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ACE News: ACE 360

Take a Dive on Texas Stingray

Friday, February 21, 2020   (6 Comments)
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Photo: John Chen. View full-sized image.


Photo: Jay Jacobs. View full-sized image.


SeaWorld San Antonio unleashed one of the most anticipated new coasters in 2020 and the only wooden coaster to open in North America this year. They say that everything is bigger in Texas, and now Texas Stingray can boast it is the tallest, fastest and longest wooden coaster in the state of Texas.

This park was the first of the SeaWorld chain to add a roller coaster back in 1997 with Great White. Today, the park has an impressive collection of six coasters, the most of any SeaWorld property. The ride is located in the back of the park across from the Turtle Reef section that was added in 2019, between the Rio Loco rapids ride and the Orca Encounter.


Photo: Jay Jacobs. View full-sized image.


Ray Gonzales, leader of loyalty and consumer activation for SeaWorld, said the ride has been in the works for two years. SeaWorld San Antonio is big on conservation and education and wanted to highlight an animal featured in the park. The roller coaster resembles a stingray, and the park knows everyone in Texas loves its state pride, so Texas Stingray was chosen as its name. Throughout the ride, riders are twisted back and forth, similar to the action of a stingray in water.

Keeping with the SeaWorld philosophy, once riders are in the line, they can follow the signage that has been added throughout to educate guests on stingrays and environmental conservation. The park teamed up with Harte Research Institute to help create the educational displays. There are also many amazing views of the coaster while waiting in line.


Photo: Jay Jacobs. View full-sized image.


Photo: Jay Jacobs. View full-sized image.


Once in the station, eager riders board one of the beautiful and comfortable trains. The Millennium Flyer trains from Great Coasters International Inc. (GCII) feature a stingray on the lead car. Once loaded, the train dispatches for a quick trip to the lift hill.


Photo: Jay Jacobs. View full-sized image.


When riders reach the top of the lift, they have a few seconds to catch a quick look at the other exciting coasters in the park to the left, or they can see what is coming up on the right. A beautifully twisted layout that never lets up awaits. Leaving the lift, a turn to the right leads to a 100-foot drop. Texas Stingray is very smooth and features constant speed and back-to-back elements. Interestingly, the only straight piece of track is in the station and brake run. During the journey, the track crosses over the Rio Loco rapids ride twice and runs through a 100-foot-long tunnel as it makes its way back to the station.


Photo: Jay Jacobs. View full-sized image.


Photo: John Chen. View full-sized image.


The ride has a 46-inch height requirement, making it easy for most family members to enjoy. GCII designed the coaster to be equally fun for the average guest and still pack a punch for enthusiasts. The park is billing Texas Stingray as a family coaster, but thrill seekers will love the ride.

Texas Stingray stands 96 feet tall and has a first drop of 100 feet at a 57-degree angle. The ride has 16 airtime hills and reaches speeds up to 55 mph but feels much faster as you travel through the elements. The trains travel over 3,379 feet in just over two minutes.


Photo: John Chen. View full-sized image.


Photo: Jay Jacobs. View full-sized image.


The coaster is exceptionally smooth and very re-rideable. Texas Stingray is beautiful and a great addition to the park. It will open for pass member previews on Saturday, February 21, and Sunday, February 22. The grand opening for the public is on Saturday, February 29.

— Jay Jacobs
ACE South Central Assistant Regional Representative



Comments...

Adam Napotnik says...
Posted Sunday, February 23, 2020
This ride looks incredible and is absolutely stunning! I need to make it down to this Seaworld and finally cross them all off my list. Also, to echo previous comments, it’s good to see the wooden coaster is still alive and well in the industry!
Rus Ozana says...
Posted Saturday, February 22, 2020
Looks like a sweet ride! Gotta get this on my calendar to check it out for myself.
Bill Linkenheimer III says...
Posted Saturday, February 22, 2020
I followed the coverage on ACE's Facebook yesterday. This looks like an amazing new wood coaster! And it's great to see another new wood coaster opening!
Lee Ann Draud says...
Posted Saturday, February 22, 2020
Wish I didn't live so far away! Looking forward to riding this when I'm in San Antonio again.
Robert M. Ulrich says...
Posted Saturday, February 22, 2020
Looks like a great ride. Hopefully I’ll get there this year.
Elizabeth G. Ringas says...
Posted Saturday, February 22, 2020
Can’t wait to visit again to ride this! Looks like a nice addition to the park.