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This actually looks WAY better than I thought it would be. I honestly thought, from looking at previous videos/construction photo's that the track would be a little longer than a roller skater. I'm glad I was wrong.

 

I have to agree. Even after seeing the aerial shots, the ride appeared to be longer in the POV than I expected. The landscaping looks great, too!

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Yesterday Theme Park Review went to the Manta Media Day!

 

The new ride at Sea World San Diego opens officially this Saturday to the public.

 

Though the ride was operating, the site was still under heavy construction to get it ready for its grand opening this Saturday, so there wasn't a lot of fanfair but it was still an amazing day!

 

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Lets head to Manta!

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The ride Sign, isn't it pretty!!

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Once you cross the bridge into the area you have a few choices! Either get in line for the coaster or go look at the Rays.

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Make sure you're tall enough to ride.

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Heading down the queue.

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And look at the fancy view you have!

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You get a pretty good view of the beginning of the ride from the queue.

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First airtime hill!

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Heading into the aquarium portion of the queue. There are 4 large windows for you to see the rays as they swim by.

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The normal aquarium view parallels the ride queue, but has an additional viewing windows on the ceiling.

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And then we head outside.

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The ride queue takes the left path, and the aquarium takes the right.

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Then up to the station! There will be a lot of plants and such going in. As I said earlier, the area was still under construction and the foliage was not yet put in.

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And finally the station!

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Look at those sexy trains!!

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This ride goes all over the place!

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RULES! FOLLOW!

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They did a great job on the station as well.

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Manta will eat those who disobey! (That's what the sign says)

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And a quick ride description.

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Here we go!

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The train leaves the station and enters this, the launch tunnel. This is a 207 degree screen with some really cool animation of rays, and some ocean motion ;) Then the door opens and you LAUNCH!

Edited by robbalvey
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Part 2

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It uses LSMs to launch the train at 43 MPH! In 2 seconds!!

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Thought the ride is only 30 feet high, it goes down 54 ft.

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It travels the 2,800 feet of track in a minute and 40 seconds. Helped by its second launch!

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The second half of the ride is awesome!

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Its actually pretty wild for a family coaster!

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The ride packs a bigger punch then you'd expect.

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Once you exit, you head to the gift shop. The aquarium also exits through the gift shop.

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You'll be able to view your on ride photo.

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And you're back on top again where you can pet the rays!

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And the coaster is still close by!

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And there is a pathway that goes under the coaster in the back area.

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Hello Mr. Ray!

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ITS SO CUTE!

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Also, they are adding Quick Queue? I didn't get any info on this but its great!

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Turtle Reef opened recently as well.

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There be turtles in her.

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Its kind of hidden behind the Shark Encounter.

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Turtle turtle.

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There is also this thing called Turtlelink

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Thanks for a great day Sea World!!

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This is a prefect ride for Sea World! I am so happy they added it and keeping it under 30Ft made the ride more exciting I think. Big thanks to Sea World for letting TPR come and preview the ride and get some awesome shots.

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What a difference a day makes. The construction walls are gone, palm trees have sprouted overnight, and the place overall looks much more polished. There's a screen closing off the end of the projection tunnel. The crew is better too, working with greater urgency and confidence. Looking good!

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What a difference a day makes. The construction walls are gone, palm trees have sprouted overnight, and the place overall looks much more polished. There's a screen closing off the end of the projection tunnel. The crew is better too, working with greater urgency and confidence. Looking good!

 

This make me even more excited for tomorrow!

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Wow! Manta looks much better that I thought it would be! I knew it would be a fun ride, but it looks a bit more intense than I thought it would be. This ride is solid proof to any GP that you don't need any inversions or heights to make this a great ride.

 

From what I'm hearing from the people who have ridden this, I'm glad that the lack-of-airtime in SoCal streak has apparently been broken by this ride. I'm going to drive down to San Diego sometime on one of my days off just to go down to the park to ride this. I can already tell that SWSD will become a much better park just with the addition of this ride.

