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NEWS: Knott's Soak City to become Aquatica San Diego

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Bloggers (Hey, that's us!) were invited to check out the park today as part of their VIP previews for their business and sales clients.


My impression is that I cannot wait to see what Sea World has in store for the future! Having never been to the park before, I did not know what to expect at all. I did, however, hear 4 or 5 different groups talk about how bad it was before and how impressed they were with it now.


As has already been noted in this thread, Sea World didn't do much in terms of new additions. They just added a turtle tank and some Flamingos. However, the main thing they did was lay the foundation for what I am sure will be an amazing water park within a few years: TONS of landscaping was planted everywhere and everything was re-painted and re-themed. The park looks fantastic and the experience was great! The employees were all friendly, the food was delicious, and did I mention the landscaping looks great? Which is all you can ask for in a 6 month turnaround since the purchase was announced.


For now, the slide offerings definitely won't "wow" any sort of ride enthusiast (newest slide is the Tornado from 2008 I believe, there is no animal interaction slide yet, or tube slide that can do double), but the slides they do have pack a surprising punch. Maybe it is just because I haven't been to a water park for a few years, but every slide I rode seemed to go faster than what I remember as being "normal."


Now onto the photos...


Trees now line the front entrance, transporting you into the world of Aquatica (looking at google maps photo of Soak City...there used to be a whole lot of nothing there)


You're greeted at the entrance by the Flamingo habitat and a view of the kids play island.


The parks current signature attraction is the standard Proslide Tornado...love these slides! You also wouldn't be able to guess that just 6 months ago this slide was a badly faded pink and orange colored slide!


A standard water park drop slide tower...also lots of fun. And also freshly painted!


Body slide complex with 3 enclosed slides and 2 not enclosed...you really flew threw these! Oh, and also freshly painted!


The tube slide towers consist of two identical 3-slide towers with two enclosed and one open one per side. No doubles were allowed. But again, you really flew through these! And guess what? Also freshly painted!


Rounding out the slide options is a freshly painted (notice a theme here?) family raft slide.


There is also a lazy river with free inner tubes that surrounds the children's play areas.


Besides being the feature for the main entrance, the "little kids" play area has this "mountain" with 5 or 6 of the small slides all around it.


Bigger kids get a play structure to get drenched in!


There's even a wading pool in the back with a "transfer chair" for disabled guests. Nice touch!


Rounding out the attractions is the wave pool, which has smaller waves so the whole family can enjoy!

Edited by Jew
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I broke this post up into two parts, so I could feature the things that Sea World did to "plus" the park to meet their standards. Also included the fact sheet from the park.





Single-Day ticket is $38 for guests age 10+; $30 for guests ages 3 through 9;

Admission is free for guests 2 years old and younger. All slides, rides, pools and beach areas are included with admission Food, merchandise, cabanas and lockers are optional and available at an additional cost. Park capacity is limited. The Aquatica 2013 Season Splash Pass, which offers unlimited admission for the entire year, is $69 for guests age 10+ and $61 for children 3 through 9. Pass Memberships for both SeaWorld California and Aquatica are available starting at $190.




$15 for cars, $20 for RVs and campers, $10 for motorcycles


Hours & Location:


Open 10 a.m. daily June 1 to Sept. 2; weekends, Sept. 7 to Oct. 20. Located at 2052 Entertainment Circle in Chula Vista, CA 91911. Closing times vary; check website.




All-day rentals are available and conveniently located at the park entrance and directly in front of Kiwi Curl. Small and large locker prices are $10, $15, or $20 per day. Guests will receive a $5 voucher, good at any culinary or merchandise location upon returning the key on day of rental.


Cabana Rentals:

• Premium Cabanas (starting from $149): Private poolside cabana with private beach overlooking Big Surf Shores includes a welcome basket, mini-fridge and bottled water. Price includes four guests: up to two additional guests may be added for an additional fee and must be purchased at the park upon check in. Maximum of six guests.

• Standard Cabanas (starting from $119): Located along Loggerhead Lane; includes a welcome basket, mini-fridge and bottled water. Maximum of four guests.


Guest Amenities:


• Gift shops and merchandise carts with waterpark necessities

• Complimentary life vests in all sizes available for guests

• Comfortable lounge chairs (some with umbrellas)

• Shaded seating throughout the park

• Discovery Dollars: Waterproof wristbands allow for convenient purchases without worrying about misplacing cash or credit cards

• Rafts are provided depending on the ride


There's now a flamingo exhibit at the entrance. I'm not entirely sure what was going on here, but those flamingos definitely looked mad at each other!


...And turtles. TPR loves turtles because they are awesome!


...And trainers walking around with random animals. It is a Sea World park after all!


...And transforming all sides of the wave pool from random unused grass space and concrete to "beaches" with TONS of chairs.


