JENKS, Okla. – Visitors to the Oklahoma Aquarium now have a new fish attraction to experience.
A custom water carousel debuted Thursday. It’s the first thing visitors will see upon entering, but Kenny Alexopoulos, Oklahoma Aquarium’s chief operating officer, says he hopes it won’t be the last.
“I hope they will be inspired once they enter the aquarium and observe all the real live animals and then of course learn about them and how to keep them,” he explains. he.
It’s not a big leap. Almost all of the animals in the carousel live in the aquarium, with staff members involved in the design.
“Most of the rides you see are associated with a carnival or a circus,” says Alexopoulos. “We really didn’t want that feeling, it had to scream ocean, aquarium.”
He says they didn’t want the standard of mirrors and cherubic angels, so staff at the Oklahoma Aquarium picked out the colors, animals, and even animal prints that guests will see.
“Almost all the animals represent real animals in the wild… except for our sea monster,” he smiles, joking about Loch Ness. “We had to have a sea monster and it’s actually a pilot favourite.”
The carousel took about eight months to build because everything was custom. It was shipped in pieces and then assembled at Jenks in a week.
Alexopoulos says if you haven’t been to the Oklahoma Aquarium in the past six months, it’s worth coming back because they’re always adding stuff.
He mentioned the new virtual reality element that allows guests to “swim” with the sharks. He says they are working to add a jellyfish exhibit and pollinator garden and trail with water features soon.
In the meantime, he expects to see children making a line of bees for the carousel in the Great Hall.
“It kind of transformed the whole room from dull and dull into an amazing and fun open space with a beautiful carousel!” said Alexopoulos.
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