 

Now that the park has a solid coaster, if only they could put a good dark ride in there...

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Stopped by the park today to see how this Manta stuff was working out - I was very impressed with the ride. When we got to the ride the line was LONG but it moved very fast. I was actually surprised how fast the line was moving. Maybe it will slow down with the quick queue thing hits it, but we shall see. The queue was very long and parts of it was very nice. There is a part where you are close to the 'splash' area and underground by the aquarium (warning no cell service down there!) and the last part you are out in the sun with no theme... kinda strange if you ask me to have the theme so nice up to the last part then *poof* nothing.

 

But the ride itself was very fun. Great? No, not quite... close but not in that great status. The first part when you are in the screen area is cool and the train rocking back and forth makes it seem that much more like you are really underwater. The ride was long - which is great in these days of short 30 second rides. I would make this a must do on any trip to SWSD.

 

Took a few pics, even took a video of the screen area but it came out unwatchable so nevermind. You can take a camera on the ride - I asked if I could and they said yes, no problem. just be sure to have a strap with it. But I rode the in the front row and had my camera out in plain sight for the other employees I did not ask could see the camera and they said nothing. I thought I got a POV video.. guess when the ride took off I stopped recording (lol, fail).

 

One thing that I am not too crazy about is the boarding. They have it set up so you can get in whatever row you want so everything is just random. So if you have more than two people in your party then good luck riding on the same car.

 

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SeaWorld San Diego Manta opening weekend by PadresFan619, on Flickr

 

 

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This is taken from the line.. I did get splashed just a tad one time. But it is a cool viewing area.

SeaWorld San Diego Manta opening weekend by PadresFan619, on Flickr

 

 

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The water in the underwater viewing area is still VERY murky. Made it hard to see anything.

SeaWorld San Diego Manta opening weekend by PadresFan619, on Flickr

 

 

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These were very cute - hope they last.

SeaWorld San Diego Manta opening weekend by PadresFan619, on Flickr

 

 

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And after the nice part of the line... when you get close to the end you go outside and get no theme... so sad

SeaWorld San Diego Manta opening weekend by PadresFan619, on Flickr

 

 

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I know the details are not finished yet - but just a heads up, if you need some free internet you can hook up to this ethernet cable they have just hanging out going to the store above. ITS FREEEEE!

SeaWorld San Diego Manta opening weekend by PadresFan619, on Flickr

 

 

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These are the oldest ride ops I have ever seen lol - they must have retired from SFMM...

SeaWorld San Diego Manta opening weekend by PadresFan619, on Flickr

 

 

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The end of the ride...

SeaWorld San Diego Manta opening weekend by PadresFan619, on Flickr

 

 

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I *hope* this is just part of the 'we are not done yet' part of the ride. But I have a feeling it is not and they are going to leave a very large part of the park just covered in wood chips and rocks. There are small parts that are covered in grass, so that leads me to think this will not be a 'grassy knoll' or anything. I sure hope I am wrong.

SeaWorld San Diego Manta opening weekend by PadresFan619, on Flickr

 

 

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And this made me laugh pretty hard... the area where the stinky flamingos will be soon (where they were before). But for now they are not there and some light harted SWSD employee put these little guys here for a fun little photo op.

SeaWorld San Diego Manta opening weekend by PadresFan619, on Flickr

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What a great-looking little coaster! I can't wait to hear more reviews from opening day.

 

In all previous pictures, I thought the whole area was covered in dirt and was just waiting for grass to be planted. But now that I see it is actually covered in mulch, I'm disappointed. That is definitely NOT a good look.

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Manta itself was really cool, better than it would seem. It's a zippy little ride with some airtime! I felt Manta was like Maverick's little brother, low to the ground and quick! It's nice, long, fun, and just overall a good addition to SWSD. The trains were very comfortable, and it rode super smooth. The queue was awesome, the theming was awesome, the whole ride area was awesome! Sure it's not Skyrush, but that's not what SWSD needed. (Also note that some theming and landscaping was not finished so I didn't fault SeaWorld on that, I'm sure the landscaping will all come together in a week or two.)

