Aquatica (water parks)
|Founded||Orlando, Florida (March 1, 2008 )|
Number of locations
|Owner||SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment|
|Website||Aquatica Orlando, Aquatica San Antonio, Aquatica San Diego|
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. On March 5, 2007, SeaWorld held a press conference officially announcing Aquatica. It was expected the 59-acre (24 ha) park would cost US$50 million to build. 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. 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. The park was an immediate success, reaching its opening-year attendance goal in just six months.
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. 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". 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. Aquatica San Antonio officially opened on May 19, 2012.
On November 20, 2012, Cedar Fair announced it had sold its San Diego Soak City park to SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. 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. In December 1999, Cedar Fair purchased the park for $11.5 million and renamed it Knott's Soak City U.S.A.. The water park had opened with a new beach theme in May 2000. The acquisition by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment saw the park transformed into a 32-acre (13 ha) water park named Aquatica San Diego. The refurbished park reopened on June 1, 2013.
|Park name||Location||Coordinates||Opening date||Ref.|
|Aquatica Orlando||Orlando, Florida||March 1, 2008|
|Aquatica San Antonio||San Antonio, Texas||May 19, 2012|||
|Aquatica San Diego||Chula Vista, California||June 1, 2013|||
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 with deck chairs, sun beds and umbrellas.
- Body/mat slides
- Dolphin Plunge – the park's signature attraction, these two enclosed body slides pass through a pool containing a pod of Commerson's dolphins. The dolphins in this attraction were originally from SeaWorld San Diego. Their names are Pepe, Ross, Ringer, and Juan . Ringer was announced pregnant in early May and gave birth on May 20, 2017 but the calf died a few minutes after birth.
- Ihu's Breakaway Falls - consists of three drop slides and one speed slide. Each one goes through many helixes. The slides are approximately 80 feet tall and drop riders at an 80 degree angle. All four slides were manufactured by ProSlide and opened 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. (1 or 2 riders)
- Tassie's Twisters – a pair of funnel-like slides that can be ridden in single or double rafts. This ride can only be accessed through Loggerhead Lane.
- Omaka Rocka – Rafts each carrying one rider descend into one of two slides with segments that look like a tornado funnel laying on its side.
- Multi-person family raft slides (round rafts)
- Walhalla Wave – a twisty slide with enclosed, pitch-dark segments. Nearly lasts a minute. (1 - 4 riders, 4th rider must be under 60")
- HooRoo Run – sharing a tower with Walhalla Wave, this triple-dip slide is short, but fast. (2 or 3 riders, 3rd rider must be under 60") (2 riders required) The ride is closing on 31 October 2017 in order to make way for Ray Rush, a new family raft slide that contains a transparent sphere element and a half pipe element. The ride will also feature hydro magnetic launches and is opening in 2018.
- 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 – the deeper of the two wave pools (6 1/2 feet deep), Cutback Cove is a narrower pool than Big Surf Shores, and can sometimes carry slightly larger waves as a result.
- Big Surf Shores – a somewhat wider pool than Cutback, Big Surf is oftentimes closed in the slower seasons, or halfway open depending on the amount of guests in the park.
- 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
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
- Roa's Aviary
- Zippity Zappity
- Whanau Way
- Loggerhead Lane
- Big Surf Shores
In 2014 Aquatica San Antonio opened Roa's Aviary which is in the middle of Loggerhead Lane (similar to Tassie's Twister in Orlando). The aviary has a waterfall entrance to prevent birds from getting out. The 34,000 square foot facility features multiple species of birds.
Aquatica San Diego
The former Knott's Soak City San Diego in Chula Vista, California reopened as Aquatica San Diego on June 1, 2013. It features a wide array of attractions for all ages and swimming abilities, one of which passes by a flamingo habitat. The water park was featured on the episode, "Appalachian Splashin" on Xtreme Waterparks.
- Whanau Way - A 60-foot-tall water slide complex with six body slides, four enclosed and two open air.
- HooRoo Run - An 80-foot-tall water slide complex featuring two enclosed and two open air body slides with the steepest drop being an 80-foot drop at 45 mph.
- Woohoo Falls - Three 60-foot-tall, single-inner-tube slides. Two enclosed and one open air.
- Kiwi Curl - Three 60-foot-tall double-inner-tube slides. Two enclosed and one open air.
- Walhalla Wave - A 78-foot-tall four-person family raft water slide.
- Tassie’s Twister - A 75-foot-tall ProSlide Tornado water slide that drops 60 feet (23 m) into a large six-story funnel.
- Taumata Racer – A six-lane racing slide with guests sliding down on mats through enclosed and open sections.
- Pools and Children's Areas
- Big Surf Shores - A 550,000-gallon wave pool. Located near a freshwater turtle exhibit.
- Loggerhead Lane - A 1250-foot-long lazy river that passes by the Caribbean flamingo exhibit.
- Walkabout Waters - A four-story interactive, area that features two slides, hoses, jets, geysers and a 500-gallon bucket that unloads every five minutes.
- Kata’s Kookaburra Cove - A play area designed for children with a pool, and a waterfall.
- Slippity Dippity - A play area designed for children featuring smaller slides.
- "SeaWorld Unveils Plans For New Water Park". Wesh Orlando. July 15, 2005. Retrieved December 16, 2012.
- Albright, Mark (March 6, 2007). "Water & whimsy". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved December 16, 2012.
- Powers, Scott; Garcia, Jason; Clarke, Sara K. (February 25, 2008). "Aquatica is set for 'soft' debut". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved December 16, 2012.
- "2008 Attraction Attendance Report" (PDF). Themed Entertainment Association. 2009. Retrieved December 16, 2012.
- 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.
- "SeaWorld San Antonio Announces Aquatica Texas: Coming 2012". Inside SeaWorld. SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. May 24, 2012. Retrieved December 16, 2012.
- Aquatica San Antonio (October 2011). "Wall Photos". Facebook. Retrieved November 6, 2011.
- MacDonald, Brady (March 22, 2012). "San Antonio: Aquatica water park set to open at SeaWorld". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 23, 2012.
- Weisberg, Lori (November 20, 2012). "Soak City to become a SeaWorld water park". Archived from the original on July 26, 2014. Retrieved November 20, 2012.
- "Making a Splash in Chula Vista". Los Angeles Times. May 18, 1997. Retrieved November 30, 2012.
- "Cedar Fair completes water-park acquisition". Toledo Blade. December 8, 1999. Retrieved November 30, 2012.
- Gale, Elaine (March 19, 2000). "Knott's Job Fair Attracts Hundreds". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 30, 2012.
- MacDonald, Brady (December 26, 2012). "32 best new theme park additions for 2013". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 27, 2012.
- MacDonald, Brady (November 21, 2012). "SeaWorld bringing Aquatica water park to San Diego". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 16, 2012.
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