Category: Uncategorized

Time Warp: Aquatica

Posted on August 14, 2011 in Uncategorized by

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.

Header image © SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment

Carowinds buys 61 acres with plans to expand; teases for 2012

Posted on August 2, 2011 in Uncategorized by

Cedar Fair has announced the purchase of 61 acres adjacent to Carowinds parking lot, which will “enable the Company to achieve future development and expansion of the facility.” For anyone familiar with the Carowinds area, according to the Charlotte Observer, the land is located between the season pass parking lot and I-77.

There are a long list of possibilities for the land, from the obvious, park expansion, to hotels, additional campgrounds, or parking. Due to the lands location, largely cut off from the park by the parking lot, it seems like a resort hotel would be the most realistic. But, its a definitely possibility the land could be used to relocate the parking lot to allow for new rides and other park expansion. Anything is rumors at this point, but this is certainly exciting news for any fan.

In other Carowinds news, the park has begun teasing for the 2012 season. Posting QR codes throughout their website, when scanned give an image. Fans have put all of these images together creating this:

The obvious answer to this Riddle is another Windseeker, a giant swing ride which have been popping up all over the Cedar Fair chain, despite the markings which have been seen in the park labeled “HUSS GF” which of course points to a giant frisbee. Anything is possible and we definitely can’t wait for the announcement on August 24th!

What do you think about the large land purchase? What could it be used for? What about the 2012? Windseeker? Giant Frisbee? Leave your comments and Park Thoughts below!

Celebrate America!

Posted on July 4, 2011 in Uncategorized by

To all of our American readers, Happy 4th of July.  To celebrate America’s 235th birthday, I’ve compiled a selection of Americana centric photos from our Flickr gallery. Some of our Twitter followers may recognize these photos which appeared as our daily Photo of the Day.  One of my coasters to feature on this special American holiday is World’s of Fun, the Patriot.  Which is also our signature picture for this post (pictured above).

All photos in the gallery below and our Flickr gallery are taken by the 1scream team and are 100% original.  Be sure to check it out!  Which photo is your favorite? Leave a comment with your Park Thoughts below.

Time Warp: Freestyle Music Park

Posted on July 3, 2011 in Uncategorized by

As years go by parks slowly add, remove and change rides.  However, often times it becomes difficult to gauge a parks total change over time.   However this has become yet something else that technology is now able to assist us with.  Google Earth has all of their satellite images archived and available for viewing giving some spectacular snapshots in the growth...

Penn State Theme Park Engineering survey

Posted on March 1, 2011 in Uncategorized by

So you think you can be a roller coaster designer? A Park Thoughts reader sent me an interesting survey today about The Pennsylvania State University’s upcoming Theme Park Engineering Club.  The survey really takes into account your priorities in what you think makes a good coaster, and in several ways makes you look at a certain roller coaster in a whole different light....

Dream or Oasis?

Posted on February 14, 2011 in Thoughts, Uncategorized by

Disney just recently up the ante in the Cruise Ship wars. With their new mega ship, The Dream, Disney thinks they can battle the major cruise lines like Royal Caribbean and Carnival. Everyone has associated Disney cruises with kids and Mickey Mouse everywhere. Disney decided that its next round of ships should cater to everyone, and they’ve done just that....