A WHALE of a time at Sea World Texas 8/11

Associated parks:
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Wednesday, August 16, 2006 7:47 PM
I, easily, think that Sea World Texas (SWT) may be the most under rated park that Busch Entertainment owns.

My wife and I drove up to the park about 10:00 am on Friday morning. Our first impressions were not wow! It was more of an ew! The front of the park is nothing like the one in Orlando. It basically has a lawn overrun with weeds. No fancy Sea World San Antonio sign and a look that only a archtect back in the '70's could dream up. However, once you pass through the entry gate, the abundance of landscaping inside makes up for the lack of landscaping outside.

We found a park map and quickly determined the only thing open was the Dolphin Pool. So we went over and watched the dolphins for a few minutes and watched the kids feed the dolphins. The dolphins were really neat to watch, they swam close to the side and weren't afraid of peeople. However, after seeing Dolphin Cove at SWO I was disappointed in the one at SWT. It was more of an above ground pool.

After finishing with Dolphins we left that area and walked through the tropical fish and shark exhibit before heading back to the other side of the park and watching the Viva Show.

Viva was pretty cool. It was set to some New Age music like Blue Man Group and others. There was a lot of acrobatics being performed by the animal trainers. Parts of the show used dolphins and a balooga whale. It was a great show and really was what we were going to see for the rest of the day.

After the Viva show, we went and saw the new Clyde and Seymour Cannery Rowe Caper show. If you've ever seen the one in Orlando, theny you know Clyde and Seymour are two Sea Lions. In this show, they help investigate the disappearance of a Uncle (whose name escpaes me). The show is filled with all kinds of water effects and various other marine animals. A great show all together.

After the Clyde and Seymour show, we headed over to the area where the Believe show was. Believe is Shamus (plural because there is more than one Shamu and each Shamu has a name) knew show. Since one was already in session, we took advantage of the reduced lines at the food stands and had lunch at Voyagers. I had two slices of Pizza and Iced Tea. All very good.

After eating lunch, we made our way over to Great White. Now Great White is an oustanding B&M Inverted Coaster, similar to Alpengeist but extremely neuteured. I was disappointed in this coaster since it had no Cobra Roll or Batwing like it's counterparts in other Busch Properties (Montu and Alpinegeist). It was a short, perhaps 1 minute, ride and left me asking for more. However, I will take the neutered version over Mind Eraser everyday.

After Great White, we made our way back to Shamus stadium and watched believe. What can I say, if you've seen one of Shamu's shows. You've seen them all. However, this one had more of a theme about believing in ones self and that you can achieve your goals if you work hard enough. It even included giving a boy a necklace like the one the trainer got when she was little and wanted to be a marine life trainer. Whatever!

After Believe, we headed back to the park and took some pictures before watching the ski show.

The Ski Show was good. It had your typical beach theme and stunts. However, the new ski shows featured a lot of acrobatics using boards and other props. My wife and I got a chuckle out of how most of the water skiers wer e from up north like around Montana and Minnesota.

From there I made my way over to Steel Eel.

The lines for both Great White and Steel Eel were extremely short. In fact, I asked one of the ops about the one train operation and they said they usually run this way on weekdays. To go one step further. They only have two ride ops checking the restraints. It was impressive. Now, Steel Eel has far more airtime than Steel Venom at DP. I lost count as to how many times I came out of my seat. However, I arrived back with a aching butt from because each fall was a hard fall. Nice long coaster filled with hills. The only thing I wish they would add would be some tunnels.

After Steel Eel, I walked around the water park and we made our way back to the other side of the park for our Dinner with Shamu.

On my way, I suddenly realized how hot is was and I was beginning to have symptoms of heat stroke. Luckily we made it there and after waiting in line for a few minutes we were seated and I gulped a Iced Tea down quickly.

Dinner with Shamu was a great buffet. Sorry, no fish or whale on the menu. :-D The menu included Hand Carved Turkey, Stewed Beef, Green Beans, Rice, Macaroni, Hot Dogs, Beer Shrimp, Shrimp Creole, Desserts and other items. A feat fit for a king. Except, we only had one hour. :-( since they had to get ready for the days final show.

After dinner, my wife and I headed for Voyagers to finish cooling off. We wanted to see Clyde and Seymour's final show of the evening since it was suppose to include more special effects, but we were tired and didn't want to walk back across the park.

With about 30 minutes left before the Shamu Rocks Texas show, we headed over to the stadium. What a show this was. The show had some great rock music. The show opens with a tribute to the Soldiers in the audience. They were all asked to stand and everyone applauded. My wife began to cry, having two brothers and a nephew (who is presently serving in Afghanistan). It was a moving tribute to the hard work the men in uniform do. After the tribute the show gets started with one of the whales and a trainer doing some acrobatic manuvers and lots of Shamu Slams (a Shamu Slam is when the whale takes their tale and splashes water on the audience). Then finally, the lead Shamu comes out and does a jumping the air, aiming for a ball. The rest of the show is pyrotechnics, Shamu Slams, great music and lots of fun. A really great show.

All in all a great day at SWT. The park is beautiful. You can see some old sections of the park that have been closed over the years but seeing how AB has only owned the park for 12 years, I'm sure it will look fabulous with 20 more years of TLC.

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006 10:39 PM
Sounds like a good day, I hope to visit other Sea World parks some day just to see the differences. Believe is the same at SWO and probably at SWSD. Also, Great White is a Batman clone. Also, Steel Force is at DP ;), but Steel Eel does look pretty cool. If San Antonio had an Atlantis ride, it would be the coaster king of Sea World parks lol. *** Edited 8/17/2006 2:41:30 AM UTC by P18***
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Wednesday, August 16, 2006 11:47 PM
Steel Eel is awesome and sets the bar for junior-hyper (and regular hyper) coasters quite high. While all the shows were going on (and on a crowded Saturday nonetheless), I got a lot of rides in. I'm glad I wasn't the only one who experienced problems with the temperatures and lack of shade. How do you people put up with it?

Coasterguts, we're going to have to take away your coaster enthusiast credentials for not recognizing Great White as another Batman clone. I'd forgive you if you hadn't ridden one, but you've got one on your track record. I hope you know I'm just giving you a hard time:)

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Thursday, August 17, 2006 9:19 AM
LOL! I never thought about it, but now that I do, your right and I thought the same thing about the Batman rides. Nice rides but they were missing that one last WOW! As for Steel Eel, I woud love them to run a Intamin style train on the ride. You get a lot of air on the ride but the fall is a hard fall.

P18. Your absolutely right. I should be shot for not verifying ride names before posting my trip report and I think Journey to Atlantis will arrive in 2007. I would also like the park to upgrade the entrance and remodel their Dolphin areas.

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Thursday, August 17, 2006 11:07 AM
haha, I was just being hard on you with the name thing too. That's awesome about Journey though. I would hope it would be sort of a combo of the 2 existing ones. An awesome dark ride portion like Orlando with some more coaster elements like San Diego (but in the dark). I was suprised looking to the San Diego version and seeing it has no dark ride portion, that's a shame because they did so well the first time. What's with the west getting the short end with some of these rides? (like unversal's Mummy exterior, Disney's ToT)
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