Just Published: Theme Park Insider: 2016 Year in Review
For those of you not up on Southern California geography, Chula Vista is located about 20 miles away from SeaWorld San Diego. Chula Vista's south and a bit inland from SeaWorld's home on Mission Bay. That makes Chula Vista a more attractive location for a waterpark than the cooler (and often gloomier) theme park site, which is right on the coast.
That said, when I tweeted the news earlier today, I didn't get much response until I followed up with "None of you really cares about water parks in California, do you?" And then, more people agreed than disagreed. California's a tough market for waterparks, which can thrive in hot, humid, landlocked markets. Texas has great waterparks. Holiday World's Splashin' Safari in southern Indiana might be the best one anywhere. Midwestern visitors love hitting up the Orlando waterparks when they visit Central Florida.
In California, water parks lag far behind theme parks in annual attendance. The state's most popular water park, Raging Waters in San Dimas, only ranked 13th in the nation among waterparks for attendance, drawing fewer than half a million visitors in 2011, according to the most recent TEA/AECOM annual report. For comparison, SeaWorld's original Aquatica, in Orlando, ranked third - drawing 1.5 million visitors in 2011.
Maybe Aquatica San Diego will provide the waterpark formula that will click with Southern Californians. The park is scheduled to open in June 2013.Tweet
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