Manta complete circuit.

Saturday, January 31, 2009 2:20 AM

Tatsu is my 2nd favorite coaster at SFMM, behind only X2. The pretzel loop is my favorite part, since it has so much g-force. On most of my SFMM trips, Tatsu, X2 and Riddler are the only coasters that have lines. I save all my flash passes for Tatsu and RR because I almost never need them on any other coaster. I think their four B&M's are four of their best coasters and would be thrilled if the new coaster in 2010 gives them a 5th. I also think Silver Bullet is the best coaster at Knott's, so I guess I am a B&M lover.

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Saturday, January 31, 2009 2:31 AM

^I was with you there until you said Silver Bullet was the best coaster at Knott's. That has to be the most boring inverted Beemer I have ever been on.

Monte has my vote at Knotts followed by X-cellerator.

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Saturday, January 31, 2009 2:37 AM

I admit Silver Bullet does have some dull spots but the air-time on the corkscrews and zero-g roll, and the g-force on the helix make up for the bad parts, in my opinion. I agree with you that Xcelerator is 2nd best at Knott's, and would place GhostRider 3rd.

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Sunday, February 1, 2009 8:39 PM

^Here is the catch. It is the most boring "inverted Beemer" I have been on. That is not to say it's not a fun ride.

I still enjoyed it.

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Monday, February 2, 2009 2:16 AM

Jeff said:
Nota fan of the pretzel loop. I guess I'm not really a fan of the flyingcoasters period. It's just not a very comfortable kind of intensity.

Agreed 100%. I was blown away the first time I rode Vekoma's model, just because it was an entirely different experience. Once the novelty of the flying position wore off (my second ride, believe it or not), every ride thereafter was far less enjoyable and downright uncomfortable. The vertical loop was brutal. I did like B&M's rendition slightly more, but the pretzel loop was even more intense and painful than Vekoma's loop.

I predicted years ago that the flyer would eventually go the way of the standup, in about the same amount of time. Still got another decade or so before I'm proven wrong, but I doubt that'll happen.

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Monday, February 2, 2009 4:44 AM

SFMM was smart enough to put their's on a mountain, really the best way to experience this type of ride. It's so high that you really feel like you're flying. They also put the pretzel loop near the end of the ride, so that the layout builds to it like a grand finally.

Tatsu really is a very good ride. The rest, not so much.

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Monday, February 2, 2009 12:49 PM

I'm not a fan of flyers either, but I will say that Firehawk is a significantly better experience when you're not swooping over a parking lot.

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Monday, February 2, 2009 6:48 PM

Well those of you who are not fans of the Pretzel loop seem to be in the minority. Everyone I've talked to seems to be big fans of it. Granted it's the only redeeming quality on the S:UF clones, but every time I take someone on Tatsu, aside from the amazing views, they can't stop talking about the "wow factor" of the pretzel loop.

Personally, I think it's one of the most humbling elements in that even your most seasoned coaster rides will poop themselves a little the first time they do it. No matter how much you watch it on YouTube or talk about it, you just have to experience it to truly know what it's like.

As for Manta, I was at Sea World late last year and I really wanted to ride it. As with most FL coasters, they tend to shine as an experience rather just a coaster. The elaborate themeing and surroundings really make the difference in FL coasters (not to metion their immaculate upkeep). I don't think Manta will be any different.

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Monday, February 2, 2009 6:51 PM

John Knotts said:
SFMM was smart enough to put their's on a mountain, really the best way to experience this type of ride. It's so high that you really feel like you're flying. They also put the pretzel loop near the end of the ride, so that the layout builds to it like a grand finally.

Tatsu really is a very good ride. The rest, not so much.

Agreed. I'm really surprised it doesn't receive more acclaim. And I also like the loop toward the end better. It's so unnatural to have such big and forceful elements near the end of the ride. And Tatsu's loop is e-freaking-normous.

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Monday, February 2, 2009 6:58 PM

Chitown said:
^I was with you there until you said Silver Bullet was the best coaster at Knott's. That has to be the most boring inverted Beemer I have ever been on.

Monte has my vote at Knotts followed by X-cellerator.

