SeaWorld San Antonio
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SeaWorld San Antonio
SeaWorld San Antonio
SeaWorld San Antonio logo
Slogan Real. Amazing.
Location 10500 Sea World Drive
San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas 78251 United States
Coordinates 29°27?30?N 98°41?59?W / 29.4584°N 98.6998°W / 29.4584; -98.6998Coordinates: 29°27?30?N 98°41?59?W / 29.4584°N 98.6998°W / 29.4584; -98.6998
Owner SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment
General Manager Carl Lum
Opened May 27, 1988; 29 years ago (1988-05-27)
Previous names Sea World of Texas[1]
Operating season Year-round
Area 250 acres (100 ha)
Rides
Total 9
Roller coasters 5 (including water coaster)
Water rides 2 (including water coaster)
Website SeaWorld San Antonio

SeaWorld San Antonio is a 250-acre (100 ha) marine mammal park, oceanarium, and animal theme park, located in the Westover Hills District of San Antonio, Texas on the city's west side. It is the largest of the three parks in the SeaWorld chain owned by SeaWorld Entertainment, and the world's largest marine-life theme park. The other SeaWorld parks are located in San Diego, California, Orlando, Florida, and one will soon be located in Abu Dhabi, UAE under separate ownership. It is a member of the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums (AMMPA)[2] and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).[3]

History

This is a picture of the Shamu show at SeaWorld San Antonio, taken on March 14, 2013.

The park was developed by Harcourt, Brace, and Jovanovich (now Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). Built for $170 million, it opened on May 27, 1988 and welcomed 75,000 people during the grand opening.[4] It had 3.3 million visitors in its first 12 months of operation, placing it among the Top 10 attractions in Texas. At the time of its debut, it was billed as "the largest educational, marine-life theme park in the world."

In 1989, Harcourt, Brace, and Jovanovich (heavy in debt and fighting a hostile takeover) sold its SeaWorld and Boardwalk and Baseball theme parks to Anheuser-Busch, Inc.[5] Plans to build a second Boardwalk and Baseball park adjacent to Sea World San Antonio were immediately abandoned.

On November 26, 1988, Kayla (stage named "Baby Shamu") was the first killer whale born at the park. She now resides at SeaWorld Orlando.

Under Anheuser-Busch ownership, the park closed less popular attractions such as the Texas Walk, the U.S. Map Plaza, and the Garden of Flags and added its popular Budweiser Clydesdales to the park.

In 2008, Anheuser-Busch merged with InBev; soon after, the newly merged company sold the SeaWorld parks to Blackstone Group.

In March 2016, SeaWorld Entertainment announced that the current generation of killer whales at it parks would be the last. SeaWorld San Antonio currently houses 5 killer whales, one of which is pregnant and due in April 2017. It was also announced that the theatrical killer whale shows would be phased out and replaced with more naturalistic Orca Encounters. SeaWorld San Antonio's Orca Encounter is expected to open sometime in 2019.

Attractions

Roller coasters and thrill rides

# Name Opened Description Image
1 Wave Breaker: The Rescue Coaster 2017 An Intamin double-launch coaster based on SeaWorld's animal rescue team. - Opened June 16, 2017
2 The Great White 1997 The park's first coaster, a Bolliger & Mabillard inverted roller coaster that debuted in 1997. Top speed of 50 mph (80 km/h). It is the first roller coaster of its kind in Texas. Lift height is 108.2 ft. The total track length is 2,562 ft.
3 Steel Eel 1999 Advertised as "the first and only hypercoaster in Texas," it reaches speeds close to 70 mph (110 km/h).
SteelEel.JPG
4 Journey to Atlantis 2007 The first ride of its kind in North America, it debuted in 2007. It is a combination of a roller coaster and log flume ride.
5 Shamu Express 2004 A Zierer kiddie roller coaster with cars themed as Shamu.
6 Rio Loco 1993 A river rapids ride.

