6/1/2013 6:15:00 PM



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For years, SeaWorld® Orlando has taken guests on amazing journeys of adventure. Each time, the park opens a window to worlds guests could never experience on their own.

Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin® is the single largest attraction expansion ever at SeaWorld Orlando and the coldest theme park attraction in Orlando. A combination of innovative technology and up-close encounters with penguins in their 30-degree world makes Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin® an all-new realm and a thrilling, chilling adventure of a lifetime.

Here are a few icebergs of information:

The Icy Inspiration Behind Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin®

  • Antarctica – the continent – is largely unexplored. The land locked under 9,000 feet of ice in some places is not owned or claimed by any one country. The weather is always changing and always harsh. Yet this land at the bottom of the world is home to the most amazing animals in the world.
  • Temperatures can get as cold as -129 degrees Fahrenheit, the coldest temperature ever recorded on Earth! About 90% of our planet's ice is found in Antarctica, but it's melting away at an alarming rate.
  • 70% of the world’s supply of freshwater is stored there.
  • Remote. Hostile. Beautiful. This extraordinary continent is critical for maintaining Earth's climate, ocean temperatures and all life on our planet. Although Antarctica is the coldest, windiest, highest and driest place on Earth, there's a lot of life both above and below the water's surface. Tiny plant and animal plankton, shrimp-like krill, squids, penguins and other seabirds, leopard seals, killer whales and big baleen whales are all part of the Antarctic food web.

The Feathered Stars of the Realm

  • A colony of nearly 250 penguins -- gentoo, Adelie, king and rockhopper penguins -- welcome guests in to their freezing world and immerse them in their snowy, rocky, icy home.
  • When joining the penguin colony, guests will be in frosty 30-degree temperatures.
  • Penguins are attuned to the sun, determining courting, nesting and molting behaviors. The computerized lighting system is adjusted every 7 to 22 days to simulate sunrise and sunset, and seasonally to simulate springtime light and wintertime dark.
  • A three-level viewing area with floor-to-ceiling windows invites guests to marvel at the underwater action of these “flightless” birds in the nearly 170,000-gallon saltwater, 16-foot deep, 40-degree pool.

A Chilly Reception for SeaWorld Guests

  • Guests go through an acclimation process to prepare for the freezing temperatures found in the penguin colony. At various stages during the adventure – and before the guests join the penguins in their world – SeaWorld designers lower both temperature and humidity, priming explorers to enter the penguin habitat.
  • During the journey to the penguin colony, guests also begin to grasp the unpredictability of the environment. SeaWorld reproduces blizzard-type conditions, showcasing the extremes of Antarctica’s weather.
  • Guests are immersed in temps as low as 30 degrees during their traverse throughout the realm, making this the coldest theme park attraction in Orlando.
  • Technologically advanced airtight doors, humidifiers and air purifiers create Antarctic conditions for guests and penguins.

The Amazing Ride That Takes You On An Epic Voyage

  • Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin® combines state-of-the-art interactive ride technologies and up-close animal encounters for adventures that are different each time.
  • The first-of-its-kind ride propels guests on a trackless, mobile simulator, using advanced magnetic technology. Guests are transported into the storyline as they travel on an adventure through the eyes of our special penguin host, Puck.
  • Guests can choose how much motion they want during the journey to see the penguins. The Wild Expedition has a ride height minimum of 42” (under 48” with adult supervision). Mild Expedition riders need to be able sit up on their own, meaning that even seated toddlers can enjoy the experience (no children on laps).
  • In the queue and throughout the attraction, the common theme of family is evident. Penguins are only able to survive in one of the harshest places on earth because of the strength of their colony. They cannot survive alone. Guests discover the mirror connection of penguin families to human families … that we, too, are stronger together.

Recreating Antarctica in Orlando

  • Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin® is the coldest theme park attraction in Orlando.
  • Surrounded by the sights, sounds and awesome encounters found in this frozen land, guests embark on an incredible family adventure to discover an environment less than 1% of the population will ever experience.
  • Hand-blown “icicles” made of Pyrex® and glass replicate the perfect clarity of the pure ice in Antarctica. SeaWorld even embedded the exterior ice rockwork with microscopic tumbled glass balls that glisten and sparkle in the sun like to mimic real ice crystals.
  • Glaciers range from 10 to 50 feet tall.
  • In addition to the majestic sounds of the penguin colony, a one-hour, all original score, drifts through the realm.
  • It took nearly 400 designers, craftsmen, animators, a symphony orchestra, penguin experts, scenic and lighting designers, and ride experts to conceive, plan and build Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin®.