Well we definately have different taste. I don't know if it was all that forceful, but I thought Silver Bullet was great. One of the most balanced and interesting layouts I've ever been on. Not to mention the overbank turn. Fantastic.

Furthermore, I think Xcelerator is a waste of space but that doesn't surprise me seeing as how I'm not into Dragster either.

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Monday, February 2, 2009 8:30 PM

RockDown said:


Personally, I think it's one of the most humbling elements in that even your most seasoned coaster rides will poop themselves a little the first time they do it.

Only because the G's force them to.

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Monday, February 2, 2009 8:31 PM

I think the reason Tatsu doesn't receive more acclaim is that it's got two things working against it at this point. First it's at SFMM which up until recently wasn't a park on most people's list to visit, which leads to point two, a lot of enthusiasts still haven't gotten a chance to ride it. It's still a ride that mostly locals have experienced.

Still, it rated #30 out of hundreds of steel coasters and far, far ahead of any other flyer. I'm not big on the flying position myself, but this ride rocks.

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Monday, February 9, 2009 12:37 PM

B&M coasters are cost effective, easy to train operators on, and have a relatively manageable footprint, making them easy to integrate into theme parks where space, finances and capable employees are scarce. Kudos to Central Florida for actually creating crowd pleasing coasters that aren't so crazy intense that no one really has the desire to ride. We as coaster enthusiasts have become jaded by parks like Cedar Point who keep creating bigger, faster, wilder coasters so that the normal style of coaster ends up being mundane. These coasters have and will continue to stand the test of time.

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Monday, February 9, 2009 4:53 PM

B&M's are many things, but cost effective isn't one of them.

I really don't see the whole B&M's are boring thing. If you look in particular at Florida you have Kumba, Montu, and Dueling Dragons Fire that are all excellent rides. DD Ice, and Hulk aren't excellent, but they sure aren't bad.

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Monday, February 9, 2009 10:32 PM

RockDown said:As with most FL coasters, they tend to shine as an experience rather just a coaster. The elaborate themeing and surroundings really make the difference in FL coasters (not to metion their immaculate upkeep). I don't think Manta will be any different.

Agreed, agreed, and wait-and-see. FL coasters shine for the reasons you mentioned. The theming has always been Disney's stock-in-trade, to the extent that the ride experience makes guests a part OF the ride, and invtes them into the Disney (mindset?)...World. Clearly, Universal as a movie studio managed to capitalize on people's interest in movie "magic" and memorabilia, and was able to build and utilize sets to physically put guests IN the action. (I still miss Hitchcock). Busch has really done well working the ANIMAL aspect, and that's been intertwined with the Busch family's interests of preservation and conservation. The landscaping, themings, the shows, the care for animals and the environment, these have helped build the Busch identity. And while it's easy to see how their commitment to these causes has helped to turn the planet just a little *greener*, the Adventure Parks concept really capitalized on that by reinforcing a brand with a positive image. But I'd be silly to NOT be concerned about the new ownership (assuming it isn't the Busch family) - virtually everything is "up in the air". It's hard to foresee any theme park operator coming in and understanding the vision of these parks (other than HFEC, who have no way of putting together that kind of money). But if whoever comes in and buys the A-B parks package fails to understand the need for investment in the care and display (and integration) of the animals into everything they do.....the brand will suffer. Oh, and whatever this topic was about...Manta will be fun, if not really anything new in terms of the ride itself (outside of theming). I can concede that much. :)

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Monday, March 2, 2009 6:50 PM

Sorry to bring back this topic, but I happened to find this picture today on jonnyupsidedown.com and it raised a question for me. Are we sure that Sea World did not opt out of the wing dip idea and just go with special effects?
The reason I ask this is because there appear to be pipes coming up from the concrete channel that I assume the wing will dip into. These pipes would interfere with the scoops on the wing. This is just a random thought, and if I am wrong in my thinking please let me know.

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Monday, March 2, 2009 10:31 PM

Ah, my first post in a while and on the Manta thread. Well to answer what you were saying I'm going to say that those pipes aren't going to be in the way because it looks like the water line is going to be above the concrete and near ground level, but truely I don't know.

Oh and on the topic of flyers, I prefer the Vekoma's they seem more fun to me, now if only my favorite manufactuer would start making flyers, Intamin.

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