SeaWorld San Diego’s Manta – Mack Launch Roller Coaster
SeaWorld San Diego has announced details about their planned 2012 roller coaster. The park has confirmed that it will be opening its own Manta roller coaster. Like SeaWorld Orlando’s Manta, the attraction will combine a marine life exhibit with the roller coaster experience.
SeaWorld San Diego Manta Launch Roller Coaster
My first impressions are that San Diego’s Manta is quite a bit less intense than Orlando’s Manta. It sounds like the park was limited by some pretty extreme height restrictions. According to this San Diego Business Journal article, the local government has recommended approval for a 30-foot tall roller coaster. Thirty feet isn’t a whole lot taller than my house. I’d love to hear from some locals or anyone who has visited the park as to what the area is like. That’s about as eye-sore aversive as I’ve ever heard. On this side of the pond at least, see Alton Towers. Luckily, SeaWorld has figured out how to work around this limitation.

Manta will be a Mack launch coaster like Europa Park’s BlueFire in make and model, only on a much smaller scale and without loops. More from the SeaWorld Blog:

Manta also will feature a unique “launch station” where the passengers will start the ride SeaWorld San Diego Manta Exhibitenclosed in a launch tunnel with larger-than-life images of rays projected on a 270-degree enveloping screen. This stunning introduction to the world of the rays also will visually enhance the physical acceleration as the ride launches down the track. This state-of-the-art projection system will be the first of its kind in the United States. – SeaWorld Blog

RCDB already has the new coaster’s vitals. It will be 2,800 feet long, with a height of 30 feet, but a drop of 54 feet sending riders underground, two LSM-powered launches, and a ride duration of 2:00. Overall, I think this West coast version of Manta sounds like a solid attraction. As usual, SeaWorld parks is aiming to make a unique and memorable experience with another heavily-themed custom roller coaster. Orlando’s Manta had an impressive manta ray exhibit in the queue/pre-ride experience. It’ll be neat to see how this Manta uses those projections screens to enhance the on-ride experience. Here’s a video of the ride without the theming:

Manta at SeaWorld San Diego is set to open in 2012 which is the same year as sister park, Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s planned multi-launch coaster is set to open. This will also make the chain’s third launch coaster when you include this year’s Cheetah Hunt at Busch Gardens Tampa.

What’s Your Take?
What do you think of SeaWorld San Diego’s Manta? Are you excited or dissapointed by news of the new Manta coaster? Vote in the poll below and leave a comment.[poll id=”26″]

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About The Author

Founder of My favorite coasters are B&M hypers and gigas. I'm also a huge fan of terrain roller coasters.

13 Responses

  1. Gearhart

    It definately looks pretty slick, sometimes smaller rides can still pack a punch and this one seems perfectly suited for Seaworld. A large part of the height and color requirements for this ride is that it's right by Mission Bay (I assume sea birds are a concern). After all the trouble they had getting Journey to Atlantis approved this isn't surprising since that ride isn't even by the water. The area's full of conservationist's it seems. It's gonna be a good year for SoCal come 2012!

  2. Prof.BAM

    I rode Orlando's Manta several times. I loved the themeing. The best part is actually feeling like you are the manta. San Diego's version more looks like a manta rider. I also have to say that I dislike the themeing choice. This version will always be second-to to Orlando.

  3. Quil

    I was sort of thinking this would be the world's first launched flyer. 🙁

    Either way, this looks like a lot of fun, even without the themeing.

  4. Jill

    If I were trying to come up with a coaster within those restrictions, I would be very frustrated. I would probably opt for another type of ride altogether to be honest.

    I don't have much of a desire to ride it because it looks pretty average to me.

  5. OSM

    Looks kind of like a marine-themed Backlot Stunt Coaster, which is by no means a bad thing. I was at SWSD a few years ago, and while I had a good time, I got the impression that this is a park that needs any new coaster badly. I actually really liked Journey to Atlantis, but it doesn't compare to the offerings at either of the other Sea World parks. It's pretty impressive that they managed to create anything with these height restrictions, and SWSD definitely deserves it. A little disappointed by the name, but that's not really a big deal.

    • Piedude81

      This is the only Sea World Park I've been to so far… Journey to Atlantis was pretty dull and oring for me, and not having any other rides made it a long day for me. This doesn't make the park seem much more appealing to me. A waste of money to me.

  6. L.J.

    I'm not really impressed witht his ride that much. The layout isn't all that anyway. The only way I think they culd pull this off would be if they were to do some major good theming and stuff. Other than that, I wouldn't really be any more motivated to come to this Seaworld. . .Thats just me. But I have a question. . .they used nolimits to make this how did they get those type of cars; the elevated seated launch coaster they look awesome I want some for my nolimits does anybody know how they did it/how I ca do it.

  7. jonnyquest

    FYI – Sea World requested and received a height exemption from the city of San Diego and the California Coastal Commision to build Journey to Atlantis

  8. Peter

    I do agree that Seaworld San Diego does need something new and it's falling behind in terms of attractions compared to the other Seaworld parks. This is the oldest park and it needs to revitalized. I'm hoping this new ride is just the beginning. I'm disappointed like everyone else that it appears tame compared to Orlando's version but they can only work with what they have. Being next to Mission Bay doesn't help but without the bay the park probably would not have Skyride. I would rather have this coaster than the Skyride. But that's just me.


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