SeaWorld San Antonio
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (November 2013)|
|Location||10500 Sea World Drive
San Antonio, Texas 78251, USA
|Opened||May 27, 1988|
|Previous names||Sea World of Texas|
|Operating season||February to November|
|Area||250 acres (100 ha)|
|Website||SeaWorld San Antonio|
SeaWorld San Antonio (formerly Sea World of Texas) is a 250-acre (100 ha) marine mammal park, oceanarium, and animal theme park, located in the Westover Hills District of San Antonio, Texas. It is the largest of the three parks in the SeaWorld chain owned by SeaWorld Entertainment, a division of Blackstone Group, and the world's largest marine-life theme park. The other two SeaWorld parks are located in San Diego, California and Orlando, Florida. It is a member of the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums (AMMPA) and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).
- 1 History
- 2 Attractions
- 3 Shows and exhibits
- 4 Entertainment
- 5 Animal inventory
- 6 Aquatica
- 7 Summer Nights
- 8 Howl-O-Scream
- 9 SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration
- 10 Attendance
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Sea World of Texas was developed by Harcourt, Brace, and Jovanovich (now Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). Built for $170 million, it opened on Memorial Day weekend in May 27, 1988 and welcomed 75,000 people during the grand opening. 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 the park's debut, it was billed as "the largest educational, marine-life theme park in the world."
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. Plans to build a Boardwalk and Baseball park adjacent to Sea World of Texas were immediately abandoned.
Under Anheuser-Busch ownership, SeaWorld San Antonio closed less popular attractions such as the Texas Walk, the U.S. Map Plaza, and the Garden of Flags and added its popular Budweiser Clydesdales to the park.
Roller coasters and thrill rides
- The Great White: The park's first coaster, a Bolliger & Mabillard inverted roller coaster that debuted in 1997. Top speed of 50 mph (80 km/h). Lift height is 108.2 ft. Total track = 2,562 ft.
- Shamu Express: a small kiddie roller coaster.
- Steel Eel: Advertised as "the first and only hypercoaster in Texas," it reaches speeds close to 70 mph (110 km/h).
- Journey to Atlantis: The first ride of its kind in North America, it debuted in 2007.
- Rio Loco: A river rapids ride that opened in 1991.
Sesame Street Bay of Play
Formerly Shamu's Happy Harbor, the Sesame Street Bay of Play (opened in March 2011) is an interactive children's play area based on the long-running television series Sesame Street.
- Grover's Roundup (carousel)
- Abby Cadabby's Rocking Wave (rocking unit)
- Big Bird's Spinning Reef (mini Ferris wheel)
- Elmo's Dolphin Dive (mini drop unit)
- Splish 'n' Splash (water play area)
- Little Bird's Splash (small children's water play area)
- Tot's Ahoy (small children's playground)
- Net Climb
- Sunny Days (sing and dance with Sesame Street characters)
- Dine with Shamu
- Shamu's Smokehouse (formerly Voyagers)
- Rosita's Cafe (formerly Mango Joe's Cafe Ole)
- Rio Grille (formerly Rio Loco BBQ)
- Azul Treats (formerly The Oasis)
- Harbor Maket (formerly Seafire Grille)
- Sea Star Market & Cafe
- Ice Cream Parlor
- Shamu Soft Serve
- Shamu Snacks
- Snack Attack
- Coca-Cola Freestyle Floats
- Coca-Cola Freestyle Truck
- Sweet Treats Bakery
Shows and exhibits
- One Ocean (Shamu Theater): The newest Shamu show featuring the park's killer whales and their trainers.
- Clyde and Seamore's Sea Lion High (Sea Lion Stadium): An all-new comical show featuring California sea lions Clyde and Seamore, students of Sea Lion High, who try to pass their classes before the final bell on the last day of school in order to graduate. This show also features walrus Principal Maximillian Worthington and otter O.P. Otter.
- Azul, Lure of the Sea (Beluga Stadium): This show features professional high divers, aerialists, and synchronized swimmers performing with Pacific white-sided dolphins and Beluga whales.
- Pets Ahoy! (Sea Star Theater): A comical show featuring the talents of dogs, cats, birds, rats, pot-bellied pigs, and other animals. All of the trained cats and dogs in the show are rescue animals from shelters in the San Antonio area.
- Animal Connection Conservation Center
- Dolphin Walk: A 30-45 minute walking tour that takes guests to the back area of the park where the dolphins are temporarily residing while their new habitat, Discovery Point, is being built.
