New Ray Rush Ride To Open At Aquatica Orlando

Hey Thrill Seekers,

We’ve previously speculated on OAT Live about a new ride coming to Aquatica and this morning SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment have confirmed that we were spot on.

The new ride will be called Ray Rush and will be a family raft ride where visitors will travel through tubes and transparent spheres before encountering an open-air half pipe shaped like a manta ray.

Ray Rush will be the only water ride in Florida to offer a water jet propel system which will launch riders (4 at a time) at 33 feet per second. It will have a height requirement of 42”.

“Ray Rush will offer a ride experience you won’t be able to get anywhere else in Florida. Aquatica will be the first waterpark in the state to combine these three unique elements into one attraction” said Cathy Valeriano, Aquatica Orlando vice president. “Ray Rush is the perfect addition to our attraction portfolio, complementing what is already one of the most family-friendly waterslide lineups in Orlando.”

Ray Rush will replace HooRoo Run which will close permanently Oct. 31. The new ride will take off from the same existing tower as Walhalla Wave, which will shut down temporarily after Oct. 31. It will reopen with the launch of Ray Rush.

Aquatica are confident that Ray Rush will open Spring 2018.

Smiles included…

Jamie

Day 4 – Abby’s Orlando Vlog

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Day 4 and Abby’s been a busy girl not only has she visited SeaWorld Orlando and Aquatica but she’s also moved hotels…

Today she starts her Disney adventure, tune in tomorrow to find out how she got on.

Smiles included…

Jamie

Abby’s Pre-Orlando Adventure

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Its nearly time…….

If you watch our bi-weekly Facebook Lives you’re bound to know that i’m due to go on a ‘Super Fam’ trip and in particular, how excited I am about it! Well it’s time and i’m finally leaving tomorrow to embark on what is sure to be the best trip EVER.

If you follow our Facebook or Instagram accounts you’ll be seeing loads of videos and photos from yours truly over the next week including all things Disney, Universal and SeaWorld. Before I start packing (yes I know I’ve left it very last minute) I thought I would give you guys a run-down of what my trip is going to involve.

Soooo.. I arrive in Orlando at 5pm -ish on Sunday and by 9.30pm i’ll be at Universals Halloween Horror Nights!! Nothing like throwing us in at the deep end aye?! I’m absolutely terrified but also mega, mega excited for this (I do feel sorry for the people who are going to have to keep picking me up off the floor in the houses though) The house i’m most excited for is SAW: The Games of Jigsaw, SAW hasn’t featured at HHN for 8 years now and i’m pretty eager to see what’s going to be involved this time around.

For the first few days i’m going to be staying at Universals Cabana Bay Beach Resort which I’ve heard is very nice indeed. 😛 On my first full day i’ll be visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley, Hogsmede Village and Universal Studios. I’m absolutely buzzing to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – I’ve heard so many amazing things about it and I just can’t wait to see it all for myself and i’m especially excited for  Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts™.

On to the next day.. On this day I will be visiting Volcano Bay in the morning and Universals Islands of Adventure in the afternoon, woooo!!! I can’t wait to ride Krakatau™ Aqua Coaster and teeny bit scared to do Ko’okiri Body Plunge™ I feel like this is going to be a fantastic morning and I can’t wait to get loads of snaps of the Volcano! For Islands of Adventure I’ve been warned not to wear white tops or any denim and this is because i’m bound to get ABSOLUTELY SOAKED on the water rides.. Hopefully it’s a warm day (oh I forgot to mention, the weather forecast for next week is BEAUTIFUL.) Oh i’m also very eager to ride The Incredible Hulk Coaster We have a surprise evening with Universal on this day and i’m super excited to see what this is going to be, of course, i’ll keep you updated!

Day 4 is the day i’m most excited about… anyone who knows me will understand why. Ever since I can remember, I’ve wanted to swim with a dolphin and now i’m lucky enough to have the opportunity to do it YAY!!! If you haven’t guessed already, i’ll be visiting Discovery Cove in the morning. I’m not going to lie there will probably be some tears buy hey, who cares it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity! After Discovery Cove i’ll be travelling over to Busch Gardens where I cannot wait to ride all the big coasters and ALL of the pressure is on me to ride Falcons Fury.. i’ve got this!

