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Shocked By The Steel Eel at Sea World San Antonio

by Karol on June 27, 2011

I got to Sea World about 15 minutes before it opened and it looked packed. There were people everywhere and even the will call line had about 10 people in front of me. Whoa! But don’t worry, I cut that whole entrance line you see in the photo above. I don’t have a kid or a purse or a bag. Nobody said a thing. ;) (Confidence, my friends.)

I picked up my ticket and Quick Queue pass at Will Call and headed in. Oh, first let me say how nice they were about giving me a ticket and Quick Queue pass.

When I spoke to Sea World a short while ago one of the questions I was asked was, “Are you planning on staying at the park all day or are you just riding the coasters?” My answer, of course, was, “I’m just riding the coasters.”

Response: “Oh ok, in that case we’ll give you a Quick Queue pass as well so you can get in and get out as quickly as possible.”

And that is how a normal company reacts to someone doing a roller coaster tour of the US, writing a trip report about every park, and getting press. (*Ahem* Fiesta Texas *Ahem*)

It’s asking for almost nothing to give media a pass and front of line access. Media is not there to chill out and play with their children. As fun as this is, it is work. (And to anybody who thinks it’s not, ask somebody else who has traveled 8,000 miles in a month, taken a thousand photos, and written ~20,000 words just how little work that involves.)

So thank you to Sea World and the other parks who have been so supportive since I began this journey. It really makes a big difference.

On to the coasters!

Steel Eel

I headed to Steel Eel first because it was closest. It’s a steel coaster with a nice 150 drop and 65mph max speed. I walked up to the line and almost immediately I heard “Any single riders? Single riders, there is an empty seat in the 3rd car.”

So many parks can learn from this. It’s such an easy solution to speeding up wait times on rides. Fill all seats and increase throughput. Increase throughput and increase customer happiness. Increase customer happiness and you’ve got a business people are thrilled to talk about. It’s not rocket science, and yet it’s incredibly rare.

Anyway, I sat down in the empty seat and began the ride. The first drop was fun and then we went through some secondary dips and turns, with three humps towards the end, which I think are meant to look like an eel. If not, great coincidence!

The ride was so fun I did it again. And due to the “single riders!” announcement I walked right on again … 3rd car too!

Next up was …

Great White

Great White is a standard feet hanging in the air ride. Small drop which goes into a loop and then twists, turns, loops and all that good stuff. Fun ride, of course, but I wanted to walk around the park a bit before heading out so I didn’t go for a second round.

I walked over to Journey to Atlantis, and almost considered going on it. If I was planning on staying at the park I’d have done it, but I didn’t want to begin a long drive while soaking wet.

I did spot a squirrel on my way though, so that’s something:

All in all, I spent about 90 minutes at the park, including waiting in line for my passes. In, out, and gone!

More Sea World San Antonio photos here.

Thanks again Sea World San Antonio.

Tomorrow I’ll be at Six Flags Over Texas. Really looking forward to the revamped Texas Giant!


Matt Kimberley June 27, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Boy, am I enjoying living vicariously through you. Enjoying these updates, particularly how seriously you take this business of enjoying yourself …

Karol June 27, 2011 at 4:26 pm

Thanks Matt! I do my best to have a good time. :)

Christi July 22, 2011 at 7:46 am

Okay so I found your site while trying to do some research, we were at San Antonio yesterday and my husband and 8 year old son rode the Steel Eel, my son passed out on the first drop. I thought since you are a “roller coaster person” you might know the reason why this would happen before I rush home and get him to a doctor. Please let me know if you have ever heard of this and if so why this would happen? Thanks so much!

Karol July 24, 2011 at 12:25 am

I have no reason why that would happen. Take him to a doctor.

Georgia June 16, 2015 at 8:34 pm

Steel Eel was my very first Rollercoaster. I was about 7 or 8, and I was holding on for dear life, because I thought I was going to die when we got to the humps and we rose out of our seat. You should have ridden Journey to Atlantis, I rode it at least 20 or 30 times. Anyway, hope you enjoyed

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