SeaWorld San Antonio facts for kids
|Slogan||"From Park to Planet" (See It Here, Save It There)|
|Location||10500 Sea World Drive
San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas United States
|Owner||SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment|
|General manager||Byron Surrett|
|Opened||May 27, 1988|
|Previous names||Sea World of Texas|
|Area||250 acres (100 ha)|
SeaWorld San Antonio is a 250-acre (100 ha) marine mammal park, oceanarium and animal theme park 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 one of the world's largest marine-life theme parks focused on conservation, education and animal rescue. The other SeaWorld parks are in San Diego, California and Orlando, Florida. It is a member of the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums (AMMPA) and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).
The park, initially called Sea World of Texas, was developed by Harcourt, Brace and Jovanovich (now Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). Built for $170 million, it opened on May 27, 1988 and 75,000 people attended the opening. 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. Plans to build a second Boardwalk and Baseball park adjacent to Sea World San Antonio were abandoned.
On November 26, 1988, Kayla (stage named "Baby Shamu") was the first killer whale born at the park. At the time of her death on January 28, 2019, she resided at SeaWorld Orlando.
Under Anheuser-Busch ownership, the park closed less popular attractions consisting of the Texas Walk, Cypress Gardens West, Joplin Square, U.S. Map Plaza, and the Garden of Flags and added its 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. 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 opened on February 22, 2020.
From 14 March to 18 June 2020, in line with other SeaWorld parks, the park was temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Roller coasters and rides
|1||Texas Stingray||2020||The tallest, longest, and fastest wooden coaster in Texas.|
|2||Wave Breaker: The Rescue Coaster||2017||An Intamin double-launch coaster based on SeaWorld's animal rescue team.|
|3||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.|
|4||Steel Eel||1999||It is a Chance/Morgan coaster.
It is 150 ft (45.7 m) tall, 3,700 ft (1,127.8 m) long, has no inversions, a top speed of 65 mph (104.6 km/h) and a capacity of 1,200 riders per hour.
|6||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.|
|7||Super Grover's Box Car Derby (formerly Shamu Express)||2004||A Zierer kiddie roller coaster with cars themed as race cars.|
|8||Riptide Rescue||2019||A three-armed Huss Airboat spinning flat ride themed to animal rescue.|
|9||Sea Swinger||2019||A Zamperla Midi Discovery spinning pendulum flat ride.|
|10||Grover's Round-Up||2011||A carousel themed to Muppet versions of horses and Grover from Sesame Street.|
|11||Abby Cadabby's Rockin’ Wave||2011||A Zamperla Rockin’ Tug themed to sea creatures and Abby Cadabby from Sesame Street.|
|12||Big Bird's Spinning Reef (formerly Pete's Spinwheel)||1992 (2011)||A mini Ferris wheel themed to coral reefs and Big Bird from Sesame Street.|
|13||Elmo's Dolphin Dive (formerly Jump’n Jungle)||1992 (2011)||A kiddie drop tower ride themed to Dolphins and Elmo from Sesame Street.|
|14||Rio Loco||1993||A river rapids ride.|
Live entertainment and animal presentations
|16||Orca Encounter (formerly Shamu Theater)||2020 (1988)||The 7,000,000 US gallons (26,000,000 l) home to the park's five killer whales originally opened in 1988. The venue's current production is Orca Encounter since late February 2020. The venue housed theatrical orca shows until December 2019, including the former show One Ocean and the summer seasonal Shamu's Celebration: Light Up The Night and winter seasonal Shamu Christmas Miracles night shows. An educational show called Killer Whales: Up Close was also presented on select times.|
|17||Beluga Stadium||1988||The home to the park's beluga whales and Pacific white-sided dolphins which house sshows with the whales and dolphins and formerly macaws and live acrobats called by the names of Viva and Azul until 2016 when they were replaced by an educational show named Ocean Discovery: Dolphins and Beluga Whales.|
