Manta Review

Today, we'll be reviewing Manta @ Sea World San Diego. This is a custom made coaster by Mack. So its uniqueness is cool enough. But there's FAR more to Manta than just its unique traits. We hop up and get into the seats and pull down the lap bars. Now as you notice, these trains are EXTREMELY comfortable. Its a shame that the only other coaster to feature them is Blue Fire (which is also an awesome coaster BTW). If you're small, it almost seems like a floorless coaster due to the seats being elevated, which also improves your view in the back rows. And we're off!! We first roll around a turn in the dark and then we stop. At this point, music starts playing and we're surrounded by a screen showing all this aquatic life. Its very pretty. Almost like a dark ride at this point. But at this point, the aquatic life disappears, the doors open, fog rolls in, and we're off!!! The launch isn't TOO powerful, but I will admit that it was MUCH stronger than I was expecting when I first rode it. And we then get WHIPPED to the right as we head straight into a turn before dropping down under the bridge. I love this element for many different reasons. First, its got some nice laterals. Plus a decent pop of airtime coming on down. Nice. More tasty laterals are coming right our way as we head straight into a heavily banked turn. Its not only very pretty to watch from the line, but it rides beautifully, giving us lots of laterals. We then exit, get some more laterals before rising up into a small airtime hill. This doesn't look like anything special here, but WHALA!!! Airtime!!! And good airtime at that!!! I'd dare say this being some of the best airtime avalible in California. It's really that good. =) We then drop down and turn, getting some more laterals before heading straight for another airtime hill. WEE!!! AIRTIME!!!! We exit out the hill, go through another turn, and more excitement ensues with some fun little twisty bits. We head through another turn and then come to a stop. YAY!!!! That may have been a short ride, but man was it a great ride. But before we can applaud, we head STRAIGHT into a 2nd launch. And Manta doesn't waste anytime getting to it. The stop doesn't interrupt the flow of the ride at all. It feels completely natural. And I gotta admit. This 2nd launch feels a bit like Speed's 2nd launch did. It just PLOWS through it. And if you thought the laterals in the first half were good, just wait until you experience the 2nd half of Manta. You just plow through this turn and head straight up into an airtime hill. And now we come to my favorite part of the ride. This hill actually is like a mini launch in its own way. It never slows down going up. And once we're up, we not only get a nice pop of airtime, but perhaps the best lateral movement in the entire ride. You just SLAM to the side, while STILL in the air experiencing airtime. So we get this really tasty combination of airtime and laterals right here that just always brings a smile to my face, regardless of how many times I've ridden it while marathoning this thing. After that insane hill, we get another mini twisty hill that just SNAPS us with more insane laterals. Yeah. Manta is getting pretty damn agressive at this point. We then just shred through this low to the ground turn, really feeling the speed at this point. =) We head into another hill, but there aren't really any laterals or airtime here. Yeah. Manta is winding down at this point. Really, we just head up one last hill, get one last whip in some laterals, and then we hit the brake run. And now its really over. Wow. I mean, Wow. I really really REALLY love this ride. I mean, it is just PERFECT for Sea World San Diego. It doesn't affect the San Diego skyline much, its not too intense to scare everyone away, but at the same time, it gives a wild ride and despite its cutesy and innocent look, really manages to pack a POWERFUL punch!!! I mean this thing is just AWESOME!!! Its without a doubt one of the best coasters in California. This ride was a big game changer for Sea World San Diego. Before Manta was built, I considered Sea World San Diego to be more of a kickass aquarium than a theme park due to its lack of any really good rides. But Manta SHATTERED that expectation for me while still maintaining its kickass animal side as well. I'd HIGHLY recommend checking it out when visiting Sea World San Diego. It's much more powerful than you'd expect. =)

8/10

Location: Sea World San Diego

Opened: 2012

Built by: Mack

Last Ridden: November 10, 2013

My raw footage video of Manta.

Manta Photos

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