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P. 276: Penguin Trek construction update!

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Revolutionary Production Premieres Across U.S. In Spring 2006


Orlando, Fla. (October 12, 2005) – SeaWorld parks across the U.S. have embarked on the most ambitious entertainment project in the brand’s 41-year history, a new production called “Believe” that showcases SeaWorld’s majestic killer whales with awe-inspiring choreography, an elaborate 3-story set, original musical score and panoramic LED screens.


A first for SeaWorld, the intense choreography of the new show creates a breathtaking “killer whale ballet” of grace and agility, as every movement of the powerful whales – each weighing 6,000 to 10,000 pounds -- is matched to the corresponding beat of a stirring, original musical score. “Believe” will open in spring 2006.


In addition to SeaWorld Orlando, SeaWorld parks in San Diego and San Antonio will also open “Believe.” The three Shamu Stadium facilities are among the largest marine mammal habitats in the world.


SeaWorld Orlando Specifics:

Much of the existing above-water stage structures at Shamu Stadium will be removed to make room for the world’s largest whale tail (or “fluke”), fountains, complex mechanical set pieces, and multimedia equipment that includes video cameras, LED screens and sophisticated sound design.


The centerpiece of the new set design is a 3-story tail fluke flanked by four, 20-foot-wide video screens which operate independently and also move together to create a single, 80-foot-long panoramic screen. Those screens provide guests at Shamu Stadium with views of the whales from above- and below-water cameras, including, for the first time, a camera suspended directly over the main show pool.


The audio system for “Believe” is the most sophisticated ever constructed for a Busch Entertainment show. The design will create soundscapes for “Believe” that will rival any show or concert experience, with nearly 100 speakers throughout the stadium and a surround sound experience. The musical score has been composed exclusively for this show, and the killer whale behaviors choreographed to match each beat.


Thad Lacinak, BEC’s vice-president of animal training, said marine mammal trainers have been working on new behaviors with the park’s 24 killer whales for nearly two years, building on almost four decades of experience in showcasing killer whales.


“We will do much more than entertain with ‘Believe,’” Lacinak said. “We want to inspire our guests to believe in themselves. If we can build this kind of relationship with 6,000-pound killer whales, there’s nothing they can’t do.”


SeaWorld’s trainers have developed a repertoire of nearly 160 killer whale behaviors, 100 of which will be part of the new show. “Our training philosophy is built entirely on positive reinforcement,” he said. “With animals this large and powerful, relationships built on trust are critical.”


At SeaWorld Orlando, the current killer whale shows will continue in the main presentation pool until “Believe” debuts in spring, with construction occurring around the show schedule.

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Nice that they are getting more rides. I hope there is no maximum height limit. I wonder what kind of lines these rides will get though. In a crowded park like Sea World, with 3 new low capacity rides I can imagine those lines will get long.


On a side note, Kraken almost never has long lines, but Atlantis always has long lines. Anyone have any theories?

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Here is a good article talking about the three new rides.


SeaWorld debuts 3 new rides next year




'Believe' at SeaWorld. A member of SeaWorld Orlando's family of killer whales and his trainer swim to the water's surface during rehearsals for "Believe" – the most ambitious entertainment project in SeaWorld's 41-year history.


SeaWorld Orlando hopes to better compete with its giant theme park neighbors by appealing to children under 7 years old and their families.


The park will debut three rides next spring geared toward young children within its Shamu's Happy Harbor area, including a Shamu-themed roller coaster, a tower ride with a jellyfish theme and a teacup-style beach bucket ride.


In addition, SeaWorld will revamp its killer whale show with new choreography, a new set, an original musical score, a panoramic video screen and an upgraded sound system.


"What they're trying to do is attract the little kids, and the kids can bring the parents with them," said Dennis McAlpine, managing director of Scarsdale, N.Y.-based McAlpine Associates, an entertainment-industry consulting firm.


"If you think of Walt Disney World, it doesn't really have a lot for the little ones," McAlpine said. "And Universal skews old. So it's logical SeaWorld is revamping to compete."


