and take photos. Sea World did an awesome job with the placement of the ride.

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  • 3 months later...

After visiting Seaworld Orlando yesterday, I am happy to report that the Quick Queue offering has been updated.


The new pass features unlimited front of the line entry to Manta, Kraken, Journey to Atlantis, Wild Arctic, Paddle Boats (typically an up-charge attraction) and the Skytower (also an up-charge). In addition to the standard Quick Queue printed ticket given previously, guests equipped with the pass are also required to wear a wristband to verify their purchase. The standard price for this option ranges from $14.95 to $24.95 depending on the season, date and availability. Seaworld Orlando passholders are able to claim discounted Quick Queue tickets through the Passport Member website.

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We were able to take advantage of the unlimited attractions Quick Queue back on October 3 (a Saturday) for only $14.95 ($12.70 with an annual pass). Definitely worth the money, and I loved being able to take a ride on the Sky Tower more than once to relax.


The only ride that we really saved a lot of time at was Journey to Atlantis, which had a posted wait time of 45 minutes (with Quick Queue, you proceed directly to the 'sorting' area... max 2-3 boat wait).


Now, I would like to see BGA adopt this same policy.


Edit: the updated Quick Queue no longer offers early show access.

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Sea World is offering more in addition to the Polar Express Experience this Christmas. Other "new shows and seasonal favorites" are on tap, as well. Here's some info on other holiday events at the park:


Winter Wonderland on Ice

An all-new holiday-themed ice-skating spectacular, Winter Wonderland on Ice, runs on select nights through January 3. Christmas comes to life with towering water fountains, magnificent fireworks and some of the most talented skaters in the world as they dazzle and delight families this holiday season.


Clyde and Seamore’s Countdown to Christmas

Families can enjoy this all-new Christmas comedy with their favorite loveable sea lions Clyde and Seamore, along with a few mischievous otters and a jolly walrus or two. Clyde and Seamore’s Countdown to Christmas runs on select nights through January 3.


A Sesame Street Christmas

Celebrate the holidays with friends from Sesame Street at SeaWorld - it's an all-new festive and fun musical celebration, A Sesame Street Christmas. The holidays have arrived, but Abby Cadabby doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about … she’s never heard of Christmas. Elmo, Big Bird and other Sesame Street friends gather together to share with her the true spirit of the holiday. Following the show, families can create wonderful memories with their friends from Sesame Street during character meet-and-greets. Families can also enjoy a unique dining experience for the whole family: Elmo and Friends Christmas Breakfast.


Shamu Christmas … Miracles

As the winter air cools and the evening stars appear, families can join Shamu for a magnificent holiday show: Shamu Christmas … Miracles. Shamu Stadium comes alive with bright lights and glowing candles as Christmas carols abound and Shamu splashes to celebrate the holiday season. This very special showing runs on select nights through January 3.


Makahiki Christmas Luau

Igniting the spirit of the season is the Makahiki Christmas Luau, a South Seas-style festive celebration including tasty island cuisine keeping with the ancient holiday traditions of the Pacific Islands. Joyful songs of the season are reinterpreted with Polynesian rhythms, music and dance. Makahiki Christmas Luau continues through January 3 (except December 25). Park admission is not required.


New Year’s Eve at SeaWorld

Families can ring in the New Year at SeaWorld on December 31 with a musical extravaganza including the best in pop, Latin and swing music. At the stroke of midnight, the evening sky will shine even brighter with a vibrant fireworks show to celebrate the festivities.


The best way to enjoy the holidays at SeaWorld is with an annual pass, and it also makes a perfect holiday gift! An annual pass is the gift that keeps on giving because it offers great benefits such as food, beverage and merchandise discounts, plus complimentary parking.


For more information about the holidays at SeaWorld, visit SeaWorldOrlando.com. For photos and media inquiries, contact SeaWorld Communications at (407) 363-2280 or via email at swf.pr@seaworld.com.


Here are some pics provided by Sea World Orlando.


Shamu Christmas . . . Miracles


A Sesame Street Christmas


Clyde and Seamore's Countdown to Christmas


Winter Wonderland on Ice

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Hi all, I plan to visit Seaworld Orlando on the 19th...I wanted to go earlier, but this December has been INSANE on my schedule (I'm only an hour away in Tampa)....I anticipate higher then usual crowds only 6 days before Christmas (ugh!)


where is the ice skate show located anyway??? it looks indoors.

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The ice skating show is actually over at Bayside Stadium. They are utilizing the expanded platform that was constructed last year for Wheel of Fortune. The show is actually quite good, IMHO. I recommend seeing the last show of the night, as you can just remain seated for Holiday Reflections Fireworks!


- Todd

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Seaworld Orlando has released a fun little set of photos and video to help get everyone in the holiday spirit. And after riding Manta again today, I can see why Santa is so excited!




Dashing through the sea and sky, Santas fly high and dive deep aboard their new

sleigh, Manta, SeaWorld Orlando's flying roller coaster.





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  • 2 weeks later...



There’s a couple of cosmetic changes coming for Manta, the roller coaster that opened earlier this year at SeaWorld Orlando. They won’t affect the ride but improve some of the look and the traffic control in and around the ride’s aquarium.


“We’re chaning the path of travel a little bit inside the aquarium,” says Brian Morrow, one of the Manta masterminds.


“We would have done this earlier but we didn’t want to disrupt park operations right now when we’re very busy,” he says. Traffic clogs sometimes around the sea dragons, and currently there’s a dark curtain there to steer folks a certain way. “We’re going to go in January, when we’re a little slower and replace that curtain with themed, loevely doors that are very Manta-esque.”


Outside of the aquarium are what Morrow calls “poorly disguised pumps” for the water fall element. (He’s allowed to call them that because he designed the disguise.) In January, work will be done to hide them better — this time with a “boat-dock themed element,” Morrow says.


“We’ll stop working on it … eventually,” he laughed.

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