 

Great job, SWSD, you have a cool little coaster that I'm sure everyone will be very popular!

 

Other than that I had a sweet day, I got front row on the 3rd ride of the day! I met and talked to the CEO and president of Mack Rides! I Hung out with X2coasterfreak and my brother all day, and then happened to see Mr. and Lady Bebe at the end of the night and had fun with them! AND it was my birthday on top of that! Very cool day!

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(Also note that some theming and landscaping was not finished so I didn't fault SeaWorld on that, I'm sure the landscaping will all come together in a week or two.)

 

Amen! The park opened the ride on time, and it's a good one. Everything else can come later, including lush landscaping. The rest of the park is beautifully manicured. They know how to do it - they should get there in time. If the second half of the ride still circles dirt mounds a couple months after Labor Day, the criticism will be justified.

 

The site is changing quickly day to day. Much more work was finished between Friday night and Saturday morning's grand opening. The crew continued to improve yesterday, getting some trains loaded and dispatched as quickly as 45 seconds. Fewer loose items are making it to the platform, and it seemed like they are doing a better job screening out riders who don't fit.

 

By 4 pm the queue was down to roughly 40 minutes. Manta West can chew through a line!

 

I stopped by Guest Services to ask about Quick Queue. A QQ entrance sign is posted near the photo booths. Supposedly QQ will be available beginning next week. The price will go up, but has yet to be published.

 

From this point I'm speculating. Rumors suggest the aquarium exhibits are far from finished. The rays and other fish are still acclimatizing. I think we'll see more animals added in coming weeks. As it is now, the underwater viewing areas don't deliver much. Give it some time.

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Just got back from Sea World. I'll post my report soon, however I will say one thing regarding Manta:

 

Looks can be VERY deceiving. For those of you saying this is a tame family coaster will get quite a surprise if they give it a chance!

 

And 5 pops of airtime.

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I just got back from San Diego where I got a chance to ride Manta. The ride is definitely better at night, but it is great either way. There are some nice pops of airtime and a couple of pretty intense transitions that surprised me. The animation at the beginning gets a little washed out during the day, but it is clear and vibrant at night. All I can say is that the ride is much more than I expected and given their height restrictions, it is about as good as SeaWorld could've done. As someone else said, the area in the back with mounds of mulch doesn't look great, but lets hope they correct that. The station and queue are fantastic with the caveat that they are still finishing up landscaping in some areas. Overall this is a HUGE win for SeaWorld and a huge win for Southern California!

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Manta Review (In depth)

 

I'll start out by saying I try to look mainly for the positive aspect in attractions, and am not as easily swayed by one or two flaws, especially on opening weekend. 

 

Manta really was the perfect attraction for SeaWorld San Diego. Despite only rising around 30ft, the ride can be seen from many areas of the park. While the landscaping  being obviously unfinished, it was already showing potential to look quite nice.

 

The best example of "don't judge the landscape" I can think of is Coastersaurus at Legoland California. Opening day, that ride was a desert. A year later however the plants had grown in and turned it into a jungle!  The dirt plot everyone is mentioning won't be there for long, as it appeared the landscapers were working backwards from the front attraction towards the back. I have a feeling we will see it fully landscaped within a few weeks. 

 

Onto the actual attraction. The entrance and queue was a really nice treat. The entrance to the ride is to the right of the "Manta Rock" and then the queue takes you down a path right next to the water splash effect the coaster passes as it dives underneath the bridge on its first drop. The theming was actually quite well done and featured pretty extensive rock work. 

 

After passing the water splash, you enter the aquarium section of the queue. The theming here also held the Asian motif that the rest of the ride features as well. I can't judge the aquarium too well yet as the park is still in the process of adding more animals to the exhibit and the water quality was still being adjusted/tweaked. There is a criticism about this section that I will address further on.

 

After exiting the aquarium, you enter a small entryway with hanging tiles created by kids for the attraction. After passing this, you enter a "pit" of sorts. A section of Manta soars above and you pass through a set of nicely themed switchbacks that ascend the hillside towards the station. You can hear the event building from all around the attraction, it's extremely loud!

