SeaWorld Orlando's Future Plans

Jamie Simms

Newcomer
Feb 5, 2020
6
Great Yarmouth, UK
Honestly, I'll be disappointed if it's not a regular sit down coaster. I have a love hate relationship with Manta. It's fun, but I'm far more likely to re-ride Mako than Manta.

I know they're trying to stand out. It'll be hard to do so with major coasters coming from Disney and Universal, but I hope they don't think another non traditional coaster is the answer. I was OK with winged because you're still sitting. Let's see what happens. Glad there's another major ride on the docket. Wish IB was more like Pantheon instead and next year was something smaller (a flat or two).
From what I've seen and heard, it won't be but that's all I know.
 

cwgator

Member
May 8, 2010
647
Gainesville, FL
Honestly, I'll be disappointed if it's not a regular sit down coaster. I have a love hate relationship with Manta. It's fun, but I'm far more likely to re-ride Mako than Manta.

I know they're trying to stand out. It'll be hard to do so with major coasters coming from Disney and Universal, but I hope they don't think another non traditional coaster is the answer. I was OK with winged because you're still sitting. Let's see what happens. Glad there's another major ride on the docket. Wish IB was more like Pantheon instead and next year was something smaller (a flat or two).
Ice Breaker was needed. There was literally only one coaster anyone under 54" could ride: Super Grover's Box Car Derby. And, yes, Journey To Atlantis is a coaster, but most people outside of enthusiasts just see it like a log flume and not everyone wants to get wet. They desperately needed something for the 48" range, that more in the family could actually ride together, and that's what we're getting. The park, after this next coaster addition, needs to focus on some family flats and updating Wild Arctic, which should have been done before adding another coaster IMO, but could be done simultaneously, though not smart to do from a marketing standpoint. Wild Arctic (the ride) has been closed with work walls outside where the games were set up (but that could just be the new 3rd party revamping the games that are there).
 

shiekra38

Veteran Member
Dec 13, 2009
9,855
Florida
I talked to the person who initially told me about the new coaster plans and it may truly be a "first of it's kind" B&M coaster coming in, and not just a wing coaster.

Some time ago they trademarked a "Surf Coaster" design (B&M Trademarks New Coaster Type: "Surf Coaster"), and the new rumor is that it may be the new coaster coming to SeaWorld.

This would make a lot of sense with 2021 being so competitive for the Orlando market. While SeaWorld isn't in the same league and challenging Disney and Universal, they are focused on the annual pass/local market and need to do something big to keep them coming. With the Jurassic Coaster, Tron Coaster, and Guardians coaster all offering big new thrills, they feel they need to do something I'm sure. A first of it's kind coaster would certainly make a splash even in the big pond of Orlando.

Perhaps this is a variation on the Wing Coaster design and that caused the confusion?
Sounds like a 4D coaster to me.
Guys, you two were just quoted in an article and are being talked about on the SeaWorld AP page

I love the internet haha

 
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LintemuthStudios

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Nov 7, 2016
4,781
Fantastic Worlds
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anihilnation

Veteran Member
Oct 13, 2013
3,386
Orlando
So how credible/possible is that Christmas 2020 rumor? I can see see Spring 2021, but end of this year, not really. Is the rumor also still that this will go with a new park entrance?

Also read of new demolition permits filed for 2021, 3 acre site near Antarctica. How about a Swing type ride called "Penguin Pendulum" :)
 

NickC

Newcomer
Feb 14, 2008
89
Orlando, FL
Also read of new demolition permits filed for 2021, 3 acre site near Antarctica. How about a Swing type ride called "Penguin Pendulum" :)
The permit the author of that OBJ article was talking about is the SFWMD permit for this same "Penguin" project on the festival pathway. The author simply correlated the codename of "Penguin" with the Penguin exhibit. Not sure why they didn't bother doing any further research, but oh well.
 

anihilnation

Veteran Member
Oct 13, 2013
3,386
Orlando
The permit the author of that OBJ article was talking about is the SFWMD permit for this same "Penguin" project on the festival pathway. The author simply correlated the codename of "Penguin" with the Penguin exhibit. Not sure why they didn't bother doing any further research, but oh well.
Ah, thanks. I am just wondering, if indeed they also revamp the entrance, and thus Project Penguin is the front of the park, could it be that they'll transition from orcas being the park's traditional mascot, to penguins?
 

