I dropped by Sea World today to take a few spins on Manta and satisfy my curiosity over the site's current state. Just six days after the grand opening, it's looking much more polished.
The flamingos are back! And looking splendid.
Landscape work continues. I don't figure fellow coaster fans care about flowers - a parking lot, that's another thing. Other, more selective or particular observers weren't so kind. The complaints should stop soon. The dirt mounds in the center of the second half of the ride won't be barren for long. Sprinklers were watering their crowns. We should see grass or some other kind of ground cover sprout soon. It's not rockwork, but it's far from nothing. It appears only the area immediately under the track will remain unplanted.
I have photos of the landscaping. Boring. If you really want to see them, let me know.
From the queue as it approaches the station, it's easy to see that more vegetation is going in under the elevated track, particularly the section leading from the largest airtime hill.
The rays in the touch pool were much more lively today. I'm no marine biologist, but I'd guess they've acclimated. There could have been more of them too. There certainly were plenty of angel sharks.
Finally, the staff was cranking out trains. One after the other! Operations are moving as efficiently as I've seen them at any park. This is a big selling point, and a great contrast to Orlando's more thrilling but slow-loading flier.
Silver and Platinum passholder ERT is scheduled to start Saturday morning, one hour prior to regular park opening. I hope to check it out on Sunday.
Alright here goes my review for the Manta coaster and surrounding area. I know others have posted their, but i thought i would throw mine into the mix.
First of all, let me say that this coaster is absolutely amazing and was just the ride that SeaWorld San Diego needed. Other people have said that it is a family coaster on steroids, and i must agree that this coaster looks all small and slow at first, but once you get on, it really does pack a punch! The surrounding are is also very nice and really adds a lot to the coaster.
The ride itself is an outstanding ride that probably has the most airtime in all of California. I rode the ride twice, once in the very front and once in the very back. I personally suggest the front over the back since it seemed as if the airtime lasted longer and you get a great view of the tight turns you are taking on. The projection tunnel was a great touch, especially with the swaying back and forth as if you were in the ocean. You could easily see the screen around you, but the light did kinda wash it out a little. The launches were very fun, and the drop under the bridge was amazing! This ride is absolutely the perfect fit for SeaWorld San Diego and is a perfect example of, "Never judge a book by its cover."
The surrounding area is very. very nice. The petting area seemed a little bland to me. It was just that the bottom of the tank was just concrete and nothing else. I don't know if they are going to just leave it like that or add sand to it. The gift shop and petting are really reminded me of what Forbidden Reef looked like except you have a coaster in the background. The landscaping around the que seemed to be done, but ut didn't look done on the back half of the coaster.
This coaster is the perfect fit for SeaWorld San Diego and should be praised for what you can do with a 30 ft. height limit. I would say this is a must ride when at SeaWorld and is definitely worth the wait. Now on to pictures.
Look at the pretty flowers and plants.
Oooh, a footer!
The station, very nice and pretty!
This was just sitting in all of the landscaping, wonder what its for.
Two footers in one picture!
I really liked this hill, by far the best airtime hill you will see in California.
This was taking from the ramp leading up to the staion. Wonder if they will put some bushes here or something.
There is a crack in the track! Oh wait, that is where the transfer track is, my bad.
Saw this before the bridge over the track. I think it is pretty cool.
The restruant in front of Manta.
The stinky flamingos are back. Eww
I spot a Manta.
Man, there is a lot of Mantas at SeaWorld today!
Landscaping on the back half of the ride. Doesn't seem very complete yet.
I'm thinking of getting a SWSD Fun Card in a few weeks, do you think it's worth it? I'm not going just for Manta, but Manta is what triggered me to think about getting a Fun Card. I'm moving to North County in mid June and I would frequently go to San Diego, so I just want to visit SWSD for a few hours each time I go to SD. Thanks for any replies.
1: Lightning Run, 2: El Toro, 3: Maverick, 4: Xcelerator, 5: Voyage, 6: TTD, 7: Gold Striker, 8: El Loco (Vegas), 9: Millennium Force, 10: Kingda Ka Coaster Credits: 110 (89 steel, 21 wood); Last Coaster Credit: Raptor (CP) [8/22/14]; Last Park Credit: Waldameer [8/21/14] What a season pass??
^ as long as you are planning on putting it to use I'd get one since most the discounts on one day tickets only seems to be $10 off. They also have a drop off and/or short term parking lot you can easily park in for free for a couple hours on your visits.
My thoughts on Manta was it's the perfect family coaster that can still be fun for everyone. Two launches with just enough kick, some great transitions and even some unexpected pops of Airtime thrown into the mix. None of which was too extreme for the younger riders. I would reccomend riding near the back for a little more force, and also to get a much better view of the show screens before launching. And as many have said, this ride is not big boy friendly, we saw a number of extremely close calls and one walk of shame, so be sure to try the test seat out. Despite these slow downs the crews where running and cranking out all 4 trains in what seemed like only a few seconds apart. So kudos to Sea World and Mack for picking and designing such a fun and efficient ride that the park needed and deserved!
Well I had my first ride on Manta today, front and back, and was surprised to find quite a lot of airtime in it in both seats. The prelaunch video was working quite well and I didn't have any problem in seeing it before the launch doors opened.
But the real reason why I'm posting in here is to congratulate the Sea World ride-ops. As you know the ride isn't super long, but they were running three trains with almost no stacking for as long as I was there.
For someone used to SFMM this feat seemed miraculous to me.
Went to Sea World again on Monday because I'm housesitting for some family that lives in San Diego. The house is only about 6 miles from Sea World so I used my daily workout as an excuse to visit the park and brought my bike to bike there.
I rode Manta twice more and did a circuit of the ride to see if any progress has been made in landscaping the dirt mounds under the second half of the ride. So far it still looks like there is nothing there, but I'm not sure they haven't done something.
I wish I brought my camera to take a picture, but since I didn't I'll have to try to explain it. There are three types of ground cover back there, the valleys between the mounds are covered in gravel and the dirt closest to the fencing is now covered in mulch with tiny plants placed at regular intervals. The tops of the mounds look like they have been covered with some sort of thin layer of something which looks suspiciously like the brown fibers packed in with the lawn patch filler you can get at a nursery. This has me wondering if Sea World has seeded the mounds.
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