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SeaWorld Orlando (SWO) Discussion Thread

P. 276: Penguin Trek construction update!

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What a nice present to welcome me to Orlando, SWO 😅 Sorry for the hold up, everyone 😛

It will be a nice addition to the park and bring some action to that arctic area and overall each coaster will look nice with the new paint. Ice Breaker's layout has me curious, it reminds me of Prowler and Mystic Timbers with the punchy out and back.

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12 hours ago, boldikus said:

I can't help but feel non-enthusiasts (tourists and locals alike) will just see this as a budget VelociCoaster, from the unimpressive stats to the nonexistent theming.

And despite those stats, this ride still ended up with much more restrictive restraints than VelociCoaster.

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Superb! I've been looking forward to this one, which yeah it's a moderate ride and obviously it's not VC, or Iron Gwazi, (or Pantheon) but also ya know, it's not supposed to be. I rather like the layout, and it looks kinda compact? This thing won't be very forceful or intense at all obviously but I'd expect it's not forceless either. 

And I've not been here since Kraken was like the only ride. No joke, so I'm pretty excited to go for the time in ages. 

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I fully expect the ride to be great - I love the new and old Premier launchers and this looks unique and likely loaded with air and good forces. I want to be clear I'm not saying I personally think its not going to be as good as VC (even though it totally won't be as good).

My point above is not to say it should be as good as VC, but how I expect its generally going to be received, opening less than a year after the universally loved monster just up the street. Its easy to assume how some will see them as very similar rides, and its also hard not to see that everything Ice Breaker does, VelociCoaster also does, and just does better. The stats, the lapbars, the theming, the operations/throughput (sorry but there's no way a Premier with a switch track is going to pump people through the way VC does), you name it.

I'm excited for this ride because I love this park and I'm stoked there will be something else awesome to do but I also just feel like it was entirely pointless to build this at all when VC exists. 🤣

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Don't forget that Kraken's track is now almost the same color as Hulk's. I suppose imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!

In all seriousness, this ride does fill a nice gap in the park's lineup. And, well, they could've opened it in late 2020 or early 2021 and beat Velocicoaster to the game. I'm sure they had their reasons but... you snooze you lose, I guess.

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Yeah I'm excited to go again, esp since I hear so much about Mako and Manta are up there in terms of B&M hypers/flyers. And what can I say? I am a sucker for a good/interesting layout. And sure the whole multi launch back and forth thing is suddenly not as cool as it seemed in 2020 esp with Pantheon that is far faster lol but I still am kind of excited. 

Universal took precedent of course, I wasnt even planning on making it here this year BUT since I'm a dumbass and realized I got more PTO days than I knew, I may be going here in Mid Feb now XD Use President's day weekend to extend my trip

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Wait, what's wrong with the back and forth launch all of the sudden? I mean I still think this ride looks like a lot of fun for what it is, which is smaller coaster with a lower height requirement  in a park with three huge B&Ms that are 54 In minimums. It'll be fine, probably won't crack the top 100 on the TPR poll or anything, but it'll be fine.

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On 1/10/2022 at 10:13 PM, PKI Jizzman said:

They result in more ride time so I'm all for the back and forth. The miscalculation is the stupid comfort collars.

Yeah Im with ya, it adds ride length, and its not boring like a slow helix or just kinda meandering around, not sure what's not to like. (Though I think they made a similar comment about Pantheon so guess back and forth launching just aint their thing). Oof yeah...comfort collars, and for Ice Breaker, but not Pantheon...it's a choice XD

That said still looking forward to this ride, prob more than I should and will be gravely disappointed, but flights and tix booked...I'll be here in late Feb! Kind of excited, last went here when Kraken was the only ride. Excited to see if Mako and Manta live up to the hype

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When I went to the park the other day they had construction around the main entrance sign, this is why... 


Old entrance... 



I know they want to get away from having the Orcas be a main promotional part of the company and parks but even still the rocks really don't pop at all on the new entrance. 

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I'm sorry SeaWorld but as an outsider who can only go off your adverts to convince me this ride is 'Anything but Chill'...

If you're going to keep throwing up 'STEEPEST BEYOND VERTICAL DROP', '100 SPIKE' etc across the screen, at least switch to a backseat POV at that point or stick an off-ride view at the end of the video because all these front shots do a really bad job of selling me on that.

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^ Or just a drone shot from right above the spike with the train rising up.

Again, I bring up the "poor mans VelociCoaster" vibes this thing has. I'm excited to ride it, but lolol

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Last weekend SeaWorld Orlando hosted another round of Inside Look, a special event that offers guests the chance to go behind the scenes of attractions, exhibits and experiences throughout the park. Some of these Inside Looks can only be experienced during this special event while others are typically reserved for paid tours and SeaWorld Camp. But instead Inside Look brings the access to all for what is a really fun and insightful event. 

