SeaWorld Orlando took advantage of the world stage provided by this year’s IAAPA Expo to unveil the ride vehicle for it’s 2013 attraction – Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin. The ceremony featured some of the over 400 penguins who will be an important part of the attraction, plus our first look at the family of virtual penguins who will be a key part of the ride’s backstory.
“There’s nothing else like this in the world,” said Brian Morrow, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment creative director. “Next year, this is the vehicle that will take families on an epic adventure and allow them to experience and interact with the thrills, wonders and dangers of Antarctica, all through the eyes of a very special penguin.”
Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin will combine a state-of-the-art family adventure ride and closer-than-ever encounters with hundreds of penguins – kings, gentoos, Adelies and rockhoppers – to create something totally unique to Orlando. Of course, penguins mean cool temperatures, so it might be the coldest attraction in town too.
Designers revealed a bit more about the vehicles’ unique role in the attraction.
The cars themselves are technological achievements. Each car is a mobile simulator, with movements that allow the riders to become one with the storyline as they follow and mimic a young penguin’s adventures. The combination of experiences – mobile, moving simulators and a completely trackless ride – are theme park firsts. Guests will choose one of two levels of adventure. Designers say each level has multiple variations for a feeling of unpredictability, just like the continent of Antarctica.
“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,” Morrow said.
Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin is the biggest expansion in company history. Park execs consider the attraction an all-new “realm,” rather than a single attraction. Antarctica’s scope includes the ride, penguin colony, gift shop and restaurant. The scale of the construction is huge with multi-story buildings now occupying a large portion of the park.
It’s an all-family experience that could only come from SeaWorld and can only be found at SeaWorld Orlando. “We’ve taken our guests and fans on astounding journeys,” said Terry Prather, SeaWorld Orlando’s president. “But no one has ever experienced what we’re bringing to Orlando in 2013. The first-of-its-kind ride, the cold, the wind, the thrills and danger of Antarctica and walking among penguins in a massive habitat is something only SeaWorld could do.”