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Aquatica (water parks) facts for kids

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Industry Water parks
Founded Orlando, Florida (March 1, 2008; 14 years ago (2008-03-01))
Number of locations
Area served
United States
Owner SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment

Aquatica is a chain of water parks owned and operated by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. Aquatica parks are operating in Orlando, Florida, San Antonio, Texas and Chula Vista, California.


Aquatica Orlando's Dolphin Plunge water slides

SeaWorld Orlando originally announced plans to build a water park on July 15, 2005. The announcement stated that it would be a "natural" park and revealed the park's iconic Dolphin Plunge water slides. On March 5, 2007, SeaWorld held a press conference officially announcing Aquatica. It was expected the 59-acre (24 ha) park would cost US$50 million to build. Construction continued in earnest throughout 2007 and into early 2008. Previews for employees and holders of park annual passes were held in February. On March 1, 2008, the park opened to guests for the first time, with the official grand opening held on April 4, 2008. In its debut year, the park hosted approximately 950,000 guests, making it the fourth-most visited water park in the United States and eighth-most visited in the world. The park was an immediate success, reaching its opening-year attendance goal in just six months.

In early 2011, rumors speculated about Aquatica coming to SeaWorld San Antonio in the future. According to the park president, SeaWorld San Antonio would become a multi-day experience. SeaWorld officially announced plans to build a water park on May 24, 2011. The announcement called it, "a whimsical waterpark with up-close animal experiences, high-speed thrills and relaxing, sandy beaches". The water park replaced Lost Lagoon that opened in the early 1990s. Lost Lagoon closed on Labor Day weekend 2011. During October 2011 the construction of the new water park started with excavation for the new entrance, the new sandy beaches and the structure for the new Wahalla Wave water slide. In early November 2011 the new water slides arrived in pieces at Sea World San Antonio's parking lot, waiting to get assembled. Aquatica San Antonio officially opened on May 19, 2012.

On November 20, 2012, Cedar Fair announced it had sold its San Diego Soak City park to SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. The water park originally opened on May 31, 1997, under the name White Water Canyon. At the time it featured 16 water slides and a wave pool. In December 1999, Cedar Fair purchased the park for $11.5 million and renamed it Knott's Soak City U.S.A.. The water park had opened with a new beach theme in May 2000. The acquisition by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment saw the park transformed into a 32-acre (13 ha) water park named Aquatica San Diego. The refurbished park reopened on June 1, 2013.

In mid-March 2020, all Aquatica parks were shut down caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. While Orlando & San Antonio have reopened theirs in June, only San Diego remains indefinitely closed.


Park name Location Coordinates Opening date Ref.
Aquatica Orlando Orlando, Florida 28°24′56″N 81°27′22″W / 28.4156°N 81.4560°W / 28.4156; -81.4560 March 1, 2008
Aquatica San Antonio San Antonio, Texas 29°27′31″N 98°41′55″W / 29.458742°N 98.698640°W / 29.458742; -98.698640 May 19, 2012
Aquatica San Diego Chula Vista, California 32°35′15″N 117°00′38″W / 32.587583°N 117.010630°W / 32.587583; -117.010630 June 1, 2013

Aquatica Orlando

Aquatica Orlando's Taumata Racer (left) and Roa's Rapids (right)

Aquatica Orlando is located in Orlando, Florida. It is a sister park of SeaWorld Orlando and Discovery Cove. The park is themed to the southern Pacific, and features Australian and New Zealand based mascots including Roa (a kiwi), Kata (a kookaburra), Wai (a Commerson's dolphin), Ihu (a gecko), Papa (a royal spoonbill), Wae Wae (a takahe), and Motu (a turtle). The park features a wide array of attractions for all ages and swimming abilities, some of which pass by or through animal habitats. The park has two wave pools which share an extensive, 80,000-square-foot (7,400 m2) man made white-sand beach area equipped with deck chairs, sun beds and umbrellas.