|18||Sea Lion Stadium||1988||Hosts "Clyde and Seamore," a pair of California sea lions in the presentation Clyde and Seamore's Sea Lion High. Asian small-clawed otters also partake in the show. This production is joined by the seasonal shows Sea Lions Tonite and Clyde and Seamore’s Countdown to Christmas.|
|19||Bayside Stadium||1988||Hosts water skiing stunt shows on the park's central lagoon as well as the preferential viewing area for the park's seasonal fireworks shows.|
|20||Nautilus Amphitheater||1988||An open-air theater used for different purposes and park shows including seasonal animal presentations and the main musical show for the park's premier Howl-O-Scream event Monster Stomp on Ripper Row.|
|21||Sea Star Theatre||2003||Originally constructed as a 4-D theater that formerly showed R.L. Stine's Haunted Lighthouse and Pirates 4D. It also housed a show which featured animals that have been rescued from local animal shelters in Pets Ahoy which was cut in 2020 due to budget cuts affiliated with the loss of revenue due to COVID-19. The theater has been the new home of the park's Sesame Street shows ever since it reopened after being closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.|
SeaWorld's killer whales are housed in the Orca Stadium, most of which were born at SeaWorld except Kyuquot who was born at Sealand of the Pacific. There are currently 5 killer whales, Takara (F), Sakari (F), Kamea (F), Tuar (M), and Kyuquot (M).
SeaWorld San Antonio has one of the most prolific beluga breeding programs in any zoological facility in the United States. Half of the belugas currently at the facility were born at the park and several belugas at other US facilities were originally born here.
This park has also been selected the permanent home of a rescued Cook Inlet beluga named Tyonek who was deemed unreleasable due to his young age and lack of survival skills. They were chosen due to their diverse beluga population of experienced mothers and younger belugas close to his age, but surprisingly he ended up bonding with Betty, one of the park's Pacific white-sided dolphins.
As of 2021, SeaWorld San Antonio has 10 belugas : Crissy (F), Martha (F), Naluark (M), Luna (F), Atla (F), Pearl (F), Samson (M), Kenai (M), Innik (M) and Tyonek (M).
SeaWorld has 18 bottlenose dolphins that live in 2 different areas of the park. Discovery Point is where most of the park's female dolphins live, where they do interaction programs and are also on display via above water and underwater viewing areas. Zoological Support is a backstage area where all of the park's male dolphins live and where other animals could go for breeding purposes, specialized veterinary care, etc. While most dolphins were born within the SeaWorld parks except Notchfin, 4 of these dolphins are also rescued dolphins that were deemed nonreleasable by the National Marine Fisheries Service.
Discovery Point: Yoyo (F), Ripley (F), Nikki (F), Sadie (F), Neelee (F), Capri (F), Blyss (F), Haven (F), Yuri (F), and Rimmy (F)
Zoological Support: Notchfin (F), Mattie (F), Brady (M), Alice (F), Cisco (M), Koko (F), Zip (M), and Cooper (M)
They also have 7 Pacific white-sided dolphins that live at Beluga Stadium: Betty (F), Piquet (F), Avalon (F), Hailey (F), Ohana (F), Bolt (M), and Ipo (M).
Sea Lions, Seals, and Otters
In addition to the performing sea lions and otters, there is a large population of California sea lions and harbor seals living at this open air exhibit. Pinniped feeding opportunities are available for an additional fee. Unique to this SeaWorld is an exhibit for the park's Asian small-clawed and African spot-necked otters, while the other parks' freshwater otters can only be seen during shows.
The newest animal exhibit in the park which opened in May 2019 featuring rescued loggerhead and green sea turtles that live with schools of marine fish. It also has a natural biofiltration system consisting of an adjacent salt marsh with bacteria in the plant roots that feed on animal waste.
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. The new park opened on Memorial Day weekend May 2012.
SeaWorld San Antonio Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.