SeaWorld San Diego’s signature roller coaster, Manta, is now open along with Electric Eel, Shipwreck Rapids, and numerous kiddie rides.
Manta is a double-launch coaster, which means that the acceleration of the ride is supplied by two sections of magnetic motors, not a traditional lift hill. The ride starts in the beautiful queue and station – you pass through the Manta Aquarium and come face-to-face with bat rays, lobsters, and lots of different fish species! The queue winds through a serene tropical garden until you arrive at the station. As part of the park’s COVID-19 protocols, there are plexiglass dividers in between each loading row, social distancing markers every 6′, and as of May 13, ride operators are seating guests every other row.
Once you’re safely secured, the coaster crawls forward and you become immersed in a giant projection tunnel. The beat of the drum hypes you up as you see manta rays swimming above you. The music crescendos and the door to the launch tunnel opens – suddenly, you’re accelerated from 0 to 43 miles per hour in the span of just a few seconds!
The train plunges underneath a bridge as you twist around the Manta icon structure. Riders then experience a series of twisted and airtime hills before slowing down at the midpoint of the ride. The second launch boosts riders into a series of intense twists and turns. At one moment, you’re leaning to the right, while at the next, you’re flung to the left. It truly does feel like you’re riding on the back of a manta ray as it glides through the water. After returning to the station, you exit through the gift shop and arrive at the bat ray exhibit!
Manta has a low height requirement of 48″, which means that it is designed for many types of riders, not just thrill-seekers. The ride’s theming and tropical landscaping contribute to an immersive ride experience, and it’s the perfect “in-between” ride. It’s more thrilling than the kiddie flat rides at the Bay of Play or Ocean Explorer, but it’s much less intimidating than Electric Eel, the tallest coaster in the park (for now)…
We highly recommend visiting SeaWorld San Diego to ride the ray and feel the rush on Manta!