- Penguin Encounter: Visitors step into the Antarctic wilderness on a moving walkway and view over 200 penguins in a variety of species. There are additional exhibits where one can read about the penguins and view other aquatic birds.
- Pacific Point Preserve: An all-new habitat featuring Seals, sea lions, and otters. A feeder booth is available and fish for feeding seals and sea lions can be purchased during select times throughout the day.
- Sharks/The Coral Reef: Some animals that are found here include sting rays, eels, tropical fish, and a variety of sharks.
- Alligator Alley: American alligators lounging around Ski Lake.
- Flamingo Ponds: Visitors can stop by and see flamingos by Shamu Theater and near the park's main entrance.
- Boardwalk Games: A game center combined with the exit of the Great White roller coaster that features midway games and a video arcade.
- Sea Star Theater: An indoor theater featuring comical pet show, "Pets Ahoy!"
- Nautilus Amphitheater: a covered amphitheater that features seasonal shows.
- Ski Stadium: a small lakeside outdoor stadium along Ski Lake that hosts ski stunt shows during the summer and spring break.
SeaWorld's main attraction is its killer whales, which are housed in the 7-million-gallon habitats that are known in San Antonio as Shamu Theater. Shamu was the name of the first killer whale brought to SeaWorld San Diego in the 1960s. "Shamu" is now used as a stage name for adult killer whales in performances at SeaWorld parks. The killer whales all have real names.
A female orca, Unna, passed away on December 21, 2015.
Blue World Project
On August 15, 2014, SeaWorld announced the Blue World Project; a major renovation to all three of the SeaWorld parks Killer Whale habitats. The project will begin with SeaWorld San Diego in 2015 and is scheduled to be completed sometime in 2018 with a cost in the hundreds of millions of dollars. The company has also pledged $10 million in matching funds for killer whale research.
Features of SeaWorld San Diego's Blue World Habitat:
- 50 feet in depth.
- 1.5 acres of surface area.
- The SeaWorld "Water Treadmill," a fast water current that will allow whales to swim across moving water.
- A four story high viewing gallery.
- Spanning more than 350 feet in length.
- The worlds largest underwater viewing experience of killer whales.
- 10 million gallons of salt water.
Bottlenose dolphins from the permanently closed attraction, Dolphin Cove are temporarily residing with dolphins from Animal Care, while their new home, Discovery Point is being constructed. The Animal Care pool is currently a part of the temporary Dolphin Walk attraction, a tour that takes guests to the back area of the park to view the dolphins, and other species of animals that the SeaWorld-Busch Gardens Conservation Fund cares for. The park's Pacific white-sided Dolphins reside at Beluga Stadium and are part of shows there.
Animal Care: Yoyo (F), Gilly (M), Mattie (F), Fathom (M), Brady (M), Alice (F), Cisco (M), Ansley (M), Haven (F), and Yuri (F).
Dolphin Walk: Punta (F), Notchfin (F), Nacha (F), Nikki (F), Brie (F), Neelee (F), Donley (M), Capri (F), Blyss (F), Koko (F), and Nala (F).
Beluga Stadium: Pacific white-sided dolphins- Betty (F), Catalina (F), Avalon (F), Hailey (F), Dart (M), and Bolt (M).
The Beluga whales at San Antonio are Natasha (F), Martha (F), Crissy (F), Imaq (M), Luna (F), Oliver (M), and Samson (M). The park's belugas regularly participate in Azul and Beluga Story shows/presentations and Beluga Interaction Programs.
On April 17, 2011, Imaq, an adult male beluga from Vancouver Aquarium, arrived to Sea World San Antonio on a 5-year breeding loan. This is the 3rd of three beluga whales on a breeding loan from Vancouver Aquarium to SeaWorld: Nanuq, Allua, Imaq.
In 2009, Nico, Maris, and Natasha from the Georgia Aquarium were moved to SeaWorld temporarily to keep them away from the worst of the noise during construction at the Georgia Aquarium. Nico died on 31 October 2009. A preliminary necropsy was unable to determine if Nico's death was caused by the move or by something else. On 3 March 2010, Maris and a new male, Beethoven, were returned to the Georgia Aquarium while Natasha was paired with a potential mate and remained in San Antonio.
On July 9, 2013, Luna gave birth to a male calf, sired by Imaq. On July 26, 2013, Crissy gave birth to a female calf, also sired by Imaq. The calf was named Stella, but on November 13, 2015, the whale died. On June 20, 2015, Martha gave birth to a female calf.
After Martha gave birth prematurely to a female calf on June 20, 2015, it has since died.
