Penguin Trek opens at SeaWorld Orlando

On July 2, 2024, the authors found themselves in Orlando for the 4th of July holiday, coinciding with SeaWorld Orlando’s media preview of their latest roller coaster, Penguin Trek. The new family coaster has replaced the Antarctica Realm and offers thrills to a wider audience than SeaWorld’s recent, more intense coasters. With a minimum height restriction of 42 inches, Penguin Trek allows most families with children over 7-8 years old to enjoy the ride together, making it accessible to many families.

The station and introductory dark ride sections have taken over the old Antarctica trackless dark ride building. Guests enter the ride through the old Antarctica queue entrance and exit via the penguin habitat, which provides a chilly experience with the Antarctic birds. The queue and station areas share a similar theming to the Wild Artic attraction, featuring winter gear, tools, and themed signage.

Unlike other SeaWorld coasters, the trains for Penguin Trek have a plain appearance, focusing more on providing a smooth and efficient ride. Guests are secured with a lap bar similar to those found on Universal Orlando’s VelociCoaster and SeaWorld San Diego’s Manta. The angle and positioning of the seat may make it uncomfortable for some guests with larger legs, but the lack of over-the-shoulder restraints enhances the overall smoothness of the coaster.

The train departs the station, showcasing a few penguins on a screen before entering an icy tunnel. Penguin Trek features two launches, the first of which propels the train up to 43 mph and into a tight right turn. The coaster then makes various twists and turns before a second launch to finish the course.

While the launches and turns may seem tame for seasoned thrill-seekers, Penguin Trek is designed to prepare the next generation of coaster riders for more intense experiences like Manta, Kraken, Mako, Ice Breaker, and Pipeline: The Surf Coaster. Unfortunately, the lack of airtime on Penguin Trek may be disappointing to some. However, the overall experience is an improvement over the Intamin “straddle coasters” that SeaWorld has installed.

The integration of the old Antarctica dark ride and penguin habitat adds to the overall theming of the attraction, creating a complete experience. However, the popularity of Penguin Trek and the accessibility of its 42-inch height requirement may lead to long waits throughout the summer. Despite this potential drawback, Penguin Trek is a valuable addition to SeaWorld’s coaster lineup and fits well within the Antarctica realm and the chain’s new focus on providing thrills for all guests. For ticket deals starting at $63, visit Theme Park Insider’s ticket partner’s SeaWorld Orlando discounts page. To stay updated on theme park news, sign up for Theme Park Insider’s weekly newsletter.

[Here is an on-ride video from the park. Russell’s video is on the way and will post later.]

.st1{display:none}See more