Waterville USA | Sea World, San Antonio, TX
Total Timber Tour Blog Day 13
Driving into San Antonio gave us some perspective to our disappointment as the interstate signs were showing exits for evacuation refuge centres. As a last minute hotel choice we have a very nice suite with separate lounge area – very plush!
We woke this morning to Gustav coming ashore a few hundred miles east.
It certainly gives a sense of the size of the States when all that weather was occurring; we have enjoyed a beautiful, if somewhat humid day well into the 90’s again here in San Antonio. As the park we were due to visit was called Waterville, we looked for a similar sounding park here and Sea World fitted the bill. We had not been here before and it is a typical Sea World installation with the normal Shamu shows etc.
A very clean and well presented park. Ride wise there is not a lot, just 5 major rides, including a good log flume, interesting Atlantis water splash ride, standard rapids (all water rides had queues 15-20 minutes), and two coasters, Steel Eel and Great White.
Great White is a standard batman type inverter and Steel Eel is a Morgan non-hyper hyper coaster (feels like a hyper coaster but does not break the 200ft barrier).
As always, we like to get to the park at opening to get some repeat riding in before the crowds arrive. We needn’t have bothered as the rides didn’t open until an hour after the park (11am)? As the park only had a limited operating schedule today (10am – 6pm) we couldn’t understand this. Also, being Labor Day here (similar to a Bank Holiday in the UK), we were expecting crowds, but the park was quite all day. Indeed, once the coasters opened, we were able to get some repeat riding in before lunch.
Unfortunately, the coasters were only operating one train and dispatching on Steel Eel was unbelievably slow with only one despatch every 5 minutes. Once each train was loaded, all restraints are checked twice, with each operator checking the train from front to back and then return. This was a bit silly as it meant the back seat only got checked once, making a mockery of the policy. The ride dispatcher then wasted further time trying to get the train to cheer before despatch. This must surely be the second slowest loading process in the world, with Gwazi only being slower!
Apart from the limited ride availability we have both enjoyed today and the addition to the tour was much preferable than doing nothing. The relocation also means we have a more direct drive north to get back on schedule.