Aquatica (water parks)

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Aquatica
Industry Water parks
Founded Orlando, Florida (March 1, 2008 (2008-03-01))
Number of locations Orlando, Florida; San Antonio, Texas; Chula Vista, California
Area served United States
Owner(s) SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment
Website Aquatica Florida, Aquatica San Antonio

Aquatica is a chain of water parks owned and operated by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. Aquatica parks are operating in Orlando, Florida, San Antonio, Texas, and Chula Vista, California.

History[edit]

Aquatica Orlando's Dolphin Plunge water slides

SeaWorld Orlando originally announced plans to build a water park on July 15, 2005. The announcement stated that it would be a "natural" park and revealed the park's iconic Dolphin Plunge water slides.[1] On March 5, 2007, SeaWorld held a press conference officially announcing Aquatica.[2] It was expected the 59-acre (24 ha) park would cost US$50 million to build.[2] Construction continued in earnest throughout 2007 and into early 2008. Previews for employees and holders of park annual passes were held in February. On March 1, 2008, the park opened to guests for the first time, with the official grand opening held on April 4, 2008.[3] In its debut year, the park hosted approximately 950,000 guests, making it the fourth-most visited water park in the United States and eighth-most visited in the world.[4] The park was an immediate success, reaching its opening-year attendance goal in just six months.[4]

In early 2011, rumors speculated about Aquatica coming to SeaWorld San Antonio in the future. According to the park president, SeaWorld San Antonio would become a multi-day experience.[5] SeaWorld officially announced plans to build a water park on May 24, 2011. The announcement called it, "a whimsical waterpark with up-close animal experiences, high-speed thrills and relaxing, sandy beaches".[6] The water park replaced Lost Lagoon that opened in the early 1990s. Lost Lagoon closed on Labor Day weekend 2011. During October 2011 the construction of the new water park started with excavation for the new entrance, the new sandy beaches, and the structure for the new Wahalla Wave water slide. In early November 2011 the new water slides arrived in pieces at Sea World San Antonio's parking lot, waiting to get assembled.[7] Aquatica San Antonio officially opened on May 19, 2012.[8]

On November 20, 2012, Cedar Fair announced it had sold its San Diego Soak City park to SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment.[9] The water park originally opened on May 31, 1997, under the name White Water Canyon. At the time it featured 16 water slides and a wave pool.[10] In December 1999, Cedar Fair purchased the park for $11.5 million and renamed it Knott's Soak City U.S.A..[11] The water park had opened with a new beach theme in May 2000.[12] The acquisition by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment will see the park transformed into a 32-acre (13 ha) water park named Aquatica San Diego. The refurbished park reopened on June 1, 2013.[9][13]

Locations[edit]

Park name Location Coordinates Opening date Ref.
Aquatica Orlando Orlando, Florida 28°24′56″N 81°27′22″W / 28.4156°N 81.4560°W / 28.4156; -81.4560 March 1, 2008
Aquatica San Antonio San Antonio, Texas N/A May 19, 2012 [8]
Aquatica San Diego Chula Vista, California N/A June 1, 2013 [9]

Aquatica Orlando[edit]

Aquatica Orlando's Taumata Racer (left) and Roa's Rapids (right)

Aquatica Orlando is located in Orlando, Florida. It is a sister park of SeaWorld Orlando and Discovery Cove. The park is themed to the southern Pacific, and features Australian and New Zealand based mascots including Roa (a kiwi), Kata (a kookaburra), Wai (a Commerson's dolphin), Ihu (a gecko), Papa (a Royal Spoonbill), Wae Wae (a takahē), and Motu (a turtle). The park features a wide array of attractions for all ages and swimming abilities, some of which pass by or through animal habitats. The park has two wave pools which share an extensive, 80,000-square-foot (7,400 m2) man made white-sand beach area equipped deck chairs, Sun beds and umbrellas.[3]

Body/mat slides
  • Dolphin Plunge – the park's signature attraction, these two enclosed tube slides pass through a pool containing a pod of Commerson's dolphins. The dolphins in this attraction are all captive-born males that were originally featured at SeaWorld San Diego. Their names are Fabio, Pepe, and Ross.
  • Ihu's Breakaway Falls - is a drop pod style body slide which will open in 2014
  • Taumata Racer – an eight-lane racing slide with guests sliding down on mats through enclosed and open sections.
Raft slides
  • Whanau Way – a tower with four double-raft slides.
  • Tassie's Twisters – a pair of funnel-like slides that can be ridden in single or double rafts.
  • Omaka Rocka – Aquatica's newest ride, clover shaped carrying each one rider rafts descend into one of two slides that look like a tornado funnel layer on its side.
Multi-person raft slides
  • Walhalla Wave – a twisty slide with enclosed, pitch-dark segments.
  • HooRoo Run – sharing a tower with Walhalla Wave, this triple-dip slide is short, but fast.
Lazy rivers
  • Roa's Rapids – a faster, aggressive version of the lazy river with geysers, speed zones and center islands.
  • Loggerhead Lane – a traditional lazy river that passes through a grotto of cichlids and the Commerson's dolphin exhibit.
Wave pools
  • Cutback Cove – featuring stronger, taller waves.
  • Big Surf Shores – featuring gentler, rolling waves.
Children's areas
  • Kata's Kookaburra Cove – designed for younger children, with smaller slides and play features.
  • Walkabout Waters – a play fortress with slides, ladders and dumping water buckets.

