No visit to the Orlando area is complete without at least one day at the world's largest marine theme park; SeaWorld! There is no where else on Earth where you can easily walk from the North pole to the South pole in a few brief minutes, all while experiencing nearly every aquatic environment in between. As with many other theme parks in Central Florida, SeaWorld has expanded in recent years, adding many new attractions to appeal to thrill seekers and aquarium watchers alike.
“Only SeaWorld® and its parks can take you on these journeys or bring these experiences to you,” said Terry Prather, SeaWorld Orlando®’s president. “We’re excited about what the future holds for our parks and our fans.”
Their most recent expansion, Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, is Orlando’s must-see new attraction. It transports families into a rarely seen, icy world, where visitors can experience the majestic grandeur of the South Pole and see it through the penguins’ eyes on an exhilarating, first-of-its-kind family ride. The ride portion utilizes new technology for an experience that can change from visit to visit, where guests can choose to have either a mild or wild experience. Each car seats eight guests, so the line, though sometimes long, moves relatively quickly.
Your guide to the world of Antartica is a young gentoo penguin named Puck. By following his life's story, Puck leads guests on an exciting journey through the dangers and wondrous beauty of the Antarctic.
“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,” said Brian Morrow, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment creative director.
Though the ride may be a big draw, the main attraction is the ability to explore a massive penguin colony in an expanse that envelops them in cool extremes, both above and below the penguins’ icy world. The enclosure features several species of penguins, including gentoos, rockhoppers, adelies and kings. A bit of advice; bring a jacket. The temperature in the penguin environment is in the lower 30s, so t-shirts and shorts will leave you a bit under-dressed!
Fans wanting to explore even more of SeaWorld’s thrilling, chilling new adventure of a lifetime should download the free Antarctica app, available now for iPhones, iPads and Android devices. The app is full of incredible create-and-share videos and photos, where fans can swim, march and dance with penguins. They can place their face onto an Antarctic explorer. And the best part? All of videos and photos can easily be shared with family and friends through social media channels -- Facebook, Twitter and You Tube – and can be emailed, too.
The app is also the place to get the cold, hard facts about penguins and Antarctica, watch incredible behind-the-scenes teaser videos about the “making of” SeaWorld Orlando’s newest attraction, Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin. Fans can even enter the Family Voyage Sweepstakes to win a trip to Orlando!
If you want to get even closer to the penguins than the ride allows, you should consider the Penguins Up-Close tour. Here, you can go behind the scenes at Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin™ on an approximately 45-minute walking tour to hear from animal experts about what it takes to care for these unique birds. Plus, get a rare opportunity to interact with and touch a penguin.
Seasonal pricing starts at $59 ages 10 and up, $39 ages 3-9 plus tax.
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment is one of the world’s foremost zoological organizations and a global leader in animal welfare, training, husbandry and veterinary care. The Company maintains one of the largest animal collections in the world and has helped lead advances in the care of species in zoological facilities and in the conservation of wild populations. SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment also operates one of the world’s most respected programs to rescue and rehabilitate ocean marine animals that are ill, injured and orphaned, with the goal of returning them to the wild. The SeaWorld® rescue team has helped more than 22,000 animals in need over the last four decades.
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