Featured Photo #11 – SeaWorld’s Showstopper

Featured Photos

Manta at SeaWorld Orlando

After being a fan of and covering roller coasters for so many years it became rare to see rides do new and unique things. Manta, a B&M flying roller coaster, was a great attraction for SeaWorld for a number of reasons. SeaWorld went above and beyond by incorporating a ray and manta exhibit and by adding this cool one-of-a-kind element.

Manta’s coup de grâce is a short dive to a pond that puts riders only a few feet from the water below. As the train passes over the water a fountain-like splash is triggered which sprays the riders a little. You won’t get soaked, but if you sit on the far right seat you will get wet.

Manta gains a lot of points for the innovative dive. It froze onlookers in their tracks and had many waiting for another train to come by just to see it.

Read my full review of Manta at SeaWorld Orlando.

What’s Your Take?
What’s your take on Manta? Leave a comment below.

Photos, content, and the most insightful, entertaining, or amusing reader comments from my Photo of the Week posts will be included my new book. Read more about my book project. All images are the property of TheCoasterCritic.com

Founder of CoasterCritic.com. My favorite coasters are B&M hypers and gigas. I'm also a huge fan of terrain roller coasters.


  1. The biggest disappointment coaster-wise on our Florida trip. Seriously: it's slow, it's dull, and there are no real sensations but the G-forces in the looping.

    • Interesting way to look at it. I guess being suspended face down wasn't really all that thrilling for you. I thought that weird moment of airtime right before the pretzel loop was cool and unique. It was a memorable sensation for sure.

    • Is this a serious post? This is absolutely ridiculous. Manta is easily one of, if not, the best coaster in Florida.

      • This is a serious post. And we were 2 thinking like that. And there are others thinking the same way. Surely not the majority. But the best coaster in Florida, come on. Even Kraken is way better. Incredible Hulk? Kumba? Montu? Dueling Dragons? the list could go on…

        • Having ridden all of the above coasters just a week ago, I can say with all certainty that Manta was the favorite for me. Incredible Hulk was good, Kraken and Kumba are aging poorly, Dueling Dragons is short, and Montu is fantastic. Manta stood out, and it wasn't because it was boring. Different strokes for different folks…

          • I haven't ridden many florida coasters, but Rip Ride Rockit looks pretty sick to me. (in a good way) Practicaly every large floridan roller coaster gose up-side-down, from what I've seen.

  2. I sort of liked the pic of manta with santas on, but I think these are all going to be your own pics from what I've seen so far.

    • Yep. They're going in my book so they have to be mine. There are definitely a few shots of this splash that I've seen that have been better, but again the book and Photo of the Week will include my own photos, posts, and the BEST comments from each week.

    • Rip Ride Rockit was pretty "meh". The first drop was cool, the not loop was cool, and then nothing really happens.

      • totally agree. after the the helix that goes through the building facade by Twister the ride becomes boring.

  3. One of many reasons why I have to conquer Florida, I go down there every year, and so far all I've done is IOA minus Potterland, stupid Christmas crowds. It looks like the theming really makes this ride, otherwise I don't think that there's any way it could compare to Tatsu. But theming goes a long way, and SeaWorld looks to have done a fantastic job with this.

  4. The worst thing a coaster fan could see is in this picture, twice! Who likes empty seats? Manta is a very photogenic coaster. My favorite picture is mine in front of the sign with the train in the background.

    • I've kind of got one of those. The employee who took the pic just got the sign, not really the coaster. Here it is.

  5. Manta is arguably the best flyer in existence along with Tatsu. The "splashdown" section may seem gimmicky but was actually pretty cool, especially on a hot day with the refreshing spray from the fountains if on the right side of the train.

  6. Living in Orlando, I'd like to call myself a "subject matter expert" on the coasters in the area. I have to agree with the first poster. Outside of the pretzel loop (which is my favorite roller coaster element ever), the rest of the ride isn't that thrilling. Still very good, mind you, but not much in excitement and thrill factor. I have to agree with the Coaster Critic that it definitely is the most photogenic and attention grabbing coaster in the area (Hulk is a close second), but to me it's got nothing on Kraken, especially in the back row. I still stand by my statement that Kraken has the best drop in Orlando. And for flyers, I still prefer Tatsu to Manta. But the pretzel loop still keeps Manta among my favorites. Plus it's prime location along with its slower speed allows me to preen, prose, and scream at all of the observers. Especially at the swooping dive. 🙂

    Oh, and as for Rip Ride Rockit, I have to disagree slightly disagree with adavis. The first drop is amazing and the "double-take" loop is pretty cool. And the coaster gains enough height back to make the drop before the "treble clef" element almost as good as the first drop. It does lose a bit after that, but there are still a few moments. You catch a bit of airtime a couple of times when the coaster climbs back up into two of the brake runs near the end. And the helix at the end is pretty good.

    • But if those break runs on Rip Ride Rockit weren't there, a meh coaster becomes a possible airtime machine.

      Again, loved the drop, loved the non loop, and it has more hill based airtime than most Florida stuff, but it could have been really good.


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