SeaWorld Orlando (SWO) Discussion Thread

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Postby vekoma_fan » Thu May 29, 2008 8:04 am

I hope it opens before I leave Orlando next summer :(
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Postby sugart » Thu May 29, 2008 8:38 am

Sounds cool, pretty much what everyone expected. My question though is where does the Red track seen earlier end up now that we know Manta is blueish purple?

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Postby robbalvey » Thu May 29, 2008 8:59 am

Here is the official annoncement just in from Sea World:

SeaWorld Orlando Announces New Mega-Attraction Coming In 2009
-- Manta, Ride The Flying Ray --

ORLANDO Fla. (May 29, 2008) -- SeaWorld Orlando announced today the next generation of SeaWorld thrills with Manta -- a new mega-attraction which will seamlessly transition guests from the awe of encountering rays in underwater flight… into the sensation of actually being one. Swooping over sea and sky, Manta will inspire riders with amazing underwater animal habitats, then soar them face-down, in a horizontal position, aboard a manta-inspired flying coaster. Manta opens summer 2009.

The Manta flying coaster will create a new level of immersion into the animal world -- in a way only SeaWorld can do -- enveloping riders in a sensation of oneness with the ocean's most powerful and graceful creature as they soar, dive and plummet through the air.. and at times within inches of the sea.

The journey begins the second guests enter a mythical village filled with artisan-created engravings and artwork that celebrate ray legend and lore. No ordinary queue line – the attraction starts with the first step inside. Anticipation builds as guests wind through caverns adorned with ray-inspired art in marble, jewels, and mosaics, all hand-created and left behind by artists who were moved to pay tribute to the beauty, grace and intrigue of these animals.

Whether guests choose to ride or not, the attraction is a world unto itself. Floor-to-ceiling windows create mesmerizing face-to-fin encounters with 300 rays, as well as thousands of fish and mysterious creatures native to oceans all over the world. Shark rays, spotted eagles rays, leopard rays, cownose rays, and oscillate river rays float past guests with fluidity and grace in a view new to SeaWorld. Enhancing the feeling of awe, elaborate lighting, sound and rushing waterfalls further submerge guests into this underwater universe.

The experience then evolves from seeing ... to being.

Inspired by the underwater flight of these powerful creatures, guests will fly face-down, in a horizontal position, underneath the belly of a coaster train shaped as a giant manta. With a wing span of 12 feet, the giant manta will soar over sea and sky in the most graceful flying coaster ever created.

Gliding, swooping and diving up to nearly 60 mph, through four inversions on 3,359 feet of track, riders will feel as if they are a ray, taking flight effortlessly from sky to sea -- so close at times that the Manta's wings skim the waves.

"This ride is uniquely SeaWorld,” said Dan Brown, Vice President and General Manager of SeaWorld Orlando. "SeaWorld is famous for connecting guests with the sea and its amazing creatures, and Manta does this in a way that has never been done before, creating a true sense of oneness between human and animal.

"The sensation of Manta also will be like none other in the world – guests will be inspired by the grace and power of live rays, then feel as if they, themselves, are gliding through air and water,” said Joseph Couceiro, Chief Marketing Officer for SeaWorld's parent company, Busch Entertainment Corporation. "No one but SeaWorld can unite thrills and ocean animals into such a unique experience.”

The 4-acre, 140-ft tall attraction will be located inside the main entrance to SeaWorld, and become an icon in the park with its unique design. Towering over SeaWorld's 200-acres, the manta-themed coaster – cloaked in hues of dark purple, ultramarine blue, and cobalt – will lure guests into the world of the mysterious ray.

SeaWorld is working with the renowned Swiss coaster design company, Bolliger & Mabillard for the design of Manta.

SeaWorld Orlando is one of 10 Worlds of Discovery parks operated by Busch Entertainment Corporation. The other Florida Worlds of Discovery parks are: Aquatica, SeaWorld's waterpark in Orlando; Discovery Cove in Orlando; Busch Gardens Africa and Adventure Island in Tampa. For guests looking for the best value and flexibility when planning their vacation, multi-park tickets are available. Admission to Discovery Cove includes seven days of admission to either SeaWorld or Busch Gardens. For more information on multi-park tickets and vacation planning tips, guests may visit or call (800) 327-2424. Worlds of Discovery, based in Orlando, Fla., employs more than 21,000 people nationwide. On the Web at



Total Animals: 3,000
Gallons of Water: 184,000 gallons total
Aquariums: 10
Species: 60+
Rays: 304
Sea Dragons: 23
Sea Horses: 20
Fish: 2,500+ (tropical fish, cardinal fish, invertebrates).
Underwater Views: Floor-to-ceiling, nine feet tall views; including a 220-square-foot overhead viewing panel for observing schools of rays circling above.
Exterior Lagoon: 16,300 square feet

Type of Ride: Flying coaster
Seating: Horizontal, face-down, four people across
Thrills: Flies through sky and over a lagoon
Height: 140 feet
Maximum Drop: 113 feet
Top Speed: 56 miles per hour
Inversions: 4
Track Length: 3,359 feet
Vehicle wing span: 12 feet
Cycle Time: 2 minutes, 35 seconds
Manufacturer: Bolliger & Mabillard; Monthey, Switzerland
Height requirement: 52 inches
Trains: 3 per track; with 32 people on each train
Capacity: Approximately 1,500 people per hour
Opening date: Summer 2009

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Postby Scaparri » Thu May 29, 2008 9:11 am

Sounds pretty awesome to me! I'm not expecting a terribly intense ride, but the overall experience sounds pretty cool, and the ride is actually bigger than I expected. I will definitely have to find myself in Orlando next year.

I hope they release a full layout sometime.

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Postby Airtime&Gravity » Thu May 29, 2008 9:30 am

Wow, this is almost the size of Tatsu-I was expecting something slightly larger than Air-, and it sounds like it might even be better than Tatsu. I'm not a fan of flying coasters, but this sounds like it should be a lot of fun, and I might actually ride it if I'm ever in the park. The thing I'm most excited about this though is the theming, and I can't wait to see how the coaster interacts with the environment/exhibit.

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Postby bigstevet07 » Thu May 29, 2008 9:47 am

This looks pretty awesome. I like how the ray exhibit itself is a walk through. originally it made it seem like the coaster would fly through the exhibit, which means you probaly wouldn't see much unless it was traveling up the lift hill. I'm still kind of curious to see how the wings "skim" the water without completely slowing the train down.
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Postby robbalvey » Thu May 29, 2008 9:52 am

I found this interesting:

Height requirement: 52 inches

Aren't all other B&M's 54 inches?


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Postby Scaparri » Thu May 29, 2008 9:55 am

^Hmm, yeah. Makes you wonder if they've tweaked the trains a little to accommodate more guests?

^^Well, they might just have a few small indentions on the tips of the "wings" that splash up water. If you think about it, just having the tips of the wings on one side "skimming" the water probably isn't going to have that much of an effect on the velocity of a several-ton train.

I'm just throwing that out though. Hard telling how much contact with the water the trains will actually have.

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Postby Rafcoaster » Thu May 29, 2008 9:55 am

woo this is asme!!
i hope i can ride it some day :mickey:

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Postby BeemerBoy » Thu May 29, 2008 9:56 am

I'm VERY impressed by this so far. To me, this just proves that B&M hasn't "lost their touch" as so many claim. It's really all up to a park to show the cohones, and pony up the funds to build something bold like this. Other parks (with the exception of Tatsu) may be content with off-the-shelf models with slight variations, but at least I know I can always go to Orlando for the goods.
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