The largest expansion in SeaWorld Orlando’s history opens today, taking visitors on a state-of-the-art ride through the glaciers, ice and freezing waters of Antarctica before dropping them into a colony of 250 real-life penguins. It’s called Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin and the name says it all.
SeaWorld Orlando’s newest attraction may include a ride, restaurant and gift shop but it’s the live penguins that are causing quit a stir, even in its preview days. Filled with four different penguin breeds including Gentoo, King, Adelie and Rockhopper penguins, the penguin habitat located at the end of the ride is unlike any other animal encounter at the Orlando theme park. That’s because the penguins aren’t closed off by the typical glass wall or boundaries you normally see at an animal attraction. They walk and swim around freely in the 6,000-square foot habitat with just an 18-inch tall rock wall separating them from guests.
As you meander through the colony you’ll be amazed at how close you get to the penguin, being able to see just how distinct one penguin species can be from another. Here’s a quick guide to what each penguin looks like so you can identify them on your next visit:
Adelie – These are the penguins you probably envision when you think of penguins. Aside from their tuxedo-like coloring, the Adelie penguins can be identified by the white rings surrounding their eye and the feathers at the base of their bill. Their tail is also a little longer than other penguins and yet they are smaller than most other species.
Gentoo - Gentoo penguins are more closely related to the Adelie in their look. The fastest swimming penguin species and the third largest, the Gentoo are recognized by their wide white stripe extending like a bonnet across the top of their head. They also have a bright orange-red bill, white-pink webbed feet and the longest tail of the penguins in the colony.
King - The King penguins are the second largest penguin species and are easily spotted by the yellow on their chests and part of their heads.
Rockhopper - Rockhopper penguins are also recognizable by their yellow coloring, except unlike the Kings, they have yellow feathers that stick out from their heads, giving them a very unique look. They are one of the smallest penguin species and get their name from the way they rocket out of the water to avoid predators as well as from the way they are often seen hopping from rock to rock while on land.
Experience all four different species of penguins like you never have before and might never again with the new attraction Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin with discounted SeaWorld Orlando tickets right here on Orlando Fun Tickets.