SeaWorld Orlando revealed the ride vehicle for their new family adventure, Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin. Terry Prather, President of SeaWorld Orlando, dressed in a insulated jacket under the hot lights of the TV cameras, talked about the largest investment in SeaWorld’s history. “We want to provide the entire family with a penguin’s eye view of the dangers and wonders of Antarctica.”
As the ride family exited the vehicle, Mike Boles, Vice President of Animal Husbandry led a team of handlers with SeaWorld’s penguin ambassadors. Mike explained how this would be the largest colony of penguins outside the Antarctic, composed of four different species. He also said that none of the ambassador species would be represented in the exhibit.
Brian Morrow, creative director for SeaWorld, gave few details, but did say that “The ride vehicle will mimic the movements of a penguin, such as the way they walk, jump, and swim.” Guests will have their choice of intensity levels for the ride, and it even has variations in each level to ensure guests will have different experiences when they ride more than once. Guests will even be walking surrounded by penguins during the attraction.
Wooden coasters keep advancing with the new Back Track Family Shuttle coaster from Great Coasters International, Inc. Here is an oblique shot of the ride that is expected to accommodate 4 to 5 hundred guests an hour.
This is from directly overhead and it shows how the lift hills are parallel and both run through the station. With a top speed of 32 mph and very tight turns, we can't wait for some park in the United States to partner with GCI and turn this new concept into reality. Now if GCI would just let me put this model in my family room, so I could attempt some positive visualization techniques to help it along.
Here Dick Knoebel is writing a cashable check to the National Roller Coaster Museum & Archives in honor of his late wife Barbara. Her family was opposed to Barbara seeing a "carnie," but being married to Dick turned her into a real lover of the amusement business.
Dick Knoebel, along with sons Rick and Brian, pose with the NRCMA board, who expect the Barbara Knoebel Wing to open during the summer of 2013. Rick said "Mom was dedicated to preservation of many things and she would have liked this," while his brother Brian said, "I remember overhearing conversation Mom had with Gary Slade, (Chairman of the NRCMA board,) about the museum project." What a wonderful gift for this worthy project of preserving the history of the rides we all love.