Body/matt slides
  • Dolphin Plunge – the park's signature attraction, these two enclosed body slides pass through a pool containing a pod of Commerson's dolphins. The dolphins in this attraction were originally from SeaWorld San Diego. Their names are Pepe, Ross, Ringer and Juan. Ringer was announced pregnant in early May and gave birth on May 20, 2017 but the calf died a few minutes after birth.
  • Ihu's Breakaway Falls - consists of three drop slides and one speed slide. Each one goes through many helixes. The slides are approximately 80 feet tall and drop riders at an 80 degree angle. All four slides were manufactured by ProSlide and opened in 2014.
  • Taumata Racer – an eight-lane racing slide with guests sliding down on mats through enclosed and open sections.
Raft slides
  • Whanau Way – a tower with four double-raft slides. (1 or 2 riders)
  • Tassie Twisters – a pair of funnel-like slides that can be ridden in single or double rafts. This ride can only be accessed through Loggerhead Lane.
  • Omaka Rocka – Rafts each carrying one rider descend into one of two slides with segments that look like a tornado funnel laying on its side.
Multi-person family raft slides (round rafts)
  • Walhalla Wave – A raft slide with enclosed, pitch-dark segments. (2 - 4 riders) (2 riders required)
  • Ray Rush – A colorful WhiteWater West raft slide featuring a flat master blaster section, a spherical Aquasphereoscillation chamber, and a signature Manta halfpipe element. The slide replaced the HooRoo Run raft slide, which was retired in 2017. (3 - 6 riders) (3 riders required)
  • KareKare Curl - (New for 2019) - A Proslide Technology TornadoWAVE 60 wall slide, which propels riders up a curved wall. (2 riders required)
  • Riptide Race - (New for 2021) - A dueling slide that will be known as a Florida first, to be will be located near Banana Beach Cookout. It is a part of the Proslide Technology Dueling Pipeline variant, and was originally slated to open for the 2020 season, becoming delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lazy rivers
  • Roa's Rapids – a faster, aggressive version of the lazy river with geysers, speed zones and center islands.
  • Loggerhead Lane – a traditional lazy river that passes through a grotto of cichlids and the Commerson's dolphin exhibit.
Wave pools
  • Cutback Cove – the deeper of the two wave pools (6 1/2 feet deep), Cutback Cove is a narrower pool than Big Surf Shores and can sometimes carry slightly larger waves as a result.
  • Big Surf Shores – a somewhat wider pool than Cutback, Big Surf is oftentimes closed in the slower seasons, or halfway open depending on the number of guests in the park.
Children's areas
  • Kata's Kookaburra Cove – designed for younger children, with smaller slides and play features.
  • Walkabout Waters – a play fortress with slides, ladders and dumping water buckets.

Aquatica San Antonio

Aquatica San Antonio's ProSlide Tornado Wave (left) and Stingray Falls (right)

Aquatica San Antonio is located in San Antonio, Texas. The water park opened on May 19, 2012, and is a companion to SeaWorld San Antonio. It features a wide array of attractions for all ages and swimming abilities, some of which pass by or through animal habitats.

  • Stingray Falls – New – First kind in the world – A family raft ride that takes riders through twist and turns, and then goes through an underwater grotto with stingrays and tropical fish.
  • Walhalla Wave -A Proslide Technology Tornadowave
  • HooRoo Run-named for the Australian "goodbye" greeting
  • The Toilets
  • Kiwi Curl
  • Tonga Twisters - New-for-2020 WhiteWater West body slides
  • Cutback Cove Slides
  • Walkabout Waters
  • Ke-Re Reef
  • Roa's Aviary
  • Zippity Zappity
  • Whanau Way
  • Loggerhead Lane
  • Big Surf Shores
  • IhU's Breakaway Falls - New-for-2019 Proslide Technology drop pod slides, advertised as the tallest in the state of Texas.

In 2014, Aquatica San Antonio opened Roa's Aviary which is in the middle of Loggerhead Lane (similar to Tassie's Twister in Orlando). The aviary has a waterfall entrance to prevent birds from getting out. The 34,000 square foot facility features multiple species of birds.

Former Attractions;

  • Woohoo Falls -Originally opened in 1993, scrapped following the 2019 season for Tonga Twisters

Aquatica San Diego

The former Knott's Soak City San Diego in Chula Vista, California reopened as Aquatica San Diego on June 1, 2013. It features a wide array of attractions for all ages and swimming abilities, one of which passes by a flamingo habitat. The water park was featured on the episode, "Appalachian Splashin" on Xtreme Waterparks. Aquatica San Diego will be rethemed to Sesame Place San Diego for the 2022 season.

  • Whanau Way - A 60-foot-tall water slide complex with six body slides, four enclosed and two open air.
  • Woohoo Falls - Three 60-foot-tall, single-inner-tube slides. Two enclosed and one open air.
  • Kiwi Curl - Three 60-foot-tall double-inner-tube slides. Two enclosed and one open air.
  • Walhalla Wave - A 78-foot-tall four-person family raft water slide.
  • Tassie's Twister - A 75-foot-tall ProSlide Tornado water slide that drops 60 feet (23 m) into a large six-story funnel.
  • Taumata Racer – A six-lane racing slide with guests sliding down on mats through enclosed and open sections.
  • Big Surf Shores - A 550,000-gallon wave pool. Located near a freshwater turtle exhibit.
  • Loggerhead Lane - A 1250-foot-long lazy river that passes by the Caribbean flamingo exhibit.
  • Walkabout Waters - A four-story interactive, area that features two slides, hoses, jets, geysers and a 500-gallon bucket that unloads every five minutes.
  • Kata's Kookaburra Cove - A play area designed for children with a pool, and a waterfall.
  • Slippity Dippity - A play area designed for children featuring smaller slides.

Originally scheduled for 2021, Aquatica San Diego will be re-branded as Sesame Place San Diego in 2022. The Sesame Street-themed park will feature tame roller coasters, carousels and other family friendly rides, the street made famous on TV, a parade, live shows and character interactions, among other things. The new park will incorporate many of the existing water attractions into the new park, particularly those that are appropriate for younger children. For now, the only existing Aquatica slide targeted for removal is HooRoo Run, which has an 80-foot drop.

Former Attractions
  • HooRoo Run – An 80-foot-tall speed slide with two open-air and two enclosed slides. The slide was removed after the 2019 season.
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