Theme Park Warrior

Antarctica: Empire of the Penguins

Location:Orlando, Florida, United States
Theme Park:Sea World
Year Built:2013
Indoor or OutdoorIndoor
Attraction Location:Sea World
Height Requirements:None
Line Priority:
Average Rating from TPW Users

Sea World has done it…. They have brought the icy tundra of Antarctica to Florida, with their largest expansion in SeaWorld’s history Empire of the Penguin. Guest will go on an adventure that allows them to see what it’s like to be in Antarctica. Walking through the Glaciers of Antarctica and finding their way to the entrance of the attraction guests quickly realize that this attraction will not just be a break from Florida heat, but extremely cold.

As the doors open to the attraction guests are greeted with a short film where they get to meet “Puck” a baby penguin, and they quickly learn how penguins protect themselves from these extreme temperatures. Guests will also notice that the air is not so humid, and a bit more frigid then one would normally expect. The answer to the question in the back of your mind, Yes, as you go farther into the attraction it gets colder and colder, and the air gets dryer and dryer.

Getting ready to ride the new ride, will require a decision, as guest must first must choose the intensity, Mild or Wild. Mild has no height limit, just all passengers must be able to sit up on their own, meaning anyone over about 18 months old can ride it. Wild side you must be 48 inches tall in order to ride.

The technology for the ride is top-shelf, with smart sensors that enable the cars to detect each other and interact along the journey, just like penguins. There are 32 different possible paths, so chances are you won’t get the same ride twice.

After the three-minute ride, visitors step into a colony of some 250 penguins of Antarctica that noisily honk and waddle through the snow. Let it be stated that as you step off your vehicle you will be in temperatures of 30 degrees, because there is only a rock wall of 18 inches tall that separates guests from the penguins, and the penguins need the cold temperatures. Be careful, because in some sections you can even get splashed as the penguins swim by.

When you get too chilly in the penguin habitat, the next stop is a huge underwater viewing area. Dozens of penguins at a time go shooting by, looking more like a flock of birds underwater than they do on land.

Fun Facts:

To keep the air clean powerful air ventilators and high-tech scrubbers, rather than disinfectants, keep the area smelling more like the ocean than a colony of birds.

To make the penguins comfy it takes 20,000 pounds or 10 tons of snow blown in from snow making machines installed above the exhibit each day. Every day Sea World melts the snow, scrubs down the habitat and pumps in the fresh snow.

The ride uses new unique trackless technology.

The 6,125-square-foot habitat area houses Gentoo, King, Rockhopper and Adelie penguins that move freely between the rocky terrain and 170,000-gallon pool.