At SeaWorld, one San Antonio family discovers more family adventure and education than travelers could possibly squeeze into one day, so they go often. Marine life plus thrills and excitement suits them. Newest? Wave Breaker: The Rescue Center. Here are six things to know about the family-friendly coaster.
My family loves the latest technology. So when SeaWorld San Antonio announced their latest coaster, the Wave Breaker, we just had to know all about it! And the more we learned about it, the more we knew we would enjoy it. And bonus – so would those who don’t appreciate the wild dips and drops of most new coasters.
We loved that the new, latest-tech ride doesn’t get you wet, seriously. AND it let us ride side-by-side, sort of on a jet ski. Plus, the experience is tied to marine life rescue. If you’re planning a trip to the San Antonio Texas area and want to check out SeaWorld and the Wave Breaker, consider these six tips:
1. The Wave Breaker is a completely unique roller coaster experience
I admit to having kind of a “been there done that” attitude toward roller coasters. I’ve been on a ton in my lifetime and they’re all pretty much the same, right? Wrong. The Wave Breaker’s jet-ski style car hugs the riders in a straddled position as they grip the handle bars and race through a series of high-speed maneuvers and steeply banked turns. Unlike other coasters that feature dramatic changes in speed, Wave Breaker had us moving fast for the entire ride. It was an absolute blast.
The combination of consistent high speed and banked, serpentine turns throughout the ride track that is 90 percent over the surface of the water left me breathless in a good way. The Wave Breaker is the only coaster of its kind in North America. It was named by USA Today as one of the Ten New Cool Rides Coming in 2017.
There are mock-ups of the Wave Breaker cars outside the attraction which allowed our family to scope out the one-of-a-kind jet-ski cars before we got in line. You’ll want to check those out…they make a fun photo op, too.
2. It’s an awesome family coaster or first roller coaster
Wave Breaker: The Rescue Coaster at SeaWorld Texas is a great first roller coaster for the budding thrill seeker. It’s lightning fast but it doesn’t have steep drops or upside-down flips, which might be a little intense for a newbie coaster rider.
My six-year-old is just a smidge under the height requirement. He’s hoping for a summer growth spurt, but if not, we’ll be introducing him to the wonderful world of “big kid” roller coasters with the Wave Breaker next year.
SeaWorld San Antonio has two other thrill rides: The Steel Eel (minimum height requirement 48 inches) and the Great White (minimum height requirement 54 inches). The Shamu Express Kids’ Roller Coaster is our top pick for a tamer, kid-friendly ride. It has a minimum height requirement of 38 inches, so my kids were tall enough to ride it alone.
3. It’s the smoothest roller coaster you’ll ever ride
The older I get, the leerier of roller coasters I’ve become. The inner adrenaline junkie in me is still in there, but who likes getting jerked and bounced around? The Wave Breaker is smooth as silk. There’s so much new technology that goes into designing roller coasters. There is just no good excuse for a roller coaster that gives you whiplash anymore!
Because we were straddling the jet-ski like seats and gripping the handlebars, there’s a natural tendency to move with the ride and lean into every turn. We felt like we were part of the ride and actively participating versus just strapped into a car and being in reactive mode. I think that added to the perception of overall smoothness.
If you’re into tech talk and engineering details, the Wave Breaker uses friction drive propulsion, which means electricity and friction propel the coaster. We took advantage of our kids’ insane levels of curiosity to turn the Wave Breaker into an impromptu lesson in physics. My kids might not be quite tall enough to ride today but now they know what velocity is. Winning.
4. You don’t get wet – for real!
The Wave Breaker’s track is 90 percent over water, which gave the illusion of speeding across the water on a jet-ski, but the car has no actual contact with the water. No splashing or spraying whatsoever.
If you want to get wet at SeaWorld, you have plenty of options. Journey to Atlantis and Rio Loco are rides that will get you soaked and cool you off. The Bay of Play also has a fun splash pad and, of course, the rows at the animal shows marked as “splash zones” are a pretty sure thing.
5. Entertainment meets education
Riding the Wave Breaker gave us a taste of the adrenaline rush rescue workers experience when they get notification of a new rescue mission. The displays in the queue show pictures and stories that taught us about the more than 30,000 rescues by the SeaWorld Rescue Team over the past 50 years. And yes, I get that waiting in line is never all that fun, but I loved that the displays started conversations with my kids about conservation. It got them even more interested in marine life, if that’s possible.
Once we got on the Wave Breaker, our car rolled into an enclosed bay where we received our mission – dolphin rescue – via a video screen. The Wave Breaker allowed us the opportunity to enjoy a thrilling ride while learning more about the mission of SeaWorld parks.
Pro tip: If you want a shorter wait at SeaWorld, check out “Quick Queue” services to trim your wait. There are various options available, to include packages that offer reserved seating at shows. If you’re purchasing tickets online, you can easily add Quick Queue to your order.
NOTE: Quick Queue prices run from $25-$45 and do NOT include the Wave Breaker at this time.
6. It’s insanely fun and you should totally try it
The Wave Breaker moves fast and the three-plus minute ride was over all too soon. Four words: “Let’s do it again.” There are so many reasons to visit SeaWorld San Antonio with your family. If you’re making your summer must-do list, definitely add this but make note of the fact that SeaWorld is open almost year ‘round and the temperatures in San Antonio are mild enough for outdoor activities through most of the winter.
Since this is a new ride, I recommend coming to the park early and getting in line first. You might also check out the lines during the last hour before closing when lines are typically shorter.
Quick-reference facts about Wave Breaker: The Rescue Coaster at SeaWorld San Antonio
- Launch coaster
- Uses friction drive propulsion, which uses electricity and friction to quickly propel the coaster train through two exciting launches.
- More than 2,600 feet of track
- Maximum Speed: 44 mph
- Seats: 8 coaches per train, 2 riders per coach
- Ride Duration: More than three minutes
- Height Requirement: 48 inches
- A Marine Sea Rescue theme throughout the queue line featuring stories & facts about rescue and rehabilitation
Wave Breaker: The Rescue Coaster is located in the backside of SeaWorld San Antonio, across from Penguin Plaza.
About the Author
Jill is the oldest mom with the youngest kids pretty much everywhere she goes. She has a 24-year-old daughter and two seven-year-old sons. She realizes that yes, that’s a really big gap between kids. Jill wears many hats: wife, mom, humorist, writer, wanderer, caffeine addict and wannabe wine snob. She is a news writer for Disney’s parenting website, Babble. Her work has appeared in various other online and print publications, including The Washington Post.
Jill is always planning her next adventure, whether that be a week in Ireland or herding her kids into the people-mover (AKA her super-cool minivan) to check out what’s new in her neck of the woods. She lives with her husband and two sons in the San Antonio area. You can find out what Jill is up to by reading her blog, Ripped Jeans and Bifocals, where she writes about adoption and her spin on everyday parenting.