Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Aquatica--SeaWorld's Water Park
Aquatica is a water park in Orlando, Florida. It is operated by SeaWorld and is just across the street from SeaWorld and Discovery Cove. The main attraction at Aquatica is the two slides with clear tunnels that go through the Commerson dolphin aquarium. The dolphins get to see you and you get the split second feeling of swimming with the dolphins.
Aquatica celebrated it’s Grand Opening on April 14, 2008. We were there about 3 weeks before the Grand Opening and enjoyed our day very much.
The park has dueling wave pools—Cutback Cove and Big Surf Shores. The wave pools can offer varied waves in both pools as well as big crashing waves in one pool while the other hosts lulling waves. The lounge chair area around the wave pools has sand to give you even more of an allusion of being at the sea. We staked out lounge chairs in this area for our towels and stuff, including the frozen peanut butter and jelly sandwhiches we had packed for our lunch.
Walkabout Waters is a multi-story water play structure that you would typically find at indoor water parks. The slide towers: Taumata Racer, Walhalla Wave, and HooRoo Run are around behind Walkabout Waters. Walkabout Waters is great for kids of all ages.
Another area that is great for the kiddies, is Kata’s Kookabura Cove that offers body and tube slides for the young set as well as other water play features. We spent much time there during our visit.
There are two “rivers” of sorts. One is located in the middle of the park, Roa’s Rapids. It actually takes up quite a bit of space. We had never been in a river like this one. The current is very strong and no tubes are allowed. The best way to enjoy Roa’s Rapids is to body float or snap on a life jacket and let yourself get carried away. . . literally. There are two entrance/exits for Roa’s Rapids and they look alike, so be sure you are getting out where you want. Roa’s Rapids is a great way to make your way from the wave pools to Walkabout Waters and the slides or vice versa.
The other river is a more lazy river—Loggerhead Lane. The neat thing about Loggerhead Lane is that it offers a tunnel with a view into the Commerson dolphin exhibit. You can see the riders going through the tube slide while floating on your tube. Laggerhead Lane encircles the two toilet bowl like slides—Tassie’s Twisters.
We spent the entire day at Aquatica from opening until about 4:00 pm. There was so much to do and enjoy. There are many ticket options including SeaWorld and Aquatica combo tickets or Aquatica and Discovery Cove combo tickets. If you go to Discovery Cove, you get a 7 day SeaWorld ticket as a part of your experience and it is easy to add on a 7 day Aquatica ticket to the package. There is a trolley/tram service that can take you between the 3 SeaWorld parks—Aquatica, SeaWorld, and Discovery Cove.
When I was picking up a key chain (it acts like a Christmas tree ornament) at the store before we left, the boy had engaged one of the dolphin trainers in conversation. (Click here to read more about what we collect.) I should have realized that this was foreshadowing of what was coming just a few months later, when the boy got to swim with a dolphin—click here to read more.
Here’s a photo of Aquatica from the air that we took during our helicopter tour over Orlando. That is a story for another time.