On day 5 i’ll be visiting SeaWorld in the Morning , Aquatica in the afternoon and back to SeaWorld for the evening! 😉 Very excited to ride Manta and Mako at SeaWorld as everyone in the offices always raves about how good they are. Especially excited to be lucky enough to ride them in the dark also! Psyching myself up for Ihu’s breakaway falls at Aquatica!

I’ll be staying over night at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, ready for day 6.. On day 6 i’ll be visiting EPCOT in the morning and Animal Kingdom in the afternoon. Can’t wait to visit all of the different countries at EPCOT and i’m so buzzing for Pandora – The World of Avatar at Animal Kingdom, the reviews i’ve read about Avatar – Flight of Passage have all been great so I cannot wait to experience it for myself too.

On the 7th Day i’ll be off to Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom, I am really looking forward to seeing Cinderella’s Castle, meeting all of the characters and getting to experience the iconic rides and attractions such as The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. I also hope I get to watch Happily Ever After, could possibly shed a tear or two here as well!

On my last day I get to go SHOPPING at the Orlando International Premium Outlets and the Florida Mall, I’ve got all my pennies saved up for this I’m just hoping i’ll have enough room in my suitcase!! After that it’s home time 🙁 🙁

Only 1 more sleep to go and i’ll finally be off!! If you would like to follow my action packed week make sure you keep checking our Facebook and Instagram as i’ll be trying to post as much and as often as possible.

See you all soon!!

Smiles Included,

Abby

 

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment’s Retired Attractions

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Of course, we have looked at Disney and Universal’s retired attractions so there is only one other place to look…SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment! Anheuser Busch (better known as Budweiser, Abby’s favourite drink) bought SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment in 1989.

During the ownership time’s of Anheuser Busch, there was a hospitality lounge where you would get free beer samples and be able to see Clydesdales whilst sipping your beer!

In 1992 they introduced their first simulator ride to SeaWorld Orlando, Mission: Bermuda Triangle, based on the real life Bermuda Triangle (Devil’s Triangle). This was then re-themed into Wild Arctic which was combined with the amazing animal exhibit when you exit the ride. Here you can view the gorgeous Beluga whales and walruses.

Wild Arctic is also known for having seasonal changes every so often including turning into The Polar Express at Christmas time! Although this wasn’t seen last year, you never know if it will return! I hope so because I love The Polar Express!

SeaWorld used to have a fairly large penguin habitat which was upgraded into Antarctica: The Empire of the Penguin a trackless dark ride in 2013. You’ll meet Puck the Penguin and be able to follow him on his adventures around the Antarctic. You can even choose whether you would like a ‘mild’ or ‘wild’ experience!

Once you disembark from the ride, you’ll enter into the breathtaking penguin exhibit. When I say breathtaking, it literally will take your breath away with the freezing cold as well as the beautiful penguins! Some might call this a ‘2 for 1’ attraction, with the ride and the animal exhibit. Another 2 for 2 attraction is Manta. It opened in 2009 and has one of, if not the smoothest tracks in the world and is a one-of-a-kind ride with riders taunted by a head-first, face-down inverted nose dive. At the end of the ride you have the Manta Aquarium and the Stingray Lagoon.

SeaWorld is also known for it’s many stunning shows. The most popular and well known show has got to be One Ocean where you can capture Orca’s performing the most amazing flips and somersaults. One Ocean opened in 2011 after Believe was there from 2006.

Over in Tampa Bay, you can visit Busch Gardens which is also part of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment!

Python was the park’s first roller coaster that opened in 1976 with corckscrew and U-turns. Python was demolished in 2006 to make way for Jungala.

Busch Gardens also had African Queen Boat Ride which closed in 1989 to make way for Tanganyika Tidal Wave which is still in the parks to date so you can get a soaking on a hot, sunny day!  Crazy Camel was a coaster that closed in 2003 to be replaced by Sand Serpent which is also still around today.

Sandstormer was an oribter ride that was running from 1980 all the way through to 2013 before they took it down to make way for Falcons Fury which opened in 2014. Not only that, but there was Rhino Rally that opened in 2001, another water boat ride but this one was closed down for Cheetah Hunt to open in 2011.

