Manta Coaster Coming to SeaWorld Orlando

SeaWorld Orlando Hints at Manta Coaster for 2009
In an Orlando Sentinel article SeaWorld Orlando hinted at a massive new project for 2009. In the article, the new roller coaster is described as the most expensive the park has ever built. A Busch Parks representative stated:

“It’s going to have animal components, marine-life components. It will have a very unique, state-of-the-art ride, a roller coaster if you will, that will provide a sensation of gliding,” Couceiro said. “The combination of the animals and the ride is what makes it special.”

Manta – A Bolliger & Mabillard Flying Coaster
The reference to a ‘sensation of gliding’ gives credence to the rumors of a possible Bolliger & Mabillard flying roller coaster. Busch seemsManta - SeaWorld Orlando Coaster to prefer B&M almost exclusively in terms of their steel coasters and there aren’t currently any flying coasters in Florida. Aside from the novelty of a flying coaster, a large new coaster that interacts with the animals of the park could really be a draw in the crowded theme park market of Orlando.

I’m probably not the first to suggest this, but the coaster could be themed around the sting ray as it is a marine animal that glides. In fact, I just noticed that the Roller Coaster Database has a listing for the unknown coaster and mentions that it may be called Manta.

The integration with the animal attractions sounds really cool. Sure Kings Dominion’s Anaconda has an underwater tunnel, but Manta could take the idea to a whole new level. Busch has already achieved this on a water slide that passes through an underwater tube and through a Dolphin habitat at their new Aquatica park. Could we finally have a coaster that rides through a clear underwater tube? I’m looking forward to the official announcement.

Read the full article.
UPDATE 5/30 – Check out my full Manta review including photos and videos.

Also, see all my SeaWorld Manta news posts.

What do you think SeaWorld’s new roller coaster will be like? Leave a comment below.