A new roller coaster opens Saturday at SeaWorld in San Antonio and the twist is that it's intended to educate thrill seekers about environment and wildlife conservation.
The new Texas Stingray roller coaster opens February 29. SeaWorld boasts that it's the tallest, fastest and longest wooden roller coaster in Texas. The theme park claims riders will face an initial 100-foot drop, reaching speeds up to 55 mph over 3,379 feet of track. Sixteen gravity defying airtime moments and a 100-foot tunnel are just some of the other superlatives this ride will offer guests.
According to a press release from SeaWorld, the theme park has partnered with the Harte Research Institute (HRI) for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi to help share conservation messaging and highlight the work of HRI in seeking science-based solutions for problems facing the Gulf of Mexico.
HRI worked closely with SeaWorld’s Education staff to provide insight and knowledge into the integration of various educational elements into the ride experience. In addition, five percent of select Texas Stingray merchandise sales will be donated to HRI to help further their research and conservation efforts
This is an exciting opportunity for HRI and the entire Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi community,” said Dr. Kelly M. Miller, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi President. “As educators, our goal is to spread information far beyond the walls of a classroom and beyond our island. SeaWorld presents a new avenue for us to provide important scientific information in a unique way. Together, we can work to educate park guests about the need for environmental stewardship and conservation, and we appreciate the chance to partner with SeaWorld in this effort.”
This is the second year that a SeaWorld San Antonio attraction has partnered with a conservation organization to raise awareness of important topics that impact the protection of our oceans. Last year for the opening of Turtle Reef, a 126,000 gallon habitat for endangered sea turtles that features a one-of-a-kind bio filtration system, SeaWorld partnered with Amos Rehabilitation Keep, an organization committed to rescuing and rehabilitating sea turtles along the Texas coast, to educate and inspire guests about the preservation of this species.
Texas Stingray Fast Facts
Type of Ride: Wooden roller coaster, the tallest, fastest and longest in Texas
Special Features: 57-degree first drop and 76 degree high turns
Ride Length: 3,379 feet of track
Drop Height: 100-foot drop
Maximum Speed: 55 mph
Maximum Height: 96 feet
Tunnel: 100 feet
Airtime Hills: 16 airtime hills
Minimum Rider Height: 46 inches
Ride Duration: More than two minutes
Ride Manufacturer: Great Coasters International, Inc. (GCII)