Tag Archives: Busch Gardens

Aquatica Orlando celebrates 10 years of fun memories

On March 1st, Aquatica, SeaWorld’s Waterpark, Orlando celebrated ten years of providing extreme and serene watery fun to Orlando visitors and residents alike. The park, which opened March 1, 2008, quickly became a staple in the vast landscape of Orlando water parks and ranks as one of the best water parks in the United States by TripAdvisor®.

To commemorate the park’s special day, Aquatica commissioned the sculpting of a 22-ton sand sculpture depicting a birthday cake inspired by Aquatica’s latest addition, Ray Rush. The sculpture measures 15’ wide, 8’ tall and took skilled artisans nearly 25 hours to complete. The park was also recently voted “Best Water Park” by Orlando Sentinel readers in the publication’s annual Best Bets reader’s choice awards in 2017. “The Sentinel just confirmed what everyone already knew, Aquatica is the place where Orlando residents go when they want the best water park experience,” said David Heaton, Aquatica Orlando vice president. “We are so excited to be the water playground of choice for Orlando locals and visitors alike.”

Orlando’s best water park is only getting better in 2018 with the ultimate birthday gift for park guests, Ray Rush. The new attraction promises to be a fully-loaded water adventure which will combine three unique slide elements, never before seen at Aquatica, into one action-packed attraction families can enjoy together. With a height requirement of only 42”, this all-new triple-fusion family raft ride will allow guests of all ages to slide, splash and soar like never before on a slide that is both thrilling and family-friendly.

The park is also celebrating the occasion by offering an incredible deal on Annual Passes. Aquatica Pass Members enjoy unlimited admission and free parking as well as discounts and the opportunity to be among the first to ride Ray Rush when it opens in spring 2018. The park is also offering guests the opportunity to purchase 6” x 8” photos in the park for just $10 through the end of April.

Aquatica, SeaWorld’s Waterpark Orlando

From high-speed water slides and exhilarating wave pools, to tranquil beaches, Aquatica, SeaWorld’s Waterpark® Orlando, delights all ages and interests. This one-of-a-kind waterpark is home to some of the world’s most thrilling water rides, featuring 42 slides, rivers and lagoons and 84,000 square feet of sparkling white, sandy beaches. Get ready to brave a watery free-fall on Ihu’s Breakaway Falls™ – the steepest and only multi-drop tower slide of its kind in Orlando. Aquatica, SeaWorld’s Waterpark, offers exclusive attractions that promise unlimited fun, sending guests on amazing undersea adventures.

About SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment™ is a leading theme park and entertainment company providing experiences that matter and inspiring guests to protect animals and the wild wonders of our world. The company is one of the world’s foremost zoological organisations and a global leader in animal welfare, behavioural training, husbandry and veterinary care. The company collectively cares for what it believes is one of the largest zoological collections in the world and has helped lead advances in the care of animals. The company also rescues and rehabilitates marine and terrestrial animals that are ill, injured, orphaned or abandoned, with the goal of returning them to the wild. The SeaWorld® rescue team has helped more than 31,000 animals in need over the last 50 years.

Photo: Busch Gardens

The company owns or licenses a portfolio of recognised brands including SeaWorld, Busch Gardens® and Sea Rescue®. Over its more than 50-year history, the company has built a diversified portfolio of 12 destination and regional theme parks that are grouped in key markets across the United States, many of which showcase its one-of-a-kind zoological collection. The company’s theme parks feature a diverse array of rides, shows and other attractions with broad demographic appeal which deliver memorable experiences and a strong value proposition for its guests. SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment is a wholly owned subsidiary of SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc., a publicly traded company.

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Rush, Plunge & Vanish!


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Orlando, USA offers two brand-new thrills for the coming season. A brand-new family raft slide is splashing into Aquatica, SeaWorld’s Waterpark in spring 2018. Ray Rush promises to be a fully-loaded water adventure which will combine three unique slide elements, never before seen at Aquatica, into one action-packed attraction the entire family can enjoy together.

At nearly 60 feet tall, Ray Rush is where family and friends can take on three exciting thrills as they slide, splash and soar like never before. First, riders will be launched at 33 feet per second with water jets designed to propel rafts into the first of several enclosed tube sections. Next, riders will swirl into a colossal translucent sphere which spins the raft around the slide walls before entering another enclosed tube section. Finally, riders will drop into an open-air halfpipe that resembles the shape of a manta ray. Rafts will soar back and forth on the wings of the manta before entering the final enclosed tube section that ends with a splash.

“Ray Rush will offer a ride experience you won’t be able to get anywhere else in Florida. Aquatica will be the first waterpark in the state to combine these three unique elements into one attraction” said Cathy Valeriano, Aquatica Orlando vice president. “Ray Rush is the perfect addition to our attraction portfolio, complementing what is already one of the most family-friendly waterslide lineups in Orlando.”

Ray Rush will have a height requirement of 42” to appeal to families with children and will accommodate up to four riders per raft. The new slide will be located on the north side of the park next to Walkabout Waters.

