Monday, February 23, 2009

Two Big Coasters Get Ready to Rock Orlando

This spring will hold more than just warm weather in its forecast for Orlando, Florida. Two major theme parks, SeaWorld Orlando and Universal Studios, will be unveiling two eagerly anticipated roller coasters that are sure to transform the Orlando skyline, bring new visitors to the parks, and thrill roller coaster lovers and adrenaline rush seekers of all ages. The time is slowly approaching when Orlando residents and vacationers will be able to experience Manta and the Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit roller coasters!

Debuting first will be Manta, which SeaWorld recently revealed will open on May 22. We can’t wait for this particularly sweet attraction, which will be unique among Orlando roller coasters for several reasons. First, as opposed to normal upright seated roller coasters (yawn) or roller coasters where your feet dangle (been there, done that), Manta will position the rider practically face down. The idea is that you’ll feel like you’re soaring through the air, much like a Manta ray soars through the water.

In addition, once it’s completed, Manta will be the one of the longest, tallest, and fastest roller coasters in the world, with four inversions and a speed of at least 56 mph. The inversions will include a pretzel loop, an in-line twist, and two corkscrews. Moreover, the roller coaster cars will be designed to resemble manta rays, with wingspans of 12 feet. Reportedly, during one portion of the ride, the Manta car will pass extremely close to the water below, and its wings will skim the surface, creating a big splash for the riders.

Manta will also have an incredible queue area for guests to take in while they wait for their wild ride. The queue will pass through art-adorned underground caves with enormous Plexiglas tanks featuring over 300 rays, as well as thousands of fish and other mysterious marine creatures.

And while Manta is poised to become the most graceful flying roller coaster in the world, the Hollywood Rip, Ride, and Rockit (RRR) coaster at Universal Studios is set on being the most technologically advanced one. Set to open sometime this spring (mid-to-late June would be the latest), the RRR will feature fast-paced, high-flying excitement, all set to the tune of a customizable song you pick out before strapping in. Moreover, every second of your whirlwind ride will be on video, allowing guests to edit it and send it to their friends when it’s all over.

The RRR will reach a maximum of 65 mph and will soar up to 17 stories over Universal Studios, making it the tallest in the Orlando area and the largest ride of its kind in the world. Six near-miss moments will have riders’ hearts lurching into their throats, and a non-inverting loop nicknamed the “double take” will break records around the world. And the ride, which features colorful LED lights, will even blast through a building fa├žade, making it a visually stunning aerial landmark weaving up and down, in and out of the park.

If you couldn’t think of a reason to visit SeaWorld or Universal Orlando before, now you have it – the two new roller coasters getting ready to whirl through our favorite Orlando theme parks this spring. Start planning your roller coaster adventure now with discount theme park tickets from, and you’ll be ready for two wild rides.


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