Shows

Park Entrance
Kyuquot (back) and Tuar (front) perform at Shamu Theater during "One Ocean"
  • One Ocean (Shamu Theater): The current Shamu show featuring the park's killer whales and their trainers. It will be replaced by the new Orca Encounter which is expected to open in 2019.
  • "Killer Whales: Up Close": a more educational show on killer whales that focuses on husbandry, training and simple killer whale science.
  • Clyde and Seamore's Sea Lion High (Sea Lion Stadium): Opened May 2015, this comical show features California sea lions Clyde and Seamore, students of Sea Lion High, who try to pass their classes before the final bell on the last day of school in order to graduate. It also features walrus Principal Maximillian Worthington (The walrus is currently on a breeding loan so it's not in the show.) and otter O.P. Otter.
  • "Sea Lions at Play": an educational presentation at Sea Lion Stadium.
  • Ocean Discovery: Dolphins & Beluga Whales (Beluga Stadium): an educational presentation featuring Pacific white-sided dolphins, beluga whales, macaws, and their trainers.
  • Pets Ahoy! (Sea Star Theater): A comical show featuring the talents of dogs, cats, birds, rats, pot-bellied pigs, and other animals. All of the trained cats and dogs in the show are rescue animals from shelters in the San Antonio area.

Exhibits

Basking sea lions
  • Animal Connection Conservation Center
  • Dolphin Lagoon: The naturalistic centerpiece of Discovery Point now allows guests to experience dolphins in two whole new ways, by reserving an up-close signature Dolphin Swim experience, and by observing them above and below the surface along the pool wall or through an expansive underwater viewing area.
  • Penguin Encounter: Visitors step into the Antarctic wilderness on a moving walkway and view over 200 penguins in a variety of species. There are additional exhibits where one can read about the penguins and view other aquatic birds including Puffins.
  • Pacific Point Preserve: A west-coastal themed habitat featuring Seals, sea lions, and otters. A feeder booth is available and fish for feeding seals and sea lions can be purchased during select times throughout the day. Hawaiian Monk Seals used to be housed here until they were transferred to the Minnesota Zoo in 2015.
  • Explorer's Reef: A large aquarium that houses animals including sting rays, a naturalistic coral reef, tropical fish, and a variety of sharks.
  • Alligator Alley: American alligators lounging around Ski Lake.
  • Flamingo Pond: Visitors can stop by and see flamingos by Shamu Theater.

Sesame Street Bay of Play

Formerly Shamu's Happy Harbor, the Sesame Street Bay of Play is an interactive children's play area based on the long-running television series Sesame Street.

Rides:

  • Grover's Roundup (carousel)
  • Abby Cadabby's Rocking Wave (rocking unit)
  • Big Bird's Spinning Reef (mini Ferris wheel)
  • Elmo's Dolphin Dive (mini drop unit)

Activities:

  • Splish 'n' Splash (water play area)
  • Little Bird's Splash (small children's water play area)
  • Tot's Ahoy (small children's playground)
  • Net Climb
  • Playground

Shows:

  • Sunny Days (sing and dance with Sesame Street characters)
  • Block Party (An end of night dance party featuring; Sesame Street characters, dancers, and an emcee)
  • Elmo's Christmas Wish (Shown during SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration)
  • Jingling Around The Block Party (Shown during SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration)

Dining

Dine with Shamu dining area
  • Dine with Shamu (All-you-can-eat buffet; reservation-only)
  • Shamu's Smokehouse (BBQ smokehouse)
  • Rosita's Café (All-you-can-eat pizza and pasta buffet)
  • Rio Grille (Casual burgers and BBQ)
  • Pizza & More (Pizza and snacks)
  • Harbor Market (food-court style restaurant)
  • Sea Star Market (Sandwiches and salads)

Snacks

  • Coca-Cola Market
  • Ice Cream Parlor
  • Shamu Soft Serve
  • Shamu Snacks
  • Snack Attack
  • Coca-Cola Freestyle Floats
  • Coca-Cola Freestyle Truck
  • Sweet Treats Bakery

Venues

  • Boardwalk Games & Events Center: A game center combined with the exit of the Great White that features midway games and a video arcade.
  • Sea Star Theater: An indoor theater that normally features the comical pet show, "Pets Ahoy!"
  • Steel Eel Events Pavilion: an open-air events venue located next to the Steel Eel's queue line.
  • Nautilus Amphitheater: a covered amphitheater that features seasonal shows.
  • Bayside Stadium: a large lakeside outdoor stadium along the park's lake that hosts lumberjack stunt shows, fireworks displays, and formerly, ski stunt shows.
  • Ports of Call: an outdoor picnic events area.

