By Kyle Hall
In a slight departure from its saltier dealings on Mission Bay, SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc.* purchased Chula Vista's Soak City from Knott's last year, rebranded it during the off-season and, on June 1, will officially reopen the waterpark as Aquatica.
Although they haven't constructed any new slides, yet, the crew spent the winter re-theming the attractions, bulking up landscaping (to exude a new "South Seas Resort" theme) and surrounding the 500,000-gallon Big Surf Shores (that's the new name) wave-pool with a 43,000-square-foot white sand beach. And because San Diegans love to feel special, the crew added more private cabanas, surrounded the cabanas with more plants to make them even private-er and assigned them food servers, so those uninterested in taking part in the fun no longer even have to look at it.
In addition to spiffing-up the place with new colors and plants, the SeaWorld conservationist consortium is also stocking Aquatica with some animal friends. Notable additions include a freshwater-turtle exhibit featuring more than a dozen species, and a gang of Mediterranean flamingos lining the lazy river (now called Loggerhead Lane) who will, in a hilarious turning of the tables, stare at floating revelers like the curious creatures they are.
The goal of the family-oriented, "serene-to-extreme" park is to be "the perfect complement to a SeaWorld visit," says Aquatica VP David Cromwell - the perfect compliment obviously being the willingness of patrons to give the company more money ($38 for a single-day ticket, $69 for a season pass) for a whole new experience.
2052 Entertainment Cir., Chula Vista