SeaWorld San Diego announces Manta roller coaster for 2012

SeaWorld San Diego recently announced plans for a new roller coaster set to open in 2012. The new highly-themed attraction will be called Manta and it will incorporate a marine-life exhibit. The ride will start with a tunnel boasting huge high-tech projection screens. The screens will project larger than life images of rays aimed at enhancing the ride’s opening launch that will send the manta-themed trains rocketing down the track.

Unlike, the high-flying Manta at SeaWorld Orlando, San Diego’s Manta will be a launch coaster that will stay close to and below the ground. It will have a modest height of 30 feet, a longest drop of 54 feet (as it drops below the ground), and a relatively gentle top speed of 46 mph via a magnetic launch system.

Some roller coaster fans are dissapointed in the new coaster’s less than extreme stats. While this Manta coaster could be categorized as a family roller coaster, fans have to remember not every new attraction is going to thrill your pants off. Given that the park was limited by the area’s extremely low height restrictions and SeaWorld Park’s track record of highly themed and immersive roller coasters, Manta looks to be a solid addition. Below is an animated video of Manta without the ride’s theming and marine-life exhibit.