SeaWorld San Antonio’s newest attraction, Aquatica, opened this past weekend, bringing a bit of the south seas to south Texas and offering up-close animal encounters to guests. The new waterpark is fully-operation just in time for Memorial Day and the summer vacation season. Continue reading for more details and photos.
On Saturday, May 19th, SeaWorld San Antonio opened Aquatica Waterpark, a whimsical aquatic park with up-close animal experiences, high-speed slides and relaxing, sandy beaches. Aquatica represents the single largest capital improvement project in park’s history.
With both of its Aquatica waterparks (there is also one in Orlando), SeaWorld includes the animal experience along with typical attractions guests expect from a waterpark such as slides, lazy rivers, and wave pools. There are live animals from lands all over the world. Southern stingrays, brilliant macaws and colorful fish bring to life the park’s playful, high-energy nature. Dan Decker, President for SeaWorld and Aquatica San Antonio commented,
What sets Aquatica apart from other waterparks is that we offer our guests powerful connections with marine animals and one-of-a-kind waterslides in a lush, tropical setting. This is an experience you can’t find anywhere else.
The park’s signature ride, Stingray Falls, takes four-seat rafts down twists and turns to an underwater grotto, where guests come face-to-fin with stingrays and tropical fish. It’s the only ride of its kind in the world. Guests at Aquatica will have the opportunity to experience stingrays in multiple ways. The most immersive program will be the Stingray Encounter, where guests can make reservations to feed and wade with stingrays inside the attraction. The “Stingray Encounter” program costs an additional $25/person. Guests can also feed and view the stingrays from a wall at the edge of the pool.
Aquatica’s stingray pool, otherwise known as Ke-Re Reef, features 120,000 gallons of saltwater and includes both cownose and Southern stingrays. With stingrays, tropical fish and birds, Aquatica is home to more than 500 animals.
Experiences from Serene to Extreme
Guest can soak up the sun at any of Aquatica’s three beaches. The park features 42,000 square feet of white, sandy beaches, all lined with reclining lounge chairs. In addition, guests can relax in one of three terraced pools, feature naturalistic rockwork, and allowing opportunities for shallow water swimming, in-water seating and cooling off in a waterfall shower.
For thrill seekers, Aquatica features 10 slides meant to speed up your pulse. Walhalla Wave offers the biggest thrill at Aquatica. A first of its kind in the Western Hemisphere, “Walhalla Wave” takes a clover tube with up to four riders on a 720-degree loop into a 50-degree drop before sailing up a 3-story zero gravity wall – giving riders a moment of weightlessness.
Of course there is also a kids’ splash ground. Walkabout Waters is a 3-story, interactive, outdoor funhouse that provides countless ways to get wet and stay cool. Navigating geysers, sprays, giant dumping buckets and spouts provides plenty of play for both the young and the young-at-heart.
New Waterpark Is SeaWorld San Antonio’s Single Largest Capital Investment
The new park is an extension of the Aquatica Waterpark in Orlando, Florida, and it represents the single largest capital investment in the history of the San Antonio park. Both SeaWorld and Aquatica San Antonio are operated by the Orlando-based SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, which is a portfolio company of The Blackstone Group.
“We are proud to support SeaWorld’s continued expansion,” said Peter Wallace, Senior Managing Director at Blackstone. “The opening of the new Aquatica waterpark in San Antonio exemplifies the kind of positive impact private capital can and should have in building American businesses and creating new jobs. We look forward to continuing to work with SeaWorld’s exceptional management team as it grows the business.”
One difference between the San Antonio and Orlando Aquatica parks is that San Antonio’s version resides within the boundaries of SeaWorld San Antonio, and requires an upgrade to SeaWorld admission to enter. Orlando’s version of Aquatica is a stand alone park. Guests wanting unlimited access to both SeaWorld and Aquatica parks can purchase a two-park Fun Card for $79.99 plus tax for adults and $69.99 plus tax for children (ages 3-9). Currently, this two-park Fun Card is good for two days. Single day admission to only SeaWorld San Antonio costs $59.99 plus tax for adults and $49.99 plus tax for children (age 3-9).
Our family has visited the Orlando version of Aquatica, and really enjoyed it. We can’t wait to see and experience the San Antonio park first hand. Were you able to visit during Aquatica’s opening weekend? Do you plan on adding Aquatica on an upcoming visit to San Antonio? Leave a comment below, and let us know what you think. For more family travel news, reviews, and trip reports, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on twitter and “like” our facebook page too.