RichOBJ

Rookie
Jan 26, 2016
108
Bright, Sunny O-Town
The permit the author of that OBJ article was talking about is the SFWMD permit for this same "Penguin" project on the festival pathway. The author simply correlated the codename of "Penguin" with the Penguin exhibit. Not sure why they didn't bother doing any further research, but oh well.
Hi that was my article. Your thoughts are on point as far as the codename. "SWO Penguin" was all they had and due to the location being near Empire, it seemed it could be related. Not as a replacement, but maybe another penguin-themed ride. Was merely and update on more activity at the park.
 
Jun 28, 2013
322
Florida
It's understandable to want a dark ride, but the problem with dark rides is creating a compelling story or at least creating an interesting concept for one which will withstand the test of time. Unless you're Disney or Universal, that's a tall order. That's why most theme parks don't have one, or if they do it's either not very good, or changes IPs and stories periodically.

Of non-Disney or Universal parks in the US, I can only think of one truly successful dark ride that has lasted for any length of time, and that's Monster Mansion at Six Flags Over Georgia. And even that has been tweaked and updated over time. The other problem is keeping a dark ride's effects and figures working consistently, which even the big parks have challenges with.

Let's see how the Sally Sesame Street ride holds up in the next year or two. I know the Justice League rides they built for Six Flags were impressive when they opened, but are not aging well, but then again Six Flags maintenance has a lot to be desired.
Challenge accepted :thumbsup:

Dark ride concept 1: "SeaWorld Rescue: the Ride"
  • Sally shooter-style dark ride
  • SeaWorld Rescue has received a sudden influx of reports of animals in need of rescue from the ocean, and the team is now recruiting volunteers for an emergency rescue operation
  • Riders are tasked with finding those animals and tagging them with state-of-the-art point-and-shoot digital tagging guns, which place a virtual beacon on the animal for rescue by SeaWorld Rescue's new underwater autonomous rescue drone
  • Riders are thanked for their heroism as honorary SeaWorld Rescue team members
  • Entrance located between Infinity Falls and Nautilus theater; ride building replaces the old Clydesdale stable (plot is ~30,000 sq. ft. plus some extra space that could be used as an entrance plaza, building is 23,000 sq. ft. based on Justice League: Battle for Metropolis)
  • Ride concept builds on SeaWorld Rescue brand with relatively timeless concept/story that can be updated easily with new videos

Dark ride concept 2: "Ocean Expedition"
  • Dark ride built by Sally (or any other dark ride manufacturer)
  • Riders board high-speed "submersibles" from a SeaWorld Rescue research base in search of new species of aquatic life
  • Ride transports guests to recognizable ocean landmarks like the Great Barrier Reef and Mariana Trench during screen-based portion of ride; the destination guests see is randomly chosen for each ride to boost re-rideability
  • Track travels via glass tunnel through an expanded Shark Encounter aquarium; musical score and sound effects help make this a powerful moment and provide guests with a sense of immersion
  • Ride replaces Shark Encounter, with building expanded into the surrounding open space/landscaping as needed
Dark ride concept 2.5:
  • Same basic concept, but using a Mack submarine ride system
  • screen-based scenes will take place in underwater-themed dry areas

Dark ride/simulator concept 3: "Clyde & Seamore's [whimsical adjective] Adventure"
  • Zamperla VR Box
  • The mime has gone missing after going out searching for his friends, the Longshoremen
  • Clyde and Seamore are determined to find the iconic SeaWorld characters before the general public forgets they ever existed, but have decided their middle-age high school friends are too incompetent to help, so they're asking (by proxy of those same friends) for you, the guest, to accompany them on their quest
  • Riders climb aboard the Clyde-sdale 5000, a flying, hovering, shrinking, growing, submersible, space-faring vehicle piloted by Clyde and Seamore that can (as described to guests) also do anything else the plot demands, and don Sea-More-Stuff goggles to see the world through the eyes of a sea lion, "cause it's fun!"
  • Ride takes guests on a whimsical journey through SeaWorld, Aquatica, and Discovery Cove in search of the missing SeaWorld characters
  • The ride ends with the mime and Longshoremen being found stuck waiting in line for Infinity Falls for the past three days
  • Located behind Pacific Point Preserve
There's also the Sesame Street dark ride that already exists elsewhere, and the flying theater replacement for the Wild Arctic simulator.


