10News on Monday had the chance to see SeaWorld's new Manta roller coaster in action.
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"It's fast and it's quick and it is surprising," said employee Mike Price.
Price was among a group of privileged Sea World employees who got first dibs on riding the Manta.
"It really gives you that feeling that, hey, if I was a manta ray or bat ray underwater, this is how I would be zooming around," said Price.
With the San Diego Coastal Commission's height restrictions, it is not as fast or flashy as its Orlando cousin, but speeds top out at 43 mph. The lines are designed to move as well.
"We're able to get nearly 1,400 passengers per hour through the rides," said Dave Koontz, SeaWorld's communications director.
SeaWorld is banking on the ride, which is the largest capital investment in SeaWorld San Diego's history.
According to attendance figures from a company that tracks them for the industry, in 2008, SeaWorld San Diego had 4.1 million visitors. In 2009, there was not much of an increase with 4.2 million. New owner Blackstone says it will continue to roll out new attractions after suffering through two years of declining attendance. SeaWorld reported a 14 percent gain last year, which is credited in part to the new Turtle Reef attraction.
The ride will open to the public on Saturday.
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