This Memorial Day weekend SeaWorld is opening up its much-anticipated Manta ride at the aquatic theme park.
Manta is a double rollercoaster that allows riders to watch manta rays swim beneath their enclosure and also zoom across the park.
On Wednesday, NBC 7's Megan Tevrizian was the first local reporter to ride the new attraction live on television. You can watch her report here.
Passengers begin at the “launch station” where they are surrounded by a 270-degree screen that shows images of the manta rays.
This state-of-the-art projection system will be the first of its kind in the United States.
“With Manta, our guests will be able to see and interact with 65 bat rays, 10 guitar
fish, and hundreds of [other] fishes,” said SeaWorld San Diego curator of fishes, Thad Dirksen.
“The below-water viewing area will include eight acrylic windows and a reef design. The above-water interaction area will allow our guests more opportunities to touch and feed the rays.”
The Hilton in Mission Valley has projected a large manta ray across the building along Interstate 8 in the months leading up to the opening.
Manta will be located just north of Rocky Point Preserve. Forbidden Reef, a former SeaWorld attraction where guests could feed and touch bat rays, will also be incorporated and enhanced as part of the attraction.