Seaworld isn't Universal or Disney. This is a coaster park now, and that's great for Orlando.
I agree that SeaWorld's coaster lineup (probably excluding IceBreaker from what I've seen) is pretty great and something Orlando needs. The thing is, based on my own conversations with non-coaster enthusiasts at these parks and from reading reviews on Tripadvisor, Yelp, etc, any theme park in Florida needs dark rides, and is expected by guests to have them, since most major parks and even many lesser-known ones have them at this point except BGT and Cedar Point. If there's nothing but roller coasters then people will/do complain that there's not enough to do at the park, which is especially true for anyone who can't/won't ride roller coasters or anyone who visits on a rainy day. If it means having to switch off between BGT and SWO getting major additions each year in order to pay for higher quality rides, then maybe that's what should be done. The success of Sesame Street land tells me that SeaWorld is capable of delivering the same kind of immersion that people pay $150 for on the other side of the interstate, and that there is definitely a market for immersive experiences that the other Orlando parks have simply priced out.
 
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shiekra38

Veteran Member
Dec 13, 2009
9,855
Florida
Challenge accepted :thumbsup:

Dark ride concept 1: "SeaWorld Rescue: the Ride"
  • Sally shooter-style dark ride
  • SeaWorld Rescue has received a sudden influx of reports of animals in need of rescue from the ocean, and the team is now recruiting volunteers for an emergency rescue operation
  • Riders are tasked with finding those animals and tagging them with state-of-the-art point-and-shoot digital tagging guns, which place a virtual beacon on the animal for rescue by SeaWorld Rescue's new underwater autonomous rescue drone
  • Riders are thanked for their heroism as honorary SeaWorld Rescue team members
  • Entrance located between Infinity Falls and Nautilus theater; ride building replaces the old Clydesdale stable (plot is ~30,000 sq. ft. plus some extra space that could be used as an entrance plaza, building is 23,000 sq. ft. based on Justice League: Battle for Metropolis)
  • Ride concept builds on SeaWorld Rescue brand with relatively timeless concept/story that can be updated easily with new videos

Dark ride concept 2: "Ocean Expedition"
  • Dark ride built by Sally (or any other dark ride manufacturer)
  • Riders board high-speed "submersibles" from a SeaWorld Rescue research base in search of new species of aquatic life
  • Ride transports guests to recognizable ocean landmarks like the Great Barrier Reef and Mariana Trench during screen-based portion of ride; the destination guests see is randomly chosen for each ride to boost re-rideability
  • Track travels via glass tunnel through an expanded Shark Encounter aquarium; musical score and sound effects help make this a powerful moment and provide guests with a sense of immersion
  • Ride replaces Shark Encounter, with building expanded into the surrounding open space/landscaping as needed
Dark ride concept 2.5:
  • Same basic concept, but using a Mack submarine ride system
  • screen-based scenes will take place in underwater-themed dry areas

Dark ride/simulator concept 3: "Clyde & Seamore's [whimsical adjective] Adventure"
  • Zamperla VR Box
  • The mime has gone missing after going out searching for his friends, the Longshoremen
  • Clyde and Seamore are determined to find the iconic SeaWorld characters before the general public forgets they ever existed, but have decided their middle-age high school friends are too incompetent to help, so they're asking (by proxy of those same friends) for you, the guest, to accompany them on their quest
  • Riders climb aboard the Clyde-sdale 5000, a flying, hovering, shrinking, growing, submersible, space-faring vehicle piloted by Clyde and Seamore that can (as described to guests) also do anything else the plot demands, and don Sea-More-Stuff goggles to see the world through the eyes of a sea lion, "cause it's fun!"
  • Ride takes guests on a whimsical journey through SeaWorld, Aquatica, and Discovery Cove in search of the missing SeaWorld characters
  • The ride ends with the mime and Longshoremen being found stuck waiting in line for Infinity Falls for the past three days
  • Located behind Pacific Point Preserve
There's also the Sesame Street dark ride that already exists elsewhere, and the flying theater replacement for the Wild Arctic simulator.