Amusement Business magazine estimates attendance at SeaWorld Orlando was 4.9 million in 2004, ranking it No. 8 among North American theme parks, behind Disney's four major Orlando-area theme park and Orlando's Universal Studios, among other parks.


Alice Hernandez, a grandmother of two who lives in Palm Bay, said that regardless of the SeaWorld admission price, upgrading to add rides for the children enhances the park experience.


"It can only get better if they add rides," Hernandez said "I love SeaWorld. If it had more rides for the kids, it would even be better. I have nieces and nephews who are 5, 6 and 7 who live in Palm Bay also."


The new rides will be the centerpiece to Shamu's Happy Harbor, a 3-acre children's play area that offers climbing nets and tunnels, nine slippery slides and a splashy water maze.


"What's fun about it is the rides can be mom-and-dad-friendly, too. The parents can ride with the kids," said Dave Goodman, vice president of entertainment for SeaWorld Orlando and the nearby Discovery Cove. "The idea is to give little kids more to do in the park."


In addition to the new rides, SeaWorld Orlando -- as well the Anheuser-Busch-owned SeaWorld parks in San Antonio and San Diego -- will present a new killer-whale show called "Believe." It is the first major change to the whale show in seven years, Goodman said.


The show, which will debut next spring, will provide guests at Shamu Stadium with video-screen views of the whales from above- and below-water cameras, including, for the time, a camera suspended directly over the main show pool.


SeaWorld trainers have developed a reportoire of nearly 160 killer-whale "behaviors," 100 of which will be part of the new show. The park has 24 killer whales, each weighing 6,000 to 10,000 pounds.


"Changing the Shamu show is important," said Jerry Aldrich, president of Amusement Industry Consulting in Orlando. "Magic Kingdom changes the parade and Epcot changes the fireworks show. Theme parks can't just market the same old thing."


He added that it's important to continually upgrade attractions.


"It's probably time to spruce it up and freshen it up by putting in some new elements and taking out some of the old," Aldrich said.


McAlpine said sea creatures and animals have a strong attraction for all ages.


"The animals never run their course," McAlpine said. "But, by adding the attractions and revamping the show, I think they're thinking this is a way to set themselves apart from Disney and Universal."


The biggest challenge is to upgrade the stadium while running the killer-whale shows, Goodman said.


"The whales need their rest, though, so we're going to give them enough time to get rest, but we will be working at night and in between shows to fix up the stadium," Goodman said.


SeaWorld Orlando officials declined to comment on how much they were spending on the new attractions, and said no decision has been made on changing ticket prices when the attractions open.


SeaWorld last year debuted "Blue Horizons," a theatrical show featuring dolphins, and exotic birds, as well as costumed human performers.

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Awesome, another credit! After seeing Sea World in Texas get one, I was wondering how long it would take Florida to follow suite. San Diego will probably never get one because scary council hippy woman thinks it will kill gnomes that inhabit the area. Hopefully the coaster will be done and opened before my trip to ride Everest next year, or I'll have to wait until the following year to ride it.


So glad I got the Platinum Pass to Busch!

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I haven't been to a Florida park since... uhhm... last Sunday. Oh right, I live here. Anyway....


Yay for kiddie coasters! No, seriously. Flying Unicorn at IOA is my guilty pleasure. Its meant for kids and I look stupid riding it, but it's still fun!

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  • 2 years later...



Believe in the magic of the season aboard this one-of-a-kind journey to the North Pole


Orlando, Fla. (Nov. 2007) – This holiday season, jump aboard The Polar Express Experience at SeaWorld for a magical trip to the North Pole. Debuting Nov. 23 and continuing through Jan. 1, 2008, SeaWorld’s Wild Arctic transforms into a thrilling, never-before-experienced expedition to the fabled Santa Town.


