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SeaWorld Orlando (SWO) Discussion Thread

P. 276: Penguin Trek construction update!

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Anyone else thing it's kinda interesting how the first "Winnie the Pooh" style ride we are getting in the USA is gonna come from SeaWorld of all places?


It's Winnie the Pooh on steroids--with penguins! (Try singing that to the tune of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.") I like what they're doing with this attraction.

Edited by cfc
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So the ride is basically a combination of Tokyo's Pooh and Spider-Man. Sounds like Sea World has a real winner on their hands.

You also have to realize, though, this ride is going to very much be a "family" ride. I thought I remembered somewhere that it won't even have a height restriction, so it will be a lot more like Pooh than Spider-Man.

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^In talking with Oceaneering at IAAPA, they did mention to us that they thought Spiderman was a bit too intense, and that they really want to have something that everyone in the park will ride. With that in mind, I think it would be smart to expect this ride to be VERY gentle in terms of motion and thrills.



To be fair though, Pooh is very gentle and is still AMAZING. I'm not sure if SeaWorld will be able to achieve the awesome level of theming that Pooh has (much less maintain it), but it will still be cool to see this kind of ride system operating in the US.

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SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment and Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana announced today a multi-platform partnership that combines the appeal of the popular Franklin & Friends characters with the beloved SeaWorld® brand. Beginning January 2013, the company’s new SeaWorld Kids brand and Nelvana will team up to introduce kids and families to in-park Franklin characters, TV specials, books and merchandise.


Highlights of this multi-faceted partnership include:


  • Franklin will take up residence at the three SeaWorld parks for the year, where guests will be able to meet this classic character, take photos and get autographs. The parks include:
    • SeaWorld Florida beginning with the “Just for Kids” event January 2013
    • SeaWorld Texas beginning with the “Just for Kids” event April 2013
    • SeaWorld California beginning with the “Spring into Night” event March 2013

[*]Franklin and Friends‘ specialty merchandise, much of it exclusive to SeaWorld, will be available in the parks

[*]SeaWorld and Nelvana are collaborating on two Franklin and Friends on-screen specials which will focus on the natural world

[*]The SeaWorld Kids brand will be reflected in select Franklin products, including co-branded books published by Corus Entertainment’s Kids Can Press.

“Families throughout North America and from around the world look forward to their visits to SeaWorld parks in the U.S., and we are very excited to integrate the Franklin and Friends preschool brand into that experience,” said Colin Bohm, Managing Director, Nelvana. “The theme parks and the new SeaWorld Kids entertainment and merchandising opportunities provide ideal platforms for kids and families to connect with Franklin and Friends.”


“This partnership is a ‘natural’ for us to create fun, family experiences that connect young kids to animals and the world we share,” said Scott Helmstedter, Chief Creative Officer for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. “SeaWorld Kids is a brand dedicated to specifically connecting children with animals and nature, and Franklin is an enduring, much-loved animal character that brings adventure to kids. We look forward to working together to create unique opportunities for the Franklin and Friends‘ characters to have outdoor adventures and also educate viewers along the way.”


Based on the best-selling children’s book series by Paulette Bourgeois and Brenda Clark, published by Kids Can Press, the new CGI-animated TV series, Franklin and Friends, follows Franklin the Turtle as he experiences adventures and milestones, learning lessons along the way with his pals Snail, Rabbit, Beaver, Fox, Goose and best friend Bear. The series airs on Nick Jr. in the U.S. and Corus Entertainment’s preschool channel Treehouse in Canada. Franklin and Friends is a Canada-Singapore co-production from Nelvana Limited and Infinite Frameworks.


The new SeaWorld Kids banner features entertainment and lifestyle products that connect children as old as 12 with the joy and wonder of animals. This new brand brings kids up-close to nature in fun new ways, allowing them to connect with the world we share at home, schools and on-the-go. SeaWorld Kids will represent both custom and library-driven content programming in animation, TV, film, gaming, publishing and music.


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I always thought Franklin and SeaWorld would be a good pairing, and now here it is.

They're in an interesting dynamic in Orlando, stuck between the thrills of USF and the family friendly Disney, and it seems they're doing well at it. Building multi-million dollar thrill rides, and still heavily investing in the children sections, while capitalizing on their environmental work. Bravo SeaWorld, bravo!

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So the ride is basically a combination of Tokyo's Pooh and Spider-Man. Sounds like Sea World has a real winner on their hands.

You also have to realize, though, this ride is going to very much be a "family" ride. I thought I remembered somewhere that it won't even have a height restriction, so it will be a lot more like Pooh than Spider-Man.


