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SeaWorld San Antonio Discussion Thread

P. 23: Fiesta del Mar event announced!

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Did the Dolphin tour for free with our new Plat passes today. Schedule first thing, they fill up fast. Got to touch and give them some commands in a back area setting.  Enjoyed it. We bought the

Since that is a holiday weekend with an event going on, I would just buy it ahead of time, especially since it's only $25.

Just an fyi -  customer service did respond to my email and were more than happy to allow me to use my quick queues on the new date, which would have been great. Unfortunately we had to cancel the tri

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It figures that they're doing this the year AFTER I'm visiting (in three weeks). Note to all Texans: you can expect lots of big things in the next 2-3 years, and you can thank me. They always add the big things the years AFTER I visit parks!

 

At least I'll get on NTaG (assuming nothing goes wrong with it, obviously!)

 

As to the new Aquatica, it sounds like they're basically taking half the old water park -- which was FREE with admission. Then adding a few new slides, which admittedly look pretty cool. And adding a bunch of upcharge stuff, particularly those very expensive cabanas that the parks LOVE to promote. (Note that they listed them first as one of the things the park will be known for!) And now it will all be an upcharge add-on. Depending on how much they are upcharging for it, I could see a lot of regulars -- who have been getting the waterpark for free all these years -- being pretty pissed. Especially if they get to the park with swimsuits and towels and stuff, ready to hit some slides, and didn't already know about it. "Wait, we have to PAY for the water park this year?!?" Sure, they'll make like it's a brand new park, but a lot of people will be pissed. It will be interesting to see if the upgrades attract enough upcharge business to counter any loss in attendance from angry regulars. I imagine so, but it will be interesting to see the affect. I mean, sure, none of the other Sea World parks have free water parks. But they also didn't have them included with admission and then later start upcharging for them. What are the odds that they'll lower the regular admission to accommodate for losing the water park with regular admission? Unlikely, I'd imagine, but it might be a good PR move to make a slight decrease to appease some people and keep some good will.

 

As to the new slide that travels up a wall, with airtime, it sounds like basically the same thing we've already seen with the half-pipe and tornado slides. You'll come down a steep, fast hill, then go up a wall. Nothing terribly revolutionary there, unless I'm missing something. Presumably, you'll go higher up the wall than you do on those slides, since they're making such a big deal out of it, but it will have to make up for the several turns back and forth you get on the half-pipe and tornado slides.

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By request, a few crappy cell phone pics of the defunct Texas Splashdown log flume at Sea World San Antonio. There's very little left. For the best view of the devastation, the Steel Eel is the deal. These photos, of course, are over the fence shots from the former entry plaza.

 

There was a second construction wall up near the park's main entry plaza, presumably for their Aquatica expansion.

 

Since photo trip reports are not my thing, I might as well take this opportunity to rate the rides. We live in San Diego, we sure as heck didn't bother with the shows.

 

Steel Eel: 7/10. Delicious air in 1-3. Just a row back to 2-1 took much of the fun out of the ride. Smoooth, surprisingly so.

 

Great White: 8/10. A G monster! Relentless, intense, fun, one of the better inverts out there. Definitely from the earlier B&M era, this thing isn't tall but it has sharp fangs.

 

These two would be welcome assets at any park, typical Busch / Sea World quality. Bravo! The rest, not so much.

 

Journey to Atlantis: 3/10. That low score is as a coaster. It has one short up and down backwards slide and that's it. As a water flume, 7/10. Wetter in the back. No story or theming to speak of.

 

Rio Loco raft ride: 1/10. Dullest rapids ride I've encountered. Flat, level flume, no water features... it's 105 out, it's ok, you can splash us. Nope - got off dry. ZZZZzzzzz. For goodness sake, add a couple of water squirters!

 

Shamu Express: DNR.

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Fenced out. We walked right by the former Texas Splashdown site the first time.

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That looks painful.

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The wide view. Sea World didn't waste any time.

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The opposite view, from Steel Eel.

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What is this, DCA? Here's the wall at the entry plaza. I'll speculate - for construction of the second gate, the upcharge Aquatica expansion.

