New details released on SeaWorld's Antarctica penguin ride and exhibit

April 24, 2012, 3:33 PM · SeaWorld Orlando today revealed some more detail about its new ride for 2013: Antarctica - Empire of the Penguin. First, there's a new promotional poster:

Antarctica - Empire of the Penguin

But let's take a closer look at that ride vehicle.

Antarctica - Empire of the Penguin detail

SeaWorld said in a press release today that "Antarctica – Empire of the Penguin will include a first-of-its-kind family adventure ride that utilizes new technology for an experience that can change from visit to visit. Designers also revealed that guests will be able to choose the level of thrill they experience on the ride."

Hmmm. Could these be some sort of motion-base cars on a trackless ride system? Groups could select how much the cars move ("choose the level of thrill they experience") and the path through the ride building could vary from trip to trip ("an experience that can change from visit to visit"), in the spirit of Tokyo Disneyland's Winnie the Pooh ride. It's one explanation (and the one I'd love to ride). I don't have any insider scoop here - just looking at the image and release and applying that to what I know is out there as current ride technology.

The attraction will include not just the ride, but also an up-close viewing area, restaurant and gift shop. I'm guessing that the people depicted alongside the ride reference the viewing area in the new ride. SeaWorld said:

"Antarctica – Empire of the Penguin will get SeaWorld’s guests closer than ever - and out among - its colony of penguins including gentoos, rockhoppers, adelies and kings. How close has yet to be detailed, but designers consider the guests’ encounters with the penguins to be the first of their kind in any theme park or zoo in the world."

And yes, it's going to be chilly in there: "Immersing guests in a colony of penguins means Antarctica – Empire of the Penguin will be the coldest theme park attraction in the world. Designers have declined comment on the engineering it will take to place SeaWorld guests among a colony of penguins whose habitat must stay in the low 30 degrees for comfort."

By the way, I love the "hidden penguin" in the image, too. Take a close look at that snow-covered rock work in the top middle of the image.


Update: To clarify, the images above conceptual "photo illustrations" provided by SeaWorld. They are not photos of the actual ride or exhibit, which hasn't been completed yet.

Replies (10)

April 24, 2012 at 4:57 PM · I think it is a shame that "they" are going to put the penguins "in" with this ride. Do they think it will not bother the penguins to hear the noise and see all the commotion going on?
April 24, 2012 at 4:57 PM · A boat ride with real penguins looks promising. With our sweltering summers this ride will give a nice break for everyone; with temperatures in the 90s, people will love the low 30s.
April 24, 2012 at 6:00 PM · Wrong on so many levels.
April 24, 2012 at 9:32 PM · This sounds like a very unique and promising attraction. The ride and exhibit sound so different than anything else in a theme park. I'd like to know more but the ride looks great and one the whole family should enjoy.

The interactive elements sound great too.

April 24, 2012 at 11:36 PM · First thing that struck me was the temperature thing, with the people depicted being in normal clothes in an open vehicle. They have a ride at Kelly Tarton's Underwater World in Auckland where you get in a glassed in boat and go around a colony of King Penguins. Maybe a far more advanced version of this?
April 25, 2012 at 3:21 AM · Looks and sounds amazing. Another by-product of the Harry Potter expansion, Antarctica sounds like it is shaping up to be a must visit next time I hit Orlando.
April 25, 2012 at 4:38 AM · A shame? I think NOT! It is wonderful that SeaWorld is stepping up to provide experiences that no other themepark or zoo has offered yet! And I doubt the penguins will actually be IN the ride area- guests will probally exit into their habitat - or something along those lines. Oh, and a colony 200+ penguins is going to be MUCH louder than a trackless ride system!

I can't wait for this to open- great job SeaWorld.

April 25, 2012 at 4:39 AM · Having done the Penguins Up Close tour which went behind the scenes at the old attraction - this will be freezing.
But it looks quite long as moronic people dont get the opportunity to throw things at/touch the animals when they shouldnt be.
I can almost....almost....forgive Seaworld for closing my favourite shop and ice cream parlour for Antartica with this news. (almost)
April 25, 2012 at 5:17 AM · So looking forward to this attraction
April 25, 2012 at 9:44 AM · And here I thought this would be a piece of crap. Sounds great as this will actually get me to Seaworld for the first time in 9 years (10 when this opens). For the record this is what they are doing with Test Track.

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