SeaWorld And Aquatica: San Antonio

While looking forward to a weekend of SeaWorld and Aquatica, I was not as excited about the heat. With the temperature reaching a daunting 105°, I packed my sunscreen, sunglasses and hat, and then started towards my destination. One of the huge perks before even getting there was the non-existent traffic. I quickly navigated the streets of San Antonio and prepared myself for parking. Finding a great spot at the front, the day was already looking up.

Day 1- SeaWorld

With my ticket in hand, I made my way through the crowds. The first line of many I would have to endure today was the bag check. There were many people checking bags, so this went very quickly, possibly a sign of what the day would carry. Next was the actual entrance to the park. Again, quick and efficient.

First I would make my way towards Journey to Atlantis. Heading towards the entrance of the ride, I was told that we would have to get a locker to hold our bag, or have someone hold it for us. I could feel my wallet getting lighter at just the thought. Finding the conveniently placed locker near the ride, I was ready to pay the price. There were many options when getting these short term lockers, but there was one that really stood out. For only four dollars I was able to get a transferable locker. Once I was done with this ride, I could move my locker to another location around the other rides. Getting to sit in the front, I was ready to see just how wet the ride would get me. Once we got moving, we were slowly drawn towards the top of the ride. It was at that moment, I realized that this would be new experience. Slowly we turned, my stomach dropped. We were going down backwards. Once over the humps, we turned yet again, just in time to see the plunge we were soon to make. Holding my breath, we dropped. Long story short, we got soaked, a perfect start for the hot day.

Feeling lucky with the water rides, next up was Rio Loco. The water was rough enough for some fun, but still upheld the family friendly atmosphere. Riding along the current, there were many times I caught myself giggling at the people getting wet. Of course the laughing went both ways once I got drenched with a rouge turn.

A slight downer to a good day was the snack I decided to get. The thought of roasted corn appealed to me, so I made a quick stop. Once I received my treat I was dismayed to see that the husk was still well attached and the corn was dripping wet. Working away at freeing my snack, I was able to enjoy the fruits of my labor.

Now I was ready for some real coasters. Continuing my loop around the park, I found myself looking up towards The Great White. I was a little apprehensive with such a big ride; one of the attendants, taking notice, made me feel more comfortable with a few well-placed jokes. After riding a few times, I deemed this coaster a success. The same could be said for the Steel Eel. Using its height and the corresponding drops, it gave you a weightlessness feeling throughout the ride. If you enjoy a thrilling experience, this one would be perfect. This was probably my favorite ride of the day.

Hearing about a new ride, I was excited to see what it had in store; Wave Breaker: The Rescue Coaster. This line was probably the longest of the day, but was enjoyable due to the scenery. Waiting about twenty minutes to ride, I was excited to see what it had in store. The theme was well thought out, letting you ride a sleek jet-ski styled car. Sitting in a hot, humid room at the start took away a bit from the ride. All I could think of was when the ride would get going. Looking past this, the ride itself was fun, though more of a family friendly coaster than some of the other rides.

During the day, I decided to take a break from all of the walking to see the Clyde & Seamore’s Sea Lion High show. Filled with laughs and giggles, the show was the perfect intermission I needed to replenish my waning energy. Mixing otters and sea lions, the show presented a humorous plot that played well on the educational undertones. Both the trainers and animals seemed to have fun entertaining the primarily young audience, but don’t let the young crowd dissuade you from watching, this is a show that all ages can appreciate.

Day 2: Aquatica

Today was all about the water. One of the first things that caught my attention was the Ke-Re Reef and the stingrays that inhabited it. If you’re willing to pay, you might just have a unique experience interacting with the stingrays. This was just one of many animal habitats littered around the park.

The lines were noticeably bigger than yesterday’s at SeaWorld, but I would assume that the waterpark is busier this time of year. First heading towards the Big Surf Shores, it was refreshing to see actual sand; as if by the ocean. Looking towards the giant timer that lay front and center, the anticipation of the coming waves could be felt by those wading beside me.

From the wave pool we decided to try out the Walhalla Wave. The ride seats 2-4 people, though it typically rides better with more. The line took a while which was at times trying in the hot sun. One of the better aspects of the ride was the fact that the tubes automatically were returned to the top. This equated to less work, which was fine by me. Once we reached the top, we slowly got into the tube and prepared for the journey. Dropping into the turn, we flew up the sides of the ride, screaming in both fear and exhilaration.

Another fun group ride was the Stingray Falls. Fun for the whole family, it took an exciting turn at the end. True to its name, the tube is carried down through the Ke-Re Reef where the onlookers can see stingrays and other tropical fish.

After riding many of the remaining rides, our hunger was starting to grow. We checked our map for places to get food and noticed the Waterstone Grill; we decided that this place would suit our needs. There was a decent range of food to choose from, though slightly pricey, they gave you a decent amount of bang for your buck. There was plenty of seating and the tables seemed refreshingly clean.

After eating we decided to end the day in the Loggerhead Lane; a relaxing 1,200-foot-long lazy river. Before entering the water, there was a convenient place to put your shoes so you would not lose them. While a small feature, it was very much welcomed. The river offered many points of enjoyment that included “rough” waters made from jets, and features made to wet what was not yet soaked.

Both days were filled with different kinds of fun. Where in SeaWorld I got to enjoy the shows and short lines, Aquatica filled my need to cool off and just relax. Each park was beautifully decorated with appropriate foliage, and to top it off, the park was clean. With personnel that were both friendly and helpful, it led to a more enjoyable experience. Overlooking the few setbacks, I felt like each day was a success and I can’t wait to return.