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SeaWorld Orlando Preps TurtleTrek for late 2012

SeaWorld Orlando has released the first webisode focused on the construction of TurtleTrek, the next big attraction coming to the park. The new attraction brings guests close to sea turtles and manatees then immerses them in a sea turtle’s epic journey with the world’s first… Read More »SeaWorld Orlando Preps TurtleTrek for late 2012

SeaWorld Orlando Update – Just For Kids, TurtleTrek, Antartica, and more

For me, the highlight of the day were the hula-hoop artists from China.

Went to SeaWorld Orlando on Saturday to sample their new “Just For Kids” festival. While there we checked in on the construction for TurtleTrek, schedule to open later this year, and Antarctica, targeted for Spring 2013. The park was very busy, but not too crowded and we definitely had a good time.

SeaWorld has a number of events through-out the year, but none focused on the youngest park visitors. Just For Kids gives families with pre-school and elementary aged children some activities and shows that are just for them. With the addition of Legoland to central Florida, this audience has become the latest battle ground.

There are some good savings for families with kids too. For the next three Saturdays, parents can rent strollers at half-price, and the following items are free for kids with each paid adult: all-day dining deal, sky tower ride, and free Penguins Up-close, Dolphins Up-close, or Behind-the-Scenes tours. The all-day dining deal is a great value if you’re planning on eating twice while in the park.

My biggest criticisms with the event were a) it was hard to get information about the event and b) the big stage show wasn’t as good as it could be. The shows are advertised using the original cast members from the TV show, but the actors were all different, with different voices. The kids around me picked up on that pretty quickly, but for the youngest kids, it didn’t appear to matter. I understand why the cast was different, and the actors did give it their all, but something was lacking. Part of the problem was also the poor puppet design and the fact that it was basically a 4-person cast. Lazy Town should be populated with many more of the citizens from the show.

That’s on the ticky-tack side of complaints. Who knows, the next three sets of shows could be a lot better. Plus the opening act featured a small troop of acrobats from China. The women hula-hoop performers were particularly talented. I would rather have seen a half-hour show of them then Lazy Town.

Festivals like “Just For Kids” are at least partially targeted at getting locals into the park. Flyers advertising SeaWorld’s Summer Camp opportunities were seen all over the place.

Join me below the jump for more photos of Just for Kids and construction around the park:

Read More »SeaWorld Orlando Update – Just For Kids, TurtleTrek, Antartica, and more

SeaWorld Orlando Makes Waves With Big Announcement

Yesterday SeaWorld Orlando announced it was stepping up to the plate with a desire to continue to compete with the big players in the Orlando attractions market. They’ve announced three new experiences. One at Discovery Cove and two at the main theme park. Nothing for Aquatica, however.

Construction at Discovery Cove is already underway with Freshwater Oasis scheduled for opening next year. The area, which replaces the old reef experience, features swimming and wading adventures and face-to-face encounters with playful otters and curious marmosets.

The construction at SeaWorld will include a large expansion of its current offerings. First to open in 2012 will be the TurtleTrek area that combines the Manatee exhibit with a new exhibit focused on sea turtles. Additionally there will be a new domed movie experience that sounds pretty amazing.

The last exhibit has the fewest details, but Antarctica – Empire of the Penguin is clearly SeaWorld’s attempt to say, “Hey we can do massive themed lands too.” This should open sometime in 2013.

Terry Prather, president of the company’s Orlando parks, SeaWorld, Discovery Cove and Aquatica, said, “With TurtleTrek at SeaWorld Orlando and Freshwater Oasis at Discovery Cove, travelers will have all new reasons to visit Orlando. What we’re creating will take you places you’ve never been before, places only SeaWorld can take you.”

We’ll have more details about each attraction soon, but in the meantime, follow below the jump for the press release.

Read More »SeaWorld Orlando Makes Waves With Big Announcement