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  1. #1

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    2/25: Sink? Or Swim?

    Kevin reviews SeaWorld's new Aquatica water park. Discuss it here!

    DIRECT ARTICLE LINK: http://www.miceage.com/kevinyee/ky022508a.htm
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  2. #2

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    Re: 2/25: Sink? Or Swim?

    It's a shame that Aquatica didn't seem to live up to all the hype it recieved. It still looks like a pretty cool park though. Thanks for the report! I didn't realize it was opening so soon. I could never imagine being able to go to a water park in February. Even some days during September seem too cold to go up here.

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    Re: 2/25: Sink? Or Swim?

    OMG that looks like sooooooooo much fun! I'm not really a huge "water park" fan (the speed slides at Raging Waters here in California basically killed all enjoyment for me.... having your back repeatedly slammed against hard plastic while trying not to drown is not my idea of a good time). BUT... those slides actually did look like a lot of fun!

    Yeah, it's not themed, but sometimes the thrill of the attraction is fun in and of itself. Thanks for the write-up Kevin!
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    Re: 2/25: Sink? Or Swim?

    I am going just for the Crazy River! That thing sounds absolutely awesome and is just the unique kind of attraction a water park should have.

    On a sadder side note, I wish to thank Wild Rivers for all the fun it gave me since I first went 20 years ago. May the townhomes and condos going in next year sell for a loss at the developer's expense. I guess anything that doesn't make $10 million an acre just can't survive in Orange County anymore...I'm just glad Hobby City survived.

    Water parks are so much fun because they are so interactive...you're not sitting in a vehicle or letting some machine move you around, YOU are the vehicle and are a part of the ride itself. It just makes it so much more visceral and fun. I love the giant toilets, they are a relatively new invention I think.

  5. #5

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    Re: 2/25: Sink? Or Swim?

    Quote Originally Posted by kirbilicious View Post
    Even some days during September seem too cold to go up here.
    A few of us did Typhoon Lagoon in October, and it was quite nice up until the later-afternoon, and then it got a little cold. However, with the water being so heated, as long as your in the water, it's quite nice.

    Very disappointing to hear that the concept artwork didn't even come close to the final project. However, I expected that you wouldn't be able to see much going through the slide, as the tube area would have to be huge. However, it doesn't sound like anything comes close to Typhoon Lagoon's Shark Dive/Lagoon area.
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    Re: 2/25: Sink? Or Swim?

    As for the dark ride lazy river idea (dark river/lazy ride?), Hyland Hills Waterworld in Denver, Colorado has two dark water rides that, while not quite up to Disney standards, are pretty close to what Kevin was describing. Lost River of the Pharoahs is a fairly slow journey through Egyptian-themed ruins in enclosed set pieces of mummies, snakes, and mythical elements, told through Animatronics, fog, and lighting effects. Journey To The Center of the Earth is a Sally Corp. dark ride themed to a trip through archeologically uncovered caves with animatronic dinosaurs. Both move in fits and spurts, with lazy river like portions past the set pieces followed by rapids through darkness, and both utilize a three or four person inflatable tube as the ride vehicle. They're both a lot of fun, and might make for a cool MiceAge article someday (hint, hint).
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  7. #7

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    Re: 2/25: Sink? Or Swim?

    I skipped over most of your Denver description, since I already have plane tickets to visit in June, and I don't want the spoilers! That park has been on my radar for some time.

    Never fear... an article is coming
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    Re: 2/25: Sink? Or Swim?

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinYee View Post
    I skipped over most of your Denver description, since I already have plane tickets to visit in June, and I don't want the spoilers! That park has been on my radar for some time.

    Never fear... an article is coming
    Sweet!!!

    EDIT--Don't forget to visit Casa Bonita, the highly themed family attraction South Park's Cartman once famously referred to as "the Disneyland of Mexican restaurants."

    Great article by the way, all the other reviews I've read online about Aquatica were written by people who apparently didn't actually go on any of the slides or rivers.
    Last edited by jimmay; 02-25-2008 at 11:29 AM.
    Forget 'Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln,' Samantha Brown is Disney's most sophisticated animatronic.
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  9. #9

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    Re: 2/25: Sink? Or Swim?

    Casa Bonita is *also* already on the list

    I was out a couple years ago and went to Red Rock something (some regional park) which was great, saw the dino prints, but completely failed to do anything cultural. I guess I drove by Columbine. This year, it's all about the entertainment.
    Kevin Yee
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    I am the author of several Disney books:
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    Walt Disney World Hidden History - tributes, homages, and ride remnants at WDW
    Your Day at the Magic Kingdom
    Mouse Trap
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    101 Things You Never Knew About Disneyland
    Magic Quizdom (The Disneyland Trivia Book)

    “The press [should be] a watchdog. Not an attack dog. Not a lapdog. A watchdog. Now, a watchdog can't be right all the time. He doesn't bark only when he sees or smells something that's dangerous. A good watchdog barks at things that are suspicious.” – Dan Rather

  10. #10

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    Re: 2/25: Sink? Or Swim?

    Thanks for the review of Aquatica, Kevin. We all know that concept art is created with the intent to "sell" the idea to the funders of the project, while at the same time creating buzz for potential park guests like us. Once again I am reminded of the greatest sin concept art ever made - making a genuinely good idea look fantastic, but nothing close to what actually gets built, and probably even further from what guests ultimately experience. (I am biting my tongue very hard to not to reference DCA, or all the concept art we've looked at for that project.)

    All in all, Aquatica looks like a colorful and fun "standard" water park. By "standard," I mean it attempts a self-defining motif with the paint scheme, the announcements, attraction/shop names and signage, but it can't hold a candle to Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach and the Disney immersiveness we have all become accustomed to.

    It "sinks" as a themed gate, but it "swims" as a water park to beat the heat.
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    Re: 2/25: Sink? Or Swim?

    Kevin, how would you order the water parks in Orlando? I've only been to Typhoon Lagoon and that was years ago before Blizzard Beach was even built. I'm thinking of going to one this summer. How would you rank the water parks in Orlando?

  12. #12

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    Re: 2/25: Sink? Or Swim?

    Kevin, thank you for the balanced review.

    I must say that I'm so disappointed by the pictures. I downloaded the press kit the day that the park was announced. The concept art looked amazing (I even created a news item for it here on MiceChat). Unfortunately, the final product looks very run of the mill.

    Hopefully they are reading their online reviews and will continue to plus the park.
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  13. #13

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    Re: 2/25: Sink? Or Swim?

    Although the concept for the park is a lot mor elaborate...that looks awesome! I worked at Water World in Norcal last summer and it was nothing like this.

  14. #14

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    Re: 2/25: Sink? Or Swim?

    I'm hoping Aquatica will grow into its lushness. We've all seen pictures of Disneyland in 1955; there are no trees! Give it time. Aquatica is still a great park.

    As much as I like theming, it always struck me is somewhat unnecessary in a water park, but that's just me. Even the Disney parks, it just seems kind of goofy. "There was a big freak snowstorm and now it's all melting!" uhhhh, okay. Whatever you say, let's go on some fun waterslides! Of course, I'd rather have trees than a concrete jungle. Concrete is never really aesthetically pleasing.

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    Re: 2/25: Sink? Or Swim?

    I'm not really a fan of the blizzard beach theme either. I do love the theme at Typhoon Lagoon however.

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