Where's the Manta love?? (And other FL thoughts)

Friday, February 18, 2011 12:46 PM

Just got back from my first Orlando visit, and shocked it doesn't rank on our top 100 list. I know there have been threads about how the system calculates rankings, etc. A guess would be that not enough riders have visited that park since it opened as the reason it doesn't make the cut? Or perhaps I'm just one of the few who thinks Kraken (which did make the list) is second to Manta at that park.

Manta kicks butt. It had stronger forces than I was expecting and disorientated me (in a good way) coming out of that first inversion. And so smoooooooooth, something Kraken is not. Kraken is good, but doesn't distinguish itself from other floorless coasters like the Medusa coasters (in fact, it seemed much the same). On a side note concerning Sea World, Journey to Atlantis was very meh; the coaster section was much shorter than I expected, and really not memorable. Park is gorgeously landscaped. Somewhat surprised the sky tower is an upcharge. As for the dolphin show, it seems more like a Cirque Du Soliel show with dolphins as a supporting act at the start and at the end. I miss the informative type of shows that I am used to seeing in the past at Sea World parks.

I also hit the 4 Disney parks, and found I prefer Disneyland to the Magic Kingdom in general. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is a family coaster at both parks, I know, but seemed more tame than the CA counterpart, though it gets extra points for the trick-track sections. Space Mountain was at least different (only did the Omega side), but no better or worse in the end; I had no idea about the inline type of seating. At least the Astro Orbiter is where it belongs in FL! I prefer the Haunted Mansion facade and queue in CA to FL, though the ride is much the same. I'm used to the iconic It's A Small World facade in CA; I was surprised that in FL it is tucked away inside a building; seems wrong. Way too much Jack Sparrow in the FL Pirates of the Caribbean; ruins the original intent. Jack is used a little less so in CA, IMO. And it just doesn't feel like Pirates without the drops below, like you're entering a forgotten time. Loved Splash Mountain, though it felt the same as Cali. And I was stoked to ride the Carousel of Progress and the Peoplemover, stuff that just isn't at the west coast park. Did Snow White's Scary Adventure on the way out for good measure. Left plenty of stuff to do on a future visit.

Arrived at Animal Kingdom in 41 degree weather. Brrr!! Dinosaur is a complete waste of a great ride system (Indy in CA has spoiled me I guess). Though I admit I haven't seen the movie, I am in no hurry after that experience; pretty boring ride with a queue that is more interesting from what i could tell. There was no line so we rushed through the preshow and queue. AK is another perfectly landscaped park, for sure. It's Tough to be a Bug seemed slightly different than the show I'm used to, for the better. It's possible that the CA version has been updated, as it has been a while since I last saw it.The bird show may be a bit corny, but did make me chuckle multiple times. The various safaris were impressive. And Everest was a great surprise. No wait for either of the times we rode, so again no chance to appreciate (or heckle) the queue. I am amazed that as an enthusiast, I somehow managed to stay completely in the dark about Everest's elements. I actually thought the ride had stalled when we came to a halt, as I waited for it to continue, but then...Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeet!!! :-D That Yeti effect however, well, I'll take Matterhorn's animatronics any day over that!

A smoother than normal Vekoma is still a Vekoma, btw. Not as painful as I was expecting, buy not overly pleasurable either. For me, the main difference in the Tower of Terror rides isn't that critical; it didn't make the FL version that much better if at all, though marginally more interesting. Toy Story Mania has a way better queue than in CA. The Great Movie ride is something to do once, and I definitely want to visit the Hollywood Studios again at some point, doing the shows and the rides, I could see a decent day of it. The director character running around was amusing, btw.

And Epcot is too much fun, what can I say? I had wanted to visit since I first heard it was being built, and was there for my bday on Fri Feb 11th. :) First up, was Spaceship Earth. Enjoyable. Captain EO is pure Velveeta, but fun! Interesting to see how far 3D effects have come. Test Track was fun, as was Mission:Space (more intense than I expected to be sure). Soarin is always worth a ride, wherever you are. World Showcase is amazing, though I barely had time to see halfof it; gotta leave a few things for a return visit. The three whatever they are called was something I don't ever have to do again, though Norway's Maelstrom was fun; I'd do it again if the line wasn't too long. Grey goose slushies at the France pavilion are must, btw. The lunch buffet in Germany was delish and the stein of beer was the best I've ever had; beats the tar out of the watered-down crap we get to choose from (yeah, I'm looking at you PBR!) A big thanks to Gator and Jill for celebrating the day with me! :)

If you like mini golf, Fantasia Gardens is a must! And the Pirate's Cove at Lake Buena Vista was also top notch mini golf. Bubba Gump at CityWalk was great food! Next time, I'll hit BGT and IoA.

I had a great time! And again, what up with the Manta dis? ;)

Last edited by Robocoaster, Friday, February 18, 2011 7:08 PM
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Friday, February 18, 2011 12:54 PM

Really want to get back to Sea World and try out Manta. I also find Kraken to be a little meh, but it's still a really fun ride. Was it crowded at all?