I agree that SeaWorld's coaster lineup (probably excluding IceBreaker from what I've seen) is pretty great and something Orlando needs. The thing is, based on my own conversations with non-coaster enthusiasts at these parks and from reading reviews on Tripadvisor, Yelp, etc, any theme park in Florida needs dark rides, and is expected by guests to have them, since most major parks and even many lesser-known ones have them at this point except BGT and Cedar Point. If there's nothing but roller coasters then people will/do complain that there's not enough to do at the park, which is especially true for anyone who can't/won't ride roller coasters or anyone who visits on a rainy day. If it means having to switch off between BGT and SWO getting major additions each year in order to pay for higher quality rides, then maybe that's what should be done. The success of Sesame Street land tells me that SeaWorld is capable of delivering the same kind of immersion that people pay $150 for on the other side of the interstate, and that there is definitely a market for immersive experiences that the other Orlando parks have simply priced out.
Clyde and Seamore having their own ride is such a great idea...Add in the mime too
 
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GAcoaster

V.I.P.
Nov 30, 2012
3,573
Orlando
Honestly I don't see them basing any new attractions on the animals directly like that. I get the impression they are moving away from the old idea of SeaWorld. Notice they've dropped the Shamu name from many things in the park.

Something I heard the other day is there are plans for continued upgrades and evolution all around the park for the next few years, with much more of "rides" focus. The writing is on the wall that the old reliance on marine life as the main attraction may have to end one way or another. Expect the park to move much more in the direction of the Busch Gardens parks, heavily relying on thrills.

The impression I got was they are working their way around the park-- Mako, Inifinity Falls, Sesame, Ice Breaker, the next coaster, so expect the next new additions on the opposite side towards Key West. I also go the impression there are several more coasters in the pipeline for the next five years.

Of course this is all assuming there are no changes in ownership and top management in the next few years.
 

cwgator

Member
May 8, 2010
647
Gainesville, FL
^The last highly visible place the Shamu name was in the park was removed this week: the Shamu Stadium sign (it was gone yesterday). Just the fountain remains. Someone in the SW Passholder group on FB posted it.
(Pic taken by Becky Pearson on FB)
1581906396668.png
 
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Alicia

Premium Member
Jul 17, 2014
9,206
Orlando
I wonder if Shamu’s name is still on the height requirement sign near the entrance. And if that’s what they call her during meet and greets still. After all, this is one of their costumed character’s names.
 

GAcoaster

V.I.P.
Nov 30, 2012
3,573
Orlando
I wonder if Shamu’s name is still on the height requirement sign near the entrance. And if that’s what they call her during meet and greets still. After all, this is one of their costumed character’s names.
I'll have to check. I could see the name living on simply as the "character". I know guests often ask if Shamu is one of the whales at the park, and it's always tricky when they have to explain the "real" Shamu is long dead.

From Wikipedia: Shamu /ʃæmuː/ was a killer whale (orca) that appeared in shows at SeaWorld San Diego in the mid/late 1960s. She was the fourth orca ever captured, and the second female.[1] She was caught in October 1965 and died in August 1971, after about six years of performance. After her death, the name Shamu continued to be used in SeaWorld "Shamu" shows for different orcas in different SeaWorld parks.
 
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Jun 28, 2013
322
Florida
Honestly I don't see them basing any new attractions on the animals directly like that. I get the impression they are moving away from the old idea of SeaWorld. Notice they've dropped the Shamu name from many things in the park.

Something I heard the other day is there are plans for continued upgrades and evolution all around the park for the next few years, with much more of "rides" focus. The writing is on the wall that the old reliance on marine life as the main attraction may have to end one way or another. Expect the park to move much more in the direction of the Busch Gardens parks, heavily relying on thrills.

