Downtown Aquarium Houston

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Animal Park:Downtown Aquarium Houston
(since 2003)
Address:410 Bagby St,
Houston, TX 77002
Operated by:Landry's Inc.

Downtown Aquarium Houston in Houston, Texas is a leisure centre of the Landry’s group featuring one of their Aquarium restaurants, a large scale exhibition, as well as some amusement rides.

Fun Fact: The trains of the Shark Voyage were the first C.P. Huntington by Chance Rides to be driven fully electric.


Highlight of the Animal and Amusement Park



Shark Voyage

By train through the shark tank


The ride on the Boardwalk Bullet

Kemah Boardwalk

As the fourth and last stop of my Houston CityPass day I drove to Galveston Bay to visit the Kemah Boardwalk. The Leisure Center, consisting of a small amusement park, hotel and a variety of restaurants, is completely owned by the Landry’s Group, so you can try out many of their established brands here. The Boardwalk itself has been in existence since 1998 and at that time already offered a small selection of rides. As time went by more and more attractions moved to Kemah, followed by the construction of the wooden Boardwalk Bullet roller coaster in 2007.

The amusement park offers a great mix of typical American rides, many of them from Larson International and Chance Rides. In addition to the park railway, you can ride a merry-go-round, a Tilt-a-Whirl, an observation tower, a Giant Loop, the Pharaoh’s Fury swing ship, the interactive Aviator ride and the free fall tower Drop Zone. Especially the latter one is a real challenge, because you don’t know when you’ve reached the top of the tower and therefore fall down without warning.

It is an extremely solid mixture of rides that are really a lot of fun, especially in combination with a visit to a restaurant or a longer walk along the promenade of the park and through the neighboured Kemah including psychic reading – although I cannot really recommend a visit to the steak restaurant Saltgrass Steak House.

Boardwalk Bullet

Luckily, right next to it is the wooden coaster Boardwalk Bullet: A gem of the Gravity Group engineers and built by Martin & Vleminckx. On an area of only 1 acre they built a 3236 ft long roller coaster with a height of almost 100ft. The ultra-compact layout promises an extremely wild ride through the framework of the supporting structure.

After a somewhat longer safety check, whereby first the belts, then the bars and finally the track is checked via visual inspection, the ride can begin. After we have left the siding behind us we immediately go down a little dip, whereupon we catch the lift chain. Arriving at the starting altitude we quickly increase our speed and immediately make a turn before we – accompanied by the finest ejector airtime – plunge to the ground on a steep gradient. Immediately we rattle deeper and deeper into the frame in a right turn and race over smaller bunny hops. Back under the open sky we make a turn directly on the promenade. Over hill and dale we make our way up to the second highest point of the layout. Once again without any contact to the seat we are pulled down once more. Below the turning curve that we just passed, we race through the beams of the wooden roller coaster once again. A row of bunny-hops leads us under the first turn, whereupon we dive under the station. In a right turn we follow the course at the beginning of the ride, before we enter the support structure one last time in a left turn. Here we now race across a multitude of hills across the structure. After another right turn we reach the braking section of the layout, whereupon the wild ride soon comes to an end.

The Boardwalk Bullet is a really awesome wooden roller coaster with fantastic ride characteristics, a layout that is almost impossible to see through and a never ending ride through the dense structure. The airtime and the whole pacing of the ride are simply perfect, so a visit to the Boardwalk is definitely recommended.

Pictures Kemah Boardwalk

Conclusion Kemah Boardwalk

The Kemah Boardwalk is a great amusement center at Galveston Bay. Especially as a conclusion to a long day in Houston, the visit is highly recommended. A ride on the wooden roller coaster Boardwalk Bullet is a lot of fun both before and after a visit to the restaurant – the rides on the classic American rides anyway. So come here if you are in Houston anyway. The Space Center Houston is just around the corner.

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The Aquarium in Houston

Downtown Aquarium Houston

The second stop on my Houston CityPass day was the Downtown Aquarium – a leisure facility operated by Landry’s Inc. consisting of a small amusement park, restaurants and an aquarium. The Downtown Aquarium is a direct offshoot of the restaurant chain Aquarium, offering an exhibition reminiscent of a Sea Life Centre. This exhibition is included in the CityPass, a wristband for the rides is available separately.

The Exhibition

Opened in 2003, the Downtown Aquarium is located on the grounds of Fire Station No. 1 and the Central Waterworks Building and makes clever use of them. The upper floor of the former fire station houses the Aquarium Restaurant, the Bar Dive Lounge and the Ballroom Nautilus, while the lower floor houses an interactive touch basin and the actual exhibition. This is – very similar to the large aquariums of the English competitor – quite rapidly passed through, while offering a very high-quality and excellent presentation. Families with smaller children will certainly be able to spend a longer time in this aquarium. The only point of criticism are the white tigers which can be found in an aquarium rather untypically and which were held here without access to sunlight (since the end of this year there is an outside enclosure).

Shark Voyage and the rides

Outside, in addition to the colorful Aquatic Carousel, the two children’s free-fall towers Lighthouse Dive and Frog Hopper, and the Ferris wheel Diving Bell – which is a great eye-catcher (especially at night) for those just coming in from the north on Interstate 45 to Houston – is the Shark Voyage, Chance Rides’ first fully electric park train. Since 2018, it has been making its rounds. The ride itself is much older, but that doesn’t make it any less special. The real highlight of the park railway is its route through the Waterworks Building, which has an underwater tunnel in a huge shark tank. Here, the train stops for a few minutes, so that one can watch the sharks to the right, to the left and above oneself. The C.P. Huntington train therefore features a panoramic roof.

The ride on the park train Shark Voyage is the reason why I went to the Downtown Aquarium Houston at all. I think the idea is great, but I think it is a pity that the trip is not included in the visit to the exhibition; after all, it is the highlight of the establishment. In general, I really liked the offer of the Downtown Aquarium, so that a visit is not only recommended to aquarists with small children.

Pictures Downtown Aquarium Houston

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