The one ride that most people know about closing down in 2015 has to be Gwazi. I think me and Gwazi had a love hate relationship like most people! At 90 feet tall it was the park’s only wooden roller coaster!

 

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment also own Aquatica and Discovery Cove however Aquatica being their newest park, nothing has yet been replaced and Discovery Cove is already perfect just the way it is! 🙂

What else can you think of that’s no longer at any of these parks that maybe you’re happy are no longer there, or that you’re sad to see them gone?

Smiles Included…

Louise

 

SeaWorld And Aquatica Introduce New Photo Entry System

Hey Thrill Seekers,

You stroll up, you scan your Orlando Attraction Tickets gate ready ticket, you pop your finger in the biometric scanner and in you go…

Well not anymore, in a move to speed up the admission process and eliminate the potential for theft by protecting the ticket from being used by another person SeaWorld and Aquatica are introducing a new photo entry system.

This will involve guests having their picture taken at the entry gates and it, in turn being linked to the unique barcode on their admission ticket. The photo will then appear on all following visits to the parks upon presenting their ticket for entry. This will replace the finger print scan previously used.

seaworld entry

Why the change to a new process?
This new process will allow our Ambassadors to focus  more on our guests’ arrival experience by speeding up  the entry time into the park. A smoother process and
shorter wait equals more time for our guests to enjoy  the park.

How does this new process work?
You will start to see our front gate Ambassadors using new handheld devices to scan tickets and Passes. Upon  the guest’s fist visit, a photo will be taken and stored
for future visits. We request no hats or sunglasses be  worn for accurate identification. This new entry system  will replace the process that required use of the guest’s  index finger.

Which tickets or Passes require the photo?
Photos are required for all Annual Passes, Fun Cards,  and multi-day tickets. Photos are not currently required  for single-day tickets.

Why is a photo required?
The photo is used to verify the guest with their ticket  product, which will eliminate the potential for theft by  protecting your Annual Pass or ticket from being used  by another person.

Does my child need to have their photo taken?
Parent permission is needed for our team to take your  child’s photo. Your child’s photo would be stored locally  and retrieved only upon park entry. If you do not wish to  have your child’s photo taken please inform our team.

What if I decline having my photo taken?
You can choose to bypass having your photo taken.  Instead, you would need to show a photo ID each time  you enter the park. Guests under the age of 14 do not  need to present a photo ID.

Will the photo be printed on my Pass?
No. The photo will be used for internal use only and is  designed to verify the Pass Member or multi-day ticket  holder when they enter the park. It will not require a  new Pass or ticket to be printed.

When will this change take place?
The transition will occur late 2016 through early 2017.

Smiles included…

Jamie

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Aquatica’s Top Attractions 2016

Hey Thrill Seekers,

I’m going to be taking a look into what you guys have voted as your favourite attraction of 2016 for each individual park. Starting with Aquatica.

Drum roll please….

Its the worlds longest drop tower multi-slide.. Ihu’s Breakaway Falls! The 80 ft tall, vertical slide doesn’t seem to have phased any of you thrill seekers as it has been voted as the favourite attraction in Aquatica.

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This attraction boasts 4 different slides each with its own steep and very very high 360 degree spiral. You will need to prepare to be unprepared as once you step foot into of of the ‘breakaway boxes’ you have accepted your fate and will not know when you are going to drop vertically at a rate of 20 – 24 feet per second! If the fear of the unknown is too much for you to handle then you will always have to option to choose the fourth slide which will allow you to choose exactly when you drop – I think I would find it more difficult trying to force myself to push the button!

Second Place: Roa’s Rapids – four times faster than your average river rapids this definitely isn’t a ‘lazy’ river. Look out for the geysers and waterfalls!

Third Place: Dolphin Plunge – This 250 foot Slide consists of clear tubes immersed in a Commerson’s dolphin habitat where you can race with the dolphins as you whizz through the slide!

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Fourth Place: Hooroo Run & Walhalla Wave – This 6 storey triple drop water slide is 7 foot wide and 250 foot high! This slide is sure to be a thrilling experience.

