Since its opening a few days ago, Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin has had a grand daytime debut at SeaWorld Orlando, showing off its tallest icy peaks and blue-hued paths in bright (and warm) Florida sunlight. But this weekend was the area’s first chance to show off its most impressive feature as the park remained open after dark to reveal its gorgeous nighttime glow.
Once the night falls, Antarctica transforms from a bright white new theme park land to a sparkling, twinkling, and more fulfilling experience. Though the daytime look of Antarctica most closely resembles the real continent at the bottom of our world, it’s the nighttime look that offers the most “wow” for SeaWorld’s guests. The area’s rousing orchestral score mixed and occasional whooshing sounds of strong wind add to the feeling of being in an impressive new place, taking visitors away from balmy Central Florida into a world of glaciers and snow.
The videos below offer a first look at Antarctica shining at night, one with a slow and graceful move through the realm and the other a walking tour back and forth through the area. And below that are a series of long exposure nighttime photos carefully capturing the essence of what makes Antarctica so much more impressive once lit up.
Video – Tour Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin after dark at SeaWorld Orlando
Video – Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin nighttime walkthrough at SeaWorld Orlando
Photos – Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin at night
SeaWorld Orlando opted to unveil Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin to the press (and the world) during daytime hours, missing an opportunity to show off the new realm’s most exciting features that appear only after dark. And when the area officially grand opened on Friday, the theme park was only open until 7 p.m., also preventing the first day’s guests from seeing the land truly shine.
It wasn’t until last night that the first guests could spend some time taking in the grandeur SeaWorld has created, which is when the photos and video here were captured. Tonight was a second opportunity to stick around after sunset, with the area completely surrounded in the darkness of night by 9 p.m. But according to the park’s online calendar, Antarctica won’t be available to see at night until June 22, nearly a month from now, at which point the late night closing time will stick around for the rest of the summer.
Though the Empire of the Penguin ride has not received the greatest of reviews since its recent debut, a visit to the area after dark will surely increase opinions of the new realm, with its glowing faux ice offering the most beautiful view of this SeaWorld Orlando addition.
More nighttime photos from Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin