SeaWorld Orlando held the official opening of its new flying rollercoaster, Manta, over the Memorial Day weekend.
The ride has actually been up and running for several weeks as part of a "soft opening" period, but is now open permanently - meeting its original planned launch date. As usual for major new rides, TPT advises arriving at SeaWorld early and rushing straight to Manta in order to avoid a long wait. Previous launches of flying coasters, such as Air at Alton Towers, have seen long queues as staff and guests get acquainted with the unique loading requirements of the ride.
Manta sees guests lying face down in a horizontal position, riding underneath cars shaped like giant manta rays. As well as reaching speeds of 60mph, and including four inversions, Manta distinguishes itself from other flying coasters (such as Air at Alton Towers) through its use of water - with riders almost skimming the surface at times. It is the third major ride at Seaworld Orlando following Kraken and Journey to Atlantis.
The on-time launch of Manta is a boost to SeaWorld, with rival Universal Studios being forced to delay the opening date of its new Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit coaster until later this summer.
You can keep up to date with the latest confirmed and rumored opening dates for new attractions over at Theme Park Tourist's "New Attraction Watch" section.