Fifth Place: Walk About Waters – Absolutely perfect for the kiddies! With plenty of water cannons, slides and rides your kids will be entertained for hours.

I can see why Ihu’s Breakaway Falls would be the favourite slide at Aquatica due to the extremely high thrill factor and the sense of achievement you feel once your wobbly legs carry you out of the ‘landing area.’ Good choice guys!

Smiles Included..

Jess
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Aquatica Orlando’s “Cool” Summer Party Returns

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Beat the Central Florida heat this summer at Aquatica, SeaWorld’s Waterpark. Beginning this Friday, Aquatica will offer another way to cool off with Island Nights presented by Coca-Colaseaworld aquatica summer nights

Taking place every Friday and Saturday night until August 6, guests can enjoy an evening celebration of summer with a special Island Nights soundtrack, extended park hours, a daily happy hour from 5 p.m. to park close, an evening menu sizzlin’ with flavor at Waterstone Grill and an evening kick-off party with a DJ and dancers. Event included with park admission to Aquatica.

Summer Festivities Include: 

  • Evening Party- As the temperature cools down, the fun kicks off.  At 5 p.m., the DJ drops the first beat with a burst of water over the crowd marking the start of Island Nights. Park goers can enjoy the atmosphere all evening long with the Island Night’s dancers or enjoy the tunes broadcasted throughout the park while hitting the slides.
  • Extended Hours- As part of Island Nights, park guests can enjoy extended hours every Friday and Saturday night with the park closing at 8 p.m.
  • Happy Hour and Special Offers- After 5 p.m., select food locations in the park will offer $2 off beer and wine; and half-price Refillable Souvenir Cups. 
  • Sizzlin’ Island Flavors- Waterstone Grill features an Island Nights exclusive menu featuring a mojo pork sandwich and pineapple burger. Banana Beach will offer Hawaiian pizza, curry meatballs and pigeon pea rice.
  • Ihu’s Breakaway Falls- Experience Orlando’s tallest, steepest, and only multi-drop tower slide of its kind as the sun sets across the Orlando skyline. After climbing 80 feet into the air, guests step into one of three breakaway boxes anxiously waiting to see who will drop next as part of this wild ride.

AQUATICA IHU BREAKAWAY FALLS

Guests using a ticket from Orlando Attraction Tickets that includes entry to Aquatica can take advantage of this great event. Remember you can purchase a 3 park SeaWorld, Aquatica and Busch Gardens ticket from as little as £93.00* for an adult.

Smiles included…

Jamie

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SeaWorld & Aquatica Announce Summer Nights Event

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Summer loving had me a blast, oh yeah
Summer loving happened so fast,
I met a girl crazy for me,
Met a boy cute as can be,

Summer days drifting away,
To, uh oh, those summer nights…..

This summer as the sun goes down at SeaWorld and Aquatica, Summer Nights begins… No not me doing my usual Grease medley but the chance to Brave rollercoasters in the dark, get up close to amazing animals and party the night away on the beach at SeaWorld and Aquatica this summer

seaworld summer nights

Here’s what you need to know;

SeaWorld Orlando: 20th June – 9th August

SeaWorld’s Summer Nights series kicks off on 20 June giving visitors the chance to stay in the park later to experience more thrills and shows in the dark. Summer Nights at SeaWorld includes:

  • Late-Night ThrillsSeaWorld’s thrill rides are a whole different experience when the sun goes down. Guests can experience Kraken, a thrilling roller coaster, and Manta, a facedown, headfirst roller coaster where riders can skim, glide and fly like a manta ray, and more.
  • Clyde & Seamore’s Sea Lion High – Turn up the laughs with nighttime showings of this all-new sea lion comedy adventure. Full of fun and big personalities of sea lions, walruses and otters, the show takes place in an aquatic-themed high school where laughter and education go hand in hand (er, flipper).
  • Shamu’s Celebration: Light Up The Night The popular summer show returns to SeaWorld this summer, a high-energy show giving visitors the chance to see the park’s majestic killer whales. Shamu Stadium will be transformed with stylistic lighting and colorful backdrops, ending with a fireworks finale spectacle.
  • ‘Celebrate America’ concert series – Every Saturday and Sunday guests can enjoy all-American performances by a variety of artists and genres at this all-new summer concert series. The celebration of America continues throughout the park with all-American food and daily happy hours. Concerts will take place in the Nautilus Theater and are included with park admission.

