Antarctica is the first attraction of it’s kind, that not only takes you on a unique ride experience, but also puts you right where the animals live. It’s as close as any theme park attraction has ever gotten you to the animals in controlled environment. The only possible way to get any closer is to go on a trek to Antarctica itself, right? Well, leave it to SeaWorld to get you closer than you thought was possible. Introducing the all new Penguins Up-Close Tour. The all new tour takes you behind the scenes of the all new Antarctica, and shows you just what it takes to care for the birds. Plus, you get to touch penguins!
Antarctica has already taken guests as close as they can get to one of nature’s favorite birds, the penguin. Guests can see them in new ways that have seldom been done before. With the new Penguins Up-Close tour, however, guests can get even closer than the cold winds of Antarctica can take them. The Penguins Up-Close tour takes guests behind the scenes where they learn all about the birds, the habitat at SeaWorld and what steps the park takes to ensure that the birds not only are healthy, but thrive, just like they would in the wild.
The walking tour is about 45 minutes and takes place in the Antarctica realm. Guests go backstage and are shown just what goes into the process of caring for the birds daily. From preparing the fish, to weighing the birds, and even checking mating habits, guests get a glimpse of what it’s like to maintain a successful penguin habitat.
Here are some fun facts you learn from the tour:
- The day starts for animal care experts at 5:30 a.m. and goes until park closing.
- A variety of fish are used to feed the animals, and include all the types of fish the birds would get in the wild
- Fish are loaded with extra vitamins, to ensure each animal gets the nutrients they need daily
- Each penguin is identified with a band around it’s flipper. Don’t worry, it doesn’t hurt them
- Penguins are weighed each month by species
- There are four different species of penguin in Antarctica
- Penguins are much like dogs in their behavior, they become loyal to the trainers that care for them on a regular basis, and develop a relationship.
- Fresh snow is made every day, and put down in the habitat. Penguins tend to be messy
- Penguins have lived as long as 30 years at SeaWorld, which is a much longer lifespan than in the wild, where a lot of chicks don’t survive the harsh climate, and predators.
While we don’t want to ruin the fun and show you all the parts of the tour, we were able to get the most important part of the tour. You actually get to interact and touch penguins!
While you get close to the Penguins in the Penguin habitat within Antarctic, you get even closer to them on the Penguin Up Close tour. You’re actually so close that you’re allowed to pet them and even take a photo with them! It’s quite the experience that you won’t find anywhere else.
See our videos of the penguins interacting with us during the tour!
As of right now the tours are very limited. Because of the size of the area, the groups are limited to only twelve. Because the sunlight in the attraction matches what is happening in the real Antarctica, there is only about five hours a day of full bright light. Because of that, and because the tour is so new, there are only two tours a day happening, as of right now. That is likely to change, but the groups will still stay at only around 12 people, making this one of the most intimate tours at SeaWorld, and giving you lots of penguin time! There is at least one penguin to interact with, but because penguins, like people, have changing moods and can be curious, you could have as many as two. The penguins are very curious about what you are doing in their homes and will be very interested in you.
You should also remember that you will be spending a lot of time in Antarctica, which holds a year round temperature of about 30 degrees. For that reason, jeans and closed toe shoes are recommended. Depending on how cold sensitive you are, you may want to bring a jacket or sweater, because none are provided for you. It’s about a 45 minute tour, and compared to the brutal Florida heat, the cold can be quite a shocker.
Lastly, the tour is an additional fee, but with the popularity of the penguins, and how close you actually get to the animals, it will be very popular. You can book your tours online, or by calling 1-888-800-5447. Park admission is required to book the tour, but not included in the price of the tour. Advanced reservations are highly recommended because of the limited nature of this tour.
Check out even more pictures of our tour through Antarctica!
Overall, the tour is great for just about any age. It is a walking tour, and while in Antarctica there may be some wet steps. Any guest can take the tour, but all guests under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
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