On Thursday SeaWorld Orlando released additional details about its highly anticipated new attraction, Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin. The construction project, announced in November of 2011, is scheduled to open in spring 2013 and is the biggest expansion ever undertaken by the park. Heralded by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment as the first of its kind in the world, Empire of the Penguin will transport guests to the bottom of the world and invite them to explore the frozen continent alongside a colony of penguins.
The new area will feature a dining location, underwater viewing and a combination dark ride and penguin exhibit, which will allow guests the opportunity to get closer to penguins than ever before. The attraction’s ride system will feature state-of-the-art technology that will create a different experience with each ride. A number of different breeds of penguin will be featured in the new exhibit including Gentoo, Rockhopper, King and Adélie penguins.
So what can guests expect from SeaWorld’s newest addition? From what we’ve learned from the park, the experience will be an immersive one. The SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment creative design team has toiled to create lifelike replica glaciers and icebergs that will line the new attraction and bring the look of Antarctica in the world to Central Florida. Replica glacial rockwork can be seen in the recently released “Making of Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin” webisode:
According to the webisode, the ride will also be the coldest theme park attraction in the world! We recommend bringing along a jacket, even during the hot Florida summer season; apparently, penguins are comfortable in temperatures in the low 30s. You might not want to visit the attraction after sitting in the Shamu splash zone!
Guests can also expect a family-friendly experience. Penguins will be viewable from multiple points in the new area, meaning that even the youngest of animal lovers can get up close and meet some new feathered friends! Penguin lovers should also set aside some time in the day to explore the new Empire of the Penguin merchandise, attire and plush.
Though penguins have been a fixture at SeaWorld since the opening of the park’s Penguin Encounter since 1986, Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin brings the exhibit into SeaWorld’s newest generation of animal-connection attractions. This trend synthesizes animal experiences with entertainment or rides. The park’s other recent additions, notably Manta and TurtleTrek, feature animals within the attractions or their queues.
With major expansions happening at other Central Florida parks, it is exciting to see SeaWorld Orlando also taking steps to expand and improve while staying within the realm of its mission to “celebrate, connect and care for the world we all share.” Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin promises to be a fun adventure for all ages that will educate guests about the penguin’s breathtaking yet challenging natural habitat using SeaWorld’s signature method of “edutainment.”
You can visit http://seaworldparks.com/en/seaworld-orlando/Antarctica for more information.
Want to see penguins right now? Check out SeaWorld’s Penguin Cam (feed from San Diego, but does it really matter?).
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