Discovery Cove and Aquatica
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment
---- THE LATEST BUZZ ----
(12/1/21) Manta and Kraken Updates
(11/27/21) SeaWorld Orlando Opens Sunny Day Carousel (MORE...)
(11/24/21) SeaWorld Orlando To Replace Famous Entry Feature (MORE...)
(11/17/21) SeaWorld Orlando's Sea Carousel is Getting A Sesame Makeover (MORE...)
(10/22/21) Discovery Cove - Refurbishment Blocks Off Part of Wind-Away River (MORE...)
Park News - (12/1/21) (12/1/21) According to a reader, as of Monday, they reported that both Manta and Kraken had closed down at SeaWorld Orlando. While we dont’ know the status of Manta, they were told by ride staff that Kraken was expected to be undergoing painting over the next five weeks. While I’d expect the ride to be closed for much of this, depending on how things go, I’m not sure if they might get it open again for the busy Christmas / New Years holiday season.
(11/27/21) SeaWorld has confirmed that the Sea Carousel has now been transformed and reopened as the Sunny Day Carousel.
(11/24/21) Guests entering SeaWorld Orlando may notice something is off as they pull into the entrance to the parking lot. The large statue sign featuring jumping killer whales has now been taken down as the park begins work on adding a new entrance sign that is expected to be more of a solid rock-work themed entry sign, more in line with what has been used at the California and Texas parks.
There are those who are disappointed that the sign featuring the whales is being removed as another step in the process of moving the theme of the park away from “Shamu” and the Killer Whales that made the chain famous, but as someone who worked at the park for a time and had the opportunity to walk-up to and lay hands on the sign in Orlando… honestly, I’m surprised it lasted as long as it did. While the old sign was iconic, getting up close revealed a structure that did not look like it was made to last, and one that had definitely taken a good share of abuse in the Florida weather over the years. So in this case, I’m thinking that the time had simply finally come to take that sign down, before it actually fell down on it’s own, and replace it with something far more sturdy and permanent.
An attractive rock-work structure, hopefully with some water features added, would definitely tie-in better to the overall entrance theme of the other nearby SeaWorld parks just down the road, just like the one’s already in place as guests enter Discovery Cove and Aquatica.
(11/17/21) The Sea Carousel at SeaWorld Orlando is undergoing a change to have more of a Sesame Street theme. (Photo credit to Adventures That ROCK).
(10/22/21) According to a park guest, the Wind-Away River at Discovery Cove is now operating in a somewhat “limited’ mode. As I understand it, the park has closed off the Aviary for a refurbishment projected, and as the river normally travels through the middle of the Aviary, guests in the river have to get out, take a brief hike down a pathway to get downriver to another River entry point to continue the journey. It isn’t known how long the refurbishment will last, but is expected to be ongoing through to the winter season. That said, there is always the possibility that the section of the Aviary with the river may be completed first, so that while the Aviary may stay closed, the river through it could possibly reopen first.
(10/19/21) Good news for SeaWorld guests… Manta is not closed today, nor is it expected tot close at all this week. A previous rumor sent out way indicated that Manta and then Kraken would take turns shutting down for the rest of the year. Instead, I’m told that both coasters will only close “on select low attendance days” to allow for some repainting to be done to the track. The process is not anticipated to cause lengthy closures, unlike what was previously rumored to take place.
Repainting is usually a good thing, refreshing the look of the park’s iconic rides for years to come, so this is a good thing. I’m sure pictures will be sent in to us once the process begins.
(10/13/21) According to a list sent my way, you can expect to see a couple of the park’s big coasters go down for rehab for the final months of the year, along with a popular show.
The Sea Lion & Otter Stadium will be closing for some kind of refurbishment from Oct. 18 through Oct. 28th.
Manta will close on Oct 18th and is expected to remain closed through to Nov. 28th. So no Manta is you are planning on visiting during the busy Thanksgiving holiday season.
Kraken will close on Nov. 29th and is expected to remain closed through to Jan. 3, 2022, which means no Kraken for the busy winter holiday season.
(9/8/21) SeaWorld Orlando is now offering 2022 Annual Passes that come with an assortment of benefits like no blackout dates, up to six free guest tickets, access to passholder exclusive preview events, including a preview of the long awaited Ice Breaker roller coaster opening in February. Hit up the official site for all the details.
HOWL-O-SCREAM - (9/13/21) Screamscape was invited out to sample the park’s first ever Howl-O-Scream haunt event at SeaWorld Orlando. While I couldn’t be there myself, I did have a fantastic local person able to check it out for me in person and shoot some video for everyone to enjoy. Based on what I’ve seen, it looks like the park really put a strong effort into this, as it isn’t easy to start up a Halloween event from scratch. They put in a good focus into the scenic props in the park, in the haunted mazes, and in the lounge areas, all while putting on some great looking live entertainment options as well in specific areas of the park, especially the Monster Stomp live show.
