Aquatica has a new weekday pass, as well as a fantastic deal on swim lessons for kids - and we were invited yesterday to Aquatica to learn about them. Our day in the park also included petting a sloth (my first time!) and unlimited visits to the Banana Beach Cookout.
I first visited Aquatica for an industry event before the water park officially opened in 2008. It was too cold at that time to swim, so I took photos the entire day. That article is still one of my most popular, as there was - and is - an enormous interest in Aquatica. Aquatica is my favorite water park in the area due to the strength of one attraction - Roa's Rapids. Roa's Rapids is a river that is anything but lazy - I just put on a life vest and go (no tube). The hardest part is getting out - figuratively and literally! It is the one water attraction I could enjoy all day long.
Aquatica has a lot of beautiful landscaping, including these topiaries and a waterfall out front:
Guests can enjoy watching Commerson's dolphins in several locations, including from the water tube of Dolphin Plunge! There are also several training sessions each day, and we finally had the chance to catch one on this visit.
Swim lessons were in session when we arrived. For only $49.99 ($44.99 for passholders), children can take 5 swim lessons. Each class is 45 minutes, and the classes can be from Monday-Friday, or 5 consecutive Saturdays. The classes are limited to 6 students, and are taught by American Red Cross certified instructors.
I personally have never learned to fully swim - I got bumped as a kid from "tadpole" at the YMCA to guppy or minnow because I was getting too old. :) I think swim lessons at a younger age would have helped, and everyone I spoke to with kids thought it was a terrific deal. I'd definitely have jumped at the chance to take my swim lessons at Aquatica (had it been open 40 years ago)!
Our video interview with Aquatica Vice President Bryan Nadeau includes footage around the park.
Jeff poses with a sloth here - it was one of my favorite parts of the day! This was the first time I'd touched a sloth, and it was much softer than I expected.
There is plenty to do at Aquatica, with the newest attraction being the Omaka Rocka water thrill ride (it opened in 2010). Jeff took a POV video earlier this year! My favorite - Roa's Rapids, which is called an "action river ride". We also have a POV video from that earlier visit. Here are a few photos of the attractions:
There is a new weekday pass to Aquatica which sells for $59.99, and allows unlimited entry into Aquatica for the remainder of the 2012. This pass does not include parking, so you'll want someone in the car to have a pass that does. We are Platinum Passholders, which includes all of the Sea World/Busch Gardens parks (except Discovery Cove) with parking. There are quite a few ticket options, which you can find at the Aquatica website!
For those who have previously enjoyed the Banana Beach Cookout, the food has changed over the last year or so (we last purchased it in March, and it had already changed). Gone are the hamburgers, but we found plenty to eat. It isn't a gourmet restaurant, but a buffet with pulled pork, salad, hot dogs, chicken drumsticks, and more. Fountain drinks are included all day. Check out Aquatica's website for dining options, park hours, and attraction information!
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