Aquatica Orlando: 3rd July – 8th August

From 3rd July, Aquatica heats things up with Island Nights presented by Coca-Cola® – an all-new beach party taking place every Friday and Saturday evening from 5pm to 9pm. Guests can enjoy live DJs, dancing on the beach and an evening menu sizzling with flavor at Waterstone Grill. All included with park admission to Aquatica.

seaworld aquatica summer nights

Wowsers… granted not as awesome as me dressed as Rizo, sobbing into my mike as I belt out “there are worse things I can do” but its pretty close.

You can gain access to Summer Nights with any Orlando Attraction Tickets product that includes SeaWorld and Aquatica.

Smiles included…

Jamie

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Kelly Reviews Aquatica

Hi Thrill Seekers,

Day 2 and today we were off to Aquatica and it couldn’t of fallen on a better day with highs of 28 degrees. Bikini was on and I was raring to go, Ihu’s Breakaway Fall’s I’m coming for you.

Aquatica was again literally a few minutes walk from our hotel and very easy to get to. When we got into the park it was straight to Aquatica’s handy lockers to safely put away any belongings which we didn’t want to get wet. We then headed to Cutback Cove & Big Surf Shores which are the man made white-sand beach area which are equipped with deck chairs, sun beds and umbrellas. It truly is paradise, but we’re not spending our day here we were ready to take on all the slides, rivers and waves pools the park had to offer.

So we thought we would be broken in gently and start off with something mild but no – it was straight to Ihu’s Breakaway Fall’s to wake us all up a bit from the drinks which were flowing the night before.

Ihu’s Breakaway Fall’s is the tallest, steepest and only multi-drop tower of its kind in Orlando and we were 5 minutes away from taking it on. After climbing a lot of stairs we finally got to the top and then it hits you “oh dear its actually quite high”. I was one of the last in line so watched some of the other’s as the floor dropped beneath them – some of the faces were very entertaining. One of the girls from our group had decided not to go on it and took the stairs back down.

AQUATICA IHU BREAKAWAY FALLS

My turn eeekkkkk. I walked to the pod, I chose to ride the red flume as this one seemed to be milder than the others. Once you step inside the pod you begin to hear the sound effects of a heart beating which makes the attraction a whole lot more terrifying. The fear took over and I asked to be let out!

“NO” not again (read about Kelly bottling Falcon’s Fury here) I cannot go back to work and say I also bottled Ihu’s, but I just couldn’t do it so off I trudged back down the stairs passing all the people waiting all of them knowing I was a chicken!

At the bottom of the stairs the girl who also decided not to do it was there, it was just us… everybody else had done it! I had to do it, I wanted to do it. Knowing someone would be just as scared as me made it easier, so I looked at her and said “If you do it, I will”. She agreed and it was back up the stairs we went (my legs got a good workout that day). So we got back to the top and this time no hanging around, she entered the green pod and I entered the red pod…

We faced each other in our positions listening to the heartbeat sound effect, ready to drop but who was going to go first…. She did “Yes”….relief came over me until I realised it was now my turn…. the floor went my arms flung in the air and I swallowed a lot of water as my mouth was wide open.

I had actually done it and I will admit I did fist pump the air when I got to the bottom. I was extremely proud of myself as I’m not really a flume fan, but I can honestly say it was the best flume ride I have ever done and I would do it over and over. I made my colleagues at Orlando Attraction Tickets very jealous talking about it and they cannot wait to go and take it on themselves, if any of you have done it please share your views as we would love to know how you handled the mighty Ihu’s Breakaway Falls.

Still buzzing from doing Ihu’s it was onto Roa’s Rapids, a faster, aggressive version of the lazy river with geysers, speed zones and centre islands. Do not underestimate its speed it is pretty fast so for any children or for those not-so-strong swimmers there are life jackets available as you enter the rapids. Even though I can swim, I find wearing a life jacket is actually more fun as you seem to sail along much quicker, keep your eyes open though as you will get a great view of the Aquarium as you are sailing round.