The first Howl-O-Scream at SeaWorld Orlando is a solid effort worth checking out for sure, and do it sooner than later, because word is going to get out and it is only going to get more crowded. While there are only four haunts to see, make sure you don’t miss the Beneath the Ice and Dead Vines. While they are all fun, I’ve heard these two are the ones you really don’t want to miss.
2022 - Ice Breaker - (8/25/21) SeaWorld Orlando has confirmed that the park’s new Ice Breaker roller coaster will officially not open until February 2022. Keep in mind that Ice Breaker was originally intended to open in 2020 until the COVID pandemic threw the world into chaos, so this will be a nearly two year delay.
(4/26/21) It looks like SeaWorld Orlando is getting closer to opening Ice Breaker. The local news has posted pictures of the coaster now testing with human riders aboard, as Team Member previews have begun. This is likely the last step before the park is ready to open the new coaster to guests, which will likely happen sometime between now and Memorial Day weekend.
(2/4/21) Our friends at Orlando Experience have posted a new video featuring Ice Breaker at SeaWorld Orlando making full speed test runs at last. Check it out below!
(1/16/21) A new tweet from Midway Mayhem reports that work crews from Premier Rides are back on site at SeaWorld Orlando this week, which seems to indicate that testing on Ice Breaker will begin again very soon.
(1/15/21) A collection of new photos of SeaWorld’s Ice Breaker coaster have been posted to TheCoasterKings site this week, including an entire batch dedicated to some stunning sunset coaster photography. Check it out!
(1/5/21) A new current collection of photos showing off Ice Breaker at SeaWorld Orlando has been posted to TheCoasterKings this week, giving us an extensive look at the queue and the various elements on the roller coaster layout.
(12/16/20) A new collection of photos showing off crews working to finish up Ice Breaker at SeaWorld Orlando can be found this week at The Coaster Kings.
(11/22/20) It has been a long time coming, especially since the track has been entirely in place for a few months now, but SeaWorld Orlando has now posted the official Ice Breaker ANIMATED POV video of the ride’s layout. Of course they reimagined the entire background around the ride to appear as if the ride was in the a frozen arctic world and not in the true park environment, but it gives you a good idea of what the final ride experience will be like.
(6/18/20) I figured this announcement would pop up before too long. According to ClickOrlando, SeaWorld Orlando has had a $2.7 million construction lien filed against them for the Ice Breaker coaster from Premier Rides. There are also said to be dozens of other liens filed against the chain’s Orlando parks for various other construction and improvement projects.
This would be the third of the chain’s big 2020 coasters to have construction liens placed against it that should prevent the rides from opening until SeaWorld pays their bills. In the past week we’ve seen reports of liens for Emperor at SeaWorld San Diego and Iron Gwazi at Busch Gardens Tampa and now this.
SeaWorld Entertainment has yet to comment on these issues, but it also seems a bit odd after the company made arrangements back in March to increase their revolving credit facility mixed with other measures that were said to give the company “sufficient liquidity to meet its cash expenditure requirements into the fourth quarter of 2021.” So with this mind, why are they not paying their contractors before having all these liens filed against the parks? They were the first of the big Orlando/California park chains to furlough almost all of their employees, and cancel their health care benefits, and now they’re putting major ride and attraction vendors at risk by not paying them millions owed for new roller coasters, waterslides and more, all while their Florida and Texas parks are now open again.
I really hate to say it… but something “fishy” is going on at SeaWorld.
(2/23/20) Orlando Experience has posted a quick construction update for Ice Breaker this weekend, claiming that the layout is now almost complete, with the final track sections expected to be put into place sometime later this week.
(1/23/20) Special thanks to SeaWorld Orlando for inviting Screamscape reps down to go on a special hard hat Construction Tour of the new ICE BREAKER roller coaster, opening in 2020. Quite a bit has been done so far and it was great to get up close and personal with the park’s latest coaster. Check out the photos and a video below.
(9/13/19) Ice Breaker is coming to SeaWorld Orlando in 2020, a new and unique launched coaster experience from Premier Rides. Ice Breaker will be a quadruple launch coaster, featuring backwards and forwards launches as soon as the train leaves the station and slides-over onto the launch track. Ice Breaker will launch backwards up a 93 foot beyond-vertical 100º spike track before shooting forward for the last time at 52mph up and over a hill and into a series of high-speed twists and camelback hills before coming back to the station.
2022 - Reef Plunge @ Aquatica - (10/16/21) Aquatica Orlando will have a new offering for the 2022 season called Reef Plunge. This is actually a refurbishment and update to the park’s existing Dolphin Plunge slides that feature clear slide tubes that pass through an aquatic environment. Instead of just passing by Commerson dolphins, “Guests will slide through eye-catching translucent cutouts and rings, and twist and turn though over 330 feet of fiberglass, zooming past a vibrant array of marine life in the new dynamic habitat. Commerson’s dolphins, leopard sharks, sardines, and a variety of other cold-water fish will call Reef Plunge home. Guests will dive into the fun of Reef Plunge launching Spring of 2022.”
