SeaWorld Orlando has confirmed the details of widely-rumored expansion plans for 2012 and 2013, including the addition of a major new dark ride set in Antarctica.
Three new attractions were revealed as part of the announcement on November 8, 2011. SeaWorld Orlando itself will overhaul its existing Penguin Encounter area to become Antartica: Empire of the Penguin in 2013, and will also debut a 3D movie based on sea turtles in spring 2012. Neighboring premium water park Discovery Cove will open a new Freshwater Oasis in 2012.
Full details of the new additions, including concept art, are given below.
Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin
SeaWorld Orlando is billing the new Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin area as its "biggest ever attraction expansion". It will feature a unique new dark ride, which will enable guests to experience life at the bottom of the world through the eyes of a penguin. The park claims that it will be the coldest theme park ride in the world, and the most thrilling family attraction in Orlando.
The existing Manatee Rescue attraction will also undergo a major transformation, becoming home to two large habitats hosting manatees, freshwater fish and more than a dozen sea turtles. The existing domed theater will be refurbished and will house an edited-down version of Turtle: The Incredible Journey, a documentary which was produced for theaters by SeaWorld Pictures in 2011. 34 projectors will be used to create a 360-degree, 3D experience.
Discovery Cove will receive a new Freshwater Oasis, which will offer swimming and wading experiences. Guests will also be able to get up close to otters and marmosets, with the area being themed around a rainforest. No glass will separate guests from the marmosets on the island.
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