SAN ANTONIO (Aug. 22, 2006) – SeaWorld San Antonio today announced it will add a new roller coaster and water ride called Journey to Atlantis to the park's lineup in 2007. The thrilling family ride, the first of its kind in the U.S.A., combines the elements of a traditional roller coaster and water ride and is scheduled to open May 24, 2007.
"Journey to Atlantis will be an exciting addition to SeaWorld San Antonio," said Dan Decker, executive vice president and general manager. "Our guests will love this ride and are sure to want to repeat the combined experience of a roller coaster and water ride."
The Journey to Atlantis experience will begin with sixteen passengers boarding boats. Traveling uphill, the boats spin on a turntable when they reach the first plateau, rotating up to 360 degrees. Riders will experience a breathtaking view of San Antonio and SeaWorld from atop their 100-foot-high viewpoint. The boats will spin on the turntable, and then be propelled backwards down a reverse camelback. At the crest of the second hill, the boats rotate again before plunging down the final hill and splashing into a lake and through geysers and water spouts. The ride lasts 3 1/2 minutes.
"Not only will riders experience the thrills of a roller coaster, they get the cooling effects of the water ride as well," Decker said. "Even observers will have an opportunity to get splashed from an observation area adjacent to the ride."
Built by Mack GMBH, a German ride manufacturer, Journey to Atlantis is the first of its kind in the United States. A similar ride by the same manufacturer is featured at Germany's Europa Park. The ride will be situated on 3 acres between VIVA! and the Nautilus Amphitheater.
"Site preparation for this ride began in June and construction is now underway," SeaWorld's Decker said. "We expect to see the ride taking shape throughout fall and winter. We expect Journey to Atlantis to debut to the public on May 24, 2007."
Journey to Atlantis will be the sixth major ride added to the world's largest marine life adventure park. It will be particularly appealing for families with children, as riders need only be 42 inches high to enjoy the experience.
Local firm Guido Brothers Construction serves as general contractor on the project. The project is being managed in-house by SeaWorld's Creative Development Department, headed by Vice President, Kathleen Mundy.
The park will also redesign an animal area to accommodate an enhanced Sea Lion Interaction Program. This program, which traditionally has been conducted behind the scenes can now be observed by guests throughout the park. The park's collection of Hawaiian monk seals are currently housed in the area (behind the park's Sea Lion, Walrus and Otter Stadium) and will be relocated as part of this renovation. The monk seals will be featured in the park's "Saving-A-Species" tour.
"The Sea Lion Interaction Program has been enjoyed by many guests behind the scenes," said SeaWorld's Decker. "Now all our guests can observe this program throughout the day and more guests will be able to participate in this special encounter with sea lions."
This is an experience in which guests interact with sea lions in small groups of four to six in wetsuits and includes a classroom session and video presentation. Participants get up close with sea lions, and learn about the techniques SeaWorld uses for training animals. The Sea Lion Interaction Program is available by reservation at seaworld.com or by calling (800) 700-7786. The program is offered year-round and costs $140 for adults and children over age 10.
SeaWorld San Antonio opens for its 2007 season on March 3 and will be open through Dec. 31. Season Passports go on sale August 25. Guests who purchase the 2007 pass now will get the remainder of the 2006 season for free as well as the entire 2007 season.
SeaWorld San Antonio is an Anheuser-Busch Adventure Park. Other Anheuser-Busch Adventure Parks are Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay, Fla., and Williamsburg, Va.; SeaWorld Adventure Parks in Orlando and San Diego; Water Country USA in Williamsburg; Adventure Island in Tampa Bay; Sesame Place in Langhorne, Pa., near Philadelphia; and Discovery Cove, an interactive animal park in Orlando. To learn more about the Anheuser-Busch Adventure Parks, visit the parks' Web site at www.seaworld.com. Guests can also call (800) 700-7786.