In the last episode of the Unofficial SeaWorld Podcast, we brought you lots of news about the upcoming grand opening of SeaWorld Orlando’s Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin. We follow up on that by bringing you recordings of our live coverage of the grand opening, audio of the experience itself, as well as an interview with Brian Morrow, creative mind behind Antarctica and designer of so many other fantastic SeaWorld attractions.
We were thrilled to be able to sit down with Brian and ask him some questions about Antarctica, and Brian teased us with hints of possible upcoming SeaWorld attractions. Here is a taste of that interview:
MiceChat: After watching guests experience Antarctica, an attraction you spent so long developing and building, what are you feeling?
Brian Morrow: When you work on something for so long, over 3 years… There is a lot of heart and soul that goes into these things, and to be purely original is highly difficult now days. I am very proud that we kept the purity of our creative vision. We removed a lot of the old barriers of theme park design and philosophy, the idea of how rides should operate, how to get capacity, how retail products can save the planet, how food can tell a story, and how you can experience penguins. We created that new sandbox, and in order for anyone to participate in that sandbox, they had to agree to leave the old ideas behind, from wherever they came from and say let’s just pretend it is brand new. That kept it pure and clean, and that is why you don’t see a confusion of subject here.
Walk in the main walkway to Antarctica and I want to serve you ice, wonder, and the opportunity for lots of photos. Go into the attraction I want to give you imagination, an experience and wonder that you have never seen before. Then I want to get you really cold and get splashed by a penguin and realize these animals are amazing. You can now connect with them because there is no longer glass between you and the penguins. And then you understand that what we can give you with Antarctica is an emotional experience and the wonder of Antarctica that you take home with you.
MC: What did you feel when you first saw the penguins in the habitat you designed?
BM: It was a cry fest! The team is so emotional about this attraction, and we adore each other so much. This has been a team experience I have never experienced before. Our production team, our architecture, engineering teams, and our park counter parts all took this big leap of faith, and Terry Prather SeaWorld Orlando Park President will tell you that it was a dream and a vision that we all had many years ago, and there was a lot of reason not to do this! There are plenty of reasons not to do this, and SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment took the leap, and we don’t have to be the biggest, the baddest, the loudest, but we are the best at what we do, and we own this entertainment environment, and we are simply the best at it. No one else does it the way we do. No one else can walk into a theme park environment and walk away with the emotions that we provide you with. Through all the stories during your SeaWorld day, and Antarctica is simply the latest chapter, there are a lot more chapters coming, which is great news for all of our fans! So get ready for it!
MC: We asked you this question during the hardhat tour, but now that Antarctica is finished, what do you hope guests take away from this new attraction?
BM: Antarctica is a continent that folks don’t talk about a lot. It is on the bottom of our planet, and it is a strange place. We have had penguins at SeaWorld for a long time, over 40 years, we showed you penguins, but we never really told you where they were from. So you didn’t get to experience the penguin’s world, you only saw them. So now guests and visitors are coming and walking away and saying that they went to Antarctica, and not just that they saw penguins. Now there is a place in their mind that says I am aware of where Antarctica is, and have a physical and emotional connection with this incredible place.
Take a complete walkthrough with the video of the attraction below.
Listen to full interview in the new Unofficial SeaWorld Podcast with details on the original score written for the Antarctica by composure Mike Avila and about the hidden Shamu in Antarctica.
We also have the audio of Lauren Alaina singing the attractions theme song live at the grand opening, guest reactions to the experience and our own take on what we thought about Antarctica, so buckle up and let’s get rolling with episode 6 of the Unofficial SeaWorld Podcast!
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