Animal inventory

Killer whale at Shamu Theater

Killer whales

SeaWorld's main attraction is its killer whales, which are housed in the 7-million-gallon habitats that are known as Shamu Theater. Shamu was the name of the one brought to SeaWorld San Diego in the 1960s. It is now used as a stage name for adult killer whales in performances at SeaWorld parks. They all have real names.

The killer whales at the park are Kamea (F), Kyuquot (M), Sakari (F), Takara (F) and Tuar (M) as of July 2017.

A female orca, Unna, died on December 21, 2015.[6]

On April 19, 2017 Takara gave birth to her fifth calf and the last one born to the company. The calf, which was female and named Kyara. Kyara, died on July 24 due to suspected pneumonia, one of the most common causes of death in whales and dolphins both in the wild and under human care.[]

Dolphins

There are several species of dolphins at the park: Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, Atlantic/Pacific bottlenose hybrids, and Pacific white-sided dolphins.

The 23 bottlenose dolphins are either residing in the Animal Care pools or at the new Discovery Point facility. The Animal Care pools were a part of the temporary Dolphin Walk attraction, a tour that took guests to the back area of the park to view the dolphins and other species of animals that the SeaWorld-Busch Gardens Conservation Fund cares for whilst Discovery Point was being constructed. The park's Pacific white-sided dolphins reside at Beluga Stadium and are part of shows there.

  • Animal Care:

Females: Punta, Notchfin, Nacha, Yoyo, Mattie, Nikki, Sadie, Alice, Brie, Koko, Haven, Nala and Yuri. [as of August 17, 2017]

Males: Gilly, Ansley and Zip. [as of August 17, 2017]

  • Discovery Point:

Females: Ripley, Neelee, Capri, Blyss. [as of August 17, 2017]

Males: Fathom, Brady and Cisco. [as of August 17, 2017]


Bottlenose dolphins are often transferred between Discovery Point and Animal Care.


Of these 23 dolphins, 6 are males and 17 are females. Two (females Notchfin and Punta) were captured, four (males Gilly and Zip and females Mattie and Alice) were rescued, and the other 17 were born in captivity.


There are 17 Atlantic bottlenose dolphins and 6 Atlantic/Pacific hybrids.

The six hybrids are all females named Koko, Nacha, Nala, Neelee, Nikki, and Sadie.


Koko: mother is Yoyo (Atlantic) and father is Kai (Pacific)

Nacha: mother is Notchfin (Atlantic) and father is Jethro (Pacific)

Nala: mother is Nikki (¼ Atlantic, ¾ Pacific) and father is Razzle (Atlantic)

Neelee: mother is Nacha (½ Atlantic, ½ Pacific) and father is Hacksaw (Atlantic)

Nikki: mother is Nacha (½ Atlantic, ½ Pacific) and father is Kai (Pacific)

Sadie: mother is Puka (Atlantic) and father is Kai (Pacific)

You may hear trainers refer to Koko, Nikki, and Sadie as "one of the Kai babies"


Beluga Stadium: Pacific white-sided dolphins: Avalon (F), Betty (F), Bolt (M), Catalina (F), and Hailey (F) [as of May 25, 2017]

On February 5, 2016, Dart (M), a Pacific white-sided dolphin, died. His cause of death is unknown.

Beluga whales

The Beluga whales at the park are Crissy (F), Imaq (M), Kenai (M), Luna (F), Martha (F), Natasha (F), Oliver (M), Samson (M), and Crissy's Calf (M) {as of September 2017}

The beluga whales regularly participate in Ocean Discovery presentations and Discovery Point Beluga Swims.

On April 17, 2011, Imaq, an adult male beluga from the Vancouver Aquarium, arrived at the park on a breeding loan.[7] This is the third of three beluga whales on a breeding loan from the Vancouver Aquarium to the park: Nanuq, Allua, and Imaq.

