SeaWorld San Diego has officially opened its first double-launch, multi-media roller coaster, Manta! Although it shares the same name as the Orlando coaster it is a very different experience. More of a family friendly coaster, Manta features an exciting 54 ft drop, multiple high-banking twists and turns and accelerates you to maximum speed in only 2 seconds. A first-of-its-kind in the United States multi-media launch station envelopes you inside a 270-degree screen with the projection of larger-than-life manta rays that makes you feel like you’re underwater.
A festive grand opening ceremony hosted by SeaWorld Park President John Reilly and attended by San Diego City Council President Tony Young and San Diego City Council Member Lori Zapf preceded the first official Manta launch. The first riders on Manta were students from the Elementary Institute of Science — a science enrichment program dedicated to nurturing the intellectual curiosity of San Diego’s young people by providing hands-on experiences to stimulate an ongoing appreciation and understanding science, technology and the environment. As part of the grand opening, SeaWorld made a $10,000 donation to the nonprofit program and invited 20 students to be the first riders on opening day.
With Manta, SeaWorld has combined the thrill of an amazing double-launch roller coaster with an incredible, hands-on animal experience. The coaster features multiple twists and turns, an exciting 54-foot drop and a launch station with a 270-degree enveloping screen. Plus, riders and non-riders alike may enjoy dozens of rays, which can be seen in a 100,000-gallon aquarium through eight acrylic viewing windows, and, they can even reach in and touch and feed rays in a shallow pool.
Manta is located just north of Dolphin Point. SeaWorld worked with German ride design company MACK, which also engineered the marine-life park’s popular ride, Journey To Atlantis.