SeaWorld in San Diego is announcing today, according to the San Diego U-T, that it plans a real roller coaster at the park for next year, 2012. The ride will include a 54-foot drop which will require an excavation of 24 feet because of the 30-foot height limit. And SeaWorld says its new “Manta” ride will be constructed just north of its current Rocky Point Preserve exhibit, and construction is supposed to begin within a month from now.
Today’s article in the Business Section of the U-T reports:
The California Coastal Commission is scheduled to review the project on Friday [Feb.11th], and its staff has recommended approval. So far, no opposition has surfaced, the commission said.
“No opposition has surfaced”. Apart from the issue on its merits, we have to ask how can opposition surface if no one knows about it. Up to today, there has been no mainstream media news report of the new roller coaster ride, except in a U-T article from January 13, 2011, where no real details were offered.
But apparently, Coastal Commission staff have recommended approval, according to the San Diego Business Journal on Feb 1:
California Coastal Commission staff has recommended conditional approval of plans for a new “Manta Ray” roller coaster ride at SeaWorld San Diego, apparently modeled on a similar ride at the company’s Orlando theme park.
SeaWorld certainly knows about “opposition” to its plans and rides. Why, Donna Frye herself rode to fame by leading the opposition to the current splash down ride years ago. Plus, there has been active opposition to other plans for expansion. One of the sources of the opposition have been folks extremely concerned about the theme park or the City building over an old 1950’s-era waste dump that was centered just to the east of today’s SeaWorld.
In fact, the City spent $500,000 in 2004-05 to study the current effects of any toxicity remaining from the old dump, which the Navy and other aircraft industries used for years. The Ocean Beach Grassroots Organization, along with other environmental allies, led efforts to have the City ensure that nothing toxic was leaking. The result of the study was that nothing was leaking, but its conclusions warned against any excavations in the area.
Here is today’s U-T article:
SeaWorld to get roller coaster with 54-foot drop
by Lori Weisberg / SignOnSanDiego / February 9, 2011
A new roller coaster meant to mimic the sensation of a manta ray gliding through the water — complete with a 54-foot plunge — will debut next year at SeaWorld San Diego, the theme park is announcing today.
Described as the park’s first “pure” roller coaster, the Manta ride was inspired by a similar attraction at the Orlando park but will have its own unique features, including a launch station where huge images of manta rays will be visible on a giant, 270-degree screen via a state-of-the-art projection system.
Although the San Diego park already has one coaster ride, Journey to Atlantis, SeaWorld officials describe it more as a water ride with a drop element than a conventional roller coaster.
Construction on the attraction, to be located in the northwest corner of the park just north of Rocky Point Preserve, is expected to get under way within a month.
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