Do you know the story behind our mascot Schatze? Do you know that we went through several other mascots who didn’t quite live up to the task? Here is a peek behind the castle and the origin story of the waterpark dog named Schatze!
Everyone knows that a theme park, like a sports team, must have a great mascot. (Isn’t there some theme park in Florida and California with a really famous one…I forget the name, but it’s a rodent of some type…) But needless to say, for Schlitterbahn our team felt it was important to have loveable mascot from the beginning.
In the early 1980s we introduced Poly Frog. The name and idea were connected to our Polywog Pond Kids’ Area in the Original Schlitterbahn and inspired by one of our signature kids’ play elements, the Frog Slide.
Poly didn’t last long. Maybe Kermit was too much competition. Soon after Poly hopped off, Baron Von Tuben appeared. He was an effort to reflect our German heritage and the tubing culture alive both at Schlitterbahn and in the heart of New Braunfels (where our first and flagship waterpark is). As you can see by the pictures, neither of these mascots were big on the cute and cuddly scale.
Fast forward to 2007, one of our Graphic Designers, Jen, was experimenting with an idea for new website and commercial art using her Dachshund, Olive as inspiration. One of her sketches got into the hands of our Retail Director and a plush toy designer. And Jen’s vision for Schatze became a super cute and cuddly reality! (black and white renderings by Jen Rhodes)
One year later Schlitterbahn opened Schatze’s Central Park. This kids’ area was designed for our tiniest guests and to this day features play structures, a car wash, dancing water element. And most importantly, it’s the home of Schatze, Schlitterbahn’s official mascot! He makes appearances daily when the park is open both in New Braunfels and at Schlitterbahn
Galveston Island and has even been spotted outside the park making visits to events around Texas.
In 2017 Schazte got a new look and feel thanks to graphic designer Maddy Kouns, and he also got some nice clothes (because when you’re visiting schools, it’s a great idea to dress up a little).
We even designed an award that we give out… the Golden Schatzes. But more on that next time.Fun Fact: Before Schatze’s Central Park was a doggie paradise, it was a mini golf course. Many of the structures from the original course are still there, and you can see where the “green” once was.