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SeaWorld San Antonio Discussion Thread

P. 28: Tidal Surge Screamin' Swing coming for 2022!

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We actually walked through the Shark exhibit and rest of Discovery Point the other day. It was all super nice, I almost felt like I was at a SeaWorld park for a second...

 

(Can you tell the rest of this park just weirds me out? lol)

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43 minutes ago, coasterbill said:

We actually walked through the Shark exhibit and rest of Discovery Point the other day. It was all super nice, I almost felt like I was at a SeaWorld park for a second...

 

(Can you tell the rest of this park just weirds me out? lol)

So I'm not crazy in my feelings on this. I didn't even realize Discovery Point was anything but the dolphin experience until we decided to wander over on our way out, it's weird it's not attached to the main park since it's what I expected similar to SWO. I liked SWSA but it really felt like it was missing something the entire time.

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  • 4 weeks later...

So, is Atlantis closed due to Covid restrictions or because it's a water ride and not open for the season yet? We will be there on the 9th and the number of water rides that are open determines which shoes I wear, lol.

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On 3/3/2021 at 6:31 PM, SharkTums said:

The park just has such a weird early 80's vibe to it still. 

Starting with the big entrance structure - am all for iconic landmarks, but don't think it has aged well!

SeaWorld have put in some good investments recently, so hopefully they will continue to pour money in to how the park looks too.

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Just left SeaWorld. My first time at SeaWorld San Antonio. I go to SeaWorld San Diego pretty often since they give teachers free passes every year. Lots of people today but I think most were there for the first day of the 7 Seas Food Festival. Texas Stingray was a walk on. Got a few rides on it. Great White was also a walk on but just did it once since I rode Goliath yesterday. Definitely not as forceful, but not too rough. That leaves Batman at SFOT as the only Batman clone in Texas I haven’t rode. Steel Eel should have been a walk on, but they only had one grouper. This person had to lead people to each row since they are no longer numbered, deal with Quick Queue and special assistance, measure the height of all kids, and send people with backpacks to lockers. They were only running one train and at least one car would be empty each time. Waited about 15-20 minutes since I got in line when the line was short. By the time I rode the queue in the station was about half full. Used my one time use Quick Queue on Wave Breaker to skip a 20-30 minute line. Saw the penguins and that was about it. Some of the food booths have not opened yet. 
 

On my way to Fiesta Texas now. 

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I also found Great White to be quite a bit less intense than Goliath (SFFT). You'd think it would be the opposite with a longer/heavier train on Great White.

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yeah, it's strange how Goliath is so much more forceful than many of the Batman clones

(the only one that I can compare it to is Batman at SFOG in terms of forcefulness)

I've not ridden Great White, but will in May (Planning to go to SWSA for the 7 Seas Food Festival)

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Ok so we were there on last Friday and I totally get the "80's vibe" and they definitely need to give some attention to updating the theming/atmosphere/look of the park (whatever you want to call it) Every coaster was doing one train ops with the exception of wave breaker and Steel Eel stopped every single train that I saw or was on, on the lift hill until somebody who had taken their mask down put it back on. So just getting through one cycle was tortuously slow. We really should not have needed QQ with the amount of people there but the ops were so slow I am glad we had them. Water rides all running which ended up being nice since it was mid 90's that day. 

I will say that the food festival was fairly well run and the items I sampled were all pretty tasty. However, the park was open til 6 and at about 5 we looked at each other and shrugged that we were more than ready to head out since there was really nothing left that we wanted to do. Keep in mind we had fooled around at the Alamo in the morning and didn't even get there until about noon. And that included the time it took to go through the dolphin encounter and aquarium right after the entrance but before you went through the turnstiles which is odd to begin with. So to me this is definitely a half day park.

One super annoyance was that we did not redeem our QQ voucher on the way in at guest services because the line was predictably long and I foolishly assumed we could do it at some location inside the park, like every other park I have ever been too 🙄 My bad I guess. Nope. We were told after we entered the park that we had to go back out and go to guest services to get the wristband, which after doing that were told by guest services that they were out of wristbands and just to use the paper. Seriously. So we had to go through the entrance queue again, for no reason. 

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^^I ran into the same issue with the one-time Quick Queue use last month (no wristbands at guest services), but I just entered the QQ line at Wave Breaker, showed the ride operator my pass on my phone and explained the situation, and she was happy to let me on the ride.  I'd say as long as you're honest and the employee is friendly enough, they *should* let you enter without a problem.

