Orlando, FL - The next generation of unique world-class thrills and up-close animal experiences opened today, Manta at SeaWorld Orlando. An all-new kind of mega-attraction, Manta will guests on a journey of “seeing to being” – surrounding them with the beautiful and mysterious underwater world of hundreds of live rays and exotic sea creatures, then taking them for a gliding, soaring, spinning roller coaster thrill ride on the biggest ray of them all, the manta.
It’s an immersive experience only SeaWorld could create.
The journey begins the moment guests enter a village filled with artisan-created engravings and artwork that celebrate legends and lore of the ray. And following is 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.
Inside this world, floor-to-ceiling windows create mesmerizing face-to-fin encounters with hundreds of rays, as well as thousands of fish and mysterious creatures native to oceans all over the world. Shark rays, spotted eagle rays, leopard rays and cow nose rays float past guests with fluidity and grace in a view entirely new to SeaWorld’s guests.
The Manta experience then evolves from seeing … to being.
Boarding a coaster inspired by the largest and most powerful of the rays, guests will fly face-down in a horizontal position, attached to a giant, manta-shaped coaster train. With a wing span of 12 feet, the huge manta – with riders secured safely to its belly will soar over SeaWorld in the most thrilling flying coaster ever created. Gliding, swooping and diving through multiple loops and spins at nearly 60 mph, riders will feel as if they are the giant manta ray, jumping from sea to sky – and back again – at times so close to the water their manta wings skim the waves.
“This ride is uniquely SeaWorld,” said Dan Brown, Vice President and General Manager of SeaWorld Orlando. “We’re known for connecting guests with the sea and its amazing creatures. Manta does this in a way that’s never been done before anywhere in the world. Only on Manta will you find out what it’s like to fly with a giant ray.”
“Imagine an experience that takes you from being surrounded by the grace and power of hundreds of live rays and thousands of exotic fish, to a flying coaster thrill ride where you glide, spin and soar like a giant manta, the biggest ray of all,” 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 one-of-a-kind experience.”
This summer, visitors to SeaWorld Orlando find out what it’s like to spin, glide, skim and soar like a giant ray as they experience the only flying roller coaster of its kind in the world. A seamless blend of up-close animal encounters with a head-first, face-down thrill ride, Manta is an adventure only SeaWorld could create. Manta opens May 22.
The habitats — Exploring the depths of the sea and roaming among Manta’s freshwater lagoon and saltwater habitats are just part of the new attraction’s thrill. With 10 stunning and uniquely configured aquariums, riders and non-riders alike will find themselves surrounded by the beauty and mystique of Manta’s underwater elements.
The marine life — More than 3,000 animals live in Manta’s state-of-the-art aquatic habitats, creating mesmerizing face-to-fin encounters with hundreds of rays, thousands of exotic fish and even a giant Pacific octopus.
The thrills — Manta hits the thrill-seeking mark with a spinning, flying roller coaster inspired by the biggest ray of all. In a flying coaster, the seats rotate horizontally, putting riders in a soaring, face-down position. Manta combines the best of sea and steel with innovative thrills that only SeaWorld can create. Four inversions and spins and several close-call thrills put Manta on top of the world’s must-ride coasters.
Right from the start, Manta provides a glimpse into the incredible underwater worlds of tropical fish and rays. Floor-to-ceiling aquariums showcase rare leafy sea dragons and thousands of schooling fish. Kids get a unique 360-degree underwater view by climbing into a pop-up aquarium and coming face-to-face with nearly 300 colorful clownfish and mysterious sea anemones. A massive Pacific octopus slinks back and forth between habitats through an underwater tube. Three hundred rays — their group known as a “fever” — swim/fly past guests and even over their heads. There’s a sense of being immersed and surrounded by thousands of mysterious creatures. And that’s just the queue line.
Turning a corner, guests peer through a waterfall then feel the punch of air as something huge zooms by, just inches away. It’s a giant manta ray. On steel rails. A manta ray roller coaster, ride flying, soaring, gliding and spinning at highway speeds. And secured to the manta’s belly are 32 riders, each one lying prone, going for a ride on the biggest and grandest ray of all.
“Manta takes what SeaWorld does best — animal encounters and thrill rides — and blends them to create something you can’t find anywhere else in the world,” says Dan Brown, SeaWorld Orlando’s general manager. “Manta’s actually the next generation of what makes Orlando so much fun. Orlando is the must-do vacation this summer, and Manta is the mustsee.” Manta’s excitement is for everyone
SeaWorld ride and animal experts designed Manta to have thrills for the whole family, at every age level. For guests too young to ride roller coasters — or those who like their adventures a little less extreme — the Manta experience includes incredible views into 10 stunning and all-new aquariums, which are home to 100 species of fish, hundreds of rays and other sea life, more than 3,000 creatures in all. Never before has SeaWorld had such a diverse display of ocean animals. And never before have non-riders been so much a part of a thrill ride’s experience.
Those who take their excitement flying head first at 56 mph will crown Manta as one of the world’s top coasters. A track-twisting pretzel loop, in-line spins, a waterfall close call and a wing dip just inches from the water add up to a flying roller coaster ride never before seen, let alone experienced.
There are only a handful of “flying coasters” in the world. Climbing into what look like traditional seats and harnesses, riders soon notice what makes this kind of coaster so special: The entire seating assembly rotates forward, positioning riders horizontally, or face down in a prone position. It’s like flying. Or even better, it’s like riding on the belly of a massive 12- foot-wide manta ray as it glides and twists and soars above the ocean.
For thrill ride fans, Manta is sure to be the final notch on their coaster belt. For lovers of upclose encounters with the mysteries of the sea, it’s what they love about SeaWorld.
To find the best deals on SeaWorld tickets and vacation packages, explore more at www.SeaWorldOrlando.com.
Originally Published on May 5th, 2009