4 months ago

Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin Dark Ride (Sea World Theme Park - Orlando, Florida) - Dark Ride POV Experience - Closed / Abandoned Attraction

Mike Invades The World
Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin is a theme area at SeaWorld Orlando which featured a motion-based, trackless dark ride[1] and a penguinarium. The ride was removed in 2020. The Antarctica-themed area is spread across 4 acres (1.6 ha) inside SeaWorld Orlando.

Announced in 2011, Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin opened on May 24, 2013. At the time it was the largest attraction at any SeaWorld Entertainment theme park. As part of a campaign to promote the attraction, SeaWorld released a promotional video in July 2012. The area was generally well received by critics and the public at its opening.

Guests enter the queue from the Antarctica-themed area of the park. Large groups of riders and non-riders are admitted into a pre-show room, where projections of an Antarctic landscape are blended with 3D exhibits. In a narrated video, guests are introduced to a gentoo penguin colony in Antarctica featuring a newborn penguin named Puck. After the pre-show guests follow a path to a junction. Non-riders watch another pre-show before entering the penguin exhibit. Riders choose a "mild" or "wild" ride. They are then divided into groups of eight to board a ride vehicle at one of four stations. Riders are seated in two rows of four, and restrained by seat belts.

The vehicle travels around an indoor Antarctic environment, spinning to view a variety of scenery and projection screens. The story which began in the pre-show continues, with Puck venturing out into the sea. When he is underwater, Puck is chased by a leopard seal before resurfacing on land. The ride's theme song – "Antarctica: One World, One Family" by Lauren Alaina – is then played as guests watch a live penguin habitat behind glass before the vehicle returns to a four-platform unloading station.

Guests disembark in an open-air penguin habitat with an air temperature of approximately 32 °F (0 °C). This exhibit has minimal barriers between guests and inhabitants, and is designed so guests can hear sounds made by the penguins.

A total of 245 penguins and alcids live in the exhibit; species include gentoo, king, Adélie and rockhopper penguins, as well as their Arctic counterparts, the puffins, and the murres. The park can change the lighting to control the penguins' seasons. A 20-foot (6.1 m) glass window allows guests to see them in their 45 °F (7 °C) pool from an underwater viewing area. The entire experience takes about 25 minutes. To minimize odors in the open-air environment, staff clean the exhibit several times daily and replace the 20,000 pounds (9,100 kg) of snow each day.

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