In 2009, Nico, Maris, and Natasha from the Georgia Aquarium were moved to the park temporarily to keep them away from the worst of the noise during construction at the aquarium.[8] Nico died on October 31, 2009. A preliminary necropsy was unable to determine if his death was caused by the move or by something else.[9] On March 3, 2010, Maris and a new male, Beethoven, were returned to the Georgia Aquarium while Natasha was paired with a potential mate and remained at the park.[10]

On July 9, 2013, Luna gave birth to a male calf, sired by Imaq. On July 26, 2013, Crissy gave birth to a female calf, also sired by Imaq. She was named Stella, but on November 13, 2015, she died. On June 20, 2015, Martha gave birth to a female calf.[11]

Martha gave birth prematurely to a female calf on June 20, 2015. She has since died.

Luna gave birth on August 11, 2016 to a male calf. He was named Kenai.

Crissy gave birth on September 17, 2017 to a male calf.

California Sea Lions

Sea Lion Stadium/Sea Lion Shallows:Leon (M), Lokey (M), Ranger (M), Moose (M), Han (M), 3 others

Pacific Point Preserve:

Harbor Seals

Pacific Point Preserve:

Asian Small-Clawed Otters

Sea Lion Stadium: Saki (F),

Pacific Point Preserve: Otis (M), Juliet (F)

Discovery Point

Discovery Point is a tucked-away oasis within the park. There, an expansive Dolphin Lagoon is home to a playful pod of bottlenose dolphins. Guests can watch them from its sand-swept shores, or go deeper at the Dolphin Underwater Viewing area. They can even reserve Discovery Point's Signature Dolphin Swim - the only place to swim with dolphins in Texas - or discover the thrill of swimming alongside beluga whales at Beluga Bay or sea lions at Sea Lion Shallows. You'll also find Explorer's Reef, home to several species of sharks, many of which are endangered, along with exotic fish and a living coral reef.

Discovery Point officially opened to the public on May 21, 2016.

Aquatica

Aquatica is a water park that was formerly a section of the park under the name, Lost Lagoon, which opened in 1993 and closed on September 5, 2011 to be replaced by Aquatica San Antonio, a separate gated water park based on the original Aquatica Orlando that opened on March 1, 2008. Some water attractions like The Sidewinders tower (with 4 tube slides and 2 large bowl slides) were rethemed, painted and renamed Tassie's Twister. The splash attack play structure stayed but it was renovated with new theming, new slides, new interactive elements, new landscaping, and a new zero-entry pool that is named Walkabout Waters. The activity pool stayed but was also renovated with new theming, new interactive elements, new pool updates, new landscaping, new beach lounge chairs, inviting waterfalls and a renaming. Those four existing water attractions were kept during the retheming. The new park opened on Memorial Day weekend May 2012.[12][13]

Separate ticket gates for each park were added at the beginning of 2016. Before they were added, Aquatica's entrance was located inside of SeaWorld, thus obligating Aquatica guests to pay for SeaWorld admission in order to enter Aquatica unlike the other Aquatica parks in Orlando and Chula Vista, California which are separate from SeaWorld. The separate gates now give guests the opportunity to visit each park individually just as their other counterparts do.

Annual events

Wild Days

An event that features special shows and presentations by locally and nationally known conservationists including Jack Hanna accompanied by many animals, some endangered. The 2017 event will occur every weekend in March and all of Spring Break. The lineup is SeaWorld Live, Flying High, Jungle Jack Hanna, and finally the new Texas Untamed. It includes activities for children such as a scavenger hunt passport which is used to get stamps at stations around the park. The Sesame Street show "A" is for Africa and Sesame Street Breakfast is also offered at the Bay of Play.

Run for the Fund

An annual fun run event around the park that benefits the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund. Everyone who registers for the run enjoys free admission to the park for the whole day.

Seven Seas Food Festival

Guests are invited to set sail on a culinary voyage during the annual Seven Seas Food Festival. Throughout the park, festival goers can sip and savor delicious international foods, unique wines and craft beers and cocktails representing 12 countries near the Mediterranean, North Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, North Pacific, Pacific, and South Atlantic. The festival offers bold flavors for every taste on Saturdays and Sundays. It is open from 11:00 a.m. to closing time on all event days.

Electric Ocean

Electric Ocean will be a summer night event at the park that offers extended park hours, nightly shows, and fireworks. Shows include Hydro Power Xtreme FX, Shamu's Celebration: Light Up The Night, and the return of "Sea Lions Tonite."

