SeaWorld Orlando building a penguin-themed roller coaster

It’s official! All the construction we’ve been reporting on near the Antarctica area of SeaWorld Orlando is for Penguin Trek, a new family roller coaster that will take guests indoors and outdoors, with a finale at their live penguin exhibit.

This new roller coaster replaces and expands on the footprint of the former indoor Empire of the Penguin ride which closed a few years ago without warning. The Antarctica area and the penguin exhibit have remained open.

Penguin Trek, the eighth coaster to join the park’s ever-expanding roller coaster portfolio will open in spring 2024. It features a snowmobile-style ride car where once aboard, riders will embark on an exhilarating journey through Antarctica as they join a penguin research mission. Busch Gardens Williamsburg and SeaWorld San Diego also recently opened family coasters which feature snowmobiles as the ride vehicles. See videos below.

Featuring two launches and many twists and turns, this coaster moves at speeds of up to 43 mph across a 3,020-foot track that traverses both indoors and outside. Yet, what sets this experience apart is its finale: as the coaster comes to a halt, guests find themselves not in a simulated penguin colony, but in SeaWorld Orlando’s own live penguin habitat. The ride will accommodate rider heights from 42 to 77 inches.

The roller coaster is being built by Bolliger & Mabillard (B&M), who also build many SeaWorld and Busch Gardens coasters. With five other B&M coasters already at SeaWorld Orlando, including the park’s most recent thrill ride, Pipeline: The Surf Coaster, Penguin Trek is set to tie the park for the record of the most B&M coasters in one location.

Penguin Trek Ride Path and Story

As guests step into the shoes of researchers, they’ll navigate in a snowmobile across the icy expanse, narrowly escaping an ice cave’s clutches. The adventure intensifies as they burst onto an outdoor coaster track, featuring two launches and twists and turns. Riders emerge from the looming danger of falling ice to finally reach the safety of a penguin colony.

“We are incredibly excited to unveil our newest addition to SeaWorld Orlando’s outstanding coaster lineup in spring of 2024,” said Jon Peterson, president of SeaWorld Orlando. “This family launch coaster embodies the spirit of adventure and exploration, offering an immersive journey through the wonders of Antarctica while further connecting our mission and commitment to our animal care, education and research. We know our guests were ready for a new thrill that the whole family could enjoy, and we’re excited to redefine the family launch coaster experience alongside our longstanding partners at B&M.”

Wild Expedition POV for Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin at SeaWorld Orlando
The former ride in the Antarctica area of SeaWorld Orlando that is being replaced by Penguin Trek.

First to Ride Penguin Trek 

Guests can experience SeaWorld Orlando with a 2024 annual pass including unlimited visits, benefits, and the opportunity to be among the first to experience Penguin Trek before it opens to the public. Annual passes start at $14 per month with no down payment.

Annual passes also include access to seasonal events, and some include exclusive Pass Member benefits like free guest tickets, free parking, and savings on merchandise, food, and beverage. Plus passholders receive monthly rewards throughout the year such as exclusive merchandise, behind-the-scenes animal experiences, festival-exclusive food and beverage deals, and discounts on admission to SeaWorld’s separately ticketed Howl-O-Scream Halloween event. 

For more information, park hours and to purchase tickets, visit

POV: DarKoaster Roller Coaster at Busch Gardens Williamsburg

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