The second interpretation of the Manta coaster concept just opened at SeaWorld San Diego, and seeing as they are so different, I think it’s just about appropriate to compare them on PureCoaster. Now, I’m going to compare them in three subtopics before the poll, just so we can learn a little about these coaster cousins.
Type of Coaster:
The original Manta at SeaWorld Orlando is a flying coaster by B&M, meanwhile the new Manta at SeaWorld San Diego is a MACK launch coaster. These coasters couldn’t be more different when it comes to classification, and layout. In Orlando, you see four inversions, one of which is a gargantuan pretzel loop. On the other hand, in San Diego it’s very low to the ground with lots of tight high speed curves.
What is to me the most iconic thing about these coasters is the splashdown. The one in Orlando is very grand, and very showy, meanwhile the new one in San Diego is more subtle, and likewise more realistic. Both are very unique effects that have become a sort of trade mark for SeaWorld.
Seeing as they are different makes of coaster by different manufacturers, the trains for these coasters are quite different. The stylized B&M flying coaster trains in Orlando have a grand manta ray at the front of each train, plus cute smaller mantas at the front of each car, and on the MACK mega coaster trains in San Diego, they have a beautiful, gigantic manta at the front.
Personally, I think the original Manta in Orlando better mimics the sensation of being a manta, but due to height restrictions in San Diego they were forced to modify the concept, and in my opinion, they got a less than spectacular result. My vote is to the flying coaster at SeaWorld Orlando.
Photos by SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment