A representative of TheMomBuzz was provided with access to the Penguin Spotlight Tour for this buzz.
For Christmas, anniversaries and birthdays my husband and I like “doing stuff” more than “getting stuff”. Because honestly, you are more likely to remember a wonderful trip than a specific gift.
A great gift idea that is totally out of the box are SeaWorld’s Spotlight Tours. Each tour is a little different, but they are all opportunities to interact and see a variety of animals behind-the-scenes. Just choose your favorite SeaWorld animal! Tours are available for:
- Wild Arctic
- Sea Lions
There are also comprehensive behind-the-scene tours and VIP packages. I’ve only done one Spotlight Tour, way back in 2009! It was the Penguin Encounter, which was FABULOUS, because my then 3-year old was infatuated by penguins. Now both of my sons still carry that love!
Now, as many Floridians know, SeaWorld Orlando recently revamped their Penguin attraction. In its place is the All New Antarctica: Empire of the PenguinTM. You can read my thoughts on the new attraction below:
Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin: As SeaWorld’s single biggest attraction expansion ever, guests will experience the mystery and wonder of Antarctic life on the ice through the eyes of a penguin baby named Puck! First you enter a room with a large group of people to watch a small movie about Puck’s hatching. Then you move onto a line where you get to choose a Wild or Mild ride.
Three 8-people people movers are going at a time, so I was actually able to see the difference between a mild car and a wild car. A mild car just gets you from point a to point b during the ride. The Wild spins more and makes you feel like a penguin skating on ice or swimming along with currents in an ocean. I would say that Wild is still slow and safe and would probably be just fine for most people. My boys loved it!
After the ride you get to see four different kinds of penguins! The Gentoo, Adelie, King and Rock Hopper. The Rock Hoppers were quite busy jumping from ledge to ledge, rock to rock – totally living up to their name. The Kings were stately and refined. And the Gentoos and Adelies were having a blast swimming. You can see a bit of the action on SeaWorld’s Live Penguin Cam!
Now, along with the new attraction came an updated Penguin’s Up-Close Tour! TheMomBuzz was invited solo, so I sent my brother-in-law in my place. This was his first Up-Close tour and the 20-something year old told me it was a cool encounter, no pun intended. He enjoyed going behind-the-scenes. And he took pictures of the various penguins that were in the exhibit.
He was separated from the penguins by a fence. But that didn’t keep a little rock hopper from living up to its name, jumping the fence and walking right up their path to say hello! He was not allowed on the ice, instead there is a hidden room that is attached to the exhibit. There was plenty of access to the penguins as they walked by. And the penguins were very curious and not at all camera shy.
All-in-all it was an amazing experience! If you like penguins, definitely consider it. Just make sure you pick up your tickets 30 minutes before the tour begins. Ticket prices are very reasonable. An adult ticket for the tour is $59 and children (3- 9) are $39.
Learn more about the various tours SeaWorld offer: SeaWorld’s Spotlight Tours