SeaWorld San Antonio

Coordinates: 29°27′30″N 98°41′59″W / 29.4584°N 98.6998°W / 29.4584; -98.6998
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SeaWorld San Antonio
Previously known as Sea World of Texas[1]
SeaWorld San Antonio logo
Location10500 Sea World Drive
San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas United States
Coordinates29°27′30″N 98°41′59″W / 29.4584°N 98.6998°W / 29.4584; -98.6998
OpenedMay 27, 1988; 36 years ago (1988-05-27)
OwnerUnited Parks & Resorts
Operated byUnited Parks & Resorts
General managerJodi Davenport
Slogan"From Park to Planet" (See It Here, Save It There)
Operating seasonYear-round
Area416 acres (168 ha)
Roller coasters6
Water rides3

SeaWorld San Antonio is a 416-acre (168 ha) marine mammal park, oceanarium and animal theme park in the Westover Hills District of San Antonio, Texas, on the city's west side. It is the largest of the three parks in the SeaWorld chain owned and operated by United Parks & Resorts. As North America's largest marine-life theme park, and one of the world's largest marine-life theme parks, it is focused on conservation, education and animal rescue. It is a member of the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums (AMMPA)[2] and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).[3]


The park, initially called Sea World of Texas, was developed by Harcourt, Brace and Jovanovich (now Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). Built for $170 million, it opened on May 27, 1988, and 75,000 people attended the opening.[4] It had 3.3 million visitors in its first 12 months of operation, placing it among the Top 10 attractions in Texas. At the time of its debut, it was billed as "the largest educational, marine-life theme park in the world."[5]

On November 26, 1988, Kayla (stage named "Baby Shamu") was the first orca born at the park. At the time of her death on January 28, 2019, she resided at SeaWorld Orlando.[6]

In 1989, Harcourt, Brace and Jovanovich (heavy in debt and fighting a hostile takeover) sold its SeaWorld and Boardwalk and Baseball theme parks to Anheuser-Busch, Inc.[7] Plans to build a second Boardwalk and Baseball park adjacent to Sea World San Antonio were abandoned.[citation needed]

Under Anheuser-Busch ownership, the park closed less popular attractions consisting of the Texas Walk, Cypress Gardens West, Joplin Square, U.S. Map Plaza, and the Garden of Flags and added its Budweiser Clydesdales to the park.[citation needed]

In 2008, Anheuser-Busch merged with InBev; soon after, in 2009, the newly merged company sold the SeaWorld parks to the Blackstone Group. In 2017, Blackstone sold its stake to China's Zhonghong Group.[8]

In March 2016, SeaWorld Entertainment announced that the current generation of orcas at it parks would be the last.[9] SeaWorld San Antonio currently houses 5 orcas. It was also announced that the theatrical orca shows would be phased out and replaced with more naturalistic Orca Encounters. SeaWorld San Antonio's Orca Encounter opened on February 22, 2020.[citation needed] In 2024, Catapult Falls, the world's first launched flume ride, opened to the public.


Roller coasters and rides[edit]

# Name Opened Description
1 Texas Stingray 2020 This GCI coaster is the tallest, longest, and fastest wooden roller coaster in Texas.[10]
2 Wave Breaker: The Rescue Coaster 2017 An Intamin double-launch coaster, based on the theme of SeaWorld's animal-rescue team.[11]
3 The Great White 1997 The park's first coaster, a Bolliger & Mabillard inverted roller coaster, which debuted in 1997. It reaches a top speed of 50 mph (80 km/h). It is the first roller coaster of its kind in Texas. Lift height is 108.2 ft. The total track length is 2,562 ft.[12]
4 Steel Eel 1999 This steel, non-looping Chance Morgan coaster is 150 ft (45.7 m) tall, 3,700 ft (1,127.8 m) long, w/ a top speed of 65 mph (104.6 km/h) and a capacity of 1200 riders per hour.[13]
5 Journey to Atlantis 2007 The first ride of its kind in North America, Atlantis debuted in 2007. It is a Mack Rides hybrid of roller coaster and Shoot the chute.[14]
6 Super Grover's Box Car Derby (formerly Shamu Express) 2004 A Zierer kiddie roller coaster with cars themed as soap-box derby cars.[15]
7 Tidal Surge 2022 World's largest S&S Screamin' Swing[16]
8 Riptide Rescue 2019 A three-armed Huss Airboat spinning flat ride themed to animal rescue.[17]
9 Sea Swinger 2019 A Zamperla Midi Discovery spinning-pendulum flat ride.[17]
10 Grover's Round-Up 2011 A carousel themed to Muppet versions of horses and Grover from Sesame Street.
11 Abby Cadabby's Rockin’ Wave 2011 A Zamperla Rockin' Tug themed to sea creatures and Abby Cadabby from Sesame Street.
12 Big Bird's Spinning Reef (formerly Pete's Spinwheel) 1992 (2011) A mini Ferris wheel themed to coral reefs and Big Bird from Sesame Street.
13 Elmo's Dolphin Dive (formerly Jump’n Jungle) 1992 (2011) A kiddie drop tower ride themed to dolphins and Elmo from Sesame Street.
14 Rio Loco 1993 A river rapids ride.

