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SeaWorld's Aquatica water park to blend slides with animal habitats

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Published: March 5, 2007 at 12:25 PM

SeaWorld Orlando unveiled details about its Aquatica water park at a webcast press event this afternoon. The 59-acre park will open in March 2008 and will, in the words of SeaWorld's Jim Atchison, "blend up-close animal experiences with high-speed thrills and expansive beaches, all with a focus on great service."

Aquatica will offer a South Seas decorative theme but also include animals and flora from tropical environments around the world. The park will offer 36 water slides, six pools and lagoons and an 80,000-square foot beach. The park's signature ride will be a 300-foot water slide, with a 42-foot drop, that will take riders in clear tubes through a Commerson's Dolphin habitat. (These are the black and white dolphins that SeaWorld San Diego includes in its Journey to Atlantis ride.)

More details from today's press event:

One of park's two river rides will take riders under the Commerson's Dolphin habitat and through an underwater grotto filled with tropical fish. The other river will be focused on thrills, and move four times faster than its sibling. The park's twin waves pools can be programmed, in tandem, to offer nine different wave patterns. The park's beach will offer waiters and private cabanas.

Atchison promised that the new park will have "the highest attraction capacity of any park in Florida," helping to minimize wait times.

Finally, kudos to SeaWorld for webcasting the event. Having attended many theme park press events in the past, I know that parks sink much time and money into producing these shows. Why not show them to their fans on the Web? At best, a park might get a few seconds from its event on a local evening newscast. But with Web fans around the world, especially those economically important out-of-market fans, can see the entire thing.

Readers' Opinions

From Iris Hernandez on March 5, 2007 at 12:43 PM
Sounds like the park will be exceptionally AWESOME. To go thru a dolphin habitat while on a slide and a lazy river, WOW!!!!!!!!!! I'm a little scared about how the prices are going to look. But, overall, dying to go already. Wish i could've seen the webcast myself, for some reason it just wouldnt work on my comp. But, I knew i could count on robert to put the information on here. Kudos to Robert and Sea World for being such geniuses.
From Deidre Dennis on March 5, 2007 at 1:47 PM
I didn't know anything about the announcement today but I just happened to come to this website and saw it. For anyone who missed it or couldn't get it to work, click on the seaworld.com link in the original posting and it will take you to the seaworld orlando website. From there, click on Aquatica and you can view pictures, artwork, etc.

The waterslides that go under water look AWESOME. We probably won't try to go in the very beginning because I know it's going to be CRAZY! But knowing us, we might have to make a special trip out there just for that.

On another note, I see that Seaworld San Antonio is getting a new (and different) Journey to Atlantis Ride, and now Seaworld Orlando is getting an entire new park. I wonder when (IF) Sea World San Diego is going to add any additional attractions???

Thanks for the info.

From David Kirby on March 5, 2007 at 3:00 PM
WOW

It looks like it is going to be really incredible.

From Iris Hernandez on March 5, 2007 at 3:06 PM
I just saw all the models and art work, and i am astonished with the talented people Sea world has working for them. Whoever thought of Aquatica first is a certified water park genious!! Finally a water park that my girls will enjoy as much as i will. Kudos Sea World, you never cease to amaze me. :-)
From Eric Malone on March 5, 2007 at 10:39 PM
Sounds kinda iffy to me, but I'll go just to experience it. Heck yeah.
From Ben Mills on March 7, 2007 at 11:18 AM
Eww... Is "A-kwah-tica" the way it would be pronounced in all American accents? They obviously didn't take foreign tourists into account with that name, because a pronounciation like that sounds horrible to a British ear.

Otherwise, the park looks awesome, I have to agree. I've been pretty psyched ever since they announced that slide under the water, I must admit. Awesome, awesome, awesome. Should take some of the pressure off booking so early for Discovery Cove, too. (Well, hopefully. It could end up making it *more* popular.)

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