In March of 2007, SeaWorld Orlando officially announced that they would be building an adjacent water park called Aquatica. With a South-Pacific theme, the water park which would open one year later would feature 36 water slides, a wave pool, animal encounters, and instantly become a huge success. Let’s Time Warp through the construction process of SeaWorld’s first water park: Aquatica.
March 2006 – The land Aquatica now stands on was formerly a large expanse of open field. By this point, rumors were already swirling that SeaWorld would use this plot for a water park. Construction on the (at the time) unknown water park began later in the year.
October 2006 – By October of the same year, construction crews began prepping the land, installing foundation work and created a small lake to the side of the park. Despite water slide pieces arriving on site (in the bottom right hand corner of the photo) SeaWorld did not announce plans for another 6 months.
November 2007 – With just a few short months until opening, in November of 2007, the water slides had all been constructed, all the pools had been built, and various facilities were nearing completition. Despite the short time until opening the park still needed to install the walk ways, complete the parking lot, add the lavish landscaping, and of course bring in the animals that would truly make this a SeaWorld water park.
December 2008 – Within the first year of operation, Aquatica became a huge success drawing in enough attendance to make it the 4th most visited water park in the country. The park surpassed it’s opening year expectations in just 6 months and was a major step in making SeaWorld Orlando a full fledged resort.
May 2010 – The most recent images of Aquatica potray a fully-grown and thriving water park that has become a destination in it’s own right. In 2010 the park made it’s first expansion with Omaka Rocka, raft ride added an existing slide tower (seen in the bottom center). Aquatica’s success inspired SeaWorld Texas to re-vamp their existing slide complex into a full fledged water park using the same name and theme with different slide offerings.
That wraps it up for this Time Warp. Check back for more visits to parks of the past and present on Park Thoughts.