Competition is fierce in the theme park industry, with the major parks spending hundreds of millions of dollars on new attractions in order to stay ahead. The hottest new trend we’re seeing in the themed attraction industry is the construction of hyper-themed lands at parks. Themed beyond imagination and costing more than ever. Let us explain…. Continue reading
Take a look at the overview of SeaWorld Orlando’s new attraction, TurtleTrek, slated to open this spring. Continue reading
SeaWorld Orlando will introduce a holiday show based on the Christmas story and told through the eyes of animals during SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration events, which kick off Nov. 25, the day after Thanksgiving. The new “O Wondrous Night” includes puppet version of animals at the nativity scene and their live counterparts, such as a donkey and a camel. The production has all-original music and it will be produced in the Nautilus Theater, the usual home to “A’lure … The Call of the Ocean.”
Several holiday shows also are returning to the theme park, including “Winter Wonderland on Ice,” an ice-skating show; “Shamu Christmas … Miracles,” the killer-whale show; the comedic “Clyde and Seamore’s Countdown to Christmas”; and “A Sesame Street Christmas.” Guests again can ride the Polar Express Experience, a seasonal overlay of the Wild Arctic ride. Returning for a second year are the Sea of Trees, dozens of sparkling and choreographed trees glimmering above the park’s center lake, and the Christmas Market with food and shopping along the Bayside Pathway. SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration is capped with “Holiday Reflections: Fireworks and Fountains Finale.”
The event runs Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from Nov. 25 through Dec. 11. It becomes nightly from Dec. 16-31.
SeaWorld has a couple of promotions going on that will continue during the holiday season. It has re-introduced the SeaWorld Fun Card, which includes unlimited visits to the theme park through all of 2012 for the price of a single day’s admission. Plus, a kids-free promotion gives entry to one child for each full-paid adult admission. That offer is good through Dec. 25, 2011. (Orlando Sentinal)
Here are more details of the holiday festivities at Seaworld this season:
The Christmas Market
‘Tis the season for being together. Feel the warmth of family as you admire festive ice dancers gliding merrily across the ice, then visit the bustling Christmas Market. You’ll find something special for that special someone among unique artisans and culinary delights. There’s no cooler place at SeaWorld.
Christmas brings out the child in all of us. That’s probably why everyone feels right at home at SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration, where kids can enjoy all the joy of the holidays along with favorites Clyde and Seamore, Sesame Street and more! Gather the entire family for dinner at Seafire Inn during Santa’s Fireside Feast, or enjoy a traditional holiday menu at Sharks Underwater Grill.
Wild Arctic Plaza
Find authentic THE POLAR EXPRESS items, stockings and holiday gift ideas for everyone on your list. Capture the perfect family photo in front of a life-sized Polar Express train car or with Santa in the North Pole (at Wild Arctic). Memories are made, and captured, at SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration.
THE POLAR EXPRESS Experience
Now boarding! It’s a wondrous journey to the North Pole aboard THE POLAR EXPRESS. The beloved holiday classic comes to life as you and your family are immersed in the heart-warming story of a young boy’s thrilling ride into an enchanted world. The sights, sounds, and scents of the season surround you. From the moment the conductor calls “all aboard” to your arrival at the North Pole (where you’ll meet Santa Claus himself), THE POLAR EXPRESS Experience promises to create an unforgettable holiday memory.
Welcome to Seaworld’s Christmas Celebration, where towering, illuminated trees shine as brightly as our guests’ faces. Picuresque bakery and candy shops fill the air with scents of the season that tempt you with delicious holiday treats. This is your window into our wonderland.
Shamu and his crew invite kids of all ages to play the day away in a wintery wonderland of frosty fun. Whimsical holiday lights decorate the harbor in surprising ways sure to delight the young and young at heart, while snow flurries bring a touch of the North Pole to the games, rides, and experiences of Shamu’s Happy Harbor. New this year is Holly Jolly Railway — Ho-Ho-Ho! Hop aboard the Holly Jolly Railway for a sea-inspired spin around Shamu’s Happy Harbor — it’s a ride that’s totally Santa-approved!
