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SeaWorld Orlando (SWO) Discussion Thread

P. 276: Penguin Trek construction update!

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I was at the park last night and a new penguin exhibit can't come quick enough. It's gotten very bad in the stinky department. I would love to see the penguins be part of the ride with a non rider option like Manta. I kind of expect them to do that even though I have no knowledge of what they are building. A new coaster would be AWESOME, but it wont happen. The rumors we have heard are probably pretty spot on. I am surprised to hear the manatee exhibit will stay but it's cool to see a little more Florida wildlife in the park. I would love to see them do an estuary exhibit complete with rising and falling tides, that could be cool. A new dark ride will be a great addition though. I also hope the turle exhibit has some under water viewing.

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  • 2 weeks later...

SeaWorld Orlando has sent us a press release regarding the return of the extremely popular SeaWorld Fun Card.


The perfect gift for friends and family this holiday season is the gift that keeps on giving all year long -– a SeaWorld Fun Card!


It’s SeaWorld’s best value, just for Florida residents: Pay for a day’s admission and come back again and again – with no blackout dates -- to experience all of SeaWorld’s remarkable 2012 events, plus this year’s Christmas Celebration.


SeaWorld’s 2012 event line-up includes:


NEW! Just for Kids!

Spend super-fun Saturdays at this all-new kid festival for ages 2-9. Performances by kid-favorite entertainers, such as Choo Choo Soul and Max and Ruby, as well as fun, family activities will take place Saturdays, Jan. 14 – Feb. 4.


Bands, Brew & BBQ

2012’s Bands, Brew & BBQ will be twice as fun when the park hosts rockin’ concerts Saturdays AND Sundays this year, on Feb. 11-12, 18-19, 25-26, and March 3-4. That’s four weekends of smokin’ hot concerts, sizzling BBQ and a thirst-quenching beer garden to wash it all down.


Jack Hanna Weekend

Join celebrity animal expert Jungle Jack Hanna for a fantastic weekend on the wild side, March 24-25, featuring amazing animals from all over the world.


Viva La Música

This Hispanic festival spices up SeaWorld Saturdays in April and early May while showcasing traditional Latin food, specialty drinks, and Grammy and Latin-Grammy-award winning performances. Join the fiery fiesta on April 14, 21, 28, and May 5.


Summer Nights

The after-dark excitement at SeaWorld continues all summer, June through August. When the sun sets, waves of fun wash over the park with fantastic nighttime shows, thrilling coasters under the stars, and a nightly fireworks and fountain finale.


Halloween Spooktacular

Orlando’s favorite family-friendly Halloween event is back and better than ever, as an underwater “fantasea” takes over SeaWorld weekends in October. Children (and adults, too) can trick-or-treat, encounter whimsical sea creatures, and catch silly and spooky shows on Oct. 6-7, 13-14, 20-21, and 27-28.


SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration

From elves to Elmo, and Santa to Shamu, SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration inspires lifelong family memories as waves of holiday spirit splash over the park in a watery, wintery wonderland. This heart-warming holiday event takes place select nights from Nov. 23 – Dec. 31.


New Year’s Eve at SeaWorld

Celebrate our connection to the sea, sea life and the world we share as we ring in the New Year, SeaWorld style. Kick off the New Year on Dec. 31, with a spectacular musical celebration and bold fireworks that create an unforgettable evening.


Regular, single-day SeaWorld admission is $81.99 for adults/$73.99 for children ages 3-9. The Fun Card is valid from the date of purchase and good throughout all of 2012 with no blackout dates.


Fun Cards are available at the park’s front gate, at SeaWorldOrlando.com or by calling (888) 800-5447.


Visit SeaWorldOrlando.com for more information.

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•SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration


I'm actually pleasantly surprised they're calling it a Christmas event. It seems like most parks are going "politically correct" and saying "Holiday".


Honestly it's Christmas. Whether you're Christain or not, it's celebrated as a holiday and there's no reason to smother the name. The next time I hear someone call the christmas tree at the capital the "Holiday Tree" I think I'm going to go visit hell and ride Psyclone a few times.

