Manta SeaWorld San Diego Roller Coaster Review – Is Manta any good?

Manta was added to SeaWorld San Diego back in 2012. As part of the Parks, rejuvenation plans the Coaster was added to the park to spice up the line-up and start getting guests back into this once the jewel of the Socal Amusement ark Crown.

The Large coaster features double launches and steep backs without actually inverting riders, making this a fairly low-thrill ride perfect for large numbers of people not daring to ride more aggressive thrill rides. Its large track layout takes in large swathes of the park making it an unmissable part of the park’s layout. Our Manta SeaWorld San Diego Roller Coaster Review takes a deep look a the Coaster to see how good of an attraction it is and if the ride is worth the visit t SeaWorld San Diego or if you should spend time queueing when there.

Manta SeaWorld San Diego
Manta’s Track Layout
  • Type – Twin Launch Coaster – Mack
  • Duration – 1:55 Secs
  • Height Restriction – 48 In
  • Average Queue time – 15 mins – 60 Mins
  • Skip The Line – Yes $14.99
  • Additional Info – Twin Launch coaster, covering 2,835ft at over 42Mph.
Manta, Sea World San Diego
  • Thrill Rating
  • Fun
  • Uniqueness and Theming
  • Smoothness and Comfort
  • Value For Time

Manta seaworld San Diego

Whereas the Electric Eels intimidating appearance and boisterous display of might as it thunders through the loading station, has more timid guests tuning and running ( literally ) The Manta has a much more inclusive feel.

The Manta is still a really good coaster, the launches feel a lot faster than the measly 42mph advertised and the track layout is really fun with plenty of steep banks and good airtime. There are strict restrictions on building heights in the San Diego Bay Area and the ride was designed to overcome these while still being exciting and thrilling. We think it is a triumph of engineering.

The Ride Starts off indoors with a short Preride Show before firing you out of the underwater cave Shotgun style (very reminiscent of a Dive Site we frequent in Maui, Hawaii). As you accelerate into the bright California Sunshine the rides banks hard then over a series of Air time Hills, head slicers, and other tight banks. After the ride begins to run out of steam you reach the second Launch that again thrusts the train off over another section of banks and hills. It is far from the scariest ride but its long length, smooth ride, and fun ride elements make it are a really fun experience. Younger kids and less brave adults can still jump on and ride as the focus is on fun rather than white knuckles.

It still offers some real thrills though, and probably ranks a 3 out of 5 on the scare rating!

What is Manta

The Manta is a Twin Lunached Steel Rollercoaster. IT uses LSM Technology to launch the coaster out of the station for the first track run, before utilizing a second LSM Launch halfway round for a second kick, doubling the ride length and giving an almost 2 for one experience.

The Train layout is fairly standard, it’s a seated coaster with secure lap bars. Seating is 2 across with 2 rows per car, with the rear seats elevated so help see over the riders in front. There are 5 cars per train, so 20 riders in total. The cars are styled moderately to look like a manta ray, but it’s a pretty abstract form!

The Ride is quite long, around two minutes and over 2,800 ft in length giving really good value for money. There are no inversions just steep banked turns, airtime hills, and a few head-choppers. The Coaster only reaches a top speed of 43 mph, but it feels a lot faster than the quite low tops speed feels The LSM Launches are fast but not savagely so. There are no large drops or really intimidating elements it’s just a fun fast romp around the park!

All in all, this makes the coaster a pretty Family-Friendly Ride. Obviously the 48in ride height and the fact it is still a pretty grown-up coaster mean it’s far from the family ride category, but it’s great for kids who are ready to ride a big Coaster without throwing them on the large and lairey Electric Eel, that will probably scar them for life!


The Queue is one of the worst at the Park. This is to be expected as the ride caters to a lot of tastes and there are still relatively few rides at the park. However, riding at opening or later on, could see the queue evaporate to nothing. It is also likely to drop around Show times too as guests flock to see the Orca Shows.

The Queue line is not the most exciting but it’s not exactly bad either. it relies pretty much on just the natural beauty of the park. Situated on elevated wooden walkways as it winds around the wooden structures and water gardens that make up the Manta Queueing area. It’s a very nice place to be and gives great views of the ride as it fires around the track. With a 1400 riders per hour throughput the queue also moves nice and quickly.

As the ride is one of the few good rollercoasters at the park you are going to want to queue regardless of time, but anything over 30 minutes feels like a poor return for investment. We would certainly consider coming back at another time if the queue length exceeds this!

Ride Experience

The Ride starts off in an indoor show area that simulates an underwater Cavern. As the water effects swirl around, an opening appears in front of you and daylight pours in. This is all very reminiscent of an underwater Shotgun Exit, something we experience in Maui, while scuba diving off Lanai! Just like that exit the Coaster now shoots out of the exit, propelling the riders forward to the Rides top Speed as you burst out into the California Sun.

Acceleration is firm but not over the top and only mildly pins you in your seat. At the end of the LSM Straight, there is a tight angled right-hand bend that is over 90°s and almost a semi-inversion. You drop under a bridge, minding your head then another right bank, sweeping into a left bank, then over a moderate Airtime-hill, then another dip and back up over a lesser airtime hill as the ride runs out of steam.

You meander onto what looks like a break-run, something that would usually indicate the end of the ride, but in fact, this is the second LSM Run and the Manta is back up to speed in a jiffy. The Second run is slightly slower and hits a brake-run early on, but it’s still good fun, with a long sweeping 180°+ banked turn a particular highlight.


It’s a funfilled two minutes with nothing really to induce fear or elevated heart rates just straight-up rollercoaster thrills. It’s got enough fun elements and is smooth and exciting that Roller Coaster fans can still enjoy it, without being intimidating to less bold riders.

We think this blend of decent roller coaster element, but mild manner make the coaster a perfect addition to a family park. Amongst checking out the amazing Marine animals and catching a show the Mants is a perfect distraction. Is it worth visiting the park just for Manta, no, not even close, but it might be the highlight for some of your family members and a worthwhile experience for anyone while you are there.

If you are looking for something a little more thrilling, Electric Eel is a fully-fledged thrill ride and the upcoming Emperor is sure to be a big draw. If you are looking for a little less thrill, both, Journey to Atlantis and Shipwreck Rapids, are much tamer. There is also Tidal Twister, but the less said about the better.

Looking for Discount Tickets? Take a look at our guide here

Have Your Say

Let us know our thoughts on the Manta at SeaWorld San Diego. Do you find it mild-mannered or an intimidating proposition? Did you find it a fun smooth ride or a clinky slow coach with nothing going for it? Whatever your thoughts just fire away in the comments.

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