3:21 PM PST, February 11, 2011
CHULA VISTA, Calif. -- The manta ray-themed roller coaster planned for SeaWorld San Diego got a green light Friday from the California Coastal Commission.
The commission wrapped up three days of meetings in Chula Vista by passing the permit request as part of its consent agenda.
The state panel's staff advised approval of the 30-foot-tall manta ray- themed ride, which is touted as a combination of thrills and educational displays.
The "Manta'' coaster, similar to one that opened at SeaWorld Orlando in 2009, will send riders through a tunnel featuring large images of rays projected on a 270-degree screen.
Park officials hope to begin constructing the attraction just north of Rocky Point Preserve next month, and open it next year.
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