SeaWorld’s Take on Penguins

Over Memorial Day weekend, SeaWorld Orlando opened their biggest expansion to date, and it was all dedicated to our favorite aquatic flyer, the Penguin. ‘Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin‘ incorporates a whimsical family ride with a deeply immersive animal exhibit.

From Tampa Bay Times

We’re not here to discuss the ride; we are here to celebrate the exhibit.  The space is chilled to the comfort of the birds at 32 degrees Fahrenheit.  Approximately 250 birds, including gentoo, rockhopper, adelie and king, occupy 6,125 square feet including a 170,000 gallon, 20′ deep (amaze-balls!) pool.

From Tampa Bay Times

The birds are treated to 20,000 lbs of snow a day blown in for their enrichment, comfort, and for experiential authenticity for the guests.  The lighting is also controlled to mimic the South Pole.

While my investigation is certainly not comprehensive, I believe this exhibit may be the largest penguin exhibit in the US, if not the world.  And, the pool may also be the deepest.  Certainly, the deepest I’ve seen, and it makes for some very exciting animal viewing.

From Tampa Bay Times

The 4-acre project also includes a themed restaurant, offering up a selection of food inspired by the countries that originally explored Antarctica, as well as a retail shop.

From Tampa Bay Times

The rockwork is pretty stunning, including some beautiful penguin bas relief.   A keen eye will spot the massive penguin hidden in the snowy rocks looming overhead…

From Theme Park Insider

For closer looks at the entire area, take a look at the following videos:

Penguins on Exhibit (3:30)

Theming and Culinary


5 thoughts on “SeaWorld’s Take on Penguins

  1. Thanks for sharing! The exhibit looks fantastic! I’ll definitely have to go check it out, it’s been a while since I’ve been to SeaWorld. Happy to hear they’re creating great exhibits like this one.

  2. The exhibit looks amazing, and the lighting feels “real” (when you’re at the ride load-out nests, and can’t see the cyclorama ceiling, it looks like the outdoor sunlight is just streaming in)

    But…”amaze-balls”? Seriously?

      • Have you read the definition of that term on “Urbandictionary” ?? The Hilton Perez reference pretty much nails it. I can just hear my 20-something-year-old son and daughter saying to me, “Dad? Seriously? *Amaze-Balls*?? WE don’t even use that!”

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