Posts Tagged ‘seaworld’
Brian Marrow is obsessed with icebergs, wind patterns and cold-weather penguins. All for good reason, too. For the past three years, he’s been part of the creative team that conjured up SeaWorld Orlando’s latest attraction, Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, which opened last week.
As the senior director of attraction development and design at SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, it’s his job to make this new “realm” feel like a tantalizing tundra, from the shimmering faux glaciers to the 2,500 handblown icicles made of Pyrex.
“We wanted to take guests somewhere that they might not go on their own,” he said. “And there is no greater adventure than a journey to the bottom of our planet.”
It’s an elaborate adventure, indeed, that includes a first-of-its-kind family thrill ride, an expansive penguin habitat, underwater viewing area, gift shop and restaurant. With a footprint of nearly 4-acres, it is the largest expansion project in the park’s history.
First up: the newfangled high-tech ride. But before hopping aboard, guests shuffle through rooms where the temperature gradually drops, preparing them for extreme temps at the end of the ride. Meanwhile, an animated pre-show introduces the star, a baby penguin named Puck. Then, guests choose their level of adventure: “wild” or “mild. “
“The ride had a sensation of gliding over ice just as a penguin would,” said Lake Mary, Fla., resident Susie Guyers, who experienced the ride at a preview event. “We didn’t know which direction was next; it wasn’t a set path.” That’s all thanks to a trackless system, which allowed engineers to create 32 different ride scenarios.
Even cooler, though, is what comes next. The ride exits into a 30-degree penguin palace with varied levels of fake rocks, a swimming area and a 2-foot wall that serves as the only barrier between guests and birds. The 6,125-square-foot habitat is home to 245 Gentoo, Rockhopper, Adélie and King penguins, which were the main attraction for Guyer.
“We were so close we could have gotten splashed,” she said. “The penguins were really active; they were diving up out of the water and back in. It truly felt like we were no longer in Florida.”
The Penguin Post has learned that PETA and other groups are none too happy that penguins were brought in by Seaworld to waddle on the floor of the NY stock exchange. A spokesman for PETA, which stands for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, said that the group purchased 80 shares in SeaWorld for more than $2,200 in last week’s IPO.
PETA officials believe this will allow them to attend shareholder meetings and introduce resolutions. It has previously battled the theme park company over breeding programmes at its sites in Florida, California and Texas. It is also calling for SeaWorld to release all the whales and dolphins it holds.
It has also emerged that PETA has written a letter to the New York Stock Exchange urging it to ban the use of exotic animals for promotional purposes. It comes after SeaWorld took penguins to Wall Street, where representatives rang the bell to start trading in their shares on Friday.
“It’s very stressful for exotic animals – who have specialized needs and are greatly affected by environmental changes – to be hauled around by companies like SeaWorld, just to be used as props,” Dan Mathews, senior vice-president at PETA, said in the letter. “Penguins, like all wild animals, shun contact with humans. Being forced into close public contact leaves them agitated and frightened.”
“Animals in captivity are already susceptible to illness, but putting them in a crowded, noisy environment just causes additional stress and increased potential for poor health. The New York Stock Exchange, as a respected institution, should not be condoning any display that involves transporting an animal from one location to another and using them as a photo prop.”
Usually, we mock criminals as idiots when they can’t help themselves and brag about their crimes on Facebook, only to get caught shortly thereafter. Not that anyone I know would do this, but ask yourself, if your “crime” was getting drunk, breaking into Sea World, swimming with dolphins, and making off with a 7-year-old fairy penguin, how in the world could you resist the urge to share that incredible night with the rest of the world? Especially when you wake up with a hangover and a penguin in your room? A not too bright and very drunk trio of U.K. tourists in Australia found themselves in that exact situation last week, and have since been arrested for doing just that. A friend of theirs reportedly tipped police off after reading their Facebook post, and they were shortly apprehended—but not before they released Dirk the penguin into the a nearby canal where he nearly was injured or worse by sharks (in the water) and dogs (on the shore). But fortunately for Dirk (and the three tourists) Dirk is just fine; after a couple spotted him being chased by a dog on the banks of the canal. Thinking it odd to see a penguin in that area, the couple chased the dog away, Googled “lost penguin,” quickly realized who the penguin was, and called Sea World. So, now with Dirk back at Sea World safe, sound and reunited with his mate Peaches. That’s right, we found out Dirk has a girlfriend named Peaches. So, with Dirk coming out of this unscathed this story turns out to be more of a silly, drunken boys night out, Hollywood B-movie rather than the sad tragedy it came very close to becoming. The difference between the three men being international villains and facing serious prosecution and a kind of funny / dark story is that Dirk did not become a shark meal or dog food. Dirk, it seems like the rest of us is walking a fine line every day.
The Penguin Post has learned of new details of what may be the ultimate penguin experience (outside of a trip to Antarctica) by SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida regarding the park’s upcoming 2013 much anticipated new attraction, Antartica – Empire of the Penguin. The penguin-centric ride will utilize new technology that will allow the guests to experience the ride differently from visit to visit. Guests will also be allowed to choose the thrill level they wish to experience as each car seats eight people who can decide as a group which level they’d prefer. Also, as part of the ride a new SeaWorld star will be introduced – a young Gentoo penguin who will serve as the ride’s guide. No word as to the technology that will allow that to happen. The attraction will immerse guests in an incredible penguin experience with various species including: Gentoos, Rockhoppers, Adelies and Kings. Designers have yet to reveal how close guests will get to the penguins, but the penguins’ habitat must stay in the low 30 degrees for their comfort, so you may want to bring a jacket. With the habitat kept at that temperature, Antartica – Empire of the Penguin will be the coldest theme park attraction in the world. Or the coolest to say the least.
