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SeaWorld Orlando (SWO) Discussion Thread

p. 276: Penguin Trek family coaster announced!

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My opinion:

It's not a thrilling ride. However, it's a fun one. If you can keep in mind that this is a family experience and it's made for the general public, and that it's not designed for thrill seekers, you'll enjoy it. The Wild Experience is just a added upgrade for those in the family who would find sitting slowly spinning boring. When you're in Rainbow Room, dancing around each other, with near misses with the ice, it's all about Puck discovering the beauty's that surround him. He's exploring with you. (I know that could have been shown better in the ride, but ha). When I rode last week, I was pretty impressed with everything. Granted, I've been working in the ride for months at the time, which was the longest wait time I've ever waited.

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Of course I will hold my final judgement until I am able to ride.

 

However, my initial thoughts after watching the POV...what happened?

 

I thought this thing was "billed" as an experience in Antarctica with real Penguins? With really cold temps, live Penguins throughout...like you were actually there?

 

Theming (outside) looks beautiful, Penguin habitat looks amazing, and the ride system is fantastic. But I feel like a HUGE opportunity was missed here...

 

In my opinion the Penguin is a special animal that doesn't need any crazy entertaining "story-line". They speak for themselves. Just give me a 99% authentic Antarctica experience with a good number of live animals (throughout the experience) on a awesome ride system and I am happy. I don't need video screens, pretty lights, etc.

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Of course I will hold my final judgement until I am able to ride.

 

However, my initial thoughts after watching the POV...what happened?

 

I thought this thing was "billed" as an experience in Antarctica with real Penguins? With really cold temps, live Penguins throughout...like you were actually there?

 

Theming (outside) looks beautiful, Penguin habitat looks amazing, and the ride system is fantastic. But I feel like a HUGE opportunity was missed here...

 

In my opinion the Penguin is a special animal that doesn't need any crazy entertaining "story-line". They speak for themselves. Just give me a 99% authentic Antarctica experience with a good number of live animals (throughout the experience) on a awesome ride system and I am happy. I don't need video screens, pretty lights, etc.

I agree. Granted, I haven't ridden it, but after seeing the POV of the ride, I can't help but think how "meh" the whole ride is. I think Transformers is going to be the clear winner here in Orlando.

 

For the San Diego park, I thought before the ride opened that this would make a great replacement for Wild Arctic. I honestly think keeping that ride a lot longer would be a better alternative than replacing it with this. Never, ever thought I would say this considering how excited I was to see how this would turn out.

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The outside looks great but once inside on the ride looks a little bland from the POV. Maybe it will be better once I have a chance to ride it. The use of the trackless ride system is cool and the public is going to eat it up. Seams like it was a little slow and they could have done a little more with it though. The Pooh ride in Tokyo I think was way better in using the trackless system.

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I like the trackless vehicles, and hope they get more of them in the US. It's also amazing that they got rid of the smell! I know a few people that system would be great for!

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I had heard that after yesterday's outrageous wait times, the ride was going to open early today. Some friends and I arrived at eight (advertised open is nine), walked straight to the new area and got on right away. If you're interested in checking it out, go early! The queue was full by about 8:50.

 

The theming in the area and queue is really spectacular. The employees were top notch, very friendly and helpful. The ride vehicles were impressive. I felt the actual ride itself, however, was pretty terrible. And I say this as a huge SeaWorld fan. My hopes weren't even that high, for what it's worth.

 

I'm also a little bummed that the penguin exhibit is not currently accessible any other way. We asked an employee if you were able to just see the penguins and not ride...to which she said, "Yes, but you still have to wait in the line." I love the pass holder bypass on Wild Arctic and would be thrilled if they could figure out a similar option for this attraction.

 

I definitely encourage everyone to check it out and form their own opinion. I feel bad that I didn't enjoy it, and have spent much of the morning trying to pinpoint what turned me off about it so much. In this case, I actually think the super awesome vehicles put too many limitations on fully developing the atmosphere. The floor is flat with no obstructions and the transitions between the rooms are a little weird, going through industrial-type garage doors. If it weren't for the pretty lights and music, I'd feel like I was riding on a forklift through a warehouse.

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Completely agree with Kara. The mechanicals throughout the show building completely take you out of the experience, which honestly isn't much to begin with. The area is absolutely gorgeous, the ride system is amazing, and the exhibit at the end is authentic and very nice; it's really cool being able to get so close to the animals!

