Aquatica: Seaworld's Newest Gem Shines Bright

Sea World Orlando: Another trip report reviewing SeaWorld's new water park.

From Adam Roth
Posted March 10, 2008 at 10:10 PM
Having been able to walk through the rising water park several weeks before its preview, I got a small taste of what this tropical addition to Orlando’s already famous lineup of water parks. Greeted by the smiling faces of Anheiser-Busch’s always-wonderful cast members. Just over a year ago, the park’s colorful slides began to assemble upon a pile of dirt and now, I was standing in the middle of a newly assembled beauty. Now I may sound biased here, but if there is one thing I’ve always admired about the Busch parks, is how well designed (landscape and scenery) they are. Heck, my family even designed our Florida swimming pool to mimic the serene beauty of Anheiser-Busch Hospitality Center’s pond over at Seaworld Orlando. But, that being said, Seaworld has done it again with another fantastic park in which the attractions blend with their surroundings and their respective animal habitats. This new addition to the Worlds of Discovery in Florida takes a different stance from the rest of the parks Seaworld properties in what staff could only describe in this chain to me:
1. Seaworld formed a connection for guests with the world of water.
2. Discovery Cove gave people the chance to connect with the creatures of the water, one on one.
3. Aquatica gives guests the chance to be a part of the environment that the whole chain of parks works so well to connect the guests to.

Aquatica is definitely a park that you could spend a full day visiting, when trying to ride every slide and see all that Seaworld has worked to offer. Between the three fantastic dining establishments they have built, guests have plenty of reasonably priced options that suite the widest variety of palettes and price ranges. I managed to buy myself the Banana Beach Cookout, all day deal which was plenty worth its price with my repeat visits to the barbecue—needless to say I wasn’t losing too many pounds by walking the park after eating there twice during the day.

The park has also done well to provide a practical divide between the moderate and the thrilling. With one fast river and one slow, guests can chose their speed to travel around the park without leaving the water. Walhalla Wave and HooRoo Run are the best examples of the thrill-divide that I find more than evident throughout the park. One (the Wave) slowly twists and turns without any major dips offering a tamer ride compared to the airtime-lover’s dream that is HooRoo Run. Dolphin Plunge is the single attraction that does not have such a medium, though it truly is not in need of one. The headlining attraction of the new park is one that many look forward to when entering the park (I know I did). The truth is that while it is a more-than-decent slide, its view of the famed Commerson’s Dolphins is limited if not impossible. Between the amount of water flying into your eyes and the speed in which you are moving, it is extremely difficult to even catch a glimpse of the live creatures in their tanks—but not to worry, because you can view them in two other areas. By either entering Loggerhead Lane (the lazy river as opposed to Roa’s Rapids, the park’s “active river”) or looking from the park entry-bridge, guests may see the dolphins up close as they glide (often upside down) through the tank in a beautiful fashion.

Overall the park is a surefire homerun in my eyes. It features a high number of slides that meet the thrill seekers’ thirst and the less daring visitors’ need as well. The park has a great set of dining options which will satisfy even the pickiest of guests—something that not many parks can say these days. Again, I can say that it was beautifully designed and everyone else I observed seemed to love the park as well. Busch invested quite a bit of time and money into this wonderful project, and luckily their dedication and work is more than evident in this superbly executed concept-turned-attraction.

Adam Roth

From Gareth H
Posted March 11, 2008 at 6:51 AM
I am upgrading my SeaWorld pass to include Busch Gardens and Aqautica at the end of April (Thank you tax refund) so I can enjoy Aqautica on a weekty basis.

I have my issues with Wet'N'Wild in the summer and Disney water parks, despite being world class, are just too busy.

So I have a couple questions.

Do you think that Aqautica will be as busy in the summer as the other parks are, given its I-Drive location.

Also, will the I-Ride bus make an additional stop in Aqautica the same way it does at Seaworld, or will it just stop on I-Drive?

Great review!!

From Donna Tolliver-Walker
Posted March 11, 2008 at 4:36 PM
Nice review! Succinct, but you covered the major issues.

Hope I can get there sometime. I'd love to float in the slower lazy river and watch the dolphins as I go by!

And I hope some of the other Busch parks will get an all-day dining option. That really sounds like a great, great deal.

This discussion has been archived, and is not accepting additional responses.