SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment plans an IPO, as Creative team works to spend the money

December 15, 2012, 4:01 PM · Reuters is reporting that SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment is planning to start selling stock in the company, perhaps within the next few months. The news service reports that SeaWorld's planning an Initial Public Offering [IPO] which could earn more than $500 million for its owner, the private equity firm Blackstone Group.

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.

Replies (3)

December 15, 2012 at 5:09 PM · The vehicle looks awesome! I just wonder how will work if each person wants a different level of intensity.
December 15, 2012 at 11:20 PM · The ride looks like a cool interactive experience. My question is will there be actual penguins or animatronic things like Disney... Ding. All seriousness this will have to be on my list to visit on my next Florida/Orlando trip.
December 15, 2012 at 11:49 PM · Real penguins, Todd. There will be some film elements, too, but the highlight will be lots and lots and lots of real, live penguins.

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