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Bonus! Atlantis, the most popular ride in the park. It isn't much of a coaster.

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And finally, the wait time this warm and sunny Saturday, 2 1/4 hours. Quick Queue are us!

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SeaWorld San Antonio has posted several new images on their Facebook giving a sneak peek at the newest progress in the construction phase of Aquatica Texas.

 

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Here is a look at part of the under reef tunnel!

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Here is a view from the future front gate area of Aquatica! What do you think?

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The votes are in! Here is a view of the old entrance area. This area will become one of our 42,000 sq feet of white sand beaches at Aquatica. To the right we are building a new entrance into the river for beach access!

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Take a look at the Walhalla Wave Tower! To give you an idea of how big the tower is -that little spot on top is a person!

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Take a look at this construction photo. This is where Buc's Survival Store used to stand!

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Look at the wonderful colors! The fiberglass for our new slides has arrived!

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Who's ready to ride some amazing rides? May of 2012 will be here before you know it!

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Take a look at the roof going on Walhalla Wave's tower!

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The tower for Stingray Falls is up!

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Here is a panoramic picture of the Aquatica construction site

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Here is a sneak peek at Walhalla Wave. This zero gravity wall ride will be the first of it's kind in this part of the world! The one shown here is in China.

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Here is a view of the wavepool area. This area will become another one of our large white sand beaches. In the background you can see the tower supports for Walhalla Wave!

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I'm excited about these Walhalla Wave style slides. I like the tornado funnel slides slides but after the first vertical pass it's kind of boring floating back and forth until you eventually stop, but this slides looks like it's the first initial vertical pass then off into the rest of the slide. Should be a lot of fun.

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  • 5 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Park Map!

 

 

Right away when you look at the map you will probably notice four things:

1. Color. Aquatica is a waterpark full of fun and vibrant colors and we put a lot of thought and effort into really creating a bright festive atmosphere.

2. Water, water everywhere! In addition to several new slides, Aquatica still has fan favorite attractions from previous years. Plus, we have added a lot more places to get wet including our giant resort pools and Ke-Re Reef.

3. Beaches. Bring your beach towel to soak up the sun on more than 42,000 square feet of white sand beaches. Just imagine relaxing on these beaches in the middle of South Texas.

4. It’s Big! Aquatica was designed with more space for guests to relax and not feel crammed – giving guests the perfect setting for experiences from the serene to the extreme.

Be sure to stay tuned to our Facebook page and blog for more Aquatica construction updates, photos, blogs, time-lapse videos and the announcement of our opening date.

We hope you are as excited about the opening of Aquatica as we are!

 

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Yesterday I was fortunate enough to take a few seconds with Brian Morrow to focus on some of the other projects he is working on for the SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment properties, including a look at Aquatica Texas.

 

[coastertube]http://www.themeparkreview.com/coastertube/play.php?vid=Other_SeaWorld_stuff_with_Brian_Morrow_yu17[/coastertube]

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Here is a picture of one of our beaches. You will see 3 sets of stairs in the middle of the picture and a path to the left. These all lead to another BIGGER beach in the background!

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Here is a picture of one of our beaches. You will see 3 sets of stairs in the middle of the picture and a path to the left. These all lead to another BIGGER beach in the background!

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http://www.facebook.com/AquaticaTexas

 

Aquatica Texas is officially set to open on May 19th, 2012!

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsISAsHH4bg

 

http://www.seaworldsanantonioblog.com/how-do-stingrays-get-aquatica-san-antonio

 

When our new water park, Aquatica San Antonio, opens up this May, one central feature will be a stingray pool. This pool will house many stingrays, but the most numerous will be the Cownose ray (Rhinoptera bonasus), which will number over 100. Of course, cownose rays are not native to San Antonio, but instead can be found along coastlines throughout the Atlantic Ocean (including our coast along the Gulf of Mexico). Our aquarium department has to get all of those stingrays to San Antonio from our sister park, SeaWorld Orlando. How? That’s where an eighteen wheeler, a 3,000 gallon fiberglass transport tub, complete with life support system and some dedicated SeaWorld team members come into play. The rays have to be moved by driving them straight from Florida to San Antonio.