I would perceive that to be better anyways for the demographics that this attraction would reach out to. Not everything needs to be a thrill ride. I think a good well executed production is the most important part and i'm willing to bet that this attraction will be a great example of that.

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  • 4 weeks later...

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment has sent us a press release regarding the launch of new mobile websites for their SeaWorld and Busch Gardens parks.


SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment launched new mobile websites for the three SeaWorld and two Busch Gardens parks last week, providing guests and fans with a convenient and easy way to plan their vacations and purchase and redeem tickets directly from their mobile devices.


SeaWorld and Busch Gardens are some of the first in the theme park industry to effectively use mobile sites with geo-location capabilities. When a guest is near one of the SeaWorld or Busch Gardens parks and connects to the website, the guest’s phone will immediately default to driving directions. However, if the guest is actually in the park, the site will automatically default to a park map so they can find their next adventure without missing a beat. Receiving the most relevant content, products, offers and promotions based on their location to the parks are just some of the many intuitive features mobile users can now experience.


“These mobile sites have been in development for several months and we are excited about the incredibly positive response we’ve already seen from guests,” said Anne Fischer, Director of Interactive Marketing for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. "With ever-increasing mobile traffic to our parks, guests can expect more exciting mobile websites, products, apps and systems designed to make their lives more convenient in the near future."


The sites provide guests with a simplified mobile purchase experience with images, text and easy steps for the entire process. Once the purchase process is complete, guests will receive their digital admission ticket directly on their phone, allowing them to proceed directly to the front gate for entry to the park.


Unlike other theme park mobile sites, guests can not only purchase single day tickets, but also multi-park and season passes, allowing guests to save money and time. Based on the tickets purchased, the sites will suggest additional experiences and adventures, including behind-the-scenes tours, up-close animal interactions or dining options to make their visit to the park even more memorable.


The new sites were designed to work with some of the most popular cell phone operating systems, including Apple, Android and Windows.



SeaWorld partners with favorite local restaurants to bring sizzling BBQ and an array of thirst-quenching beer in an amazing atmosphere. And of course, incredible concerts with top artists in classic rock and country music. Bands, Brew & BBQ is included with park admission.


Enjoy Bands, Brew & BBQ February 9th - March 17th, 2013.


  • Saturday, February 9 Chris Young with Jerrod Niemann
  • Sunday, February 10 Merle Haggard
  • Saturday, February 16 The Beach Boys
  • Sunday, February 17 Styx
  • Saturday, February 23 Big & Rich
  • Sunday, February 24 Third Eye Blind
  • Saturday, March 2 Daryl Hall & John Oates
  • Sunday, March 3 Darius Rucker and Uncle Kracker
  • Saturday, March 9 Michael McDonald
  • Sunday, March 10 Josh Turner
  • Saturday, March 16 TBD
  • Sunday, March 17 Sheryl Crow


*Platinum Pass Member reserved seating is not available at select special events.


Pass Members, book your Bands, Brew & BBQ VIP Package through the Pass Member website and save 10%.

Edited by jedimaster1227
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This was always a pretty fun event, the crowds this time of year are really light and the musical are really pretty decent all things considered. If I recall they had a decent beer sampling available a few years ago with some great beers at some surprisingly reasonable prices for a theme park.

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Interesting that it's actually a somewhat decent lineup. Between this event and Mardi Gras at Universal I'm pretty sure all the B- list bands in the country will be in Florida Feb/Mar!


So, Sheryl Crow is now playing the theme-park circuit. (Caught her in Atlanta a few years ago, and she was good.) Oh, well--Bob Dylan played at Kings Dominion back in the 1990s.

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So, Sheryl Crow is now playing the theme-park circuit. (Caught her in Atlanta a few years ago, and she was good.) Oh, well--Bob Dylan played at Kings Dominion back in the 1990s.


Sheryl has been on the theme park circuit before. She played Mardi Gras two years ago. It was like all the other bands, 75 minutes of their big songs and maybe a few new ones.


I think it's great that between Universal, SeaWorld and Busch Gardens, we have two months of mostly quality music to go hear. The $25 all you can drink deal at Busch Gardens is nice too, though it makes the 70 miles back to Otown a bit challenging!

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^I caught the B-52s at BGW a couple of years ago. Fun show, but Fred Schneider didn't look too thrilled about being there. I didn't know that Sheryl Crow had played at Universal Orlando before. However, it's still a bit odd to see a woman who has shared the stage with the likes of Eric Clapton and Keith Richards playing at a theme park. (But, as I said, Bob Dylan has played at KD.)

Edited by cfc
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  • 3 weeks later...

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 , 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 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.

Edited by jedimaster1227
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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!

Edited by robbalvey
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