Merlin Entertainments and developer Ashkenazy Acquisition Corporation and Merlin Entertainments have announced that two of Merlin’s premier attractions – SEA LIFE Aquarium and LEGOLAND® Discovery Center – will be featured in Shops at Rivercenter, a premier shopping, dining and entertainment destination on the world famous Riverwalk in downtown San Antonio, TX, USA. Both attractions are scheduled to open in 2018.
Shops at Rivercenter is one of Ashkenazy Acquisition Corporation’s premier assets with their complete portfolio containing more than 100 buildings valued in excess of $10 billion. “We, at Ashkenazy Acquisitions, are so excited and very much look forward to SEA LIFE Aquarium and LEGOLAND Discovery Center providing an entertaining and educational experience to visitors. These attractions will further define the Shops at Rivercenter and downtown San Antonio as one of the premier entertainment destinations throughout the US,” says Ben Ashkenazy, CEO of Ashkenazy Acquisitions Corp. “We are pleased to be partnering with a quality organization like Merlin Entertainments.”
Merlin Entertainments’ John Jakobsen, Chief New Openings Officer, said: “Shops at Rivercenter’s location on the world-famous Riverwalk and its close proximity to The Alamo, a national historic landmark, makes this project especially exciting for us. It’s the ultimate family destination- the ideal environment for our attractions.”
The SEA LIFE and LEGOLAND Discovery Center complex will comprise over 65,000 square feet of interactive and educational attraction space and is expected to be a major visitor destination within Shops at Rivercenter.
SEA LIFE is the world’s biggest aquarium brand with more than 50 major attractions across North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific including: London, Paris, Bangkok, Auckland, Orlando and others. San Antonio will be the second SEA LIFE aquarium in Texas with the first located in Dallas. SEA LIFE will highlight spectacular displays of diverse marine life for visitors to enjoy – everything from shrimp and starfish to seahorses, sharks and rays. SEA LIFE will feature, as its centerpiece, a tropical ocean tank with a walk-through underwater tunnel – taking visitors on a seamless journey under the sea which entertains, inspires and teaches both young and old. The attractions offer everything from spectacular viewing windows, giving a glimpse into the ocean itself, to enlightening talks, to feeding demonstrations and many other ways to interact directly with some of the incredible featured sea life.
Conservation is also a central part of the SEA LIFE experience. Visitors will experience SEA LIFE’s Breed, Rescue and Protect activities around the world, including the work of the SEA LIFE Trust – a registered charity established by Merlin to raise awareness of issues affecting the world’s marine life; to promote solutions, and where relevant, provide funding for valuable marine conservation work across the globe.
LEGOLAND Discovery Center, Merlin’s very popular and unique indoor family attraction based on the world’s favorite toy, the LEGO® brick, will also be coming to Shops at Rivercenter. Described by the company as “the ultimate indoor LEGO playground”, it has been designed specifically for families with children ages 3 to 10 to play together, offering a fun, highly interactive and educational two to three-hour experience. LEGOLAND Discovery Centers provide a range of activities including a 4D cinema; themed LEGO play areas, creative workshops with a LEGO Master Model Builder; LEGO-themed rides; special party rooms for birthdays and other celebrations; as well as the popular MINILAND exhibit which is designed to reflect the iconic buildings and skyline of each individual attraction’s location.