Bier Fest

Debuting in September of 2018, Bier Fest will be a Oktoberfest-themed beer festival featuring over 100 beers from around the world as well as local favorites. It will also feature German food and live music.

SeaWorld's Halloween Spooktacular

SeaWorld's Halloween Spooktacular is an annual children's Halloween event that takes place at all three SeaWorld parks on October weekends. Activities and attractions include trick-or-treating, photo opportunities, a hay maze, and a kiddie train called SeaWorld Express. It ends at 6 pm as the park prepares for Howl-O-Scream which begins at 7 pm.

Howl-O-Scream

Howl-O-Scream is an annual Halloween horror-themed event that takes place at Busch Gardens Tampa, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, and SeaWorld San Antonio. The main icon for it at the latter would be Jack-O-Lantern, a Pumpkin Head who takes over the park around Halloween. It is primarily aimed for teens and adults as the park advises that it is not recommended for those under 13. In 2013, the park announced that it would be "evolving" and changing, sporting a new theme every year. The following is a timeline of the themes Howl-O-Scream had every year since 2013.

  • 2013: The Scare is Everywhere
  • 2014: Cursed
  • 2015: Unearthed
  • 2016: Evil Encore
  • 2017: The Dark Side of the Gardens

The event always ends with a dance, pyrotechnic, and light show called Jack is Back which is held at the park's main arches. Its theme, choreography, and music is changed every several years to suit the music and material that is viral at the time. For example, in the event's early years the show featured classic rock music and was changed to pop/party anthem music several years after. In 2015, The set was changed to look more sinister and the music and choreography was changed to a mix of pop and dub-step.

SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration

SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration is an annual Christmas event that takes place at all three SeaWorld parks during Christmas on select dates. It offers Christmas themed areas, shows, and attractions. The park broke the record for the largest Christmas light display in Texas by over 5 million lights in 2016 and is planning to increase it by 8 million lights in 2017 as well as 11 million lights in 2018. A new themed area based on the TV classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer called Rudolph's Christmastown was also introduced to the event in 2016. It offers photo and dining opportunities with Rudolph and friends, small retrofitted midway games, a sweet stand, the SeaWorld Express train rethemed to the Island of Misfit Toys, and a 27 foot tall Christmas tree light show synchronized to the Rudolph soundtrack.

Attendance

2009 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
2,600,000[14] 2,600,000[14] 2,678,000[15] Not listed Not listed Not listed

References

  1. ^ "Harcourt Sets Layoffs Of 750 at Theme Parks". nytimes.com. The New York Times. 25 August 1988. Retrieved 2012. 
  2. ^ "Our Members". ammpa.org. Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums. Retrieved 2010. 
  3. ^ "List of Accredited Zoos and Aquariums". aza.org. Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Retrieved 2010. 
  4. ^ Hayes, Thomas C. (19 June 1988). "Texas Picks Up the Pieces". nytimes.com. The New York Times. Retrieved 2012. 
  5. ^ Hayes, Thomas C. (14 August 1989). "Harcourt Near Sale of Sea World". nytimes.com. The New York Times. Retrieved 2012. 
  6. ^ "SeaWorld killer whale dies at San Antonio park - Business Insider". Business Insider. 22 December 2015. 
  7. ^ Vincent T. Davis
    vtdavis@express-news.net (21 April 2011). "Male beluga whale arrives at SeaWorld". San Antonio Express-News.
     
  8. ^ Howard Pousner (5 October 2009). "Georgia Aquarium's beluga whales sent to Texas". AJC.com. Retrieved 2010. 
  9. ^ Howard Pousner (2 November 2009). "Aquarium beluga dies". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 2010. 
  10. ^ Howard Pousner (2 March 2010). "2 Belugas finally go on view at the Georgia Aquarium". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 2010. 
  11. ^ "Ceta-Base". 
  12. ^ SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. "Aquatica, SeaWorld's Waterpark(TM) - San Antonio, Texas". 
  13. ^ Ana Ley
    aley@express-news.net (24 May 2011). "Beach life looms for SeaWorld". San Antonio Express-News.
     
  14. ^ a b "TEA/AECOM 2011 Global Attractions Report" (PDF). Themed Entertainment Association. 2011. Retrieved 2014. 
  15. ^ "TEA/AECOM 2012 Global Attractions Report" (PDF). 

External links


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.


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