 

The transport begins with the assembly of SeaWorld’s transport unit, which is loaded on a flat bed semi trailer. The fiberglass aquarium has small porthole windows with covers, to examine the animals inside at every stop. It has tight fitting lids and baffles, which keep all the water in, while also keeping the animals safe from sudden stops and starts. Essential to the whole operation is the life-support system, which has its own diesel generator. The water is constantly filtered and the temperature is controlled by a heating and cooling system. There is even a meter that is constantly checking the oxygen level of the water to ensure a safe, smooth ride for all the rays inside. A dedicated team of aquarists follows behind in another vehicle and makes sure all is well for the stingrays inside at every stop. This way, we can bring all of the fun of wading, feeding and touching beautiful rays to you next spring. We hope to see you there! Stay up-to-date by liking the Aquatica Facebook Page!

 

http://www.seaworldsanantonioblog.com/aquatica-rising-sea

 

Right before our eyes Aquatica is coming together and the excitement is building! As we started the process of planning Aquatica we knew this area was going to go through a dramatic change. We decided early on to put up a camera to take a picture every minute of the day. Recently we put together the pictures taken from November through January of this year to create this time lapse video.

 

 

Our contractor, Guido Brothers Construction has been hard at work since last summer to help us create Aquatica. The same crew that brought you the lazy river, and Journey to Atlantis returned to help us build Aquatica. On the Aquatica project they have used 43 different subcontractors and by the end of the project over 1,600 workers will have had a role in building your new waterpark. Today work goes on 7 days a week for about 13 hours a day in order to have everything perfect on May 19th!

 

In this video you will get to see some amazing action through this time lapse photography. In the background you will see the construction of Stingray Falls and Ke-Re Reef. You will see the pools dug , formed and filled with concrete for Whanau Waters and Slippity Dippity. You will probably notice lots of action and even some rain. Let us know what else you notice in the video and be sure to check back for more pictures, videos and blogs about Aquatica!

 

http://www.seaworldsanantonioblog.com/wordless-wednesday-walhalla-wave

 

Check out Walhalla Wave, the first ride of its kind in the Western Hemisphere, as it's being built from the ground up!

 

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Here's a new construction picture from the top of Walhalla Wave!

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Here is a great construction photo that shows some of our new kids and resort pools! What else do you notice?

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Great news! We will stay open through October 28th!

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Here is a picture of the inside of Stingray Falls tunnel!

 

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Take a look at the first photo from INSIDE Stingray Falls! This will be the underwater grotto that takes you face-to-face with stingrays on the ride. How cool is that?

 

http://seaworldparks.com/en/seaworld-sanantonio/Aquatica-San-Antonio/Aquatica-Attractions/Rides/Stingray-Falls

 

CLICK HERE

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Is it just me or does it look like this park is missing some of the theming and "story" that Aquatica Orlando has? I guess it will be tough to tell until it opens and we get a full TR, but it just seems to be focusing on the bright colors more than the "tropical" atmosphere in the concept art.

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http://www.seaworldsanantonioblog.com/aquatica-construction-update

 

In just a little over a month, Aquatica will be open! Here's an update on how things look at the construction site.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0KpqS1cj3M

 

http://www.seaworldsanantonioblog.com/aquatica-sneak-preview-annual-passes-have-their-benefits

 

On Thursday, May 17, we are going to open Aquatica to a limited amount of SeaWorld/Aquatica Annual and Platinum pass members DAYS BEFORE we open to the public with this private party! To get in to this event, you'll need to get a wristband on Sunday, May 13 from noon to 5 p.m. (while they last!). We will be distributing these wristbands at Seaside Landing where you will be able to view Aquatica from the large picture windows As with all of our preview events each pass member must be present to collect their wristband.

 

If you haven’t added Aquatica to your Annual Pass yet visit Guest Services on your next visit to complete your upgrade. You aren’t going to want to miss this private party! If you don’t have your pass at all yet, visit http://www.AquaticaSanAntonio.com to get yours! This exclusive event does not apply to Fun Card or SeaWorld-only annual passes.

