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SeaWorld's Antarctica Expansion to Open May 24, 2013

February 20, 2013

antarcticaDewayne Bevil, The Orlando Sentinel, February 20, 2013

Antarctica, the biggest expansion project in the history of SeaWorld Orlando, will open to the public on May 24, creative director Brian Morrow said during a hard-hat tour for members of the media Tuesday afternoon.

The area, most formally known as Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, will include a mobile simulator ride that follows a penguin's journey. That attraction will end with an exhibit with penguins walking "side by side" with guests and a 20-foot-deep underwater viewing area that shows off the animals' aquatic agility, Morrow said.

"They're like jet pilots under water," he said.

The ride's entrance will be beneath a rock-and-snow representation of a young penguin and its mother. This can be seen peeking above the construction walls in the theme park.

Also in the area: a themed restaurant, gift shop and an educational area. The construction basically is on the site of the former Penguin Encounter attraction.

During the tour, work was continuing on carvings of penguins that are incorporated into the attraction's walls.

"Every penguin species on the planet is represented," Morrow said.

SeaWorld's latest major additions have included TurtleTrek, a domed 3-D movie that premiered last year, and Manta, a roller coaster that opened in 2009.

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