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SeaWorld Orlando Announces New Attractions

SeaWorld_antartica.jpg

SeaWorld Orlando is announcing Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, one to three new attractions at it theme park. (SeaWorld Orlando)

SeaWorld Orlando is announcing plans for the largest expansion in the theme park's history. 

Park president Terry Prather announced details on Tuesday of a new sea turtle habitat featuring a domed 360-degree, 3-D movie experience. 

At SeaWorld's companion park, Discovery Cove, a new "Freshwater Oasis" will allow guests to get face-to-face with Asian otters and marmosets under a rainforest canopy of trees. Those two attractions are scheduled to open sometime next spring. 

In spring 2013, SeaWorld will open new penguin habitat around an immersive Antarctica theme. Prather said the penguin area is the park's largest single expansion project since its opening in 1973. 

SeaWorld says the attraction will be the coldest theme park in the world and guests will ride a simulated jet copter to the frozen north.

The theme park hopes the new attractions will woo back visitors it lost to Universal Orlando, which in June 2010 opened its wildly popular Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

The SeaWorld Orlando fell an estimated 12 percent in 2010, even as the number of visitors overall to Orlando soared above 50 million for the first time.

The new attractions are unique to the Orlando park and are not planned for SeaWorld parks in San Antonio and San Diego.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

For more information on SeaWorld Orlando attractions, visit our vacation guide >>

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