O Wondrous Night
Hear the greatest story never told with over 30 carols, live-size puppets and live animals in the brand new show that will charm, entertain and delight people from all walks of life. Lots of singing, special effects and incredible lighting enhance this production and holiday spirit.
Shamu Christmas – Miracles
SeaWorld invites you to experience the power and beauty of our Shamu family in our nighttime holiday show: Shamu Christmas- Miracles. Thrilling seasonal music rings out and killer whales soar through the air in a story of reflection and understanding… of peace and friendship… of the everyday miracles that surround us all year long. From the sweeping vocal majesty of our soundtrack to the heart-pounding excitement you’ve come to expect from our Shamu family, this performance will take you on a stirring voyage into the heart of the holidays.
A Sesame Street Christmas
Everybody’s Sesame Street® friends have come to SeaWorld for a festive and fun musical celebration! The holidays have arrived, but Abby Cadabby doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about… she’s never heard of Christmas. Through dance, laughter and interactive sing-a-longs, Elmo, Telly Monster and the rest of her Sesame Street friends teach Abby what Christmas means to them. Your little elves will be smiling all the way home.
Clyde and Seamore’s Countdown to Christmas
Santa’s helpers, Clyde and Seamore, are bringing their own brand of comedy to Christmas this year. Our loveable sea lions, along with a few mischievous otters, a comical elf, and a wintery walrus or two, invite you and yours to their fun-filled holiday celebration. It doesn’t get more holly or jolly than this.
Winter Wonderland on Ice
Christmas comes to life on a stage of ice, jewels and light as skaters dazzle and delight in this show-stopping, ice skating extravaganza. The other stars of the show are the towering fountains of water dancing on the lake and fireworks that light up the night sky after the last ice show of the evening. It’s a don’t-miss experience for the holidays that will take your breath away.
Sea of Trees
Take a walk through our wintery, watery wonderland and immerse yourself in a sea of holiday trees. Our glistening forest with over 100 trees sparkles to music and lights up the water… and, your eyes. As the lights literally dance to holiday classics, your heart will soar with wonder and delight at this truly awe-inspiring Christmas treat.
Holiday Reflections: Fireworks and Fountain Finale
SeaWorld celebrates the season with soaring fountains, dazzling lights, and festive fireworks, choreographed to joyous holiday musical favorites. Experience a wondrous SeaWorld Christmas connection that lights the night.
With three astounding new attractions featuring all-new ways to connect guests to the mysteries of the sea, SeaWorld Orlando and Discovery Cove are once again sure to top the “must-see” list for upcoming Orlando vacations.
SeaWorld designers just announced new experiences to open in 2012 at SeaWorld Orlando and Discovery Cove, and released a few details of a massive expansion set to debut at SeaWorld in 2013. Discovery Cove is a swim-with-dolphins resort across the street from SeaWorld in Orlando.
The new attractions represent the biggest attraction expansions in the history of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, the parks’ parent company.
Terry Prather, president of the company’s Orlando parks, SeaWorld, Discovery Cove and Aquatica, said, “With TurtleTrek at SeaWorld Orlando and Freshwater Oasis at Discovery Cove, travelers will have all new reasons to visit Orlando. What we’re creating will take you places you’ve never been before, places only SeaWorld can take you.”
While creating TurtleTrek (opening at SeaWorld Orlando in spring 2012), designers stayed true to SeaWorld’s unique blend of nose-to-nose animal encounters and state-of-the art entertainment.
Guests first visit two massive naturalistic habitats, one filled with hundreds of freshwater fish and gentle manatees, the other home to more than 1,500 saltwater fish and more than a dozen sea turtles. Many of the manatees and sea turtles were rescued by the park’s animal team or were born at SeaWorld. Since SeaWorld Orlando’s rescue programs began, the team has cared for and returned to the wild nearly 240 manatees and 1,000 sea turtles.
Moving on from the habitat, guests enter a domed theater, and what happens next has never before been seen and is a first at any theme park in the world.