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Friday, February 18, 2011 1:06 PM

What's with all of the acronyms, man?

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Friday, February 18, 2011 1:11 PM

In a hurry this morning. Will go back and edit after work. :)

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Friday, February 18, 2011 7:19 PM

Eightdotthree, the park was empty due to lousy weather. It was raining when we arrived, and save for the Southwest Airline employee meeting at the park later that night, I believe it would have been completely empty. I bought a SW parka, just in case the weather continued or got worse, but actually ended up using it for only Atlantis. took the hood down after the first big drop, which was a mistake because that second smaller drop had a bigger splash (bastrads, lol).

The weather eased a little bit and improved in the afternoon, but was still cloudy and cool with occasional light sprinkles. There were no lines for anything all day. The park even treated us to surprise ERT on the coasters after the meeting was over. I downed a few free bud light limes along with the great meal provided, and took a few more spins on Manta in the dark; bliss! They also had a special dolphin show for SWA employees at 9:30pm, but having already seen it, left to meet up with Bill and Jill and drink a few Alien Secretions before calling it a night.

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Saturday, February 19, 2011 8:26 PM

Hey! Tried to reply earlier, something went funky.

Anyhow - GREAT getting to hang out. Jill sends her love. Manta indeed kicks butt, and I've been saying so since my first rides. Being at a sealife and show park means it's never going to get the proper respect it deserves. The drop off the midcourse alone makes it special among flying coasters....seriously, airtime? :)

Dinosaur is certainly no Indy, and Pirates is def. better in CA. I do prefer our Space Mountain though. TSMM...if I were somehow able to get an ERT-session situation, I would play until my arm fell off. Really happy to have finally gotten to see Captain EO. The German buffet.....definite win.

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Monday, February 21, 2011 11:03 AM

What I love about Manta is the really cool drops, my favorite being the one off the mid course (Which rarely catches).

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011 11:41 AM

Robo, so glad you finally made it to Epcot! Wish I could have been there to hang out with you, Bill and Jill.

I've never heard anyone dis Manta. Everyone that has ridden it seems to think it's amazing. I have yet to experience it myself, but after riding Tatsu and Air, I know the B&M flyers can be great after all.

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Friday, February 25, 2011 7:43 PM

Add me to the list of Manta fans. I've been on one of the Supermen, and two of the Flying Dutchmen, and Manta takes both of them out behind the woodshed (watershed?)

It's an expensive ticket if you are a coaster enthusiast. But, if you are a "park fan," the Sea World parks are always great times---such a different pace and vibe from a normal amusement/theme park, and I really like 'em.

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Saturday, February 26, 2011 9:34 PM

I also love me some Manta. Best of all the flyers I've been on (all but Air and Tatsu). Sadly only got one lap on it but that was enough to convince me.

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Monday, February 28, 2011 3:05 PM

I personally LOVE Manta.

Thankfully last year when we had the whole week at SWO/BGT the lines were quite short... I got plenty of rides on it, and enjoyed all of them. The layout when announced did not excite me, but the ride really exceeded my expectations.

I am a big fan of flying coasters as well... Just not the SUF's, which are terrible... I do love X-Flight though, but I may be a bit biased for that one!

I really dig the pretzel loop on Manta in the backseat... The crazy airtime/insane G combo was unexpected and was a blast. The ending is extremely well done with the water and theme interaction, getting a little water splash if you sat on the left side of the train, plus the low-to-the-ground section before the final brakerun. The ride just has good elements to it that you would not expect by looking at it.

Very fun ride, and look forward to some other parks being more creative with the layouts, they have such potential.

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Wednesday, April 6, 2011 1:17 PM

Manta is a great ride... Great layout with plenty of different surprises!
I have been on Manta tons of times and I find it very intense and smooth. The queue line is amazing and it really makes the ride that much better.

Personally I like Kraken over Manta! The layout, is just pure fun and intense. If you think Kraken is smooth did you notice how much smoother it is that the Hulk? and Dragons Challenge? Those rides are rough :)

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Thursday, April 7, 2011 4:47 AM

The B&M's at Islands of Adventure were definitely in need of some care when I was down there in February. I only rode Hulk once because it was so rough. Dragons were only a little bit better.

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Sunday, April 10, 2011 12:37 PM

^^ Can't make a comparison, as I am saving BGT and USF for next February.

Also, I don't truly think Manta gets dissed, just that it's absence from the CB Top 100 was a surprise to me. More people need to experience what a great ride it is. :)

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Monday, April 11, 2011 1:22 PM

It is also worth noting that the HULK is FINALLY getting a paint job...

I still think it was ridiculous NOT to paint the Dragons when they converted them over to Dragons Challenge...

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011 12:00 AM

Every time I read this topic title, I hear a Hanson song in my head. Anyone else? :D

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