Aquatica San Antonio[edit]

Aquatica San Antonio's ProSlide Tornado Wave (left) and Stingray Falls (right)

Aquatica San Antonio is located in San Antonio, Texas. The water park opened on May 19, 2012, and is a companion to SeaWorld San Antonio. It features a wide array of attractions for all ages and swimming abilities, some of which pass by or through animal habitats.

  • Stingray Falls – New – First kind in the world – A family raft ride that takes you through twist and turns, and then goes through an underground grotto with stingrays and tropical fish.
  • Wahalla Wave – New – First kind in America
  • HooRoo Run
  • Tassie's Twisters
  • Kiwi Curl
  • Woohoo Falls
  • Cutback Cove Slides
  • Walkabout Waters
  • Ke-Re Reef
  • Zippity Zappity
  • Whanau Way
  • Loggerhead Lane
  • Big Surf Shores

In 2014 Aquatica San Antonio will open an Aviary which will be in the middle of Loggerhead Lane (similar to Tassie's Twister in Orlando)The aviary will have a waterfall entrance to prevent birds from getting out. The 34,000 square foot facility will feature multiple species of birds.

Aquatica San Diego[edit]

The former Knott's Soak City San Diego in Chula Vista, California reopened as Aquatica San Diego on June 1, 2013.[9][14] It features a wide array of attractions for all ages and swimming abilities, one of which passes by a Flamingo habitat.

Rides
  • Whanau Way - A 60 feet tall water slide complex with six slides, four enclosed and two open air.
  • HooRoo Run - An 80 feet tall water slide complex featuring two enclosed and two open air slides with the steepest drop being an 80 foot drop.
  • Woohoo Falls - Three 60 feet tall water slides, one enclosed and two open air.
  • Kiwi Curl - Three 60 feet tall water slides, one enclosed and two open air.
  • Walhalla Wave - A 78 feet long four person raft water slide designed for families to enjoy.
  • Tassie’s Twister - A ProSlide Tornado water slide that drops 75 feet (23 m) into a large six-story funnel.
Pools and Children's Areas
  • Big Surf Shores - A 550,000 gallon wave pool. Located near a freshwater turtle exhibit.
  • Loggerhead Lane - A 1250 feet long lazy river that passes by the Caribbean Flamingo exhibit.
  • Walkabout Waters - A four-story interactive, area that features with slides, hoses, jets, geysers and a 500,000 gallon bucket that unloads every five minutes.
  • Kata’s Kookaburra Cove - A play area designed for children with a pool and other play features.
  • Slippity Dippity - A play area designed for children featuring smaller slides.

Aquatica San Diego will open their version of Taumata Racer in 2014.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "SeaWorld Unveils Plans For New Water Park". Wesh Orlando. July 15, 2005. Retrieved December 16, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Albright, Mark (March 6, 2007). "Water & whimsy". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved December 16, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Powers, Scott; Garcia, Jason; Clarke, Sara K. (February 25, 2008). "Aquatica is set for 'soft' debut". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved December 16, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "2008 Attraction Attendance Report" (PDF). Themed Entertainment Association. 2009. Retrieved December 16, 2012. 
  5. ^ Bailey, W. Scott (February 18, 2011). "SeaWorld set to make major capital investments in San Antonio park". San Antonio Business Journal. Retrieved December 16, 2012. 
  6. ^ "SeaWorld San Antonio Announces Aquatica Texas: Coming 2012". Inside SeaWorld. SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. May 24, 2012. Retrieved December 16, 2012. 
  7. ^ Aquatica San Antonio (October 2011). "Wall Photos". Facebook. Retrieved November 6, 2011. 
  8. ^ a b MacDonald, Brady (March 22, 2012). "San Antonio: Aquatica water park set to open at SeaWorld". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 23, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b c d Weisberg, Lori (November 20, 2012). "Soak City to become a SeaWorld water park". Retrieved November 20, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Making a Splash in Chula Vista". Los Angeles Times. May 18, 1997. Retrieved November 30, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Cedar Fair completes water-park acquisition". Toledo Blade. December 8, 1999. Retrieved November 30, 2012. 
  12. ^ Gale, Elaine (March 19, 2000). "Knott's Job Fair Attracts Hundreds". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 30, 2012. 
  13. ^ MacDonald, Brady (December 26, 2012). "32 best new theme park additions for 2013". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 27, 2012. 
  14. ^ MacDonald, Brady (November 21, 2012). "SeaWorld bringing Aquatica water park to San Diego". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 16, 2012. 

External links[edit]