 

But the ride just doesn't make any sense. You're spinning around random set pieces that aren't connected whatsoever, as far as we could tell, and it's incredibly short. The ride motions themselves are fun, but again....it doesn't make one bit of sense. Just give me a nice attraction where you can see the animals in their habitat and be done, no storyline needed. It's also unbelievable that you can't just go in and see the exhibit without waiting in line....And currently it's around a four hour wait.

 

Congrats to SeaWorld on a gorgeous area, but the ride leaves a lot to be desired.

Edited by robbalvey
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Kara, I think your comments are totally fair and valid, don't worry.

 

I, too, came away with similar thoughts, especially the following:

 

1. Seems like a really complex ride system to be essentially "watching motion based movies" most of the ride in the same sense that Wild Arctic or Despicable Me does. Perhaps having been on rides like Pooh's Hunny Hunt, seeing the videos of Mystic Manor, or heck, even Aquatopia , I just expected a lot more from the actual "ride" part of the attraction. I realize the show building is small, and the ride is short, but I feel like there was kind of a missed opportunity here because the ride system is really amazing, but I feel it's completely under-used.

 

2. There is no way to see the penguins without standing in the line or riding the ride. I honestly think I was most put off by this. Going to see the penguins was one of our most favorite things to do in the park before. And it was an easy decision. You'd walk by.. "Wanna check out the penguins?" "Sure!" And BAM! You're seeing penguins 60 seconds after asking the question. Now, in order to see the penguins, it's going to take a good commitment of time, even if the ride has no line. They did the same thing with Turtle Trek. Sometimes I just want to see the animal exhibit, not forced to go through an entire "experience", whether that be a ride, show, etc. I really hope that changes at some point down the road.

 

I love the new area, though, I think its amazingly well done and a HUGE improvement over what was there before.

 

Overall, I'm with Kara. As far as the attraction itself goes, ride it, form your own opinions. I'm sure the ride will have it's fans and be popular for the park.

 

--Robb

Edited by robbalvey
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Sometimes I just want to see the animal exhibit, not forced to go through an entire "experience", whether that be a ride, show, etc. I really hope that changes at some point down the road.

 

The actual reasoning (That we tell guests who ask in the park) why this will most likely never happen is that the queue line (starting from the first pre-show) is a dehumidifying process. Since you are inside of the penguin exhibit, and the Air Conditioning system is on overdrive, moisture in the air will freeze the cords on the machines, causing a safety issue for the penguins. In the "storm" scene after the pre-show, you'll see fans blowing trying to accomplish that process, as well as the gradual temperature/humidity change from the point you get unto the show building. It's one of the things that just has to be done when bringing guest RIGHT into the habitat of animals that live in the driest, coldest part of the world.

 

Or at least, that's what we are led to believe.

 

but if you want to just walk in the exit I guess and check out the exhibit you can. It's not encourage right now I guess but no one is stopping you? Kinda weird.

 

Not allowed for reason above, and we try to have people there to prevent it from happening.

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Is there any benefit to the parks when they do this, making them able to be seen only from the ride? Everland did the same thing this year, they brought in cheetahs, hyenas, giraffes, hippos, lions, elephants and even white lions etc for the zoo but they can only be seen if you go on the new safari ride (also pushing multi hour lines right now) and just wondered what's to be gained for the parks by making them that way.

 

Is wild artic the same, I remember going to Florida when I was 9 years old and really wanting to see belugas, and it being after wild artic but I can't remember if there was a way in without watching the film?

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^Yes... There were some areas in the post-show penguin habitat where it looked like the glass might be low enough for penguins to hop out or guests to put their hands in. I'd imagine this will be addressed very quickly in response to this situation.

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Is this the area after the ride exit that you all have been discussing?

 

I saw that this morning. I love how the guest they interviewed said "I was concerned about my child's safety."

 

Yes, because an 18 inch penguin is going to be such a threat to your child! lol

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^ She says was afraid for her child's safety but yet remained there probably with the child to film it....

 

^Yes... There were some areas in the post-show penguin habitat where it looked like the glass might be low enough for penguins to hop out or guests to put their hands in. I'd imagine this will be addressed very quickly in response to this situation.

 

Thanks. I was shocked when I seen that, not only for the penguins ability to jump out (Case in point) but also how many guest are going to want their kids to try to pet a penguin and lift them up or onto the glass...

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The penguins are still getting use to their habitat and once they are fully accumulated they won't be doing this. (According to aviculture.) I'm pretty sure the exhibit will not be changed one bit. The birds jump out, we have procedures to get it back into it's area. It's not like we didn't assume this could happen.

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