SeaWorld Orlando (SWO) Discussion Thread

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Re: SeaWorld Orlando (SWO) Discussion Thread

Postby cfc » Mon Nov 19, 2012 8:42 pm

I like how they're using the lake for the Christmas tree light show--the SeaWorld nutcrackers are a nice touch, too.

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Re: SeaWorld Orlando (SWO) Discussion Thread

Postby nay » Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:03 pm

Jakizle wrote:You guys have to go back and see Shamu Christmas Miracles though! It is easily my favorite show at any theme park.

Agreed. :)

The also have some new photo areas this year. In addition to the snow globe by the waterfront that was introduced last year, they added another one by Shamu stadium. And I believe there are meet and greets with animals by the O Wondrous Night theatre.

My only disappointment was that they no longer offer the booth where you chose what type of bread you wanted and added a variety of spreads and toppings. But the smores cobbler is still there!

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Re: SeaWorld Orlando (SWO) Discussion Thread

Postby jray21 » Tue Nov 20, 2012 12:43 am

Awesome report. It's nice to see the different Christmas celebrations at the park. I rarely get to see them, so it's nice to see the reports.

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Re: SeaWorld Orlando (SWO) Discussion Thread

Postby Hilltopper39 » Tue Nov 20, 2012 7:11 am

The SeaWorld Christmas event is easily one of the best in park Christmas Events I've ever been to, they really do a great job with it. The best part is that Kraken and Manta tend to be complete walk-ons all night during the shows!

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Re: SeaWorld Orlando (SWO) Discussion Thread

Postby jedimaster1227 » Sun Nov 25, 2012 11:10 pm

Last week TPR was at IAAPA (if you haven't already, check out our huge coverage of the overall convention) to check out the latest happenings in the amusement park industry. Among those latest advancements was a special announcement from SeaWorld in regards to Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, their upcoming attraction for 2013 that will take riders into the realm of the penguin in a ride experience that combines several world's-first elements into one super attraction!

Be sure to watch the video below to see the announcement as well as to hear our interview with Brian Morrow, Creative Director of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment parks (you'll recognize him from our coverage of Manta and TurtleTrek as well), and to see some adorable penguins soaking up the spotlight at IAAPA!

Click to download video to your computer or iPod/iPhone

And here is the official press release to go along with the announcement event, including some exciting new details on the ride system and the experience to come!

At the world’s largest theme park convention – the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions’ Expo 2012 - SeaWorld Orlando execs revealed the vehicle that will take guests on a first-of-its-kind ride to the frozen south in the park’s 2013 attraction and all-new realm, Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin.

“There’s nothing else like this in the world,” said Brian Morrow, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment creative director. “Next year, this is the vehicle that will take families on an epic adventure and allow them to experience and interact with the thrills, wonders and dangers of Antarctica, all through the eyes of a very special penguin.”

Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin combines a state-of-the-art family adventure ride and closer-than-ever encounters with hundreds of penguins – kings, gentoos, Adelies and rockhoppers – to create Orlando’s must-see 2013 new attraction. Immersing guests in a colony of penguins means Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin will be the coldest theme park attraction in the world.

Designers revealed a bit more about the vehicles’ unique role in the attraction.

The cars themselves are technological marvels. Each car is a mobile simulator, with movements that allow the riders to become one with the storyline as they follow and mimic a young penguin’s adventures. The combination of experiences – mobile, moving simulators and a completely trackless ride – are theme park firsts. Guests will choose one of two levels of adventure. Designers say each level has multiple variations for a feeling of unpredictability, just like the continent of Antarctica.

“When our little hero penguin learns to waddle and slide, we’ll feel what it’s like as the car moves and reacts to the storyline. When he takes his first swim or barely escapes danger, our guests will feel as if they’re right there with him,” Morrow said.

Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin is the biggest expansion in company history. Park execs consider the attraction an all-new “realm,” rather than a single attraction. Antarctica’s scope includes the ride, penguin colony, gift shop and restaurant.