The Mystifying Music

  • A 65-member piece orchestra recorded the music, which was recorded in a church in Seattle.
  • The attraction features an all-original score that was written by a local Orlando composer, Mike Avila. It took 1 ½ years to create the musical score, record it with the orchestra and bring it all together inside the attraction.
  • Creating a beautiful musicscape, there are five zones of music throughout the realm.
  • When the full sound experience happens, guests will feel the chilly wind blowing at 22 MPH, which is considered blizzard-like conditions.
  • Award-winning county music artist, Lauren Alaina, sings the Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin® theme song, Antarctica: One World, One Family.

The Fare Infused with Freshies

  • Guests will enjoy the Expedition Café Marketplace featuring American, Asian and Italian cuisine, three major signatories of the original Antarctic Treaty.
  • A hydroponic garden produces fresh herbs that chefs incorporate into the menu.
  • Outside seating available under canvas-type sails and two Quonset-type huts, provide seating for 325 guests dining on a mix of cooked-to-order food and quick-serve delights.
  • The Coca-Cola Freestyle dispenser gives guests more than 100 brands of beverages at their fingertips to quench their thirst.

The Souvenir of Science

  • Perfect for the penguin palette, Glacial Collections gift shop offers everything for the penguin lover. The retail shop’s color scheme of black, bright yellows, oranges and whites, and the penguin-shaped displays welcome guests to browse the cache of splendid penguin-related items.
  • Hero Puck is anticipated to be the popular take home treasure. His journey, his love of family, and his connection, especially to children, make him a very desirable keepsake.

The Cup That Cares™

  • Conservation-minded guests will love the new Cup that Cares™ program. These souvenir cups are embedded with a programmable chip that can be personalized to the guest.
    • Every time a guest refills the cup at Antarctica’s South Pole Chill, a personalized greeting is delivered thanking the guest for using the refillable cup and reducing their carbon footprint.
  • A portion of the proceeds from each Cup That Cares purchase will be donated to the non-profit SeaWorld & Busch Gardens® Conservation Fund.
    • In addition to direct support of hundreds of environmental, research and conservation projects, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment provides millions of dollars in cash, support and human resources to the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund. A registered non-profit conservation foundation, the Fund has granted $9 million in support of projects around the world in more than 60 countries.

The Education Station

  • Three SeaWorld educators are located throughout the realm to engage with guests, teach about penguins and Antarctica, and answer questions.
  • Interactive touch screens invite kids to learn about penguin colonies and how working together as a community is key for survival.
  • The global family of penguins -- 18 species found in the southern hemisphere – emerges from a large rock wall, giving guests the opportunity to “measure up” to life-size penguins and pose for great photos. The species found in Antarctica are located at the bottom of the display, a perfect height for little ones to get up close to.
  • All 18 species of penguins are protected by international law and six species are endangered.

Penguin Puzzlers

  • Can you find the king penguin carved into the “ice” somewhere in the queue?
  • Our iconic hero Shamu® is hidden somewhere in the exterior realm of Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin® ice work. Have you seen him yet?
  • Be sure to look down. Four species of penguin footprints can be found as you make your way toward the ride cars.
  • The coordinates of the Antarctic continent show up on an exterior lighting pole. Another pole includes the date, December 1, 1959, when the original Antarctica Treaty was signed. Were you illuminated?
  • How many countries were the original signatories of the Antarctic Treaty? (Hint: Count the flags at the Expedition Café for the answer.) These countries were also the first countries to participate in the scientific research on the continent.
  • Watch out for a blizzard! A few times each hour a blizzard will pass through Antarctica in the soundscape and lighting effects. It’s okay; you don’t have to take cover.
  • The pinnacle penguin puzzler: As you travel through the realm, how many penguins can you find imaginatively embedded into the scenery?

--SeaWorld Orlando--