Yesterday Theme Park Review was invited back to SeaWorld Orlando to check out the start of this year's Bands, Brew & BBQ! Once again this event (a favorite of mine) features great food, great drinks, plenty of music and as always, a fantastic atmosphere to enjoy it all with SeaWorld as a beautiful backdrop!
Free to roam the park for the day, we took the chance to sample several different food items, as well as to check out much of what the whole event has to offer...
We've got credentials!
Bands, Brew & BBQ takes place on the right side of the park, running along the shore of the park's lagoon all the way past the Atlantis Bayside Stadium.
With four different food vendors to choose from you can pick from a diverse menu of freshly prepared BBQ and fixins.
Take for example the always BBQ spareribs from SeaWorld.
A great deal offered at Bands, Brew & BBQ is the Craft Brew Sampler for $21, allowing guests to choose 10 beers to sample from the 25+ offered in the special event area. Single servings of the individual craft brews can also be purchased for $7 each.
So much food to enjoy!
This was the first I've ever seen of the product in the field before but you can buy Copa de Vino "Premium Wine By the Glass" at event as well.
This product was featured on ABC's Shark Tank twice.
This year the event offers additional seating for those eating at the event as well as a live simulcast of the day's concert for those not seated at the Atlantis Bayside stadium.
There's line dancing...
And did we mention?... More food!
I decided to brave the Cecil's Texas Style Bar-B-Q bacon-wrapped jalapenos...
You can see my face starting to get a little red from the jalapeno's heat.
Seconds later my skull erupted into flames.
The Atlantis Bayside Stadium, home to the former water ski and boating shows of SeaWorld's past, plays host to the Bands, Brew & BBQ concerts.
We had the chance to see Jerrod Niemann open for Chris Young, and he was pretty good!
It was a gorgeous day at the already fantastic looking park, which added even more enjoyment to our visit!
Bands, Brew & BBQ has a packed lineup of performers set for weekends through March 17th.
And to close, a brief look at the growing rockwork over at Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin opening later this year at SeaWorld Orlando.
Today Theme Park Review was invited to a "Behind the Construction Walls" sneak preview into Antarctica: Empire Of The Penguin at SeaWorld Orlando! It was announced today that the ride would officially open on Friday, May 24th! Look for a possible "soft opening" a couple of weeks before that.
We got to see inside the model room and planning room where they have laid out the building and the surrounding area, as well as tour the exterior of the building. Watch the presentation with Brian Morrow as there is some interesting information about the ride.
Ok, onto what you came here for! Video & Photos!
VIDEO! Brian Morrow, Director of Creative Development at SeaWorld Orlando explains Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin
See that wall? Today we get to go BEHIND it! Oooh!
Wow! We even get fashion accessories! Heidi Klum would be jealous.
They brought us into this room with lots of pictures on the wall. When I was a kid, my room used to look like this too, and I'd get yelled at. But when you're older, you can make your room look like this and you get PAID for it! What a crazy world we live in! =)
Brian Morrow explains with his magical jazz hands what the model in front of us is, and the pictures on the wall behind us.
The pictures on the wall are of cold places where penguins live.
They also serve as reference for the design and construction of the ride.
This is an overview of the entire area that houses Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin. As you can see...it's really really big!
Here's a close up of that image. The red lines mean stuff, and I think if you watch the video, a lot of it is explained.
The ride is going to look something like this...and it's going to be cold... the "Coldest ride at SeaWorld" according to Brian.
If you look really close, I'm sure you can see the layout and the plans for the ride. Lots of secrets are hidden in this image...we think?
We haven't quite figured out if all these red lines actually mean something, or if some crazy person came in and went berserk. I'm assuming there is a point to all of this. But for our purposes, it just looks really cool.
This is a pretty awesome overhead picture of the area.
There were lots of blueprints and schedules on the wall. Things we probably shouldn't have taken pictures of (but we did!) and dates that perhaps we shouldn't have seen (but we did!). I'm not going to give away too much, but I'd maybe look forward to May 8th! =)
More stuff about the ride. Seriously, though, this is all really cool, and I could probably look at these all day. Ok, that's maybe an exaggeration, but I could look at them for a solid twenty-six minutes or so....