Aquatica is a water park that was added to SeaWorld in 1993 under the name, Lost Lagoon. Lost Lagoon closed on September 5, 2011 to be replaced by Aquatica San Antonio, a separate gated water park based on the original Aquatica Orlando that opened on March 1, 2008. Some water attractions like The Sidewinders tower (with 4 tube slides and 2 large bowl slides) were re-themed, painted and renamed Tassie's Twister. The splash attack play structure stayed but it was renovated with new theming, new slides, new interactive elements, new landscaping, and a new zero-entry pool that is named Walkabout Waters. The activity pool stayed but was also renovated with new theming, new interactive elements, new pool updates, new landscaping, new beach lounge chairs, inviting waterfalls and a renaming. Those four existing water attractions were kept during the Aqautica San Antonio re-theming. The new expansion opened on Memorial Day weekend May 2012.
- Activity Pool
- Buckaroo Mountain
- Castaway Cruisin'
- Lil' Gators Lagoon
- Sky Tubin'
- Splash Attack
- Wave Wash Pool
Summer Nights is a summer event at SeaWorld San Antonio that offers extended park hours and nightly shows and fireworks. Shows include Hydro Power 2.0, Shamu's Celebration: Light Up The Night, Sol Celebration and nightly showings of two day shows, "Sea Lion High" and "Azul."
Howl-O-Scream is an annual Halloween event that takes place at Busch Gardens Tampa, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, and SeaWorld San Antonio. The main icon for the event at SeaWorld San Antonio would be Jack-O-Lantern, a Pumpkin Head who takes over SeaWorld San Antonio around Halloween Time. In 2013, SeaWorld San Antonio announced that the event would be 'evolving' and changing, sporting a new theme every year. It will also feature a new vampire-theme bar called "Blood Thirsty".
SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration
SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration is an annual Christmas event that takes place at all three SeaWorld parks during Christmastime on select dates. The event offers Christmas themed areas, shows, and attractions.
Tastes of the Season
- Coca-Cola Lane
- Cocoa Café
- Dasher's Diner
- Home for the Holidays Dinner with Santa & Mrs Claus
- Shamu's Coffee Shop
Christmas Gift Shops
- Christmas Currents
- All Wrapped Up
Sounds of the Season
- O' Christmas Tree
- Merry Mariachis
- SeaWorld Singers
- The Peppermints
- Oscar the Grouch
- Snow Globe
- Santa Claus
- Tunnel of Light
- Reflections (Christmas Tree)
- Jingling Around the Block Party (Sesame Street Bay of Play)
- Elmo's Christmas Wish (Sesame Street Bay of Play)
- A Pets Ahoy Christmas (Sea Star Theater)
- Clyde and Seamore's Countdown to Christmas (Sea Lion Stadium)
- Shamu Christmas Miracles (Shamu Theater)
- A Dolphin Christmas (Beluga Stadium)
Sights of the Season
- Coca-Cola Lane
- Joy to the World
- Snowman Village
- Christmas Cove
- Christmas Market
- Tunnel of Light
- SeaWorld Express
- The Southern Lights
|2,600,000 ||2,600,000 ||2,678,000 ||Not listed||Not listed|
- "Harcourt Sets Layoffs Of 750 at Theme Parks". nytimes.com (The New York Times). 25 August 1988. Retrieved 24 June 2012.
- "Our Members". ammpa.org. Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums. Retrieved 22 October 2010.
- "List of Accredited Zoos and Aquariums". aza.org. Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Retrieved 5 September 2010.
- Hayes, Thomas C. (19 June 1988). "Texas Picks Up the Pieces". nytimes.com (The New York Times). Retrieved 24 June 2012.
- Hayes, Thomas C. (14 August 1989). "Harcourt Near Sale of Sea World". nytimes.com (The New York Times). Retrieved 24 June 2012.
- Howard Pousner (5 October 2009). "Georgia Aquarium's beluga whales sent to Texas". AJC.com. Retrieved 25 November 2010.
- Howard Pousner (2 November 2009). "Aquarium beluga dies". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 25 November 2010.
- Howard Pousner (2 March 2010). "2 Belugas finally go on view at the Georgia Aquarium". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 23 November 2010.
- "TEA/AECOM 2011 Global Attractions Report" (PDF). Themed Entertainment Association. 2011. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
- "TEA/AECOM 2012 Global Attractions Report" (PDF).
- Media related to SeaWorld San Antonio at Wikimedia Commons
- Official website
- SeaWorld San Antonio at the Roller Coaster DataBase