New for 2009 – Manta

7 11 2008

Manta's graceful layout

SeaWorld Orlando is building a cool new flying coaster for ’09 – Manta.  At 3395′ long and 140′ tall it is very respectable in size.  The trains will reach up to 56 m.p.h., while swooping less than 10′ from surface of a lake.  This coaster is an evolution of flying coaster design. It incorporates swooping drops, ground flybys, a pretzel loop (see bottom right), and a wing dip (where the coaster touches and sprays water) into its twisted layout.  The color scheme of dark purple, ultramarine blue, and cobalt, as well as theming will enhance the total experience.  The ride will be only a part of a entire world

Construction on Manta

Construction on Manta

themed to rays featuring artwork and floor-to-ceiling ray aquariums.  No one can build a coaster to embody the grace and fluidity of a ray like Bolliger & Mabillard (B&M) of Switzerland.  B&M have constantly been on the forefront of coaster innovation, design, and quality, which they reaffirm in this new coaster.

a pretzel loop

a pretzel loop

I have never ridden on a B&M flying coaster.  I have ridden on a Vekoma Flying Dutchman model, however, the restraints were awkward and the ride was a bit rough.  I will be interested to see how B&M handles flying coasters, because I know them to make the smoothest coasters and most comfortable restraints in the industry.  Hopefully I will get to ride their Tatsu at SFMM this January.

Sources:

http://www.johnnyupsidedown.com/manta0.html

http://rcdb.com/id4190.htm

http://rcdb.com/document292.htm

Readers:  Is Manta a new stage in coaster design, or rehash?  Post your thoughts in the comments!  Please don’t miss a single post of coaster goodness.  Subscribe by rss or email!





Man Struck by Roller Coaster at Six Flags

31 08 2008

A man was hit by a roller coaster on Saturday, August 30th at Six Flags Magic Mountain.  At approximately 4:00 P.M. the man was struck by Ninja, an inverted roller coaster (pictured above).  Michael Rohrer, a 20 year old from West Hollywood, CA, had climbed into a “visibly restricted area” in the act of retrieving his hat.  He was found unconscious, attended by park first aid within 2 minutes, and was airlifted to the UCLA Medical Center.  He died around 2 AM.

The Ride

Batman: The Ride

The ironic thing about this accident is that the same thing happened earlier this summer at Six Flags over Georgia.  A 17-year old was decapitated by the Batman: The Ride train while attempting to retrieve a hat.  The parks are in no way at fault in either case.  In both cases, there were 6′ fences with warning signs surrounding the ride.  It seems that it would be hard to get hit by a roller coaster, but at 50 m.p.h. (the speed that Batman: The Ride was going during the accident) a coaster can sneak up on you.  Perhaps it is best to know that without caution, a roller coaster can take both your hat and your life.

Sources:

ThrillNetwork.com

MSNBC.com

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CP vs. SFMM part II

4 06 2008

Today, I saw a coupon for a Cedar Point day ticket.  The price?  At a discount of  $8, $34.95.  It helps to get some relative prices to understand just how good a deal this is.  General admission at the park we often compare to CP, Six Flags Magic Mountain is $59.99 (that’s almost twice as much, by the way).  We have conceded scientifically (OK, it wasn’t actually very good) that CP=SFMM on the coaster quality front.  Therefore, whichever park is less expensive must be the better park.  Now it really isn’t fair to compare these parks like they are actually wholly competing with each other because there is a large geographical divide (they’re on opposite ends of the country), and therefore look for very different markets.  While I have not been to both parks, I can say that from trip reports and park reviews that Ive read, that CP offers a much more satisfactory experience than SFMM.  In the end though, it is really only your opinion for you to decide.