Texas Stingray

Texas Stingray is a wooden roller coaster at SeaWorld San Antonio in San Antonio, Texas, manufactured by Great Coasters International (GCI). The coaster opened in February 2020 and operated for just a few weeks before the park closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The coaster reopened when the park resumed limited operation on June 11, 2020.[1]

Texas Stingray
Texas Stingray roller coaster logo.png
SeaWorld San Antonio
LocationSeaWorld San Antonio
Coordinates29°27′09″N 98°41′56″W / 29.4524°N 98.6990°W / 29.4524; -98.6990Coordinates: 29°27′09″N 98°41′56″W / 29.4524°N 98.6990°W / 29.4524; -98.6990
StatusOperating
Soft opening dateFebruary 21, 2020
Opening dateFebruary 22, 2020
General statistics
TypeWood
ManufacturerGreat Coasters International
DesignerDustin Sloane, Skyline Attractions
Track layoutTwister
Lift/launch systemChain lift hill
Height96 ft (29 m)
Drop100 ft (30 m)
Length3,379 ft (1,030 m)
Speed55 mph (89 km/h)
Inversions0
Height restriction46 in (117 cm)
Texas Stingray at RCDB
Pictures of Texas Stingray at RCDB

HistoryEdit

Planning for Texas Stingray dates to 2017.[2] In April 2019, it was reported that a trademark was filed for a new theme park ride at SeaWorld San Antonio under the name “Abyss.” At around the same time land clearing and construction began at the park on a site across the pathway from the nearly finished attractions for 2019, Turtle Reef, Riptide Rescue, and Sea Swinger.[3] Texas Stingray was not formally announced until September 12, 2019, at which time it was revealed that the coaster would be the "tallest, fastest, [and] longest" wooden coaster in Texas.[4] The trains were on display in November at the GCI booth at the IAAPA expo, during which it was announced that the coaster was scheduled to open spring 2020.[2][5] Texas Stingray operated for the media on February 21, 2020, season pass holders on February 22, then opened to the public a week later on February 29, 2020.[6][7]

DescriptionEdit

The coaster occupies a previously undeveloped plot of land between the Shamu Theater and the park's Rio Grande river rapids ride. The wooden-tracked ride features steel supports, which had been utilized on two previous GCI coasters, including InvadR at sister-park Busch Gardens Williamsburg.[8] The terrain includes small valleys and undulations which the design takes advantage of. A 96-foot lift hill leads into a drop of 100 feet (30 m). The coaster reaches a top speed of 55 miles per hour (89 km/h) while traversing 3,379 feet (1,030 m) feet of track.[9] The wooden track features extensive use of ipe wood which is stronger, denser and more durable than typical coaster track.[10]

Ride experienceEdit

Texas Stingray was primarily designed by Dustin Sloane, Skyline Attractions' director of creative process, with President Jeff Pike overseeing the process. As with recent SeaWorld installations, the attraction endeavors to educate while entertaining and to promote the park’s core message of conservation and preservation. SeaWorld partnered with the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies (HRI) to create signage in and around the attraction and throughout the queue. The signage provides details on stingrays found in the Texas Gulf and how everyone is connected to the ocean. In addition, 5% of the sales of Texas Stingray merchandise is donated to HRI.[11]

As the train leaves the station it curves to the right to engage the 96-foot lift hill, another right turn off the lift leads to an atypical straight first drop of 100 feet into a small valley. A straight uphill climb leads to a curving dive to the right as the coaster assumes a more typical GCI layout. According to the designers, the soaring curves mimic the action of a large ray swimming in the ocean. Multiple curves and dips are combined with airtime pops. As the train works its way over to the Rio Grande rapids ride it passes over a section of the channel before heading back toward the station. On the return run, the coaster slices through the support structure of the lift hill then dives into a surprise curved tunnel. Following a few more turns and airtime hills the train returns to the station. The ride time from station release to brake varies but is approximately 1:40–1:50.[11]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Cureau, Chuck (June 10, 2020). "SeaWorld San Antonio Will Reopen on June 19" (Press release). San Antonio: SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment Inc. Retrieved January 3, 2021.
  2. ^ a b Iszler, Madison (September 12, 2019). "SeaWorld San Antonio opening wooden roller coaster next year". San Antonio Express-News. Retrieved January 6, 2020.
  3. ^ Yates, Erik (April 17, 2019). "Is an Abyss coming to SeaWorld San Antonio? New Construction Pics And Trademark Names Revealed". Behind The Thrills. Retrieved November 13, 2019.
  4. ^ "'Tallest, fastest, longest' wooden roller coaster in Texas coming to soon to SeaWorld". KHOU. September 12, 2019. Retrieved January 6, 2020.
  5. ^ "First Look: SeaWorld San Antonio unveils new thrill ride". www.bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2020-01-06.
  6. ^ Patton, Mary Claire (2020-02-18). "SeaWorld San Antonio debuts massive wooden roller coaster and 'first-of-its-kind' water slide". KSAT. Retrieved 2020-03-29.
  7. ^ Moody, Danielle (2020-02-28). "New wooden 'Texas Stingray' coaster opens at Sea World Saturday". WOAI. Retrieved 2020-03-29.
  8. ^ Marden, Duane. "InvadR  (Busch Gardens Williamsburg)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved January 3, 2021.
  9. ^ "SeaWorld San Antonio opening wooden roller coaster next year". MYSA. September 12, 2019. Retrieved January 3, 2021.
  10. ^ Baldwin, Tim (April 2020). "Texas Stingray debuts, excites riders at SeaWorld San Antonio". Amusement Today. Arlington, Texas. 24 (1): 1–4. Retrieved January 3, 2021.
  11. ^ a b Baldwin, Tim. "Texas Stingray Brings the Wooden Coaster back to San Antonio". RollerCoaster!. Vol. 42 no. 2. Grand Prairie, Texas: American Coaster Enthusiasts. pp. 12–16. ISSN 0896-7261.