The model was very impressive. I tried to get a perspective of what it would look like if you were actually down on the ground and then an OMFG GIANT HUMAN TORSO was attacking SeaWorld! I think I succeeded in my goal here....
Seriously, though, this area is going to look incredible!
You can see the entrance to the ride in the background, and some of the new food locations in the foreground.
The "penguin" stuff is on the left hand side (the ride the animal exhibit, etc), and the "human" stuff on the right - food locations, shops, etc...
Brian shows us a model of the penguin exhibit area. This is half of the exhibit that we are looking at. (Again, watch the video, you will be told stuff...)
Here's an overview of the penguin exhibit. See the army dude? That's you. See the little birdies? Those are the penguins. Get it now? Brian says "Thanks to new technology, we have been able to eliminate the smell of the penguins!" We think that's a very good thing! As much as we love those little buggers....they stink! =)
There will be a 15 foot tall "underwater" part of the exhibit so you'll be able to watch the penguins swim and do jumps and stuff.
And this is what it will look like if you were standing in the enclosure! Pretty cool, huh? (literally!)
Remember, Army guy is you.... creatures with wings are penguins.
Now we are outside. The model isn't THAT detailed! lol
Some of the rock work and theming on the exterior of the attraction looks great!
This will be the entrance to the ride. See it looks just like the model! Except it's real! Imagine that!
Things that are under construction! Yay!
I'm starting to get the chills just looking at these pictures.
Walking around the construction site was fun!
Eventually, we'll be able to see what awesome things are behind that area.
Brian is REALLY excited about mama penguin! =)
Construction blocks and things.
OMG! A **CLOSE UP** of those construction blocks and things.
I'm pretty sure this is...yes... just getting confirmation of this right now... this is... *drumroll* .... a hole.
Honestly, the area looks really REALLY good! Can't wait until this is all done!
I'm told you'll eventually be able to get your on-ride photo here. So smile and look pretty!
It wouldn't be a construction update with a mount of... you guessed it.... DIRT!
FUN FACT! These cinder blocks were actually imported from Antarctica and made by actual penguin cinder block makers. (I made that fun fact up....it's not even close to being true. These are just cinder blocks. You can probably get them at Home Depot.)
If you would like to build your own Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin at home, call this number, these people will sort you out! =)
This photo was supposed to be some goofy picture of me looking like I've just conquered the mount of dirt in Antarctica, but it really just looks like I'm trying to pound that camera girl in the head. I think the unexpected end result is much funnier than the intended photo! lol (Thanks Marlon for the pic, BTW!)
In this picture, Brian is very excited about his new ride, but in my mind, he has fireworks shooting out of his fingertips and is pitching a new nighttime show to the SeaWorld execs. (Sorry, I just couldn't think of anything better to say about this photo!)
Brian Morrow (not related to Tom, I did find out) and Robb Alvey hanging out at Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin. Opens at SeaWorld Orlando on Friday, May 24th. Should be a really awesome new family ride! And we at TPR are seriously looking forward to it! Thanks Brian and SeaWorld for the awesome tour!
Last edited by robbalvey on Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:36 pm.
It's really looking great. Hopefully I'll be able to visit sometime in the future.
Top coasters: Maverick, Storm Runner, Skyrush, Steel Vengeance, Fury 325, Titan, Phoenix, NTAG, Apollo, Blue Streak. *Disclaimer: Ignore my Cedar Point fanboy name that I made when I was 11. It doesn't define me as a poster!* Follow my Twitter and Instagram
These pages are in no way affiliated with nor endorsed by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Cedar Fair, Legoland, Merlin Entertainment, Blackstone, Tussaud's Group, Six Flags, Universal Theme Parks, the Walt Disney Company or any other theme park company.
photos and videos on this website were taken with the permission of the park by
a professional ride photographer.
For yours and others safety, please do not attempt to take photos or videos at
parks without proper permission.
You need a sense of humor to view our site,
if you don't have a sense of humor, or are easily offended, please turn back
Most of the content on this forum is suitable for all ages. HOWEVER! There may be some content that would be considered rated "PG-13." Theme Park Review is NOT recommended for ages under 13 years of age.