San Diego is well-known for its major amusement parks – the World Famous San Diego Zoo, Sea World, Legoland, the Safari Park – but a lesser-known location has opened, just in time to delight San Diego residents and visitors this summer!
Aquatica is Sea World’s new water park, located on Entertainment Circle in Chula Vista. Formerly owned and run by the Knott’s company, it has received a full-scale renovation since its recent acquisition by Sea World. It is a great place to take kids who want to get wet, ride slides, and have fun. One of our wonderful Marion’s Childcare caregivers is working at the park over the summer, and she gave me the inside scoop on Acquatica:
AQUATICA Q & A:
Q: Are the rides new? Did they renovate?
A: The rides are not new, but they are repainted and the names are different. The layout is exactly like Soak City, but Sea World did some landscaping and added lots of trees and made it feel more tropical. There are live flamingoes and fresh water turtles on display and a trainer walks around with a hawk (to keep the seagulls away) that guests can actually touch if they ask!
Q: Are there places to eat?
A: Sea World is all about costumer service, so there are two places to eat (tropical bbq and a pizza/hamburger type place), lots of little vendors, and they even have a booth for beers and margaritas. The prices are a little high, but it’s just like going to Sea World.
Q: Are there areas for little kids? What ages of children will have the most fun at Aquatica? A: Aquatica is best for any child that can walk on their own. There is an exhibit made especially for children under 48 inches. It’s a little island with some slides. I think kids that are taller than 48 inches will have the most fun because they will not be required to wear a life jacket and can get on all the rides. Children 42 inches and up have to wear a life jacket and there are some rides they will not be able to go on, but they would still have a ball! There are no age restrictions – only height restrictions. (Guests under 42 inches are required to wear a life vest if they’re in the water. Guests 42-48 inches will have to wear life vests on many of the rides. Guests over 48 inches can choose to/not to wear vests. Complimentary vests are available.)
Q: How long should a family plan to spend at Aquatica? A: If the lines are not that long, one could do all the slides, lazy river, and spend time in the wave pool in three or four hours. The Lazy River can suck some hours up fast! 😉
Q: Is the water cold? A: It will be brisk when you first step into it, but you get used to it quickly. It’s really the wind that’s cold! Around 3 or 4pm, the water gets warmer because of the sun, but it’s never frigid by any means.
Q: How much is admission to Aquatica?
A: The cost is $38 for adults and $30 for kids for day passes. Parking is $15.
Q: Anything else a potential guest should know before coming to Aquatica?
A: Lockers are available for rent and one can even rent a Cabana (their own private, closed-in little area complete with a table, 4 chairs, and a small refrigerator). One can place food orders and have them delivered right to their cabana too!
Q: What’s the verdict? Is Aquatica better than Soak City?
A: I think Aquatica is better than Soak City because of the way it looks and the staff (lifeguards and concession workers) are all excited and happy to be there. Personally, I think that makes a big difference.