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Sun May 03, 2009 3:02 pm

^ Everytime I watch the video the splash down sequences get me a little excited. :| I would love to be in the back and get misted. Seems like it would be quite refreshing. I just hope that it doesn't turn into X's fog on the bottom of the Raven turns and gets turned off after the first month after opening. But I highly doubt that. Doesn't seem like Busch would do such a thing.

Sun May 03, 2009 3:23 pm

^ Even though it doesn't actually skim the water, it really does look like it does, especially if you stand right in front of the splash. This video didn't have that angle but it is a sight to see.

I remember when I was there that day, I spent a good portion of it watching it do the water splash maneuver because it was just so cool looking.

I also agree with Jhcbiinoc, there may be a trend moving in about going with proven designs and just adding themes or something to bring it up a notch. Manta is a great example and the themeing on it is simply off the charts. I really felt at times that I was at some tropical oasis.

Once the aquarium opens, this dual attraction (ride and exhibit) will be a must-see for both riders and non-riders. SeaWorld built a winner for themselves, an attraction that everyone can enjoy.

Sun May 03, 2009 4:22 pm

AWESOME!!!!!! thank all of you for your updates. it is really awesome looking, and i really hope i'll be able to go sometime this week! the skim/splash area looks interesting, kinda wish thought that it was like sheikra's, so the kids could run up to it and get wet. but it looks graceful none the less! AWESOME!!!!!

Sun May 03, 2009 4:26 pm

We were at SeaWorld today, Manta had a soft opening after 2 PM. After a 30 minute wait in a beautifully themed line (lots of aquariums with stingrays and other fish) we had an awesome ride! Can't wait to go again!

Sun May 03, 2009 4:40 pm

Here's a short video I shot today with a few different angles of the water splash:

They were running it quite a bit faster than they were yesterday. Today it seemed to move faster than the train, whereas yesterday, it was a tad behind the zero car. We actually got wet in the front row today. Yesterday, in the front row, it wasn't close enough to us to get us wet.

Sun May 03, 2009 4:57 pm

I arrived at the park today around 2:15 and waited around the coaster for about 25 minutes and all of a sudden HERE WE GO!!!!!

First off the themeing around the coaster as all can see is absolutely breath taking. Pictures and video don't do the area complete justice, and really hats off to the team at sea world for completely revitalizing a dead zone in the park.

The queue house is fantastic and completely different than anything I have ever seen. When Kraken was being built this is how I hoped the queue would turn out. Now most of the aquarium tanks are uninhabited but once full it will complete an amazing experience. There are also lighting effects that were simulating an underwater environment through the second portion of the queue house which I thought was a great touch. Once we passed all the aquariums we went up a flight of stairs to our right and arose into the station house. We were placed in row four on the third train to be dispatched for the day. Now I have seen photos of the trains but man let me tell you they have to be the sexiest coaster trains I have ever been on. After about a 5 minute delay we were CLEAR FOR DISPATCH!!!

Now let me start off by saying I have only been on one flyer before and it was superman at SFGradv. It was a cool experience but not really my thing. Manta on the other hand actually made me scream and laugh the whole way through. The lift is quiet and quick, and the drop whips around picking up just smooth as glass speed. The pretzel loop is by far the most intense inversion I have ever been on, and I was in the middle! The g-forces were just kicking :b The second inversion isnt intense but still somewhat forceful. The downward turn into the third inversion is fast and forceful. The midcourse breakrun doesn't even slow ya down. The splash down effect is amazing. The second half is nowhere near as intense but just graceful and with some great near misses.

All in all this ride is a welcome addition to Sea World, it very well may be the best coaster in Orlando. I know thats alot to say but man it just kicked butt. I'm a universal fan boy and I'm here to tell ya HRRR has its work cut out for it.

A couple of pics from today, they are from my phone. I forgot the camera at the house, yeah I'm ashamed :cry:


Sun May 03, 2009 5:15 pm

This ride looks amazing. I especially like the splash-down.

Sun May 03, 2009 5:27 pm

Don't know if anyone notice but doesn't the pictures and videos of the water splash effect look bigger than the first day? I think it does which could explain getting wet in the middle of the train.

I remember reading somewhere a while back that SeaWorld can control the size and overall look of the splash and that could be what they are doing; trying to see what looks best considering it is still in the "testing" stage. Could you imagine if they turn that thing up to create a HUGE splash.

Soft Opening Update 5/3/09

Sun May 03, 2009 6:04 pm

Today my brother surprised me by driving us over to Seaworld in hopes that we'd catch a soft opening. We were lucky enough to arrive at the beginning of the day's preview and after a half-hour's wait, we were finally able to ride.

While I won't go into my detailed Manta report just yet (I'll have plenty more to say soon), I will say that the ride not only exceeded my expectations, but bumped Seaworld up in my priority list when planning visits. Bryan Morrow and his team did an amazing job with the design of this wonderful attraction and B&M's smooth flowing trackwork and design helped to make Seaworld a major contendor this year against Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando.
This looks new!
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Up we go!
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If the aquarium is anything like the queue, we have alot to look forward to seeing.
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The action portion of the ride is certainly intense at times (depending on where you sit), but it makes the ride thrilling enough.
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Ride photos are sold at the exit of the ride...
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See what I mean?
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This shot almost makes Manta look like an inverted coaster...
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Into the pretzel loop we go!
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The bottom of the pretzel loop provides for a great photo moment.
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Being a closet Modern-design enthusiast, these lamp covers simply stun me.
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I guess its justified as tradition... Everyone else does it, right?
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Manta will be included on the park's Quick Queue system, adding a little more to the ticket's value.
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An outdoor fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo location is conveniently placed next to the entrance of the attraction.
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Like with many major coasters at the Busch parks, there is a test seat near the entrance of Manta.
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And then I got in the seat, pulled down my restraint for a photo and then tried to exit, only to find myself locked in. Unfortunately, I made a fool of myself while I frantically attempted to free myself--the little handle does the trick.
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Digital wait time signs are much preferred to those old manual clocks. Manual updating via turning minute hands is now a thing of the past.
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A copy of the "Backside of Water" adorns the entrance of Manta. My camera can go no further.
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Another beautiful piece of art in the form of the attraction sign/logo...
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Get ready for a slew of splashdown photos...
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Does this remind you of the concept art?
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Just for reference, here is a photo of how close the track comes to the water.
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See the effect at work.
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While not wholly convincing, it does look very nice.
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And there is this last flat spin...
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More water to be had.
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Another train makes its way up the (fast moving) lift...
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The zero car deserves its own photo. No doubt about that.
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It was at this point that the color returned to my brother's face.
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The height of the splash can be seen here.
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I could definitely get used to this view!
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And like this report, the ride wraps up at the brake run.
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It should be noted that the neighboring residents of the Manta area aren't very happy with the new attraction and have taken actions to defile and deface the addition in whatever way possible.
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Our first ride on Manta...
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Sun May 03, 2009 6:10 pm

Nice photos Adam, how does Manta compare to other flyers (I'm not sure if you've been on Tatsu which I would rate the best flyer)?
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