Falcon’s Creative Group helped elevate SeaWorld San Diego’s Manta® roller coaster into an exciting and immersive encounter.
Location: San Diego, California, USA
SeaWorld® Parks & Entertainment hired Falcon’s Creative Group to develop solutions that would enhance the attraction experience for Manta®, a first-of-its-kind dual launch coaster, planned for their SeaWorld® San Diego park.Falcon’s developed an innovative concept for the on-ride experience that included a massive media tunnel with a custom 270° screen that wrapped around and above the 5-car trains before the initial coaster launch. In the concept, riders are brought into the dynamic underwater world of the manta ray, as well as tropical fish, sponges, starfish, and other beautiful sea life.
Falcon’s was extended to provide the turnkey execution of their final design for the launch tunnel show components, managing the procurement and installation as well as all sub-vendors involved to bring the vision to life.
For the AV integration, Falcon’s teamed up with Kraftwerk Living Technologies and Spitz to provide the custom screen, multi-projector arrangement, and audio solution. Twenty-two projectors were synchronized and edge-blended together across the 166 panels that formed the custom 63-foot-long screen. The projectors also included an auto-calibration system to ensure the quality and consistency of the final output for the lifespan of the attraction. A 12.4-channel audio system accompanied the visuals to complete the immersive and innovative experience.
In the final tunnel experience, a wall of bubbles dissolves as riders suddenly find themselves in the midst of a vibrant coral reef. A school of rays swoops in as if dancing through the reef. Energetic music swells and dips with the vivid moving images to provide a choreographed, emotional punch. Meanwhile, the coaster train rocks back and forth, mimicking the feeling of darting through the waves and being swept into the movement of the current.
Up above, a shadow passes, and the rays quickly disperse, but the shadowy figure is not an enemy. It belongs to the protector of this story…the giant manta ray. Guests watch as the manta ray’s massive wingspan propels it gracefully through the water. As the majestic creature lurches forward, so does the ride vehicle, erupting into the surge of the sea, which is actually the exterior track of the Manta coaster. This striking experience under the sea brings riders closer to the world of the manta ray and its neighbors in the ocean.
The media content causes a shift in the guests’ perspectives, first as the coaster pulls into the tunnel, then before the launch as the train rocks smoothly back and forth, and finally for the inevitable launch down the track. This choreographed and perfectly synced off-board media content transformed Manta® from a roller coaster into a simulator attraction.
The Manta® experience as a whole - from the queue line to the media tunnel to the ride to the ray touch pool - inspires guests to protect the ocean and help secure a future where manta rays and all the wondrous creatures who live in Earth’s waters can survive and thrive in their native habitat