Coming to life in front of the guests is a first-of-its-kind 3-D/360-degree dome theater film that is completely immersive. The dome allows a hyper-realistic 3-D movie to be shown all around guests and even above them – not just in front them or on only one screen. It’s this unique and immersive way of showcasing a sea turtle’s epic and astounding journey that is the heart of TurtleTrek. And for the first time, SeaWorld guests are given a turtle’s eye view of the ocean’s wonders.
TurtleTrek is as inspirational as it is astounding. There’s a call-to-action at the end of the experience: SeaWorld calls on guests to join them in conserving the world we share. “Do a little, do a lot, but join us and do something to help the world and its animals,” said Brian Morrow, the attraction’s chief designer. “TurtleTrek is about the everyday heroes who can make a difference in nature.”
Just across the street from SeaWorld Orlando is Discovery Cove, a limited-admission, all-inclusive tropical resort where guests swim with dolphins, hand-feed tropical birds in a free-flight aviary, snorkel among thousands of colorful fish and rays and relax on pristine beaches.
Opening at Discovery Cove in spring 2012 is Freshwater Oasis, an all-new attraction featuring swimming and wading adventures and face-to-face encounters with playful otters and curious marmosets.
When guests participate with nature at Discovery Cove, they unlock discoveries that can be life-changing. Freshwater Oasis is an all-new opportunity to wade up-close with wildlife in a relaxing tropical setting. It’s an exhilarating tropical exhale.
Designed with a rainforest canopy above and sparkling-clear springs below, Freshwater Oasis is a natural fit within Discovery Cove’s tropical vibe. Guests can relax and explore. They’ll wade, wonder, swim and float in the water-filled trails and discover marmosets and playful Asian otters. No matter where they turn, they’ll find endless discoveries.
Freshwater Oasis is included with admission to Discovery Cove, an all-inclusive tropical getaway and the only place to experience the most exciting animal encounters the world has to offer.
Antarctica – Empire of the Penguin
Also announced was SeaWorld Orlando’s biggest-ever attraction expansion, Antarctica – Empire of the Penguin, opening spring 2013.
Through the years, SeaWorld Orlando has taken guests to far-flung corners of the globe, immersing them in the character and feel of exotic places and introducing them to unique worlds of adventure.
At the park’s “Wild Arctic” guests ride a simulated jet copter to the frozen north, into a habitat of polar bears, beluga whales and huge walruses. “Key West at SeaWorld” sets guests down in the funky ambience of the Florida Keys, with dolphins, stingrays and colorful birds. The rocky northern California coast is found at “Pacific Point Preserve,” with dozens of seals and sea lions. The park’s other attractions take guests into the worlds of sharks, sea turtles and manatees, or let guests soar like a ray on the Manta roller coaster or ride the back of a mythical beast, the Kraken.
But no journey is bigger — or as incredible — as the one to come in 2013. It’s a voyage to the bottom-of-the-world, to the coldest and windiest continent, to a place of ice more than 9,000 feet thick. It’s a journey to Antarctica and to the empire of the penguin.
Guests will be surrounded by the sights, sounds and awesome encounters found in this frozen place, embarking on a one-of-a-kind ride and an incredible family adventure.
They’ll experience the mystery and wonder of life on the ice through the eyes of a penguin, sensing the beauty and drama of their sometimes-dangerous habitat. Antarctica – Empire of the Penguin combines closer-then-ever animal connections with state-of-the-art interactive ride technologies for adventures that are different each time.
It’s an all-family experience that could only come from SeaWorld and can only be found at SeaWorld Orlando. And, it’s safe to say Antarctica – Empire of the Penguin will be the coldest theme park attraction in the world.
A year-and-a-half from opening at SeaWorld Orlando, details are few. For now, SeaWorld Orlando’s Antarctica will stay as mysterious as its namesake continent. “Only SeaWorld and its parks can take you on these journeys or bring these experiences to you,” said Prather. “We’re excited about what the future holds for our parks and our fans.”