City News Service
SeaWorld San Diego plans to open a manta ray-themed roller coaster ride next year.
The 30-foot-tall ride, designed to look like a giant manta ray, is on Friday's agenda at the California Coastal Commission for a permit.
The commission staff has reportedly recommended approval.
Park officials said riders can experience the feeling of manta rays by gliding and diving through a dozen twists and turns while viewing exhibits of the sea creatures. It is similar to a ride that opened at SeaWorld Orlando in 2009.
"We are delighted to bring energizing new attractions to our guests year after year, and Manta does just that, combining the thrill and excitement of a coaster, with the educational and entertaining value of an incredible marine-life exhibit," said SeaWorld San Diego President John Reilly.
Riders will start in a tunnel with large images of manta rays projected on a 270-degree screen. A press release notes it's full of "twists, turns and drops, and a 100,000-gallon habitat featuring bat rays and other beautiful sea creatures."
Construction is expected to begin next month just north of Rocky Point Preserve at the park.