Also Read: Swim With Sharks And Feed The Stingrays

In order to make way for the new attraction, HooRoo Run will close permanently on October 31, 2017. To accommodate construction, Walhalla Wave will temporarily close on this date and re-open in spring 2018 alongside Ray Rush. For a limited-time, Aquatica Pass Members will receive a one-time Quick Queue to ride both HooRoo Run and Walhalla Wave on select days in October before construction begins in November. Assemble your squad and get ready to turn up the fun at Aquatica in 2018.

Whereas, at Adventure Island in Tampa Bay guests are in for the slide of their lives when new epic drop slide, Vanish Point opens in March 2018. Inspired by the point on a wave where water and gravity form a perfect partnership, the crest of this 70-foot tower challenges you with two 425 ft. wave paths. Step into one of two skyboxes, and face your fears as the floor disappears beneath you. Or, get horizontal on a 455-foot long slide ending with a high speed finale.

“These unique ride paths give guests options on how they want their thrills delivered,” said Stewart Clark, president of Busch Gardens, Tampa Bay and Adventure Island.  “Whether you choose to have the floor drop from beneath your feet, or race to the bottom on a looped slide, the only way down once you get to the top is a wild ride that gets your heart pumping.”

Located right across the street from Busch Gardens, Adventure Island is the ultimate combination of high-speed thrills and tropical, tranquil surroundings for guests of all ages. Within a soothing Key West atmosphere, guests enjoy slides, corkscrews, water falls, a wave pool, children’s water playground and other family attractions.
Vanish Point will be located at the centre of the park next to another family-favourite thrill slide, Colossal Curl. Construction on Vanish Point will begin in the coming weeks, and the ride is expected to be completed to kick off the 2018 season for Adventure Island.

Photo: Busch Gardens

Adventure Island, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay’s Waterpark
Located right across the street from Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Adventure Island is Tampa Bay’s premier water park, featuring a combination of exhilarating water rides and tropical, tranquil surroundings. Within a soothing Key West atmosphere await slides, such as Calypso Coaster, Caribbean Corkscrew and Colossal Curl, waterfalls, a 17,000-square-foot wave pool, children’s water playground called Fabian’s Funport and other family attractions. Guests can dig their toes into the sand or relax in lounge chairs or a private cabana. For more information, visit AdventureIsland.com for more information.

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment is a leading theme park and entertainment company providing experiences that matter and inspiring guests to protect animals and the wild wonders of our world. The company is one of the world’s foremost zoological organisations and a global leader in animal welfare, behavioural training, husbandry and veterinary care. The company collectively cares for what it believes is one of the largest zoological collections in the world and has helped lead advances in the care of animals. The company also rescues and rehabilitates marine and terrestrial animals that are ill, injured, orphaned or abandoned, with the goal of returning them to the wild. The SeaWorld rescue team has helped more than 31,000 animals in need over the last 50 years.

Also Read: SeaWorld Returns Two More Sea Turtles To The Ocean

The company owns or licenses a portfolio of recognised brands including SeaWorld, Busch Gardens and Sea Rescue. Over its more than 50-year history, the company has built a diversified portfolio of 12 destination and regional theme parks that are grouped in key markets across the United States, many of which showcase its one-of-a-kind zoological collection. The company’s theme parks feature a diverse array of rides, shows and other attractions with broad demographic appeal which deliver memorable experiences and a strong value proposition for its guests.

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Get up-close and personal with killer whales!

These are close encounters of different kind. Visitors to SeaWorld Orlando in US now have the opportunity to experience the park’s majestic killer whales in a brand-new way. The Killer Whale Up-Close Tour gives guests the opportunity to meet the park’s killer whales in ways never before offered at the park. The 45-minute tour includes learning from the park’s killer whale trainers, meeting the whales and understanding their unique personalities and even taking part in an interaction with one of the whales.

During the tour, which takes place daily, SeaWorld’s trainers share stories and information about the killer whales, demonstrate how the whales take part in voluntary husbandry sessions and discuss their healthcare, feeding habits and more. The engaging and interactive tour also gives participants the chance to try their hand at a session with the whales alongside a trainer. Throughout the entire experience, guests can take photos to help forever preserve the memory of the one-of-a-kind experience.

Also read: Seaworld returns two more Sea Turtles to the Ocean

The Killer Whale Up-Close Tour is the latest in the SeaWorld’s collection of memorable, educational and inspirational tours. Popular guest experiences, including the Dolphin Up-Close Tour and Penguin Up-Close Tour provide hands-on interactions with some of the park’s most popular animals while encouraging guests to care about all of the animals found in the oceans. The Behind-the-Scenes Tour, a guest favorite, provides an inside look at the park’s amazing animal rescue operation and ends with the opportunity to touch a shark and meet a Magellanic penguin. The Killer Whale Up-Close Tour begins at 10:00 a.m. and lasts approximately 45 minutes. Space is limited, and guests are encouraged to make reservations online in advance. Prices start at $79 per person.