It’s the penguin story that won’t go away. As the Penguin Post reported last week a trio of Welsh tourists visiting Australia had themselves quite a night which ended in a scenario that fans of the movie ‘The Hangover’ would no doubt recognize. Now a few more revealing details of that bleary night have emerged. It appears that after consuming too many “adult beverages” the trio broke into the local Sea World and took an impromptu swim with the dolphins. Not happy with simply a dip in the dolphin tank the three Welsh revelers moved on to the penguin exhibit, decided they needed some company and kidnapped a penguin. After that they claim things got a bit fuzzy. The following morning the trio said they were surprised (to say the least) to wake up with not just a hangover, but also a seven-year old Fairy penguin named Dirk in their room. Upon realizing they were not hallucinating and did indeed have a penguin in their room the three (stooges) decided the best course of action was not to alert the authorities or Sea World, but to make a video of Dirk the penguin in their room, then thinking they might get in trouble (duh) for stealing a penguin they packed Dirk up and drove him about a mile down the road to a nearby canal where they dumped him, apparently thinking that penguins like water, therefore any body of water should do.
Guys, for future reference penguins don’t like canals. It was not until the next day that a passersby noticed poor Dirk being chased by a dog that Sea World officials were notified and able to safely rescue him. Dirk was scared and a bit bruised but all things considered o.k. As for the men, it won’t take Jack McCoy to convict them, as even though they maintain they were too drunk to recall snatching the penguin, they apparently had the wherewithal to shoot a video, take Dirk to a nearby canal, and then made reference to the stolen penguin on Facebook. Given the social media posting it didn’t take long for the local authorities to figure out who the penguin-nappers were and arrest them. ‘We’re really sorry for all the trouble we’ve caused,” said one of the men, who are all facing charges of trespassing, stealing and unlawfully keeping a protected animal, and basically being just plain dumb. No comment from Dirk.
The Discovery Channel has Penguin fever and the Penguin Post has learned that with its new series Frozen Planet, Discovery has unleashed to millions the waddling little stars whose daily antics have become video sensations. Launching less than two weeks ago, Discovery Channel’s Penguin Cam has become an online addiction for us and over 30 million fans, and many have made it their second screen at work (guilty) and home. Today the Discovery Channel will be further feeding the addiction with the addition of a Second Penguin Cam: People have come eye to eye with SeaWorld’s king, emperor, Adélie, gentoo and macaroni penguins, and now they can dive into the chilly water with our all-new underwater camera placed at the bottom of their penguin pool. Visitors to www.discovery.com/penguincam will be able to easily switch between the land and water views online beginning tomorrow at 9am EST and, of course, continue to chat with fellow addicts online.The holiday yule log has nothing on the 300+ penguins at SeaWorld’s Penguin Encounter in San Diego. In response to unprecedented fan reaction, Discovery Channel will air the live Penguin Cam feed on Discovery Channel from 9-10am ET/PT this Thursday, Friday and Saturday, wrapped with Tweets from Cam fans.
“Is anyone here allergic to penguins?” the captain of Delta Flight 486 from Atlanta to New York asked passengers on Wednesday night. “No? Alright, we have a surprise for you.” “How would we even know if we were?” said the woman seated in seat 33D. “He can’t be serious,” she said, pausing briefly as she flipped through her copy of Sky Mall. But sure enough, after the plane reached a cruising altitude of 30,000 feet and the seat-belt sign was turned off, a pair of penguins waddled down the aisle from first class. “You can take pictures, but we ask that you don’t touch them,” the captain announced. As told to the Penguin Post the flight’s 300-plus delighted passengers heeded the warning, snapping photos and videos with camera phones lighting the aisle as if it were a red carpet. The foot-and-a-half tall penguins, Pete and Penny, ages 6 and 12, were en route to the New York premiere of “Frozen Planet,” a new Discovery Channel documentary series narrated by Alec Baldwin. The screening, held Thursday at the Lincoln Center, was followed by a “polar-themed” party, hosted by Baldwin, Dustin Hoffman and Glenn Close, among other environmentally-conscious luminaries. Oddly enough, this is not the first time penguins were allowed to roam the cabin on a commercial flight. In fact, it happens fairly frequently, judging by videos uploaded to YouTube. Just last month, three penguins on Southwest’s Orlando-to-La Guardia trek emerged from their kennels mid-flight, surprising passengers. Last March, two world-traveling waddlers from Sea World made an appearance on a Southwest flight to San Diego from San Francisco, where they attended a science convention.
Penguin Place is heading south for vacation next week. Not so far south that we’ll be seeing penguins in their natural habitat, but far enough south that we’ll be able to see penguins while wearing a t-shirt and shorts, as in Seaworld in Orlando. We will be accepting, but not shipping any orders for the week of January 21st to the 27th. If you need some penguins asap, then don’t wait and order this week, but if there’s no rush or if it’s a Valentine’s Day order we will be getting all our penguin orders out from that week on January 30th and 31st.
The Penguin Post has learned that the oil rich Emirate of Abu Dubai is importing real penguins to promote the planned and ambitious indoor Ski Dubai / Snowdome project located in the Dubai Mall of the Emirates. “Here Dubai shoppers will soon be able to get up close and personal with real penguins,” a Ski Dubai spokesman said after it was announced they would play host to a colony of penguins. The developer of the indoor ski slope, located in massive Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates, said it planned to build a special enclosure to host the birds as part of a multi-generation breeding program. The environment will “mirror the Antarctic,” Ski Dubai said in an emailed statement. “Visitors will be able to view the snow penguin’s natural antics.” The penguins will be on show from early February, in the statement said, after being relocated from US-based SeaWorld.