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Ready for a splash? Robert Moreno | Sat, Jun 01 2013 12:00 PM

SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment is getting an early start on summer fun Saturday, June 1, with the opening of its newest water park.

Aquatica, the 11th water park under the SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment chain and the first in California, features six water slides and five attractions that include a wave pool, children’s play area and a flamingo exhibit.

The water park originally known as White Water Canyon, then Knott’s Soak City and now Aquatica is relying on its SeaWorld brand to give guests a memorable experience.

“Guests who are familiar with the SeaWorld brand will see what type of experience we can deliver here,” David Cromwell, vice president of Aquatica San Diego, said.

The park is decorated with tropical landscaping, bright graphics and vibrant purple, orange and green colors.

On Aquatica’s employee preview day Tuesday, guests immediately saw the upgrades in Aquatica compared to that of Knott’s Soak City.

“(The main difference is) the color and the style of the park,” Toby Murillo said.

“Last year, it looked like it was kind of run down and now it’s just alive and brings energy to everything. I like the color and the trees. The landscaping is just beautiful.”

Cromwell said SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment has three Aquatica parks, with each one being different in the rides they have and the layout of each park.

Among the six water slides are Whanau Way, a 60-foot water slide complex featuring six slides, four enclosed and two open air; HooRoo Run, which has two open-air slides with an 80-foot drop; Woohoo Falls features one of three water slides with speedy twists and turns, including one in the dark; Kiwi Curl has three 60-foot-tall water slides; Walhalla Wave, a 78-foot ride in an inner tube; and Tessie’s Twister offers a plunge down a 75-foot water slide in a multi-person raft before dropping into a six-story funnel.

Those interested in relaxing, can take a cruise down Loggerhead Lane, Aquatica’s 1,250-foot- long lazy river.

The waterpark gives its guests a SeaWorld feel with its flamingo and turtle exhibits.

“When you visit an Aquatica-SeaWorld waterpark we are going to give you adventures at all levels,” Mike Price, assistant curator of fishes for zoological operations for SeaWorld, said.

Admission to the park is $38 for adults and $30 for children.  Aquatica will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Saturday, June 1, through the first week of October.

Aquatica is located at 2052 Otay Valley Road in Chula Vista.

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