I had experienced a few of the behind the scenes looks in previous years including the Manta aquarium and Shark Encounter, so my focus this time was to do offerings that were new to me. In the limited time I had, I was able to go through three Inside Looks, one for Orca Encounter, one for Wild Arctic and the last for Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin. 

While I was in the park, I was also able to see several of the recent or current efforts underway to update park elements with new paint, new decor and theming. It is nice to see updates happening throughout the park in advance of the opening of Ice Breaker next month, and it looks like this is only the start.


Driving up to SeaWorld Orlando, guests are greeted by a new entrance sign. Gone is the former orca sculpture, replaced with a new rock structure.


The Dolphin Nursery emerged from its recent refurbishment with an updated color scheme.


Ice Breaker will officially open next month. 


The up-close look at the backstage side of Orca Stadium was clearly going to be popular so I went there first. The event started at 11:00 AM and this was the line about 15 minutes before that.


This Inside Look had limited hours to allow the orcas to perform in the Orca Encounter show during the day.


By the time 11:00 AM hit, the line for this experience ran all the way to The Waterfront.


Once inside you are brought to the first of three stations in the back half of Orca Stadium...


It is really neat to see just how expansive the complex is behind the stage.


They weren't kidding when they said you got up close!


Here we had a chance to see two orcas enjoying recreational activities while swimming between the three stations set up between three pools.


One orca was tasked with taking this jello to a trainer at the third station's pool.


Of the three stations, for me this was the best view I had. But as I experienced at the third station, it was all a matter of timing as the routing of these orcas was not being majorly altered for guests at Inside Look. 


Off they go!


From the second station (the Medical Pool), I could see an orca doing a slide trick in front of the third station.


The second station was the Medical Pool, where a rising floor can be lifted to raise orcas out of the water for treatment and inspections.


We did get to see the orcas move through the Medical Pool to the third station. It was shared that much of the time orcas spend in the medical pool is recreational and comforting to build a familiarity with the space. This allows the orcas to be more at ease in the space, not having a purely negative association with the more stressful experiences that happen for medical or health needs.


And yes, we learned how orcas know how to provide urine samples in the Medical Pool.


We got a few swim-by's during our time at the third station, but nothing quite like I observed in the other two stations.


At the edge of Sesame Street Land, the former Sea Carousel has reopened as the Sunny Day Carousel. 


A new construction fence on the Wild Arctic side of Sesame Street Land has gone up.


Over by Wild Arctic there were some interactive stations presented by SeaWorld Camp.


Headed towards the Inside Look entrance for Wild Arctic, it is hard not to admire the layout of Ice Breaker.


I really can't wait to ride this one!


From our walk to the Inside Look experience at Wild Arctic you could see even more of Ice Breaker.


First stop for our Wild Arctic Inside Look was a peek at the enrichment items that the animals inside can play with.


You don't realize just how much goes into a marine exhibit's water filtration until you see the system up close.


We were able to see the food preparation kitchen for Wild Arctic. 


The science of how much food each resident of Wild Arctic gets is complex and incredibly interesting!


The Inside Look ends by leading you out into the main Wild Arctic exhibit.


Ice Breaker is looking ready to roll!


Very cool.


It was my first time seeing Kraken with its new paint scheme.


The colors look pretty cool!


A new Inside Look show, Seal of Fortune (a game show) was offered in the Nautilus Theater.


The Inside Shark Encounter experience returned for this year's event.


The Sky Tower has been undergoing a refurbishment including a new paint scheme.


Turn right to go left.


I was most eager to do the Inside Look for Antarctica, because it actually allowed us to walk the ride path of the former attraction.


An open air penguin encounter had been set up in the final ride scene for Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin.


It was kind of neat to be back in this space.


Plus I'll never complain about a chance to see more penguins.


We also had a chance to see the ride path's side of the penguin habitat. 


Quite a view!


Puck from the former ride waved us on as we moved out towards the former ride's exit station.


Looking back one more time...


On the ride path of the exit station...


I ended my dead with a quick stop by Kraken to check out the new paint job up close.


The track and supports have been repainted with a new color scheme but the trains have not been updated.


I still really like the new color scheme!


Can't wait to come back and ride!

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I kind of hate the Kraken color!!! I mean, I don't really care and I'm sure I'll get used to it, but first glance I don't like it!  So weird to see them have given up on Antarctica, but I do like the random penguins just set up in the ride path, probably better than the ride!

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