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment™ is a leading theme park and entertainment company providing experiences that matter and inspiring guests to protect animals and the wild wonders of our world. The company is one of the world’s foremost zoological organizations and a global leader in animal welfare, behavioral training, husbandry and veterinary care. The company collectively cares for what it believes is one of the largest zoological collections in the world and has helped lead advances in the care of animals. The company also rescues and rehabilitates marine and terrestrial animals that are ill, injured, orphaned or abandoned, with the goal of returning them to the wild. The SeaWorld® rescue team has helped more than 30,000 animals in need over the last 50 years.

The company owns or licenses a portfolio of recognized brands including SeaWorld, Busch Gardens® and Sea Rescue®. Over its more than 50-year history, the company has built a diversified portfolio of 12 destination and regional theme parks that are grouped in key markets across the United States, many of which showcase its one-of-a-kind zoological collection. The company’s theme parks feature a diverse array of rides, shows and other attractions with broad demographic appeal which deliver memorable experiences and a strong value proposition for its guests.

Adventures await at Tampa Bay

Get close to Cheetah! Touch a Stingray!

Cheetah Hunt. Photo: Busch Gardens
Cheetah Hunt. Photo: Busch Gardens

Key to life is adventure. So whether you seek your thrills by land, air or sea, Tampa Bay in Florida has got you covered with a lot. Just have a look at the options below. Discover your daring while you Unlock Tampa Bay.

  • Make toys and treats, watch a training session, learn the history and interact with a variety of wild cats at Big Cat Rescue during an exclusive, two-hour behind-the-scenes tour.
  • At Busch Gardens Tampa go behind-the-scenes at the Animal Care Center with the Wildlife Docs or into the Heart of Africa on a 90-minute walking tour to get up-close with hippos, cheetahs, lions and more. You can also become a Keeper for a Day and work side-by-side with the zookeepers or learn the ins-and-outs of Bengal tigers and Bornean orangutans as a Jungala Insider. And, for some amazing photo opportunities and sights, jump aboard the 30-minute open-truck Serengeti Safari tour for a unique look at the Serengeti Plain.
  • A family at Florida Aqarium
    A family at Florida Aqarium

    One of The Florida Aquarium’s newest exhibits – Stingray Beach – allows guests to touch a variety of different species of stingrays and sharks, including White Spotted Bamboo Sharks, Coral Catsharks, Southern Rays and Blue Spotted Ray, just to name a few. You’re sure to have your hands full— of slimy creatures, that is – at the No Bone Zone, which is full of colorful, touchable animals such as sea stars, sea urchins and much more. You’re also invited to touch horseshoe crabs, whelk, urchins and snails at the Horseshoe Crab Lagoon.

  • For serious or casual golfers alike, the all-new Golf’s Grail Indoor Golf & Tap allows you to play more than 60 courses from around the world on indoor, state-of-the-art golf simulators. Whether playing a round or taking a lesson, guests can also enjoy the sports bar-like atmosphere with hi-definition TVs playing sporting events, craft beers on tap and fine wine selections.
  • Rise & Shine Yoga, kid’s art classes, pottery making, sing-a-longs for tots and more are all available in Hyde Park Village – an upscale shopping district in the historic Hyde Park neighborhood.
  • The Discovery Channel’s Emmy- nominated series comes to life to uncover truths behind popular myths by mixing scientific method with gleeful curiosity and old-fashioned ingenuity in MythBusters: The Explosive Exhibition, at the Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI). The exhibition creates hands-on, interactive experiences for guests of all ages through May 8.
  • A new laser tag game starts every 20 minutes at Q-ZAR Laser Tag with a two-level arena, video arcade area, food court and more.
  • Get up to 50 MPH on an electric ProKart at Tampa Bay Grand Prix. The indoor go kart racing facility offers two different tracks for a real racing experience for adults and children.
  • Animal Interactions at Tampas Lowry Park Zoo
    Animal Interactions at Tampas Lowry Park Zoo

    Hotel guests will enjoy the ultimate rock and roll experience with the recently launched Sound of Your Stay Picks Program at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Upon check-in, guests check-out a free guitar and have the choice of 18 Fender models including the legendary Stratocasters, classic Telecasters, Kurt Cobain Signature Model Jaguars, bass guitars and more. Guests also get a Boss Micro BR Amp and a pair of SOUL by Ludacris headphones to ensure maximum rock with minimum noise for other hotel guests, in addition to a “Set List,” with recommended websites and apps.

  • Feed a giraffe, hold a lorikeet, touch a stingray, ride a pony, get up-close with a white rhino and more. At Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo – recognized as the #1 Zoo in the U.S. by two national parenting magazines, featuring more than 1,000 amazing animals on nearly 60 acres of natural habitats.
  • Tampa Museum of Art
    Tampa Museum of Art

    Drop in every Saturday from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. for Art Spot at the Tampa Museum of Art with free art activities for families.

  • Take the wheel and become the captain of your very own speed boat with a one-of-a-kind adventure tour at Tampa Speed Boat Adventures in nearby St. Petersburg.