 

I must say the capacity for this attraction was absolutely unbelievable. With four trains running we managed to get four rides in by the end of the day, waiting no longer than 30 minutes each time. They mentioned to the guests in the station that they had hit their highest through-put ever, 1407 people! That's almost 40 second dispatches every time! The station had very nice theming. Continuing with the Asian theme, the pagoda station feature some very nice Manta murals in the curved roof.

 

  I'd say wait for the front and back. The line for the front may appear long, but we only waited an extra 5 minutes with a full front row switchback. With the way they haul through people, it's worth the little extra wait. The staff were extremely motivated and hurried people through, without making them feel overly rushed. 

 

The ride trains themselves are beautiful, as well as the overall ride. The Manta design on the front is very attractive, and the seats were very comfy. The on ride cameras weren't quite ready yet, but some cars seemed to have them mounted already. A weird thing I saw was the jury-rigged numbering they had. Each train had a laminated piece of paper with its number zip tied to the front grill.

 

The ride starts, and you move into a pitch black tunnel that leads you to the projection room. This part of the attraction was really fun. The train "sways" back and forth in the current as Mantas swim around you and high energy music  swirls about. The projection can look a bit washed out, but if you don't focus on it, it's not that noticeable. 

 

The doors open, and you launch. The launch itself isn't very intense, but fun none the less. After exiting the launch track, you rise into a 90° banked curve and dive down into the water below the entry bridge. Following the dive, you rise once again into another 90° curve around the Manta rock and curve into one of two great airtime pops on the ride. 

 

In the back row, I'd say the airtime is almost ejector here. After another hill, and a few most meandering banks around towards Shipwreak, you are braked slightly, and then enter the second half of the layout. 

 

After being launched again, you are quickly thrown into a vicious left turn. This section of the ride had a much more force than the first half. After exiting the turn you rise into another hill with slight airtime before being whipped downward to the right. Continuing the curve, you enter the best moment of the ride, a quick direction change hill. While looking at the ride makes it look meh, on ride it WHIPS you with a pretty decent amount of airtime into a left handed helix. 

 

After the helix you do a right turn into a small overhang and then a small left overhang into the brake run. While the second half of the layout was over dirt, it really didn't have too much effect on the ride experience. The landscaping is definitely unfinished. 

 

In terms of overall ride, I'd put it up next to its Orlando counterpart in terms of overall ride experience. The whole thing is a blast from start to finish. 

 

There are a few criticisms I would like to address.

 

Line Jumping: While many people do have group members "waiting" in line for them, it still isn't fair to cut. After riding Manta fours times, we saw a grand total of 20 line jumpers. This is also where criticism two comes into play.

 

The Aquarium Width: I noticed this with SWO, however it was adjusted there. The path through the aquarium is so wide, people can very easily cut you and or line jump without any resistance whatsoever. 

 

Tagging: Two days. The ride had been open two days, and every single asshole is San Diego seems to have scratched their name into the wooden railing path leading up to the station. It was scratched everywhere with people's names and I <3 U and other random junk. It's so insulting to the park. I was appalled. I know they can't do much about it, it's just so sad that it is occurring in the first place. 

 

And that concluded my in-depth Manta review. I have around 20 minutes of footage I plan on editing together, so I'll have more content soon.

 

Also, Sea Lions Tonite, the Sea Lion show that parodies other Sea World attractions now has a segment for Manta, it's quite funny. 

 

Conclusion: For all of those who just scrolled through the wall of text expecting one sentence to explain everything, too bad.  :p

 

Go ride Manta, it rocks. 

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^^ Line jumping is a big issue on Manta. On saturday, each of the nine times we waited, we were cut. I like how Sea World's locker.s are free, but they need to find a way to make the system better to avoid line jumping. Also, on Saturday morning, the wooden railings were clean, and looked really nice. By the end of the night, there was a lot of grafiti, it is quite sad.

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