Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sabrina's Brochure Spotlight: SeaWorld San Antonio 1998

After finding myself in a quandary and doing a bit of research, I think a better title for this week's SBS would have been "Name That Park". Why? Because back in 1998, this park apparently used three different names! Follow along and you'll see what I mean.

Our identity crisis begins with the brochure cover, which would have us believe that this park's proper title is "SeaWorld Adventure Park". (It just happens to be located in San Antonio.) This is partially accurate. In 1998, Busch Entertainment decided to add the tag line "Adventure Park" to the titles of all its SeaWorld properties. The logo which appears at the top of this brochure was also introduced as part of the change, and it's worth noting that this marked the fourth logo change in SeaWorld's history.

Now we come to the fine print, and lo and behold the park is suddenly called "SeaWorld of Texas"! How did that happen? This is where the details get a bit hairy. "SeaWorld of Texas" was actually this park's original name. At some point in time which defies all documentation but appears to have preceded the "Adventure Park" addition, the park's name was changed to "SeaWorld San Antonio". So... In 1998, was the park's full title actually "SeaWorld Adventure Park San Antonio"?? You be the judge. My head was starting to hurt, so I stopped thinking about it!

Alright, enough with the names. Let's focus on the meat of this brochure, shall we? SeaWorld San Antonio celebrated its tenth anniversary in 1998, and it did so in style. A host of new shows were introduced to complement the park's existing line-up.

Remember when Great White did NOT have a clone right down the road? Well take heart, SeaWorld San Antonio: Yours was first, and it still has a much more original name! Actually, Great White is a perfect example of why Busch Entertainment felt the need (however briefly) to introduce the "Adventure Parks" bit. After purchasing the SeaWorld parks, Anheuser-Busch put a great deal of money and effort into diversifying the parks' attractions and rebranding them as full-fledged theme parks as opposed to just marine life centers.

When Anheuser-Busch began to transform SeaWorld San Antonio into the vacation destination it is today, they didn't limit themselves to thrill rides. In fact, Lost Lagoon--which opened in 1993--preceded all of the park's roller coasters. After spending a day watching the animals and trainers play in the water, I guess many guests get a hankering to engage in some water play of their own!

Who needs a baby-sitter when a friendly killer whale is just dying to play with your children?? Okay, this one really IS friendly...I promise! Seriously though, what a great children's area. I totally want to play with Shamu!

"Adventure Park" or not, marine animals are still the bread and butter of SeaWorld San Antonio. It just wouldn't be SeaWorld without all the great animal attractions and shows!

And finally, we take a gander at the operating schedule for SeaWorld of Texas--er, SeaWorld San Antonio...Adventure Park? Oh never mind... What's in a name anyway? The point is, this park has something for everybody! If all goes well, I just may be paying them a visit this year myself.