The impression I got was they are working their way around the park-- Mako, Inifinity Falls, Sesame, Ice Breaker, the next coaster, so expect the next new additions on the opposite side towards Key West. I also go the impression there are several more coasters in the pipeline for the next five years.

Of course this is all assuming there are no changes in ownership and top management in the next few years.
I can definitely understand that they want to get away from the stigma that comes with the Shamu name and making the animals themselves the attraction, though I still think they should be trying to better incorporate animals (even if they're not real) into the attractions. Infinity Falls incorporates animal habitats right into the ride, as does Antarctica. Without that element of "discover the ocean/wildlife" there would be nothing distinguishing SeaWorld from any low-budget amusement park, which is part of why Ice Breaker seems like a ride you could (and very well may) find literally anywhere. Everything about it seems almost intentionally generic, from the nonexistent theming to the lack of even a pertinent name or color scheme, as if they want to avoid any mention of animals or oceans in a park that's ostensibly all about marine biology. Like, are people really so opposed to animals that they'll avoid going to a park that even names rides after them? At that point why even call the park SeaWorld if the "sea" is a taboo subject :lol:

I do think more rides would be good for the park, but I hope someone in the company recognizes that pumping out another unthemed roller coaster every year is not a recipe for long-term success and certainly isn't going to attract out of town visitors, especially when another park 90 minutes away is doing the exact same thing and already has 10 of them.
 

SWBGFan

Rookie
May 17, 2017
105
If I had to guess, I think IF probably had even more plans for animal habitats in the original design of the attraction. Ie. the sloth in the concept art, and the tropical birds in the trailer for the ride (which used to live in that area before IF). But yes, I totally agree with your statement. As it looks now, IB has no themeing.

They really should go back to their model around 2009-2013 where they would design themed attractions/coasters, which incorporated animal habitats. ie. Manta (SWO/SWSD), Cheetah Hunt, Turtle Trek, Antarctica Personally, I'd prefer they build 2-3 highly themed attractions at some of their parks each year than have them build 5 coasters at all of their major parks with little theme.
 
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Jun 28, 2013
322
Florida
If I had to guess, I think IF probably had even more plans for animal habitats in the original design of the attraction. Ie. the sloth in the concept art, and the tropical birds in the trailer for the ride (which used to live in that area before IF). But yes, I totally agree with your statement. As it looks now, IB has no themeing.

They really should go back to their model around 2009-2013 where they would design themed attractions/coasters, which incorporated animal habitats. ie. Manta (SWO/SWSD), Cheetah Hunt, Turtle Trek, Antarctica Personally, I'd prefer they build 2-3 highly themed attractions at some of their parks each year than have them build 5 coasters at all of their major parks with little theme.
Definitely. I know they want short-term results to appease shareholders, but it's coming at the cost of the perceived (and actual) quality of the parks. I remember genuine hype surrounding the opening of Antarctica--it was one of those things you'd overhear people talking about. "Have you been to the new Antarctica land at SeaWorld? Yeah, I'm taking the whole family when it opens. I hear it's supposed to be like that Harry Potter world, but, like, with penguins!"
People get excited about big, immersive, story-telling experiences... I don't really see a whole lot of people making travel plans to ride Ice Breaker. In fact, I think Antarctica was the last time I witnessed any excitement from the general public about a new addition at SeaWorld (maybe Sesame Street generated some too, but I'm neither a small child nor a parent of a small child). I can't even remember the last time that happened for Busch Gardens; it probably would've been Rhino Rally, or maybe Jungala. If each park would even just open one new ride every other year, that would double their budget. Just do with SWO and BGT what Universal does and alternate which park gets a new major ride each year, and bundle the two parks together as a single destination so people will visit both (there's already a shuttle between the two).

Also, I think they should bring Brian Morrow back. I get the impression he was the closest thing to an Imagineer the company had (or at least the only one they listened to) and it's been very obvious which projects he had a hand in and which ones were conceived after his departure.