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^Please re-read the ToS that you agreed to upon signing up especially rule #9:


9. Spelling and Grammar - bad spelling and grammar will NOT be tolerated! Theme Park Review's forum includes a spell checker and there is a great one available with Google's Toolbar. If we have to edit too many of your posts, you may be suspended from the forum. Text Message shorthand or "l77t" speak is not allowed. A typo here and there is acceptable, but illegible posts are not.


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-Eric (TPR Moderator)

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Here is an early article that was posted on OrlandoSentinel.com http://www.orlandosentinel.com/business/os-seaworld-new-rides-20111108,0,2965294.story


SeaWorld Orlando is expected to announce today what park officials call the biggest expansion in the resort's history, with three new attractions to be built over the next two years.


The plans include two additions scheduled to debut next spring: TurtleTrek, a manatee and sea-turtle habitat that will include a first-of-its-kind, three-dimensional and 360-degree movie experience; and Freshwater Oasis, a new area in SeaWorld's limited-admission park Discovery Cove. Oasis guests will be able to swim, wade and hike through a rainforest-themed environment that will include encounters with Asian otters and small monkeys known as marmosets.


Those two projects will be followed a year later by the biggest addition of all: Antarctica — Empire of the Penguin, an area within the main park themed to the snowy continent that will include a new attraction that SeaWorld says will feature never-before-used ride technology.


Although company officials did not disclose a price tag, SeaWorld Orlando President Terry Prather said the additions, taken together, represent the largest expansion in the marine park's 38-year history, both in terms of cost and footprint.


With the expansion — which has been urged by SeaWorld's corporate owner, the private-equity firm Blackstone Group — SeaWorld hopes to win back some of the ground it has lost during the past two years to Walt Disney World and, particularly, to Universal Orlando, which in June 2010 opened its wildly popular Wizarding World of Harry Potter.


SeaWorld Orlando attendance fell an estimated 12 percent in 2010, even as the number of visitors overall to Orlando soared above 50 million for the first time.


Company officials say SeaWorld Orlando attendance has improved this year and that Discovery Cove, which this summer opened a new attraction dubbed the Grand Reef, is in the midst of a record year. The company's three Orlando parks, which also include the water park Aquatica, account for roughly 40 percent of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment's total operating income, according to industry analysts.


Prather said the timing of the expansion is ideal.


"When you look at last year, doing 51 million visitors to Orlando, and then look around the country, look around the world at some of these [other] destinations, … it's crystal clear around the world that Orlando is the No. 1 family destination," Prather said. "Our owners see that as a big plus."


Importantly, SeaWorld said, all three additions will be suitable for visitors of all ages.


Guests at TurtleTrek, for instance, will first walk through a pair of massive aquariums, one filled with hundreds of freshwater fish and manatees, the other with more than 1,500 saltwater fish and more than a dozen sea turtles. They will then enter a domed theater, where a 3-D film about the life journey of a sea turtle will be projected all around them — even above them. The entire experience will last about 18 minutes.


"Content will be all around you," said Brian Morrow, SeaWorld Orlando's chief designer.


The attraction, which will use space most recently occupied by SeaWorld's Manatee Rescue pavilion, will include an explicit conservation theme urging guests to become "everyday heroes" in wildlife protection. A post-show gift shop will include physical and environmental effects triggered whenever guests purchase items from which a portion of proceeds will be donated to a company-founded conservation fund.


Freshwater Oasis at Discovery Cove will be designed with a rainforest canopy above freshwater springs. SeaWorld said guests will be free to explore at their own pace, wading and hiking through flooded trails that will take them through habitats with otters and marmosets — animals that SeaWorld said were chosen because they are small, kid-friendly and active. The oasis will replace a now-closed saltwater reef that had been leaking into the area's underground aquifer.


In contrast to Grand Reef — a deeper, saltwater pool that includes an underwater experience — SeaWorld said Freshwater Oasis will be shallower and accessible to all guests. "Ensuring that everybody gets to participate is key to our brand," Morrow said.


SeaWorld discussed fewer details in advance about Antarctica — Empire of the Penguin, which company officials said will be the park's biggest-yet single-attraction expansion.


