Blackstone bought SeaWorld (which also owns the Busch Gardens theme parks as well as Sesame Place) in 2009 after Belgian brewer InBev acquired the Anheuser-Busch, then decided that it wanted to get ride of Anheuser-Busch's theme park division. Blackstone bought the parks for $2.3 billion.
As SeaWorld's working toward raising a big chunk of change, the park's creative team is hard at work spending it. :^) Here's the latest video update from Brian Morrow and his team, who are working on the debut of SeaWorld Orlando's Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin ride, which is opening this spring:
I talked with Brian about Antarctica at the IAAPA industry convention in Orlando last month, where SeaWorld unveiled the Oceaneering-produced ride vehicles that will carry visitors through the attraction. (Oceaneering is the firm that engineered the ride vehicles for Universal's Transformers and Spider-Man rides - so SeaWorld's building on a proven track record here.)
Antarctica's ride vehicles look quite a bit like an eight-seat version of the Luigi's Flying Tires from Disney California Adventure's Cars Land.
But this "motion-base ride system on top of a trackless transport" promises a much more sophisticated ride experience, as the vehicles can tilt in multiple directions, and with variable intensity, as the units move themselves through the ice-cold penguin exhibit space SeaWorld's creating.
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