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I don't remember to be honest so it may have but it didn't say it was the only way, keeping the paper in tact all day in your sweaty pocket and constantly dragging it out is annoying so we usually just get the wristbands. The thing that I was irked about was that when we asked we were told to go back out to guest services and then it turned out that was a wasted trip back out and standing in line.

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On 4/12/2021 at 9:14 AM, coasternut said:

^ This park has TERRIBLE OPERATIONS. I was there last month and left disgusted. Orlando is sooo much better.

When I was there they had 3 people checking restraints on Steel Eel. 1 person checking all the seats on the left side, one person checking all the seats on the right side, and one person checking all the seats on the left side a second time. They couldn’t get a full train out even with one train ops because the one person grouping and assigning seats was constantly having to deal with parents insisting their undersized kid should be able to ride. 
 

Aside from ride ops, they could really use some infrastructure upgrades. Guest services inside the park closed before the park did, probably the only theme park I’ve been to without a large gift shop near the entrance/exit, and the restaurant lines were long and slow despite many people dining at the festival booths. San Diego does a good job getting me to open my wallet inside the park, but I left San Antonio without buying any food or drinks and only buying one magnet. 

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3 hours ago, clippers6 said:

When I was there they had 3 people checking restraints on Steel Eel. 1 person checking all the seats on the left side, one person checking all the seats on the right side, and one person checking all the seats on the left side a second time.
 

This sounds like one of the checkers on the left was in training.  It happens.

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It is interesting to hear about all the terrible operations, because I think I just go to visit them on a really good day. When I visited Sat., March 6th, Texas Stingray, Great White, & Wave Breaker all had two trains running, with two ops checking the train and an additional op at the dispatch panel. They were consistently putting out trains within 30 seconds of the previous train parking behind the station, and I had even a few roll-throughs on each without stacking.

Steel Eel still had numbers on the platform so the attendant there didn't have to physically direct people where to go, just tell them the row number. That ride started and ended with one train on my day, but had two trains in the middle of the day with maybe a minute of being stacked on the brake-run before rolling in to the station. I'd heard on odd rummer that they weren't letting the train on the brake-run roll into the station after the previous one was over halfway up the lift, but that wasn't the case for me. 

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So I originally wasn't going to do a trip report for my visit on Saturday, March 6th, primarily because I was being lazy, but after my previous post here and having some time, I figured I might as well. 

This was my first time in San Antonio, and thus my first time at the park. I got there about 9:40ish, & the Covid & security checks were a breeze. My platinum card/quick queue/dining pass were set up at guest relations, then into the line to get into the dry park itself, all before 10. It was not a very busy day at the park, and with the quick queue & multi-train ops most of the time, I never waited more than maybe 10min for a ride. Food lines weren't too long either, again waiting maybe 10min max, and I got four or five uses out of dining deal (VERY worth it). All the food I had was delicious, particularly the barbecue grill place near Texas Stingray. For Covid procedures, they were spraying/wiping the trains down every hour or so (wasn't able to discern the actual timing), and Wave Breaker was the only coaster loading every row. 

I also split may day at the park with a quick pop over to ZDTs for Switchback, leaving about 2pm and getting back at 5pm. It was certainly a quaint little place, definitely an FEC, but one that managed to shoehorn in a great unique coaster. Switchback was running one train, with the middle seats closed, and being wiped down between each cycle. Fortunately, since it wasn't much to do, the ops were still able to clean, load, and send the next train in under a minute each cycle. The line was never more than 12-15 people, but I waited about 15min max for one of my front-row rides due to an amassing of kids there that took up probably four cycles. 

As for the rides themselves, here are my thoughts in the order I rode them. I only rode the major coasters between the two locations, but with not much else for my tastes at either, I was very satisfied with the amount of rides I got in. I'm going to rate the coasters by listing where they stand in my current rankings. 

Steel Eel - 5x

This was my first-ever Morgan coaster, and though my first ride near the front did not give as much airtime as I was told there'd be, all my subsequent rides across the train did. I think I prefer the back of the train, as though the airtime was better in the second half in the front, the first drop and larger hills were genuinely intense in the back after the ride warmed up. For not actually being a hyper it still felt plenty tall and fast, too. Overall, I was impressed and look forward to comparing it to other Morgans when I'm able to get them. #17 of 68.

Wave Breaker - 5x

I was very excited for this ride, as it was the latest new-to-me Intamin coaster I'd ridden since first riding my local Half-Pipe, an eight-year gap. The riding position was interesting, as it felt very exposed but still comfortable, and being able to hunch over & grab the handle bars was unique. I'd heard people bash this ride for being boring, but I thought it was a wonderful family-oriented coaster, with more intense launches and laterals than I was expecting. Flying over the water was cool too, and it was perfect to just let go and enjoy the ride. #30 of 68.