Replacing the park's 24-year-old Penguin Encounter habitat, the new attraction's central experience will be a "family adventure attraction," suitable for people of all ages, in which guests will experience life in Antarctica through the eyes of a penguin. Morrow said the attraction will be "a new species of ride," with an innovative system that allows different adventures to occur during each ride. The experience will also include close interactions with penguins.


SeaWorld said the Antarctica-themed expansion will be a more-immersive experience than just a single ride.


"It will be a new world within the park," Prather said. "It's a new realm that we're building."



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I doubt the park will announce any additional information about the ride today but I'm interested to hear some more details. I'm assuming they are completly gutting the Penguin Plaza section (finally) and replacing it with the ride but I'm curious is they will more the penguin habitat to a different location or incorporate a new penguin habitat into the new attraction. Penguin Plaza has needed a rehab for a long time in my opinion, hopefully this addition get that section of the up to date with the rest of the park.

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Yeah, I was always amazed that the movie happy Feet never found it's way into a theme park setting somewhere in the world. It almost seemed like a perfect movie to turn into an attraction, family friendly, fun story, decent action, decent score, musics, unique environments that would be fairly easy to recreate in a ride setting. Maybe this attraction will be like Happy Feet the ride without Nicole Kidman singing a Prince song.

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SeaWorld Orlando had a huge press announcement this morning for their 2012 and 2013 attractions. There is a lot to read here, so get ready! GET EXCITED!!!




SeaWorld Orlando Announces Waves of the Future

New attractions sure to top Orlando’s “must-see” list for 2012 and 2013


ORLANDO, Fla. -- With three astounding new attractions featuring all-new ways to connect guests to the mysteries of the sea, SeaWorld Orlando and Discovery Cove are once again sure to top the “must-see” list for upcoming Orlando vacations.


SeaWorld designers just announced new experiences to open in 2012 at SeaWorld Orlando and Discovery Cove, and released a few details of a massive expansion set to debut at SeaWorld in 2013. Discovery Cove is a swim-with-dolphins resort across the street from SeaWorld in Orlando.


The new attractions represent the biggest attraction expansions in the history of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, the parks’ parent company.


Terry Prather, president of the company’s Orlando parks, SeaWorld, Discovery Cove and Aquatica, said, “With TurtleTrek at SeaWorld Orlando and Freshwater Oasis at Discovery Cove, travelers will have all new reasons to visit Orlando. What we’re creating will take you places you’ve never been before, places only SeaWorld can take you.”


To learn more about all the new attractions and how to include them on their 2012 Orlando vacation, guests should visit http://wwwSeaWorldOrlando.com. There, they also can buy tickets and book vacation packages.



While creating TurtleTrek (opening at SeaWorld Orlando in spring 2012), designers stayed true to SeaWorld’s unique blend of nose-to-nose animal encounters and state-of-the art entertainment.


Guests first visit two massive naturalistic habitats, one filled with hundreds of freshwater fish and gentle manatees, the other home to more than 1,500 saltwater fish and more than a dozen sea turtles. Many of the manatees and sea turtles were rescued by the park’s animal team. Since SeaWorld Orlando’s rescue programs began, the team has cared for and returned to the wild nearly 240 manatees and more than 1,200 sea turtles.


Moving on from the habitat, guests enter a domed theater, and what happens next has never before been seen and is a first at any theme park in the world.


Coming to life is a first-of-its-kind 3-D/360-degree dome theater film that is completely immersive. The dome allows a hyper-realistic 3-D movie to be shown all around guests and even above them – not just in front them or on only one screen. It’s this unique and immersive way of showcasing a sea turtle’s epic and astounding journey that is the heart of TurtleTrek. And for the first time, SeaWorld guests are given a turtle’s eye view of the ocean’s wonders.


TurtleTrek is as inspirational as it is astounding. There’s a call-to-action at the end of the experience: SeaWorld calls on guests to join them in conserving the world we share. “Do a little, do a lot, but join us and do something to help the world and its animals,” said Brian Morrow, the attraction’s chief designer. “TurtleTrek is about the everyday heroes who can make a difference in nature.”


Freshwater Oasis

Just across the street from SeaWorld Orlando is Discovery Cove, a limited-admission, all-inclusive tropical resort where guests swim with dolphins, hand-feed tropical birds in a free-flight aviary, snorkel among thousands of colorful fish and rays and relax on pristine beaches.


