Worlds of Discovery...Busch parks' new adventures...

rollergator's avatar
Aquatica has opened (and it's fantastic)...but it's not "official" yet.

Jungala (new land at BGA) is slated to open in a couple weeks.

...and they're webcasting the Grand openings, April 3 for Jungala, April 4 for Aquatica. (I might even make the Aquatica one, so look for me...LOL!) ;)

You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

matt.'s avatar
Hey gater, mind if I...ask you about Aquatica?
rollergator's avatar
^Sure! :)

I, like many of you, am not a huge waterpark person. The times when I've been truly impressed doubled this past weekend. Now I have two waterparks that are good enough to drag me away from coasters and other thrillrides.

As with all Busch/SeaWorld properties, the landscaping is...well, the STANDARD by which other parks' efforts are measured...and come up
short of the mark. My goodness there was a dazzling array of plants flowering ALL over the park. plus beautiful and consistent theming throughout. Gotta love A-B for that. The views of SeaWorld's Kraken and JtA are also quite nice... ;)

Schlitterbahn may still be the big enchilada, with its limitless space, dizzying array of unique rides, and a surreal setting in wooded Texas. But Busch/SeaWorld certainly has set up quite a nice place in Orlando, if a bit undersized. I'll have pics up soon (this weekend if not sooner, stupid NCAA tourney, hehe). There are four "towers" in the park. One is the well-known Dolphin Plunge, where two slides are set up that go through a Commerson's dolphin enclosure. There are racing mat slides (8 in all, with a neat twist at the top so each *set* of four riders ends up reversed at the bottom). Twin tube-funnels inhabit one tower, and you end up floating from the bottom of the funnel directly into the lazy river. Another tower houses "regular" tube slides. There's a GIANT play-fort area, a kids area, two side-by-side wavepools (only one was operational when we were there).

The lazy river is quite cool, and features misters and two cool "float-thrus". You can take a short-cut of sorts and float past an aquarium, or you can take the long float around to catch an underwater glimpse into the aforementioned Commerson's enclosure.

The STAR attraction to me...a "rapids-version" lazy river. no tubes allowed, but there are hi-power jets along the course that really give quite a push (or a beating if you get too close). The only other waterpark I've been to that had something like this was Schliiterbahn. And they are amazing. I have the sunburn to prove what a great time we had.

Also of note - like Universal, they have the all-you-can-eat passes, all day long, for 20 bucks. I think they were good at the one eatery location, and included beverages...but I'm not certain about that...

You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

janfrederick's avatar
Man, you get to go to openings AND revel in the Gators' win over us? I hate you. ;)

"I go out at 3 o' clock for a quart of milk and come home to my son treating his body like an amusement park!" - Estelle Costanza
matt.'s avatar
Pictures I saw made it look like the landscaping is quite nice but some portions looked a little conrete-y and shadeless. Not the case?
rollergator's avatar
^^ Don't feel too bad, the poor people of Columbus got shafted at Wyandot, *and* we beat them in football and basketball, when it REALLY counted. At least you still have good parks! The NITs are, going to a regional themer instead of a REAL theme park... you and I are lucky enough to have BOTH options... ;)

^matt., the trees ARE going to take some time.....there are a few full-grown ones, but most of them are smallish and will take a couple years to really provide good shade. Luckily, stuff grows FAST here...

The concrete varied pretty widely, some was smooth enough to almost create a potential slip-and-fall, other places it was quite rough. Safe, but harder on the feet. Next time I bring water-shoes... ;)

*** Edited 3/20/2008 8:54:09 PM UTC by rollergator***

matt.'s avatar
That's one of the worst things for me at water parks, I have girly, sensitive, size 13ers.
I for one am not surprised with Aquatica being a hit, because Busch already has an amazing waterpark which they have operated for the better part of 25 years: Water Country USA. If it wasnt for that wonderful park in New Braunfels, this park would be gracing my #1 waterpark slot. Its beautifully landscaped, has some amazing rides (a lifejacket only lazy river, Racing Mats, the 2nd longest dark family raft ride, and even their old slides are thrilling and worth riding every time you go there) and of course is immaculately maintained.

2022 Trips: WDW, Sea World San Diego & Orlando, CP, KI, BGW, Bay Beach, Canobie Lake, Universal Orlando

eightdotthree's avatar
I can't say I like the thought of bothering dolphins by sliding through their habitat but trust Sea World to make smart decisions when it comes to animal treatment.

janfrederick's avatar
From what I hear, it's pretty quick (half a second of a body sliding by--not enough for the rider to see a dolphin much less the dolphin see the rider). Probably nothing worse than someone walking by an enclosure window and peeking at them anyway.

In any case, from what I've seen and read about Sea World california, they treat their animals well and have programs to rescue local wildlife. So, just curious, what makes you think they are so untrustworthy?

"I go out at 3 o' clock for a quart of milk and come home to my son treating his body like an amusement park!" - Estelle Costanza
rollergator's avatar
Oh, trust me, I'm a freak about "what's best for the animals". I may not be "PETA-nuts", but I'm not too far off. Busch goes above and beyond. The level of care they provide is nothing short of excellent. Animals are rescued and rehabilitated by A-B parks constantly. Typically, the *display* animals are those that cannot be released into the wild for a variety of reasons. And the value of educating the humans about the fact that we are supposed to SHARE the planet...that's priceless.

Commerson's were selected for a variety of reasons, many of which involve their willingness/desire to interact with humans.

Short anecdote: I asked for a park map on the way out, and was told they no longer kept park maps up front (two WEEKS after opening!) - because they found too many of the maps found their way into the dolphins' enclosure. Most of the humans on the planet don't get the level of care that animals in A-B parks do.

P.S. I saw people try a variety of methods to slow down and SEE the dolphins while sliding by....increasing their time in the clear glass tube all the way up to about 3/4 of a second. It is "momentary".

edit again: Just because I *am* so nuts - we took note that the dolphins spent more time near the slide tubes earlier in the day, then seemed to spend more time in other parts of the enclosure later in the day. We "speculated/hypothesized" that the water temperature near the tubes (where the water is shallower) might have heated up just a bit...and that the dolphins might prefer the cooler waters. A-B isn't alone in being VERY respectful and cautious... ;)

*** Edited 3/21/2008 5:13:55 PM UTC by rollergator***

You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

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