Great White - 4x

I hadn't been on a Batman clone in almost a decade, not since last riding the original at SFGAm in late 2011. This coaster was fun, and though it slouched a little bit compared to its sister coaster a few miles down the road, I found it to still be plenty intense on the positive G's, while running smooth and having some solid whip. Truly can't go wrong with a B&M invert. You can tell Great White was adjusted for its' terrain, and I thought the coaster's color scheme, landscaping, and station design all worked very well together. #20 of 68.

Texas Stingray - 22x

This GCI was my most anticipated ride in this park, and that shows by how many rides I squeezed in. I think it's a work of art, and it (very) slightly edges out GoldStriker as my current favorite wooden coaster, though I didn't get to ride GS nearly as much as this ride. Definitely a back row ride, especially for that first drop, which provided increasingly-strong airtime as it went. Being a warm day, this ride showed its masterful pacing that held a sense of speed to the end, and it is still very smooth. I love the variety of sensations among the airtime and laterals that are packed in to this course. Night rides here were some of the best I've ever had too. I'm partial to enjoying wood coasters, and GCI has become my favorite manufacturer of them with the three I've been on, so it is no surprise I thought Texas Stingray was excellent. #6 of 68.

Switchback - 4x

Gravity Group really showed their engineering ability with both how this ride works, as well as how much they fit into such as small space. While this coaster was much shakier than the other San Antonio-area woodie, and the seats were a bit less comfortable (I'm not a large guy, but it surprisingly felt like a tight fit), the first half of this coaster was dramatically intense. The air hill after the first drop shoots you out of your seat, and then it feels like the train further pulls out from beneath you as it suddenly banks to the right. Going forward, up until the hill prior to the spike, is just jam-packed airtime and laterals, with the fun overbank too. I preferred the ride in the back, but the spike was better in the front, with just a second or so of weightlessness, and it is definitely weird for a wood coaster to suddenly just fall backwards and complete the course that way. Not a bad ride to have in rural Texas. #18 of 68.

Now for some photos:

SWSA.thumb.jpg.407135494711d987935e9b2d243a8606.jpg

The view from across the lake was great!IMG_20210306_100949650_HDR.thumb.jpg.67b8a448ca01580b1b38ba9808a93c43.jpg

I didn't get any specific photos of Wave Breaker, so this will do.

IMG_20210306_101044865_HDR.thumb.jpg.18b577646d49a06a0477a853d353e51b.jpg

Steel Eel's placement definitely makes that 150ft look very prominent.

IMG_20210306_115406586_HDR.thumb.jpg.ba46b7f04d561bca21c658e526317eee.jpg

It felt like you could get very close to Great White's loop.IMG_20210306_114101254_HDR.thumb.jpg.4329476df0d99aedb19d43d17bfd5ba2.jpg

Great White is such a pretty coaster.

TXStingray.thumb.jpg.b2097ca63f7925744db734b9077086c7.jpg

Definitely glad this park has, what I consider, a truly stand-out coaster. 

Switchback1.thumb.jpg.baa496786d6f2e113f097e551ec4f099.jpg

Spike!

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Was weird coming upon this coaster that not just dominated the park, but this whole section of town.

IMG_20210306_190327554.thumb.jpg.03cb385fdfc223a1d2f4d7405f7f10f1.jpg

Got this photo of the entrance at night. 

I left SWSA with a high opinion of it, and think that with the ongoing investment, this park will continue to be a worthwhile visit for those visiting San Antonio. Will probably do a trip report soon for my visits to SFFT in the two following days.

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When we were there a couple weeks ago we both thought Stingray was by far the best coaster in the park and I thought Wavebreaker was a lot of fun too!  I was a little underwhelmed by Steel Eel, liked Mamba at WOF much better. But to be fair I only ended up riding it once in the front row. Glad to hear they had multi train ops, maybe they will have better ops than we experienced going into summer.

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6 hours ago, teacherkim said:

When we were there a couple weeks ago we both thought Stingray was by far the best coaster in the park and I thought Wavebreaker was a lot of fun too!  I was a little underwhelmed by Steel Eel, liked Mamba at WOF much better. But to be fair I only ended up riding it once in the front row. Glad to hear they had multi train ops, maybe they will have better ops than we experienced going into summer.

I hate to be that person, but, yeah, you missed out and messed up! Steel Eel in the back car is AMAZING!!!!!

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