Opening at Discovery Cove in spring 2012 is Freshwater Oasis, an all-new attraction featuring swimming and wading adventures and face-to-face encounters with playful otters and curious marmosets.


When guests participate with nature at Discovery Cove, they unlock discoveries that can be life-changing. Freshwater Oasis is an all-new opportunity to wade up-close with wildlife in a relaxing tropical setting. It’s an exhilarating tropical exhale.


Designed with a rainforest canopy above and sparkling-clear springs below, Freshwater Oasis is a natural fit within Discovery Cove’s tropical vibe. Guests can relax and explore. They’ll wade, wonder, swim and float in the water-filled trails and discover marmosets and playful Asian otters. No matter where they turn, they’ll find endless discoveries.


Freshwater Oasis is included with admission to Discovery Cove, an all-inclusive tropical getaway and the only place to experience the most exciting animal encounters the world has to offer.


Antarctica - Empire of the Penguin

Also announced was SeaWorld Orlando’s biggest-ever attraction expansion, Antarctica - Empire of the Penguin, opening spring 2013.


Through the years, SeaWorld Orlando has taken guests to far-flung corners of the globe, immersing them in the character and feel of exotic places and introducing them to unique worlds of adventure.


At the park’s “Wild Arctic” guests ride a simulated jet copter to the frozen north, into a habitat of polar bears, beluga whales and huge walruses. “Key West at SeaWorld” sets guests down in the funky ambience of the Florida Keys, with dolphins, stingrays and colorful birds. The rocky northern California coast is found at “Pacific Point Preserve,” with dozens of seals and sea lions. The park’s other attractions take guests into the worlds of sharks, sea turtles and manatees, or let guests soar like a ray on the Manta roller coaster or ride the back of a mythical beast, the Kraken.


But no journey is bigger -- or as incredible -- as the one to come in 2013. It’s a voyage to the bottom-of-the-world, to the coldest and windiest continent, to a place of ice more than 9,000- feet thick. It’s a journey to Antarctica and to the empire of the penguin.


Guests will be surrounded by the sights, sounds and awesome encounters found in this frozen place, embarking on a one-of-a-kind ride and an incredible family adventure.


They’ll experience the mystery and wonder of life on the ice through the eyes of a penguin, sensing the beauty and drama of their sometimes-dangerous habitat. Antarctica – Empire of the Penguin combines closer-then-ever animal connections with state-of-the-art interactive ride technologies for adventures that are different each time.


It’s an all-family experience that could only come from SeaWorld and can only be found at SeaWorld Orlando. And, it’s safe to say Antarctica – Empire of the Penguin will be the coldest theme park attraction in the world.


A year-and-a-half from opening at SeaWorld Orlando, details are few. For now, SeaWorld Orlando’s Antarctica will stay as mysterious as its namesake continent. “Only SeaWorld and its parks can take you on these journeys or bring these experiences to you,” said Prather. “We’re excited about what the future holds for our parks and our fans.”


And for some photos & video!



Sea World Orlando 2012 Attractions Announcement



Sea World Orlando Announces Antarctica Empire of the Penguin For 2013


Sea World Orlando Announces Turtle Trek for 2012


Sea World Orlando Announces Freshwater Oasis Discovery Cove




TPR is at SeaWorld Orlando this morning for their 2012/2013 new attractions announcement!


To add a little excitment to the gardens section of the park, gas lines have been added which cross the paths....


Look! They consider TPR media! We're official!


Apparently, theme park media outlets like to eat... A LOT! :)




"You had me at S'mores!"


SeaWorld pulled out all the stops and brought in the "Kayak o' Shrimp!"


Terry Prather, SeaWorld Orlando Park President tells us "We are about to take you on a new SeaWorld journey fro 2012 and 2013..."


There are screens all around us! Awesome things are about to start happening!


It was the "SeaWorld Announcement...in the round!"


Brian Morrow, Director of Creative Development took us through three new attractions for the SeaWorld Orlando properties.


First up was Freshwater Oasis for Discovery Cove.