In addition to this, the park will also be making an assortment of other enhancement across the popular waterpark, including a new beach-bar called Banana Beach Cookout, a new quick-service pizza place, an additional 1,000 beach chairs and loungers, extra areas of shade, and the promise of other ‘upgrades’ coming to several other park attractions and water slides.
2022 - Next Coaster - Rumor - (1/31/21) A new update from TheCoasterKings digs in a little deeper on those “Project Penguin” plans for SeaWorld Orlando. The early data gathered pre-COVID was that this was to be a new B&M coaster project that could quite possibly have been B&M’s new “Surf Coaster” project. While we never confirmed exactly what the “Surf Coaster” project was, one of our own early rumors suggested that the concept may have been a new style of Wing coaster with rotating seats not unlike S&S’s 4th Dimension coasters. There were also rumors that it may also use a possible launch system as well.
In their new update a batch of new royal blue B&M coaster track was spotted at the Clermont Steel Fabricators plant in Ohio. While no one knows exactly what coaster this track is actually for, they believe that the track may be slightly narrower than your typical B&M coaster track so it could be for this new concept. I’m not so sure myself, as one might think that a variant of the Wing design might also need the same size track as the Wing since the placement of the riders may be the same. Just something to keep an eye out for.
(6/29/20) An interesting new construction lien has now been filed against SeaWorld Orlando this week. According to a great post from Behind the Thrills the new lien is actually from B&M (Bolliger & Mabillard) who says SeaWorld owes them $1.43 million for engineering design and fabrication of a “custom Launch Coaster”. This matches up with some early permits filed by the park for a “SWO Penguin” project. This also connects to rumors of a new B&M coaster design in the works called a “Surf Coaster”.
No one is entirely sure exactly what the Surf Coaster is, but Screamscape did report way back in January about a rumored design modification B&M was working on for their Wing Coaster design. If the rumors hold true, the concept was described as combining a B&M Wing Coaster style train, but with seats that would rotate and invert forwards and back while riding in much the same fashion as S&S’s 4D coasters. So essentially this could be B&M’s answer to the 4D design concept, like X2 at Six Flags Magic Mountain, but now we can add a Launch System to the rumored design as well.
Now we just need SeaWorld to pay these liens off and get these projects back in action, though at this rate the rumored 2021 coaster may be pushed back to 2022.
(2/11/20) According to the OBJ, SeaWorld Orlando has filed demolition permits to begin working on a 3-acre site near the park’s Antarctica / Penguin attraction for an unknown new attraction in the works. After focusing on new attractions near to the park’s Killer Whale stadium for the past three years (Infinity Falls in 2018, Sesame Street in 2019 and Ice Breaker in 2020) it would only make sense to try and build something on the opposite side of the park to help balance the crowds.
The timeline isn’t known right now, as the park has previously filed permits to do work between the Bayside Stadium and park Entrance plaza, so looks like two projets may be in the works for 2021 and 2022.
(1/17/20) TheCoasterKings have posted a new update from SeaWorld Orlando that shows a new work permit filed by the park for a possible 2021 attraction. The permit seems more to be focused on demolition work to take place in the area of the path between Bayside Stadium and SeaFire Grill, along with a project name listed as “SWO Penguin”.
They say the early rumors point to a possible new coaster for the park, possible a B&M Wing Coaster, which is about the only B&M design not found yet anywhere in Florida. That said… I do also have to wonder if the name dropping of “Penguin’ could also be a hint that just perhaps this could be a new B&M Dive Machine like the Emperor coaster under construction at SeaWorld San Diego. If so, this would be the only Dive Machine in Orlando, with Sheikra being the only other one in the state, having opened at Busch Gardens Tampa way back in 2005. Thinking back to the Wing Coaster rumor… Screamscape has heard early rumors that B&M was developing a new train design for the Wing Coasters that would feature seats able to invert by rotating forward and backwards, pretty much in the same fashion as the S&S 4D coasters (like X2 at Six Flags Magic Mountain). Certainly a theoretical B&M 4D coaster would be very notable and gain a lot of attention, especially when placed right at the front of the park. Stay tuned!
???? - Sesame Street Dark Ride - Rumor - (4/15/19) I heard an interesting rumor the other day regarding future Sesame Street plans for SeaWorld Orlando now that the new kiddie land is open. According to the rumor the park has drawn up concepts for a couple of different Sesame Street themed dark rides that could be added onto the area, possibly taking over part of the Wild Arctic ride building space (which again, is rumored to be leaving later this year). Given the initial popularity of the Sesame Street themed dark ride that just opened at PortAventura in Spain earlier this month, this concept may gain some traction as a possible future park addition.
???? - Flying Theater - Rumor - (4/26/19) OrlandoWeekly is hearing that the long-term plan to replace Wild Arctic at SeaWorld Orlando may be replace the attraction’s aging simulator fleet with a new modern Flying Theater style attraction at some point down the line. With the San Diego park also looking to replace their attraction sooner than later, I do have to wonder if the California park might get the Flying Theater first.