...And improving the food options to include the biggest variety I've ever seen at a water park.


...See, variety!


It wouldn't be a water park without fried food


It also wouldn't be a Sea World park with out the all you can eat BBQ option. Yum!


To demonstrate just how much potential space is available, this is now what appears to be a former picnic area/current employee break area/buffer to houses...I'm sure some of that giant chunk is their's to use!


There's also a big open space on the hill that houses the slide complexes...can't wait to see what is in store!

Edited by Jew
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What an awesome photo report!

Imagine what a little paint and trees can do, this place looks amazing.


The Tornado slide looks like the tallest one I've seen without a lift-hill, I'm getting exhausted just by looking at it!

If I were Sea World I would add a belt for it, the experience just gets so much better when you can ride it over and over again without having to worry about the rafts.

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^^IIRC, this was part of the first wave of Torandos ordered by the big parks. I don't think any of the ones Cedar Fair or Six Flags purchased in that time period had the lifts.


Also, here's an ariel photo of the park for comparison of how it used to look:


Here's how it looked under Cedar Fair

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Looking really good. What I liked about this park when I visited a long time ago, the year the tornado slide opened, was that it had quite a selection of regular slides. Five body slides, four speed slides, and six inner tube slides. I've been to water parks in the past that had a ton of the pro slide rides like toilet bowls, tornados, and rafts but only a few old fashioned slides.


The fun of the regular old slide complexes is that they are people eating machines so if you just want to spend the day going on the slides you can, without spending a ton of time in line getting a sunburn.

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Sweet preview Joey! I had the privilege of covering the grand opening of Aquatica San Diego for this web-show I do called Well That's Cool this past saturday. It's mostly just me being silly, but there is an interview with David Cromwell about half way through. The park has improved astoundingly with its new ownership. It's amazing what some paint, some trees, and some flamingos can do



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^ I completely agree! The tropical look and landscaping along with paint really adds a lot to atmosphere. But a new attraction is definitely what this park needs now. I really hope the guest turn out this first season is enough to have more investment as an option.

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Having been to the Orlando Aquatica and the pre-transformation San Diego park, I think it looks pretty good. I'm especially happy that the park didn't hike up the prices to Orlando Aquatica levels.


Like everyone's said already, the park's in desperate need of new rides, so I think next year will be the year when the new management can really shine. I can't count how many times I've been there playing RCT in my head looking at all the empty spaces I'd place new slides.

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Given that it is the only water park in the SD area and now under Sea World's management...I don't think they will have any issues getting people back. I suspect we will see a signature ride added next season.

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I expect plans are in the works to expand the park next year. There is only so much they can do in a short period of time. Now they have the time to plan out and add something unique to draw people back in.

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Less than five months after opening, SeaWorld announces 2014 expansion of Aquatica


SAN DIEGO (Oct. 10, 2013) -- For those who prefer life in the fast lane, the new Taumata Racer® high-speed racing water slide at Aquatica SeaWorld’s WaterparkTM will zoom riders down a 375-foot slide, around a 180-degree swooping turn, and in and out of tunnels before racing them across the finish line.


Less than five months after opening Aquatica, located in Chula Vista, the park is making another splash by adding the new thrill ride. Taumata Racer, which will rise nearly 0 feet, will be located between Walhalla Wave® and Kata’s Kookaburra Cove® on the northwest side of the park.


“We’re thrilled to bring Taumata Racer to Aquatica,” said David Cromwell, the waterpark’s vice president. “This new mat-racer water slide is a unique blend of competitive racing and high-speed thrills. It will be a welcome addition to the park and certainly an experience that families and friends will be able to enjoy together. This is exactly the type of attraction that will make Aquatica an even more exciting waterpark.”


Taumata Racer, manufactured by ProSlides of Ontario, Canada, will feature six side-by-side lanes. Park guests will speed down the steep hill on a mat head first. The minimum height requirement is 42 inches.“"In its first season, Aquatica lived up to the expectations of the SeaWorld brand," said Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox. "The company's continued investment in the guest experience will produce an exciting new attraction for visitors next year and demonstrates SeaWorld's long-term commitment to business in Chula Vista."


Taumata Racer will be as memorable for its fun and excitement as it is for its name. Named for a famous hill in New Zealand, Taumata is short for the 85-letter word“Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenua-

kitanatahu.” Roughly translated, this Guinness Book of World Records word means “The summit where Tamatea, the man with the big knees, the climber of mountains, the land-swallower who traveled about, played his flute to his loved one.”


Construction on Taumata Racer, which will join HooRoo Run® as one of Aquatica’s fastest water rides, is scheduled to begin in November. The new racing slide will make its debut to the public when the park opens Memorial Day weekend in 2014.





Edited by Jew
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