Manta is one of the top roller coasters in Florida. See which other rides made the list.
Manta Up-Front Info
- Thrill Scale (0=Wimpy!, 10=Yikes!): 7
"Flying" position may be intimidating for some riders. Inversions.
- Coaster type: Flying
- Top speed: 56 mph
- Height restriction to ride: 54 inches
- Height of lift hill: 140 feet
- First drop: 113 feet
- Ride time: 2 minutes, 35 seconds
- Part of SeaWorld's Quick Queue program, guests can pay an additional fee to skip to the front of the line.
- Be sure to remove everything from your pockets before riding. Since passengers face the ground for most of the ride, it's easy to lose items.
- Manta and SeaWorld Orlando Photo Gallery
Located near the front entrance of SeaWorld Orlando, Manta is a sight to behold. Reflecting its ocean theme, the track is painted in bold shades of blue. Every few minutes, a trainload of nearly prone riders, with a giant fiberglass manta ray perched on the lead car, swoops down and appears to skim the surface of a turquoise-colored pool, triggering a pleasing wake of water.
Manta Offers a Giddy, Wonderful Sensation of Flying
Unlike the earlier flying coasters, which recline to an almost-prone position, passengers' knees are more bent on Manta. But, loading and unloading the ride takes much less time. Still, the loading process takes longer than conventional coasters. Fortunately, Manta's loading station accommodates two side-by-side trains to help keep the lines moving.
It feels odd to hang facing the ground while the train remains at a halt in the station. But after Manta climbs its lift hill and begins to navigate the track, it's a giddy, wonderful sensation. While it may not be exactly like flying or gliding through the water like an aerodynamic manta ray (not that I've experienced either), it is wild to dive down the first drop and careen through a series of inversions. Some of the elements, including a pretzel loop and a corkscrew, are disorienting as they momentarily send riders racing backwards and flipping over.
Diving Towards the Water
The thrill ride continues SeaWorld's transformation into an "adventure" park (as its owners like to brand it). Back before the park adopted its trendy spelling (when there was a space between "Sea" and "World"), the most thrilling ride--really the only ride--was the Sky Tower. The gentle ride is still taking guests high above Shamu and his marine life pals, but since the late 1990s, SeaWorld has been adding coasters and other thrills to go along with the animal exhibits and shows.
For all of its thrills, Manta also incorporates SeaWorld's marine life theme. Even coaster wimps who have no intention to ride will want to check out the exhibit under the coaster. Viewing tanks, enhanced by waterfalls and other elements, offer underwater glimpses of a variety of rays as well as sea dragons, sea horses, and other species of fish. It's a great place to chill out--so you can get back in line for another soaring ride aboard Manta.