SeaWorld San Antonio

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SeaWorld San Antonio
SeaWorld San Antonio logo
Slogan "From Park to Planet" (See It Here, Save It There)
Location 10500 Sea World Drive
San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas United States
Coordinates 29°27′30″N 98°41′59″W / 29.4584°N 98.6998°W / 29.4584; -98.6998Coordinates: 29°27′30″N 98°41′59″W / 29.4584°N 98.6998°W / 29.4584; -98.6998
Owner SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment
General Manager Carl Lum
Opened May 27, 1988; 30 years ago (1988-05-27)
Previous names Sea World of Texas[1]
Operating season Year-round
Area 250 acres (100 ha)
Rides
Total 9
Roller coasters 5 (including water coaster)
Water rides 2 (including water coaster)
Website SeaWorld San Antonio

SeaWorld San Antonio is a 250-acre (100 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 by SeaWorld Entertainment, and the world's largest marine-life theme park. The other SeaWorld parks are in San Diego, California, and Orlando, Florida. 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]

History[edit]

The Shamu show at SeaWorld San Antonio, on March 14, 2013

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."

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.[5] Plans to build a second Boardwalk and Baseball park adjacent to Sea World San Antonio were abandoned.[citation needed]

On November 26, 1988, Kayla (stage named "Baby Shamu") was the first killer whale born at the park. She now resides at SeaWorld Orlando.[citation needed]

Under Anheuser-Busch ownership, the park closed less popular attractions such as the Texas Walk, the 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, the newly merged company sold the SeaWorld parks to Blackstone Group.[citation needed]

In March 2016, SeaWorld Entertainment announced that the current generation of killer whales at it parks would be the last. SeaWorld San Antonio currently houses 5 killer whales. It was also announced that the theatrical killer whale shows would be phased out and replaced with more naturalistic Orca Encounters. SeaWorld San Antonio's Orca Encounter is expected to open sometime in 2019.[citation needed]

Attractions[edit]

Roller coasters and thrill rides[edit]

# Name Opened Description Image
1 Wave Breaker: The Rescue Coaster 2017 An Intamin double-launch coaster based on SeaWorld's animal rescue team. - Opened June 16, 2017
2 The Great White 1997 The park's first coaster, a Bolliger & Mabillard inverted roller coaster that debuted in 1997. 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.
3 Steel Eel 1999 Advertised as "the first and only hypercoaster in Texas," it reaches speeds close to 70 mph (110 km/h).
SteelEel.JPG
4 Journey to Atlantis 2007 The first ride of its kind in North America, it debuted in 2007. It is a combination of a roller coaster and log flume ride.
5 Shamu Express 2004 A Zierer kiddie roller coaster with cars themed as Shamu.
6 Rio Loco 1993 A river rapids ride.
Entrance
Kyuquot (back) and Tuar (front) perform at Shamu Theater during "One Ocean"
Basking sea lions
Dine with Shamu dining area

Animal inventory[edit]

Killer whale at Shamu Theater
The Penguin House at SeaWorld has some 250 birds on permanent display in conditions like that of their natural environment.
Like most zoos, Sea World has a collection of flamingoes.
Ocean Discovery at SeaWorld

Killer whales[edit]

SeaWorld's killer whales are housed in the Shamu Theater. A female orca, Unna, died on December 21, 2015.[6]

Beluga whales[edit]

On April 17, 2011, Imaq, an adult male beluga from the Vancouver Aquarium, arrived at the park on a breeding loan.[7] This is the third of three beluga whales on a breeding loan from the Vancouver Aquarium to the park: Nanuq, Allua, and Imaq.

In 2009, Nico, Maris, and Natasha from the Georgia Aquarium were moved to the park temporarily to keep them away from the worst of the noise during construction at the aquarium.[8] Nico died on October 31, 2009. A preliminary necropsy was unable to determine if his death was caused by the move or by something else.[9] On March 3, 2010, Maris and a new male, Beethoven, were returned to the Georgia Aquarium while Natasha was paired with a potential mate and remained at the park.[10]

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. She was named Stella, but on November 13, 2015, she died. On June 20, 2015, Martha gave birth to a female calf.[11]

Aquatica[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. The new park opened on Memorial Day weekend May 2012.[12][13]

Attendance[edit]

2009 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
2,600,000[14] 2,600,000[14] 2,678,000[15] Not listed Not listed Not listed

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Harcourt Sets Layoffs Of 750 at Theme Parks". nytimes.com. The New York Times. 25 August 1988. Retrieved 24 June 2012.
  2. ^ "Our Members". ammpa.org. Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums. Retrieved 22 October 2010.
  3. ^ "List of Accredited Zoos and Aquariums". aza.org. Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Retrieved 5 September 2010.
  4. ^ Hayes, Thomas C. (19 June 1988). "Texas Picks Up the Pieces". nytimes.com. The New York Times. Retrieved 24 June 2012.
  5. ^ Hayes, Thomas C. (14 August 1989). "Harcourt Near Sale of Sea World". nytimes.com. The New York Times. Retrieved 24 June 2012.
  6. ^ "SeaWorld killer whale dies at San Antonio park - Business Insider". Business Insider. 22 December 2015.
  7. ^ Vincent T. Davis
    vtdavis@express-news.net (21 April 2011). "Male beluga whale arrives at SeaWorld". San Antonio Express-News.
  8. ^ Howard Pousner (5 October 2009). "Georgia Aquarium's beluga whales sent to Texas". AJC.com. Retrieved 25 November 2010.
  9. ^ Howard Pousner (2 November 2009). "Aquarium beluga dies". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 25 November 2010.
  10. ^ Howard Pousner (2 March 2010). "2 Belugas finally go on view at the Georgia Aquarium". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 23 November 2010.
  11. ^ "Ceta-Base".
  12. ^ SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. "Aquatica, SeaWorld's Waterpark™ - San Antonio, Texas".
  13. ^ Ana Ley
    aley@express-news.net (24 May 2011). "Beach life looms for SeaWorld". San Antonio Express-News.
  14. ^ a b "TEA/AECOM 2011 Global Attractions Report" (PDF). Themed Entertainment Association. 2011. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
  15. ^ "TEA/AECOM 2012 Global Attractions Report" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-04-08.

External links[edit]