The Polar Express Experience is based on the film from Warner Bros. Pictures and Shangri-La Entertainment, inspired by the beloved Caldecott Medal children's book by Chris Van Allsburg. “SeaWorld Orlando, Warner Bros. and Iwerks have created a one-of-a-kind motion simulation experience that combines one of the holiday’s most beloved movies with an actual winter wonderland,” said Michael Fletcher, Vice President of Entertainment for SeaWorld. “The result will completely immerse guests into a thrilling combination of fantasy and reality.” This heartwarming adventure begins with a three-minute preshow telling the story of a young boy lying awake on Christmas Eve, just before midnight. Straining to listen for the elusive sound of ringing bells aboard Santa’s sleigh, the boy is jolted out of bed from the thunderous roar of The Polar Express arriving to take him on a fascinating adventure to the North Pole. Guests then embark upon that same adventure as they board The Polar Express Experience. Recreating classic scenes from the movie in a multi-sensory experience, The Polar Express Experience immerses guests with lighting, scent, sound and motion to transport them to the North Pole… and into the spirit of the season.


When guests arrive at their destination, they step off the train and into the movie itself. Temperatures drop and holiday spirits soar as the travelers arrive at the frozen North Pole, complete with towering Christmas tree, gift-laden sleigh, village décor and Santa himself. The journey continues as guests also encounter other inhabitants of the North Pole – the animals themselves – including graceful beluga whales, powerful polar bears and giant walruses.


In addition to this stellar holiday attraction, SeaWorld also offers an array of festive shows and seasonal additions. Guests can join Shamu for the holidays during “Shamu Christmas…Miracles.” This captivating show helps guests celebrate the holiday season as a time filled with hope and peace and just possibly, miracles. The 22-minute production comes to life daily through Dec. 25 at Shamu Stadium.


Guests may also witness a winter wonder as snow flurries descend from up above, and jewels of water and light adorn the night during the “Christmastide” holiday fountain show -- a seasonal spectacular where water seemingly dances to the beat of Christmas music through Dec. 25.


“Mistify,” a nighttime finale Dec. 26 – 30, takes place on SeaWorld’s center lake and features larger-than-life marine creatures on 60-foot mist screens, 100-foot fountains, flames on water and dazzling fireworks.


Families will enjoy strolling through the Waterfront’s array of gift shops and restaurants all while listening to the joyful tunes of singers, musical quartets and the “Sizzlin’ Pianos” show that ignite the spirit of the season. Through Christmas, stores and restaurants will remain open until 7 p.m. during weekdays and 8 p.m. on weekends. The park will remain open until 10 p.m. Dec. 26 – 30.


Additional Festivities


The winter season warms up South Seas-style at “Makahiki Christmas Luau.” This festive celebration includes succulent island cuisine served with the ancient holiday traditions of the Pacific Islands. The sounds of Christmas are reinterpreted with authentic Polynesian rhythms, music and dancers Nov. 23, 2007 through Jan. 1, 2008 (except Dec. 25). Park admission is not required.


Breakfast with Elmo and Friends, Dec. 26-31, offers a delicious buffet served up with the hottest characters in town including Elmo, Big Bird, Grover, Zoe, Ernie and Cookie Monster. Prices are $16.95 plus tax for adults and $14.95 for children (ages 3-9). Children under 3 are free. Reservations are required and breakfast times are 8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Park admission is required.


New Year’s Eve at SeaWorld


SeaWorld rings in the holiday Dec. 31 with a musical celebration that includes the best in pop, Latin and swing music and dancing. The party begins with Michael Andrew and his 18-piece Atomic Big Band who will keep the crowd dancing. At the stroke of midnight, the night will shine even brighter with vibrant fireworks. (For those who would rather end the year with a splash, the park’s attractions and thrill rides will remain open until midnight.)


For more information, guests may visit online www.seaworld.com or call (800) 327-2424.

Edited by larrygator
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I don't know if anyone else here has done it yet, but I got a chance to do it Saturday afternoon. The posted wait time was 45 min but it was closer to 30, not bad at all. First of all let me say the theming is amazing. Pretty much all of Wild Arctic is redone (except for the animal section at the end) and looks like it stepped right out of the movie. Granted, I have never seen the movie, so most of the footage used in the ride itself was unfamiliar to me, but I enjoyed what I saw. It does break one unspoken rule about simulators, it keeps switching from 1st person to 3rd person and back as opposed to remaining in the 1st person. This didn't take away from the ride for me, but it might for some. Overall, I enjoyed it and hightly reccomend it if you're in town to see it.

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