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Tim Morrow Aquatica San Antonio Q Lines


Following the success of Aquatica in Orlando, Sea World Parks & Entertainment has rolled out the waterpark brand to Texas with a multimillion dollar transformation of


SeaWorld San Antonio’s former Lost Lagoon.


Representing the largest single investment since


the park’s debut in 1988, signature attractions include Stingray Falls and Ke-Ke Reef, along with lush tropical theming and up-close animal


encounters. Ahead of the grand opening on May 19, Aquatica vice-


president Tim Morrow (pictured) tells Park World why Lost Lagoon is lost forever


Why did Sea World Parks & Entertainment choose to roll out the Aquatica brand to San Antonio? Lost Lagoon was an example of a prototypical steel and concrete waterpark. We really wanted to bring the Aquatica brand to this part of the country and give our guests a waterpark unlike anything else they have experienced – a waterpark only SeaWorld could create. Prior to beginning this project we conducted focus groups across the state of Texas. Our guests, past, present and future, told us they wanted something different. They wanted a waterpark where they could relax, feel like they could have their own “home base,” be able to interact with animals and experience attractions with their entire family. Aquatica provides all of this.


What changes have you made to the waterpark? We saved the best elements of Lost Lagoon that could be incorporated into Aquatica, but we have given these legacy attractions new life with Aquatica’s theme. You won’t be able to recognise them when you see them, but they’ll be just as much fun as they were before.


Was there the same level of animal interaction previously?


There was no animal interaction previously at Lost Lagoon! One of Aquatica’s biggest points of difference is up-close animal experiences. Besides Ke-Re Reef, there are bird displays and we will have lots of appearances by other animals for our guests to meet.


Walhalla Wave


What were some of the biggest challenges in making the transformation? Some of the big challenges were timeframe. We didn’t want to go a summer in Texas without a waterpark so we had construction happening around the perimeter of Lost Lagoon all through the summer of 2011. This allowed us to get started on the project while still having the waterpark operational.


What is your favourite part of the park? If I had to pick one thing that it would be Ke-Re Reef. There is so much to do at this reef and it is so beautiful. Guests can touch, feed and wade with rays. Then there’s Stingray Falls, which runs underwater through a grotto that gives guests a “face-to-fin” experience like nothing else!


Who were some of the suppliers? PGAV was our architect on the project. Theming design was through Suzanne Sessions, with Weber Group doing all of our rock work and in-park theming. The building/installation was completed through Guido Brothers Construction. Tubing was provided by Zebec of Canada (Ke-Re Reef), Z-Pro (Wahalla Wave) and Talburt & Associates (Loggerhead Lane and Kiwi Curl/WooHoo Falls). Chairs are provided by Tropitone, whilst Water Safety Products supplied our lifeguard uniforms and water safety equipment.


Are you expecting an increase in multi-day visits and season pass sales as a result of Aquatica?


Stingray Falls


22


MAY 2012


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