|This article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2007)|
|Location||Aurora, Ohio, U.S.|
|Area||50 acres (20 ha)|
SeaWorld Ohio was a park in the SeaWorld chain of marine animal theme parks. The park opened in 1970 directly across and less than one mile from Geauga Lake in Aurora, Ohio, USA. The small lake separated the two parks. Today this land is occupied by a water park owned by Cedar Fair.
Unlike other Sea World Parks, Sea World Ohio had no rides while the others added a few each in the 1990s. Sea World had an agreement with Geauga Lake not to compete. Both parks actually complemented each other and worked together on many promotions over the years. Also, though both parks were only a mile apart, they were in separate towns. Sea World also had restrictions placed on them from their town not allowing them to build rides.
As other Sea World Parks expanded into more entertainment, Sea World Ohio was unable to. Also it was tough running this park with a cold winter climate, making the park only able to operate late spring to early fall while Orlando and San Diego operate year round and San Antonio only closes a few winter months. Geauga Lake was sold in 1995 to Premier Parks, and expanded to add another roller coaster at that time. Long before the sale to Premier, Geauga Lake had a water park as part of their theme park since the early 1980s plus they offered a beach at the small lake until the late 1980s. They added a wave pool in the mid-1980s there. In 1998, Premiere Parks bought the Six Flags company and re-branded Geauga Lake Six Flags Ohio. At that point, Six Flags refused to cross promote with Sea World Ohio. Attendance at Sea World was down. Busch Entertainment Corporation parent company Anheuser Busch opted in 2000 to exit the market closing the park and selling the land. Six Flags then approached Busch about buying Seaworld Ohio. Busch accepted the offer from Six Flags for $110 million in January, 2001. Six Flags then combined their Six Flags Ohio (Geauga Lake) park with SeaWorld to form a megapark known as Six Flags Worlds of Adventure. During this era, the park became known as the "Wild Life" side of the park which had no rides or slides. The other side of the park had rides, slides, and a wave pool. From 1997-2001, Six Flags had added 5 roller coasters to that side of the park.
Business was still low and had actually gone down from when both parks were separate. Six Flags did expand the water park in 2002 but this did not boost business. Many thought Cedar Point, 100 miles northwest of this park (60 miles west of Cleveland) still had most of the business in the market. Six Flags also had additional financial problems as well. Six Flags intended to sell a few properties but this was not originally to be one of them. In November of 2003, Cedar Fair approached Six Flags about buying Worlds Of Adventure and Six Flags originally declined. But in March of 2004 after realizing a turnaround would take a long time decided last minute to sell the megapark to Cedar Fair for $145 million, in which the park on both sides returned to its original name, Geauga Lake.
Cedar Fair immediately shut down the wildlife/former Sea World side of the park for the 2004 season and quickly unbranded/unflagged the park (changing the name of many rides and the name of the water area from Hurricane Harbor to Hurricane Hanna). many of the roller coasters changed names plus references to Warner Brothers Characters and Superheroes were dumped due to Six Flags not including the rights with the sale to use those names. In 2005, the former Sea World/Wildlife side was transformed into a small water park, with the name Wildwater Kingdom. It had a couple slides and a new wave pool. The Geauga Lake theme park side continued to have waterpark attractions that year as well. In 2006, the slides from the Geauge lake side were moved to the former Sea World side as well. That year, the water park was solely on the former Sea World Side. The Geauga Lake side was only rides including some roller coasters, flat rides, and some dry water rides. The wave pool on that side was closed off with preparations to fill it in and redevelop the area. All this time the water park was included with Geauga Lake admission. Still, under Cedar Fair, business remained slow throughout 2004, 2005, and 2006. A few roller coasters were even removed and sent to other parks. In 2007, rumors about the closing of the parks on both sides became rampant and management refused to deny or confirm rumors, or even comment on them. At the end of the 2007 season, Cedar Fair opted to close Geauga Lake but keep the Waterpark side (formerly the Sea World park) open. This park was renamed Geauga Lake's Wildwater Kingdom. Many buildings and parts of themes are implemented and still used in Wildwater Kingdom. Although Geauga Lake closed its doors, Wildwater Kingdom remains open. The Geauga Lake Side of the park still stands minus all the rides except for three wooden roller coasters, one of which is standing but of course not operating. The future of that land is still uncertain at this time.
- "Sea World to be Bought by Six Flags". news.google.com. Toledo Blade. 11 January 2001. Retrieved 10 August 2011.