Discovery Cove and Aquatica
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment
---- THE LATEST BUZZ ----
(10/9/14) Harbor Seals Taking Over Polar Bear Habitat (MORE...)
(9/29/14) SeaWorld Orlando Says No New Polar Bears Anytime Soon (MORE...)
(8/19/14) New 2015 Sea Lion Show Details (MORE...) / Photo Trip Report (MORE...)
(8/12/14) SeaWorld Orlando's Last Polar Bear Dies (MORE...)
Attraction Rehabs - The following information is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate.
Sea Lion & Otter Show - NOW CLOSED through SPRING 2015 (New Show Install)
Park News - (10/9/14) SeaWorld Orlando confirmed to the Orlando Sentinel that they were going to move 11 Harbor Seals from the park’s Pacific Point Preserve over into the Wild Arctic attraction, taking over the old Polar Bear habitat.
(9/29/14) The Orlando Sentinel reports that SeaWorld isn’t expecting to bring in any new Polar Bears into their Wild Arctic exhibit anytime soon after their last bear passed away in July. Polar Bears are now listed as a threatened species which makes it more difficult to obtain them, but not having Polar Bears in the exhibit is just kind of disappointing, as they were my favorite reason for visiting the attraction in the first place. So sad… but at least the San Diego park still has them.
As for the Orlando attraction itself, it has long been rumored to be high on the list of existing attractions in the park in need of a concept renovation or total replacement, so perhaps this is also a sign that we will see something new placed here in the next few years as well.
(8/19/14) Orlando Parks News takes a look around SeaWorld Orlando this week that includes some pictures of the Antarctica attraction queue that is now kind of a cluttered mess from the look of things.
(8/12/14) I missed this last week, but SeaWorld Orlando’s last polar bear, Johnny, has unexpectedly died at the age of 24. He had been sedated for a physical exam prior to his death and they believe he may have suffered cardiac arrest while recovering from the procedure. The average lifespan of a wild polar bear is said to be 25-30 years.
Apparently Johnny was the last Polar Bear in the care of SeaWorld Orlando, and at this time there are no longer Polar Bears on exhibit in the Wild Arctic attraction. SeaWorld has not confirmed if they plan on obtaining a new one or not at this time.
2015 - Clyde & Seamore’s Sea Lion High - (8/19/14) ParkScope dug up a new trademark filing from SeaWorld Parks this week, which seems to give away the name of the new Sea Lion show coming to SeaWorld Orlando as “Clyde & Seamore’s Sea Lion High” along with a link to some great concept artwork of how the new stage might look.
(7/30/14) As rumored, SeaWorld has confirmed that the current Sea Lion & Otter show (Clyde & Seamore Take Pirate Island) will close for good after the last performance on August 10th after a record setting 15 year run. Screamscape sources tell us that the show venue will be closed for at least a month, maybe longer, for renovations and to install a new show that has yet to be named. If Screamscape’s June 17th rumor holds true the new show was tentatively titled, “Clyde & Seamore: Back To School”.
(6/17/14) Screamscape sources tell us that the Sea Lion & Otter show will indeed reopen from this fall’s rehab with an all new show, tentatively titled, Clyde & Seamore: Back To School.
(6/16/14) I’m hearing that the Sea Lion show will close for a lengthy rehab sometime this fall. No word on if this is just a refurbishment of the existing facility, or if they will finally add a new show.
2015/2016 - New Attraction and Future Expansion Plans - Rumor - (10/23/13) Aquatica continues to tease their #NothingTaller campaign for the new 2014 attraction, this time with a new teaser video. This new video, without showing much, teases the idea of a Drop Pod style device, which doesn’t make a lot of sense as there are plenty of drop slides in the area taller than 105 feet. Plus there is the matter of those previously leaked plans to consider that appear to show something more like a raft style Boomerango style slide experience and not a body slide with a drop pod. Curious...
t wont be a problem it seems as the plans show that the exit road from the parking lot that runs by here will be removed and relocated to exit further to the south. Take a look at the first image and you’ll see a very large new attraction has been designed to connect next to the exit of Omaka Rocka and across the road and into new untouched property. The parking lot here will also be changed a bit, and looks like they will add a new bus parking lot, more regular parking as well as a new exit road that may send all the exiting traffic down towards the hotels to the south of the property, allowing for the park to eventually expand to fill out the rest of the available property. You’ll notice an employee access road has also been drawn in around the entire expansion perimeter, just as it services the perimeter of the existing half of the park.
