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SeaWorld Orlando (SWO) Discussion Thread

P. 274: Pipeline photos & Howl-O-Scream trip report!

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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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A ride plus penguins, it's a perfect combo plus the whole thing looks impressive. It would be a miracle if they really did figure out how to get rid of the penguin smell!


Love in the video how he says "there's no land preditors for penguins... well... some birds will eat the chicks" totally made me laugh!

Edited by SuperShawn
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^Good thing I didn't bet on Lowe's.


The more I see of this new attraction, the more impressed I am with it. This should be a huge improvement over the old penguin exhibit (which was a big deal when it was built).

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The engineering nerd/theme park nerd in me totally just had a major gasm and I might need some more tissues. Seriously, great detail photos of everything this ride has to offer. All the planning that it looks like is going into this ride, it's going to make this ride and whole area AMAZING! I can't wait to get back out to Florida to tackle penguins. Can you tackle penguins in this new area? Can you pet them or feed them? If not, it's still going to be an incredible expansion!


Jimmy "More tissues" Bo

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Today Theme Park Review was invited to celebrate the 5th Anniversary of Aquatica Orlando! The day's festivities were brief but fun with some dancing, some animals, cake, raffle prizes for the general guests and much more! Be sure to watch the video below for a look at the "birthday" ceremony, a Laughing Kookabura laughing (yes, it reads exactly as I mean it to) and an interview with Park Vice President Bryan Nadeau.




This was a public celebration, so the park's guests were included in the festivities, starting with lots of dancing.


It wouldn't be an Aquatica event without some awesome animals!


New SyFy B-Movie in the making: Mini Croc!


Followed by Mini Croc vs. Mega Croc vs. Sharktopus!


Ever heard a Laughing Kookabura laugh? Watch the video and you too can joining me in saying that I have.


The Laughing Kookabura wanted to get in on picking raffle tickets for the guest prizes!


There was even a celebratory sale going on in the park's main gift shop.


In the spirit of the park's fifth anniversary, let's take a quick look at the park and some of the improvements that have been made since our last visit.


Shade structures have been added over the queues for Whanau Way and Omaka Rocka.


Roa's Rapids is still one of the neatest water attractions in all of Central Florida!


Taumata Racers is still one of the most thrilling...


It was a gorgeous day to be celebrating at Aquatica!


Hooroo Run never fails to produce some amazing facial expressions.


A Haystack Dryer was recently added to the park.


I've always been a fan of the way Tassie's Twisters were placed in the park.


And the star of the show is Dolphin Plunge, sending guests underwater into a tank featuring Commersons Dolphins.


I had another amazing day at Aquatica today! I've made it a point to revisit the park every year as it continues to grow and get even better!


If you haven't been yet, or haven't been in a while, come by to check out Aquatica Orlando--you won't be disappointed!

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