Specific Type: Mack Family Launch Coaster
Sea World San Diego only has one coaster, which is more like a water ride than anything else, in Journey to Atlantis, the 2004. Mack built Water Coaster. The ride featured the best of both types of rides, and incorporated a unique vertical elevator lift. But other than this ride, it goes to show that Sea World San Diego is more about the exhibits than the rides, until now.
In 2012, Sea World San Diego is opening their second coaster, more than 8 years after the debut of their first. Manta, another Mack contraption, will be opening in 2012 as not only a ride to keep people in the San Diego area interested in the park, but to appeal more to the enthusiasts as well.
Manta is not the first ride in the chain to use the name of the most common stingray. The B&M Flying Coaster, Manta at Sea World Orlando also uses the name, and also incorporates it as part of the ride experience, how guests can “ride the flying ray.”
The San Diego variant, however, is much different from its Florida counterpart. For starters, the ride is only 30’ tall, with a 54’ drop. The compensation for this is a 43 MPH launch, which gives the illusion of going fast while staying close to the ground. The ride is also a sit down coaster, which gives an incredibly different experience from the flying coaster.
The ride is located near the back of the park, almost on the exact opposite side of Journey to Atlantis. Riders load the interesting trains, pull down the lap bars, and zoom out of the station at 43 MPH. The ride quickly turns up and to the right, which leads into a drop below a bridge over water. After a small simulated splash, the ride soars high again in a helix. After a drop and turn to the left, riders hit their restraints in a small airtime hill. The train meanders for a little while, and turns right, into the brake run.
But the ride is far from over, as the train zooms through another launch and turns left into another airtime hill, which gradually trims the train’s speed. After a quick turn to the right, the ride swiftly changes directions again, this time into a 360 degree helix. After one more turn to the right and left, riders are left breathless in the brake run, after a 2800’ ride with the rays.
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