Freshwater Oasis will open at Discovery Cove in Spring 2012.


Freshwater Oasis features all-new swimming and wading adventures and face-to-face encounters with playful otters and curious marmosets.


Designed with a rainforest canopy above and sparkling-clear springs below, Freshwater Oasis is a natural fit with Discovery Cove’s tropical vibe.


Turtle Trek will open at SeaWorld Orlando in Spring 2012.


While creating TurtleTrek, designers stayed true to SeaWorld’s unique blend of nose-to-nose animal encounters and state-of-the art entertainment.


The new attraction brings guests close to sea turtles and manatees then immerses them in a sea turtle’s epic journey with the world’s first 3-D, 360-degree movie in a domed theater.


SeaWorld guests experience a turtle’s eye view of the ocean’s wonders and inspired to be everyday heroes who can make a difference in nature.


TPR loves the sea turtles! Can't wait for this in 2012!


Hmmm...why is Terry wearing a scarf here in Orlando??? Where could this journey lead us to next???


Hooray! We are going on an all-expense paid trip to Antarctica!!!


We just have to go through the frozen warp tunnel to get there...


It sure is COLD here in Antarctica!


Yay! We get to see LIVE PENGUINS!!!!


This is Julie Scardina - she's the "Animal Ambassador" and works with the penguins...I'll be honest...I'm jealous of her job! ;)


"That's right! We are getting our own attraction! We're pretty awesome!"


Brian Morrow takes us through "Antarctica Empire of the Penguin" which he can't say much about, but this new "ride" will be an awesome family attraction!


In 2013, SeaWorld Orlando will take guests on a voyage to the bottom-of-the-world, to the coldest and windiest continent, to a place of ice more than 9,000 feet thick.


Guests will be surrounded by the sights, sounds and awesome encounters found in this frozen place, embarking on a one-of-a-kind ride and an incredible family adventure.


Empire of the Penguin combines closer-then-ever animal connections with state-of-the-art interactive ride technologies for adventures that are different each time. Antarctica – Empire of the Penguin opens at SeaWorld Orlando spring 2013.


Terry and Brian wrap up the announcement - sounds awesome guys! Looking forward to bringing KidTums there in 2012 & 2013!


"I want one!!!"


"Sorry, Robb, you'll just have to come back in 2013 and see us in our new attraction!"


Thank you to Brian Morrow for all the awesome presentations! Looking forward to more info in the coming months!


After the presentation, they had animals for us to harass...I mean, hang out with! =)


"Please Mr. Angry Bird... DO NOT EAT ME!!!"


Look! SeaWorld has their own Wild Eagle attraction!


Adam stands majestic... or dorky... you decide! ;)


This little guy is called a "Kinkajou", but I think I'll just call him Pikachu, that's easier for me to remember.


These are the little Asian Marmosets you'll see at Freshwater Oasis....


They are cute...and they even liked Robb...which is unnatural...even for animals!


Here's a toucan...and what do get when you have three toucans? A six pack! =)


Eric Yates claims this hot chocolate is like sex...well, it was "good" at least! ;)


"I wouldn't know the difference!"


Thank you to SeaWorld Orlando! Congrats on your new attractions! Looking forward to 2012 and 2013!

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I love the proposed additions.


The Turtle Trek attraction sounds similar to "Dul's Fantasy World 360" at Parque Espana, but I'm sure the technology and seating will be much better.

Edited by larrygator
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Was there any mention of what they are going to do with the penguins during the construction? Any plans to set up a temporary exhibit somewhere in the park?


It'l be interesting to see how much of the existing Penguin Plaza section will be reused in the new Antarctica section, the one concept art picture hat shows a shop and what looks like a restaurant looks very similar to the existing arrangement in Penguin Plaza. I also am curious if they are going to completely level the existing penguin habitat or attempt to reuse some of the building. There should be plenty of opportunities to view the construction from Kraken's lift hill and probably will be able to get some decent views from the top of Dolphin Stadium.

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^Brian Morrow made it a point to note that all three of these new additions are exclusively designed for SeaWorld Orlando and Discovery Cove. From the sound of his presentation, these attractions won't fit into the master plan of any other current SeaWorld parks.

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