Of course I do have a theory… perhaps a somewhat tall drop slide experience is on the way in 2014 and those Boomerango style plans are perhaps destined for a larger 2015 expansion. After all, it is nearly the end of October and they have yet to begin construction on them, so it would be difficult, if not impossible to build something as impressive as those plans seemed to indicate for Spring 2014.
(9/27/13) It looks like Taruka Rush wont be the name of the new attraction in the works for Aquatica Orlando. SeaWorld Parks has let their trademark registration for that name die and so far has not filed for a new replacement. Keep your eyes open.
(8/4/13) The Screamscape Spy Network came through again with a look at the Aquatica Expansion Plans. These plans go beyond just adding a new attraction, but instead seem to set up the park for a whole wave of future expansions over the next decade. Going back, it looks like our first report may have been right about the location of the new slide going between the wave pool and Omaka Rocka.
While this isnt’ a big space… tha
Now lets look closer at the new attraction itself. It’s kind of complicated, and I’m going to make a few educated guesses based on what we’ve seen SeaWorld build at Aquatica in Orlando as well as in Texas. Essentially I think we may be seeing a merger of sorts of the Texas park’s two major attractions concepts: Stingray Falls and Wahalla Wave. Wahalla Wave is a ProSlide Tornado Wave (Proslide’s take on the Boomerango concept). Stingray Falls is a family raft slide, than ends with a trip below the surface where you float through an underwater viewing tunnel to look at Stingrays and tropical fish before the ride comes to an end.
The new attraction tower appears to be the starting point for two separate Tornado Wave style slides, where the riders were drop into the half-pipe style structure, reverse direction and both enter into a splashdown pool, where both will connect to the start of what looks like a lazy river portion of the ride. From here, I can only guess that riders will continue the journey in their rafts down through a twisting course, past possible new animal exhibits and possibly underwater viewing opportunities before disembarking their rafts.
This should provide a high-throughput opportunity for all guests to experience a true Aquatica style waterslide and animal habitat experience. Currently the only such attraction in the park is the Dolphin Plunge slides, which always has some of the longest lines in the park. Guests in the lazy river can also briefly pass through an underwater viewing area looking into the same exhibit area to see the occasional slider whiz past through the clear tubes, as well as passing by another underwater viewing panel into a tropical fish exhibit.
SeaWorld Parks has filed the name “Taruka Rush” with the US Trademark office back in September 2012 and to date and is still listed as being active, even though they haven’t used it for anything yet. Sounds perfect for this new attraction and themed area I think.
???? – Blue World Project / Killer Whale Habitat Expansion – (8/19/14) While the San Diego park will work on their version of this first (from 2015 to 2018) similar habitat expansions were promised to come to both the Orlando and San Antonio parks soon afterward. It’s too early to say what they will get here, but take a look at what they are building in San Diego, it will give you a good idea of what you can expect.
The Future - Wild Arctic Replacement - Rumor - (7/20/11) We’ve talked a bit about rumored future projects said to be on the way for SeaWorld Orlando over the next couple of years, but what else may be on deck long term? Apparently the new management has come to terms with the fact that Wild Arctic just isn’t a big draw anymore and said to be pondering possible solutions to the problem.
Unlike any other simulator ride, it just isn’t as easy as reprogramming the ride itself to use a new movie because the ride exits into the massive Wild Arctic themed animal habitat area, so a new Arctic themed ride may be the only item to fit the bill. While I’m sure they could rework the flow of traffic through the building if necessary with some structural modifications to turn the structure into two separate attractions (New Ride and Animal Habitat) I’m not sure if they area ready to take the easy way out just yet. They also have to consider that whatever they do in Orlando, they will likely end up doing in California as well to the Wild Arctic attraction there, and find a way to make it work for both.
The one item still keeping Arctic the same for the next few years is the special deal the park signed to convert the ride into a Polar Express ride for the holiday season, which has been quiet a popular attraction with the guests, and likely a big reason behind the reason they are looking into new ideas for the future. I’m told that this winter is actually the last year for the Polar Express contract, though the holiday attraction is so popular, an extension is likely to be signed for keep it going for a few more years.