Sunday we got to visit Seaworld Orlando as they premiered their Summer nights 2013! After signing in we were split into two groups, one group were to go experience the recently added Antarctica: Empire Of The Penguin, and the other group was invited to try the new Expedition Cafe.
We were part of the group to eat first, so we were led to the cafe to see our options. Being a vegetarian I was quite happy to see quite a few options for a range of different diets! There was plenty of seating and guests were able to chose to sit outside or inside with AC.
Once dinner was over we were lead by our guide over to the Antarctica: Empire Of The Penguin ride. We were so excited as we had not had the opportunity to ride this yet, so we had no idea what to expect from it! As we were walking to the ride, the surrounding skies seemed perfect, as they were getting a little gray so walking amongst the ice berg scenery seemed pretty magical juxtaposed amongst the gray gloomy sky!
Our guide told us that after the ride is when you get to see the actual penguin habitat. She informed us that the whole queuing system has been specially designed to help moderate guests body temperature as they go through the different stages. Guests are typically hot and possibly a bit damp from the humid Florida weather in summer here, and the penguin habitat can be quite shocking at a mere 30 degrees. So without ever really noticing it, each stage of the ride’s queue actually gets progressively cooler to dry you off and cool you down bit by bit, so that when you finally enter the habitat at the end, your body wont be as shocked.
The ride features a penguin family and more specifically a baby penguin named Puck, and it is Puck that we follow on his adventures into adulthood throughout the ride. At the beginning guests have the option to chose the “mild” version, or the “wild” version, which really just controls how much you rotate and spin during the ride. We chose the wild version as we wanted to feel the full experience for the first time on there.
Without giving away any spoilers, we really enjoyed the ride, it was a different technology that hasn’t really been used anywhere else yet. Its a cute little ride, that ultimately leads you to the most exciting part, the habitat.
The habitat is unlike anything we’ve ever seen before, as instead of being behind glass panels, you are actually IN the habitat, experiencing the same temperature and environment. The penguins are literally right in front of you in their enclosure, one little guy was even resting right under the wall we were leaning on! There are signs everywhere telling you not to touch the penguins….I can’t emphasize enough how much it makes you want to touch them with them being in touching distance! But there are handlers all around watching over them, and they were needed, as the amount of people using flash on their cameras was crazy, stop blinding the penguins people! LOL.
You can walk around the enclosure and see not only the ones resting out of the water, but even the ones swimming too! So you really do get an all-round look at their life here in the habitat.
For guests not wanting to ride, there is an access door that will take you directly in to the habitat once you get to the ride boarding area. You may find yourself waiting a moment, as these doors, just like the ride queue, help adjust your body temperature down for entering the habitat.
After the ride, we were taken to the a lake side area where we were treated to a dessert party, and a chance to talk to the other guests and to hear from one of the organizers there about their Summer Nights events.
Once we had relaxed at the dessert party, we were taken to our seats in the Sea Lion and Otter Theater to see the Clyde and Seamore Show. While waiting for the stadium to fill up, we were treated to watching their Mime entertain the crowd while they were entering, which was so hilarious and really got us in the mood & ready for the show.
The Clyde & Seamore show was so much funnier than we remembered it in previous years! The show now focuses on parodies of the other attractions and shows at Seaworld currently, such as Pets Ahoy, One Ocean and even The Kraken Ride! The way they used the walrus as their “Shamu” was so entertaining and such a hit among the crowd!
Next we made it over to the Shamu Stadium for “Shamu Rocks”. This show holds a very dear place in my heart, as my Husband had proposed to me at the Shamu show on the big screen there back in 2003! This week actually marked the 10 year anniversary of when he proposed back when we lived in the UK and were just out here vacationing. So the memories came flooding back on entering the stadium, and although they don’t do proposal packages anymore on the big screen, they do still show the crowd dancing while waiting for the stadium to fill up so it felt really great to be back on that week!
The show is completely different to the one we remembered from back then, and it has obviously changed significantly over the years. The show now is very dance/rock music orientated, with many of the trainers actually participating in dance routines now as opposed to interacting with the whales. The whales have a lot of fun tricks and amazing moves, paired with all the water cannons and bright colors it really is a rock and roll show for everyone to enjoy. I do, however, miss elements of the older show where the trainers were more focused on the whales, as opposed to synchronized dancing by a guitarist on the stage and fireworks.
After the show we were invited to go experience Antarctica: Empire Of The Penguin one last time, which was really fun to now do at night time as well.
On the way out of the park we walked by the “Party with Shamu and Friends”, which had recently just ended, but normally they have a DJ and characters available for photos before you leave for the night.
We were so grateful to be a part of this new celebration that Seaworld now offer this summer through to August 11th 2013. It was a lot of fun for the whole family and i plan to go back to experience more of Seaworld’s Summer Nights 2013 soon, when will you go check it out?