Dan Naden

Sea World presents a charming day…with a catch

I am surrounded by Cookie Monster, Elmo and Bert, as they dance to a catchy tune about letters and numbers. For a moment, I think about throwing caution to the wind and join in the two step. The furry creatures that taught me the ABCs are now paving the path for the next generation and I can’t really control myself.

The smiles on our children’s faces are as wide as Texas.

The live shows were a dazzling display of beauty and strength.

Recently, the family spent a spectacular day at Sea World San Antonio on a mild late summer day. The sun beat loud and proud on that day.

This treasured day, however, almost didn’t happen.

Our plan was simple:

-Open the doors to the park at 10am.

-Stay until exhaustion beat us down.

 The skies on that particular Saturday morning, however, were hostile. Drizzle and fog dampened all spirits. The previous night’s rain, thunder and lightning displays were legendary.

After a few hours of wishing, hoping, praying that the rain would stop, we caught a break.

The skies lightened just enough to let us into the park around noon.

Despite our late start, we were ambitious about our pursuit of trying every ride, coaster, game that was available at Sea World San Antonio. With the park featuring Halloween hours and events (until 10pm), we believed that we had plenty of time to ‘give it a go’.

We petted the sting rays, bobbed and weaved on the Shamu Express roller coaster, laughed on the merry-go-round, and marveled at the artistry and acrobatics of Azul. Azul was a major departure from your typical dolphin show. Talented professionals swam, dove, climbed, soared against a majestic backdrop of light, color, sound.  Unbelievable.

Even I tested his nerves on the jaw-dropping Steel Eel. As I made the slow, methodical incline prior to the ride’s steepest drop, I wondered, “Why am I doing this?” When it was over, I was ready to do it again!

Then, unexpectedly at 5pm, we heard this over the park’s loudspeaker:

“Attention please; because of inclement weather earlier in the day, the park will be closing at 6pm today. All Hallowscream activities are cancelled for tonight.”

The words: “What?”, “Huh?” could be heard reverberating around the park.

This was a surprise in the worst way.

I realize weather plays a significant role in the unpredictable schedules of most of these amusements parks, yet we wouldn’t have made the decision to enter the park around noon (at full price!) if we knew the day was only six hours long instead of ten hours. With the sky clearing, it didn’t cross our mind that the park would close early.

Most likely, we’ll return to Six Flags San Antonio for some stupendous fun. This bout of unfortunate, nearly unfathomable, news probably put a frown on the furry faces of Cookie Monster, Elmo and Bert as well as on the faces of the Austin visitors.

Until next time,

Dan Naden

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