I’d been looking forward to visiting Aquatica San Antonio since last Spring when they announced plans for the new park, so I was thrilled to go this early in the season and check it out. Since we didn’t have the kids I considered it a recon mission of sorts. We could ride the big rides while scoping out the food, life jackets and kid friendly attractions for a future visit with our son and daughter.
I had high expectations for the new water park since I’d closely followed the construction updates on Facebook and the park’s blog. So I was very surprised that my favorite part of Aquatica wasn’t what I expected.I thought the white, sandy beaches and the hammocks would be my favorite part of this south seas oasis.
I was even expecting it to be one of their new slides like,Walhalla Wave, which, for the record, is awesome and every life guard we spoke to admitted its their favorite ride! But MY favorite part of Aquatica was the animal interactions and I have a hunch it might be a favorite for our children too.
On our way into Aquatica we met a Macaw and her friendly trainer. When my daughter saw the picture she screamed, “Mommy you met Rio!” A few hours later we met an alligator snapping turtle named Spike.
These turtles are one of the largest freshwater turtles in North America. While talking to Spike’s trainers we learned he was brought to Sea World by a family that had bought him at a pet store, the store sold him as a “red ear” turtle. As Spike began to get larger the family realized he wasn’t a red ear after all and they found him a new home at the park.
I was unfamiliar with the species and learned a lot from his trainers as they told us about his diet, how they’ve become an endangered species and pointed out distinct markings that are similar to a dinosaur! It was so cool and I kept thinking “the kids would love this!”
Most of the animal ambassadors like Spike and Luna are in areas where the public can observe them and chat with the trainers but you can’t get close enough to touch them for your safety. If you’re feeling adventurous and want to get closer, then you’ll love Ke-Re Reef (This is awesome!), where you can feed, pet and interact closely with the Stingrays! I was standing next to the reef taking pictures of the rays and was amazed at how they seemed to want the interaction. I placed my hand in the water and the rays would come right up to my hand, even though I wasn’t offering them food.
In between interacting with the animals we cooled off on the rides! Our favorites were Walhalla Wave and WooHoo Falls. On WooHoo Falls one slide is pitch dark which adds to the excitement as you race up and down the walls without seeing what’s next.
Sadly, we were unable to ride Stingray Falls as they closed the ride at one point for some maintenance and then again when storms were in the area so we ran out of time. While our kids can’t vouch for the rides this time, there seemed to be multiple fun areas with slides, water attractions etc., to keep them cool and entertained.
Here are a few tips for your visit:
- Text “Aquatica” to 90210 to make sure the park is not at capacity
- Arrive early, parking is easier and the lots fill up fast
- Ride Walhalla Wave and Stingray Falls first, as the park gets busy the lines will get long
- You’re NOT allowed to wear t-shirts on the slides, rash guards are allowed
- Rent a locker its $7 with a $10 refundable deposit and the perfect place to keep your phone and clothes dry and safe
- Bring a beach towel, but if you forget yours you can buy one in the gift shops
- Bring a waterproof camera-we used ours the entire day and I wore it on my neck when on the rides
- Buy a souvenir cup, you’ll have something to take home and refills are $0.99
- You can bring snacks with you but they must be individual serving size (no straws allowed)
We’re definitely looking forward to another visit this summer, with the kids of course!
A big thank you to Sea World and Aquatica for giving us admission to the parks. As always opinions are 100% my own and this post is not sponsored by Sea World nor did I receive compensation for the article.