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SeaWorld Unveils “World’s First” New Ride and New Show for Kids

SeaWorld San Antonio has made quite a splash in the past few years.

They built two new rides to go along with their 126,000-gallon sea turtle exhibit in 2019. That same year, the Aquatica water park opened Ihu Breakaway Falls, the tallest multi-tower drop slide in all of Texas. Last year, they cut the ribbon on Tidal Surge, the tallest and fastest “screaming swing” in the world.

For 2023? They are breaking new ground on another “World’s First” with Catapult Falls. The thrilling new ride will be the world’s first launched flume coaster and will also feature the world’s steepest drop in a flume ride. Geek News Now was among the media guests who got to go behind the scenes while the ride is still under construction to get these facts and figures.

Safety railings will go up soon on this “landing” area where guests can get soaked by the boats. Image by Geek News Now.

  • With 11 boats (holding eight people each) the ride can accommodate 1000 guests per hour with the ride lasting approximately five minutes.
  • You will be lifted up to the top of the 55 foot ride using an elevator system never before used in North America for a ride like this at seven feet per second.
  • The drop from that height will be at a 53 degree angle and at 37 MPH.
  • Waiting for you at the bottom is 300,000 gallons of filtered water.
  • The height requirement is 42 inches to ride with an adult. 48 inches to ride solo.
  • Construction began in April of 2022 and will be completed in the “summer” of this year. SeaWorld officials declined to put an exact date on the opening, but encouraged guests to keep an eye on the website.

The ride will take over the location previously held by the Unearthed haunted house, one of several mazes showcased during Howl-o-Scream. When I asked SeaWorld personnel about the relocation, they informed me that this particular house will be retired. However, an all-new haunted house maze will be unveiled in the fall. When I exclusively asked for more details, they chuckled and said “That’s a nice try, see you this fall.”

This family ride is still under construction, but opening today is John Tartaglia’s ImaginOcean. This delightful kids musical show was created by John after being inspired by a scuba trip to the US Virgin Islands. His background includes working full-time on Sesame Street at the age of 18, playing Gobo in the new Fraggle Rock series, and has been on Broadway in Beauty and the Beast, Avenue Q, and Shrek The Musical. 

When asked why San Antonio was picked over Orlando or San Diego to host this musical, John gave full credit to Roland Garcia, the VP of Entertainment for the park. “Roland has been wanting this in San Antonio for years. He’s been very patient.”

“Dorsal”, voiced by John, finds a treasure map. Image by Geek News Now.

 

Children can see the show at least six times per day at the Sea Star Theater. The show features Jim Henson style puppets operated in black lights while the puppeteers are hidden in all black clothing. Bubbles fall from the ceiling while fish sing on stage about their adventure to find treasure in the ocean.

“I want children to come away from this knowing that anyone can use their imaginations and contribute,” John explained. “We all have strengths, even kids.”

Geek News Now appreciates the invitation to cover these exciting new additions to SeaWorld and will continue to provide coverage of this and other parks and events throughout the year. Head back to our home page and see what else we have for you to Geek out about!

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