All the attractions will be open, we will have some great entertainment, and lots of animals. We can practically hear the beaches calling your name! If you’d like to be included in the SeaWorld/Aquatica email newsletters click this link to stay connected.

 

http://www.seaworldsanantonioblog.com/aquatica-text-system-cuts-queue-lines-delivers-guest-service

 

Besides our amazing team members, animals and attractions what makes Aquatica very unique is the resort like atmosphere we have created. This is truly a waterpark like no other you have experienced in this part of the world. Many waterparks are known for steel towers, lots of concrete and, unfortunately, crowds. We wanted to go the opposite direction with Aquatica.

 

One of the ways we will do this is by limiting the capacity of the waterpark to make sure everyone is comfortable, has plenty of space and the chance to relax. Therefore, Aquatica’s entry gates will close once the waterpark reaches capacity. So, then what?

 

Of course we know where will be a high demand for the waterpark especially on hot summer days and some people may arrive after we have reached capacity. Our team has devised a communication plan to make it easy for you to know when we are temporarily closed or open. Simply text the word Aquatica to 90210 (yes, just like the TV show) to get a gate “status update.” When you text this number, you will receive an automatic response stating if Aquatica’s entry gate is open or closed. For example:

 

You can text this number from anywhere and anytime, which allows you to enjoy your day at SeaWorld until Aquatica’s gates re-open. You can even text this number before you get to the park to help plan your day! Gone are the days of a long line to get into the waterpark; instead, you can see shows, splash around in Bay of Play, visit exhibits and have a great time at SeaWorld. When you are curious about Aquatica’s status, they can simply text Aquatica to 90210!

 

Aquatica has it all – from the serene to the extreme! This exclusive resort style waterpark is going to be something your entire family can appreciate and enjoy, whether you want to splash and slide all day or curl up on the beach with a good book. We’ve added lights so Aquatica will be open earlier and stay open later than the prior waterpark! We’ve even operate further into the year (through October), which gives even more opportunities to enjoy this incredible place. See you soon!

 

http://www.seaworldsanantonioblog.com/walhalla-wave-preview

 

We're less than a month away from Aquatica's opening date! Here's a preview of one of our more extreme water slides, Walhalla Wave!

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ir-UiRVoYcw

 

http://www.seaworldsanantonioblog.com/aquatica-plaza

 

Over the past few weeks we have been taking a virtual blog journey towards Aquatica. When last we blogged we discussed The Overlook of this new amazing waterpark. Today we're going to learn about Aquatica’s Plaza.

 

Inside our main plaza there will be lots happening at all times of the day. Once you've passed the overlook, you'll follow a path towards our plaza. The Plaza will serve as a ticket area, gift shop/market area as well as park entrance and exit.

 

These never released artist renderings give you an idea of what this area will look like.

 

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The first part of the plaza that guest will encounter a gift shop. This shop is multifaceted and multipurpose. It will contain all the sundry items you might need (such as sunscreen, bathing suits and sunglasses) as well as Aquatica souvenirs! During your day at Aquatica, you'll probably encounter some of our park photographers. They will be stationed throughout the waterpark to help you capture amazing memories. When you head out for the day, you'll be able to view and purchase these photos here as well.

 

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We'll have Guest Services, ticket windows and kiosks in this area for those who haven’t purchased tickets or passes to Aquatica prior to arriving and our turnstiles leading into the area will be at the far end of the plaza. This area is where we will greet you in the morning and tell you goodbye, and come back soon when you head home. In between we hope you make amazing memories with your family.

 

We are just weeks away from Aquatica’s opening; learn more about what is happening everyday at Aquatica’s Facebook page!

 

Additional photos courtesy of: http://www.facebook.com/AquaticaTexas

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  • 3 weeks later...

^^Nice update and pictures, Adam. So I'm assuming that the Aquatica in San Antonio is not as big as the Aquatica in Orlando, FL....or are they about the same in size and offer the same amount of rides and attractions???

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