Updated:ORLANDO, Fla. —
SeaWorld Orlando’s all-new attraction, Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, is now open.
Only SeaWorld Orlando can fully immerse guests into the thrilling, chilling continent few will ever experience. AntarcticaTM is a realm in SeaWorld where icebergs, snowcaps and howling winds greet guests. They’ll also meet a very special penguin named Puck, and it’s through his eyes that guests learn about penguin life and the dangers and beauty of this frozen land.
On board a first-of-its-kind trackless, all-family adventure ride, guests become one with the storyline as they follow Puck’s adventures. Each mobile simulator ride car allows guests to choose one of two levels of exploration – Wild Expedition or Mild Expedition – for various degrees of ride intensity. Designers say each version has multiple variations for a feeling of unpredictability, just like the continent of Antarctica.
» IMAGE GALLERY: SeaWorld's Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin
“When our little hero penguin learns to waddle and slide, we’ll feel what it’s like as the car moves and reacts to the storyline. When he takes his first swim or barely escapes danger, our guests will feel as if they’re right there with him,” explains Brian Morrow, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment® creative director. “On this adventure, we learn that we’re a lot like penguins. We’ll find we need each other and our families to survive,” said Morrow.
There’s one more family SeaWorld guests can join at Antarctica … and that’s a huge family of nearly 250 penguins. Stepping off the adventure ride, guests find themselves among a colony of Adelie, gentoo, king and rockhopper penguins in a 30-degree habitat filled with wind, snow, rock and chilly water. It’s what makes Antarctica the coldest theme park attraction in Orlando. New technologies combine to create a freezing – but dry - climate, allowing guests to spend time in the penguins’ amazing world.
Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin also includes educational elements. Kids can “measure up” to all 18 species of penguins carved into the rocks in the plaza. They can engage in kid-height and kid-friendly interactive touch screens and talk with SeaWorld educators to learn more about the importance of community and how penguin colonies work together and rely on each other for survival.
Culinary delights can be found at Expedition Café, where American, Asian and Italian - the three major signatories of the Antarctic Treaty – cuisines are featured in a mess hall setting. A hydroponic garden produces fresh herbs that chefs incorporate into the menu. Outside seating available under canvas type sails, and two Quonset-type huts provide seating for guests dining on a mix of cooked-to-order food and quick-serve delights.
With every penguin gift imaginable, Glacial Collections gift shop is the place to shop for all penguin lovers. The retail shop’s color scheme of black, bright yellows, oranges and whites, and the penguin-shaped displays welcome guests to browse the cache of splendid penguin-related items. Hero Puck is anticipated to be the popular take home treasure. His journey, his love of family, and his connection, especially to children, make him a very desirable keepsake.
Also new at Antarctica are souvenir cups created by SeaWorld and Coca-Cola®. The Cup That CaresTM is a novel reusable cup program with a twist of technology: An RFID (radio frequency identification) chip embedded in each cup interacts with software at Antarctica’s Coca-Cola Freestyle dispensers to calculate CO2 and tell guests how they are being more environmentally responsible by choosing to refill and reuse. And there’s more: SeaWorld will donate $1 from each Cup That Cares purchase to the SeaWorld and Busch Gardens® Conservation Fund, a not-for-profit foundation that helps protect wildlife around the world.
Award-winning country artist Lauren Alaina recorded two songs for Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin: The song for the ride that every guest will hear when they experience the Antarctica and a special remix version called “Antarctica: One World, One Family.” Her voice is absolutely amazing and truly helps us tell the story of Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin through song. What’s even “cooler” is that guests can take the music of Antarctica with them and download the remix version for FREE at SeaWorldOrlando.com.
Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin is an all-family experience that can be found only at SeaWorld Orlando. “We’ve taken our guests and fans on astounding journeys,” says Terry Prather, SeaWorld Orlando’s president. “But no one has ever experienced what we’re bringing to Orlando this year. The first-of-its-kind ride, the cold, the wind, the thrills and danger of Antarctica, coupled with getting up close to penguins in their freezing world is something only SeaWorld can do.”