After fighting with the rapids to get out (you will struggle – so grab an arm to pull you out) we headed to Taumata Racer. This was my second biggest thrill in the park a high-speed, competitive mat ride, headfirst, down a seriously steep hill “300 feet” in fact. I’m not one for heights as you will all know if you have read my Kelly VS Falcon’s Fury blog, but Taumata Racer I could just about handle!! 6 of us headed up with our mats ready for battle, we all stood in front of our lanes ready and waiting for the countdown to say “GO” – and we were off, well all of them but me – my mat decided to get stuck but it did move after I ran and belly flopped onto it and I was off heading for the top of the hill (everyone waiting for me at the bottom) and there it was the 300 feet drop. I was travelling down head-first on a mat and oh my did it get my belly. What a fabulous water slide, but it was safe to say I came last thanks to my mat getting stuck, but I had a better run on the second attempt.

Taumata Racers

Once we had enough of competing, it was onto something we could do together “HooRoo Run”. Three people can ride this at any one time, once you’ve reached the top of the tower you are seated in a large inflatable raft and nudged off the edge by the staff and its a straight run to the bottom with a few seat-lifting ridges as you drop, so hold on tight!

Time for one more before heading to get some lunch – it was back up the same tower as HooRoo Run to do Walhalla Wave. Like HooRoo Run three people can ride at anyone time so these are both great for families and groups. You get nudged off the edge again by the staff member then you are zooming through a 6-story maze of twists, turns and tunnels before you surge back out into daylight. I personally didn’t like being in pitch black not knowing what was coming next, but there was no surprise sudden drop so I was quite happy about that.

Walhalla Wave

Its was off for some lunch and we enjoyed a buffet style lunch at Banana Beach, they have a large variety of buffet style foods available which were very enjoyable so I would highly recommend it. After stuffing my face it was safer to let my food go down before taking on anymore rides so we headed back to Cutback Cove & Big Surf Shores to enjoy some sun and a few waves in the wave pools. The wave pool does go very deep the further you go so if you are not a great swimmer I would advise to stay in the shallow end as the waves do get very high and are very strong. I stayed in the shallow end as I would of sunk to the bottom of the deep end with the amount I had eaten!

After a little relaxation it was back to the fun stuff and get as many more rides in as we could before our day came to an end. On our way too Omaka Rocka we passed Walkabout Waters and all of us being big kids at heart we couldn’t resist going in and have a quick game of tag. Walkabout waters is more for the kids with lots of stairs, slides and tunnels just like an indoor play area but in the water its brilliant, well I thought so and I’m an adult so you can imagine the excitement on a childs face when heading to this. Enough of us all being children it was onto Omaka Rocka another rubber ring ride but this one has to be done alone you go speeding into massive flumes where you slide up one side and back down to travel up the other side.

We had time for one last ride so we paired up and went onto Whanua Way – this was in my top 3. Two of you ride together one in front and one behind, you get pushed over the edge again by the staff and its straight it a dark tunnel and when exiting you face two dips before plunging into the pool below, again I would hold on tight as lots of people were flinging off the raft before it was hitting the water – it was very entertaining to watch and thankfully it didn’t happen to me.

So there you have it my day in Aquatica and Orlando Attraction Tickets first ever experience of Ihu’s Breakaway Falls, one which I can actually say I did!!

Look out for my next blog where I visited Discovery Cove and my dreams came true.

Smiles included…

Kelly

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Aquatica Orlando Adds Mobile Phone Chargers

Hey Thrill Seekers,

We truly are in the age of the mobile revolution and SeaWorld’s Aquatica isn’t going to be left behind. Today they announced via various social mediums that they have just added Mobile Phone Chargers at their water park.

Located at Banana Beach Cookout and Waterstone Grill the phone chargers that come with choice of cable for android and iPhone users will cost $2.99 per hour to use.

aquaticamobilephonechargerAs someone who is practically glued to their phone I love this idea. Plus it gives you an excuse to bottle going on Ihu’s Breakaway Falls!

Smiles included…

Jamie

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