Live entertainment and animal presentations[edit]

# Name Opened Description
15 Orca Encounter (formerly Shamu Theater) 2020 (1988) The 7,000,000 US gallons (26,000,000 L) home to the park's five orcas originally opened in 1988. The venue's current production is Orca Encounter since late February 2020. The venue housed theatrical orca shows until December 2019, including the former show One Ocean and the summer seasonal Shamu's Celebration: Light Up The Night and winter seasonal Shamu Christmas Miracles night shows. An educational show called Orcas: Up Close was also presented on select times.
16 Beluga Stadium 1988 The home to the park's beluga whales and Pacific white-sided dolphins with house shows with the whales and dolphins and formerly macaws and live acrobats called by the names of Viva and Azul until 2016 when they were replaced by an educational show named Ocean Discovery: Dolphins and Beluga Whales.
17 Sea Lion Stadium 1988 Hosts "Clyde and Seamore," a pair of California sea lions in the presentation Sea Lion & Otter Spotlight. Asian small-clawed otters also partake in the show.
18 Bayside Stadium 1988 Hosts water skiing stunt shows on the park's central lagoon as well as the preferential viewing area for the park's seasonal fireworks shows.
19 Nautilus Amphitheater 1988 An open-air theater used for different purposes and park shows including seasonal animal presentations and the main musical show for the park's premier Howl-O-Scream event Monster Stomp on Ripper Row. The theater also hosts stage musical O Wondrous Night during the park's Christmas Celebration event.
20 Sea Star Theatre 2003 Originally constructed as a 4-D theater that formerly showed R.L. Stine's Haunted Lighthouse and Pirates 4D. THe building was reconfigured as a conventional theater in 2013 and housed Pets Ahoy, a show which featured animals that have been rescued from local animal shelters. The show was cut in 2020 due to budget cuts affiliated with the loss of revenue due to COVID-19. The theater hosted the park's Sesame Street shows after reopening following the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2023, the theater debuted John Tartaglia's ImaginOcean, a glow-in-the-dark musical puppet show about fish.
One Ocean (The Shamu show) at SeaWorld San Antonio, on March 14, 2013
Kyuquot (back) and Tuar (front) perform at Shamu Theater during "One Ocean"
Basking sea lions
Dine with Shamu dining area

Animal inventory[edit]

An orca named Kyuquot performing a “present” at Shamu Theater
The Penguin House at SeaWorld has some 250 birds on permanent display in conditions like that of their natural environment.
SeaWorld San Antonio features a collection of flamingoes.
Ocean Discovery at SeaWorld


SeaWorld's orcas are housed in Shamu Theater, most of whom were born at SeaWorld except Kyuquot who was born at the defunct Sealand of the Pacific in Canada. There are currently 5 orcas, Takara (F; matriarch), Sakari (F), Kamea (F), Tuar (M) and Kyuquot (M).

Beluga whales[edit]

SeaWorld San Antonio has one of the most prolific beluga breeding programs in any zoological facility in the United States.[18] Half of the belugas currently at the facility were born at the park and several belugas at other US facilities were originally born here.

This park has also been selected the permanent home of a rescued Cook Inlet beluga named Tyonek who was deemed unreleasable due to his young age and lack of survival skills.[19] They were chosen due to their diverse beluga population of experienced mothers and younger belugas close to his age, but surprisingly he ended up bonding with Betty, one of the park's Pacific white-sided dolphins.[20]

As of 2023, SeaWorld San Antonio has 11 belugas.