It’s an all-family experience that could only come from SeaWorld and can only be found at SeaWorld Orlando. “We’ve taken our guests and fans on astounding journeys,” said Terry Prather, SeaWorld Orlando’s president. “But no one has ever experienced what we’re bringing to Orlando in 2013. The first-of-its-kind ride, the cold, the wind, the thrills and danger of Antarctica and walking among penguins in a massive habitat is something only SeaWorld could do.”

More details can be found at

And if you haven't seen it already, here is some video of the Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin ride vehicle in motion!

Today we're here for some kind of unveiling...
Hosted at the Oceaneering booth, it was clear we'd be seeing the ride vehicle in person! Oceaneering also make the ride vehicle for Busch Gardens Williamsburg's Curse of DarKastle attraction.
Park President Terry Prather started off the event by reminding us that SeaWorld Orlando is committed to making new waves in the industry, and Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin is that new wave!
Brian Morrow was on hand to share new details about the ride...
And here is the ride vehicle!
Totally trackless, this ride is also an EMV with full motion control (similar to DarKastle and Spiderman) which will allow for a ride experience that can feel extremely real.
Wonder how you'll get it?
Wonder no more!

Note: The bottom step is there for evacuation purposes. During normal operation load and unload procedures will have guests entering and exit at level with the seats, not the step.
Brian was happy to give us a closer look at this awesome new vehicle!
How about going up?
Looks pretty great!
Okay, this is really awesome!
A behind the scenes look at the making of our interview with Brian Morrow! Check it out for inside info about the ride, including Brian's favorite detail you can find inside!
Special thanks to Brian Morrow for taking the time to share with us and to give us a special interview inside of the Antarctica ride vehicle!
Drooling yet?
Jake made a new friend on the show floor!
We also got the chance to interview Mike Boos, VP of Zoological Operations for SeaWorld Orlando (you might recognize him from our coverage of Cheetah Hunt)!
It wouldn't be an Antarctica event without a look at the stars of the attraction!
Who doesn't love penguins?
And to close, here's a look at the ride vehicles as they'll be used in the ride when it debuts later next year!

Special thanks to SeaWorld Orlando, Terry Prather, Brian Morrow and Mike Boos for hosting us at this special event!
Last edited by jedimaster1227 on Sun Nov 25, 2012 11:17 pm.
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Re: SeaWorld Orlando (SWO) Discussion Thread

Postby Midgetman82 » Mon Nov 26, 2012 12:44 pm

That looks really interesting. I love it when ride vehicles roll on the floor by themselves. It's so creepy yet cool!

The front outer seats seem like they would have your legs facing inwards though, possibly squishing them with whomever is sitting in the two middle seats. I only observed this through the 11 photo from the top.
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Re: SeaWorld Orlando (SWO) Discussion Thread

Postby RoCo » Mon Nov 26, 2012 5:16 pm

This is going to be a game-changer. I can't wait to experience this when it opens. And seriously, if you don't like penguins, what the hell is wrong with you? ;)
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Re: SeaWorld Orlando (SWO) Discussion Thread

Postby cfc » Mon Nov 26, 2012 5:19 pm

It's great to see these trackless ride systems becoming more common--love the one at Tokyo Disneyland.

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Re: SeaWorld Orlando (SWO) Discussion Thread

Postby Trues » Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:01 pm

This is exciting! I love the idea of a trackless, moving motion simulator combined with the on-screen effects that will be provided for the penguin. This should be very interesting!
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Re: SeaWorld Orlando (SWO) Discussion Thread

Postby cal1br3tto » Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:25 pm

I like how the vehicles strongly call penguins to mind, instead of tackily trying to replicate actual penguins. Very pretty and streamlined. The trackless system looks like it'll be put to great use here.

I'm glad this ride will give me something extra to do whenever I'm at SeaWorld Orlando next; I'll be happy to go back and enjoy their small coaster collection some more, and this will help fill out my day at this beautiful park.
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