SeaWorld has 18 bottlenose dolphins that live in two different areas of the park. Discovery Point is where most of the park's female dolphins live, where they do interaction programs and are also on display via above water and underwater viewing areas. Zoological Support is a backstage area where all of the park's male dolphins live and where other animals could go for breeding purposes, specialized veterinary care, etc. While most dolphins were born within the SeaWorld parks except Notchfin, 4 of these dolphins are also rescued dolphins that were deemed nonreleasable by the National Marine Fisheries Service.[18]

The park also has seven Pacific white-sided dolphins that live at Beluga Stadium. SeaWorld San Antonio is one of two zoological facilities in the United States that cares for Pacific white-sided dolphins.[21]

Sea Lions, Seals, and Otters[edit]

In addition to the performing sea lions and otters, there is a large population of California sea lions and harbor seals living at this open air exhibit. Pinniped feeding opportunities are available for an additional fee. Unique to this SeaWorld is an exhibit for the park's Asian small-clawed and African spot-necked otters, while the other parks' freshwater otters can only be seen during shows.

Sea Turtles[edit]

The newest animal exhibit in the park which opened in May 2019 featuring rescued loggerhead and green sea turtles that live with schools of marine fish. It also has a natural biofiltration system consisting of an adjacent salt marsh with bacteria in the plant roots that feed on animal waste.[22]

Aquatica San Antonio[edit]

Aquatica is a water park that was formerly a section of the park under the name, Lost Lagoon, which opened in 1993 and closed on September 5, 2011, to be replaced by Aquatica San Antonio, a separate gated water park based on the original Aquatica Orlando. Known as "Texas' Best Waterpark", the new park opened on Memorial Day weekend May 2012.[23][24]


2009 2,600,000[25]
2011 2,600,000[25]
2012 2,678,000[26]
2013 Not listed
2014 Not listed
2015 Not listed


  1. ^ "Harcourt Sets Layoffs Of 750 at Theme Parks". The New York Times. 25 August 1988. Retrieved 24 June 2012.
  2. ^ "Our Members". Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums. Retrieved 22 October 2010.
  3. ^ "List of Accredited Zoos and Aquariums". Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Retrieved 5 September 2010.
  4. ^ Hayes, Thomas C. (19 June 1988). "Texas Picks Up the Pieces". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 June 2012.
  5. ^ "seas-10k_20201231.htm". Retrieved 2023-07-07.
  6. ^ Klausner, Alexandra (January 29, 2019). "Kayla the orca dies at 30: SeaWorld 'deeply saddened,' PETA outraged". Retrieved 2023-06-04.
  7. ^ Hayes, Thomas C. (14 August 1989). "Harcourt Near Sale of Sea World". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 June 2012.
  8. ^ "China's Zhonghong Zhuoye to buy Blackstone's stake in SeaWorld". Reuters. March 24, 2017. Retrieved September 27, 2023.
  9. ^ Berlinger, Joshua (2016-03-17). "SeaWorld's orcas will be last generation at parks". CNN. Retrieved 2022-05-25.
  10. ^ Marden, Duane. "Texas Stingray  (SeaWorld San Antonio)". Roller Coaster DataBase.
  11. ^ Marden, Duane. "Wave Breaker: The Rescue Coaster  (SeaWorld San Antonio)". Roller Coaster DataBase.
  12. ^ Marden, Duane. "The Great White  (SeaWorld San Antonio)". Roller Coaster DataBase.
  13. ^ Marden, Duane. "Steel Eel  (SeaWorld San Antonio)". Roller Coaster DataBase.
  14. ^ Marden, Duane. "Journey to Atlantis  (SeaWorld San Antonio)". Roller Coaster DataBase.
  15. ^ Marden, Duane. "Super Grover's Box Car Derby  (SeaWorld San Antonio)". Roller Coaster DataBase.
  16. ^ "SeaWorld San Antonio to open the all-new Tidal Surge – the world's tallest and fastest Screaming Swing – on February 26th and 27th for Pass Members". Amusement Today. Arlington, Texas. February 17, 2022. Retrieved September 27, 2023.
  17. ^ a b "SeaWorld & Aquatica San Antonio to Debut Exhilarating New Attractions in 2019". Amusement Today. Arlington, Texas. September 28, 2018. Retrieved September 27, 2023.
  18. ^ a b "Ceta-Base".
  19. ^ "SeaWorld-Blog".
  20. ^ "Tyonek-Update".
  21. ^ Robertson, Linda (September 25, 2023). "Lolita's companion dolphin at Seaquarium moved to SeaWorld". The Miami Herald. Retrieved October 17, 2023.
  22. ^ "Ceta-Base".
  23. ^ SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. "Aquatica, SeaWorld's Waterpark™ - San Antonio, Texas".
  24. ^ Ana Ley (24 May 2011). "Beach life looms for SeaWorld". San Antonio Express-News.
  25. ^ a b "TEA/AECOM 2011 Global Attractions Report" (PDF). Themed Entertainment Association. 2011. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
  26. ^ "TEA/AECOM 2012 Global Attractions Report" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-04-08.

External links[edit]