Antarctica was incredibly lame compared to other dark rides in Orlando and Wild Artic was beyond outdated.
Always sad to see a dark ride close, but good riddance to Antarctica. It was super overhyped by its misleading promotional images and the actual ride experince was mind numbingly boring with its array of colorful lights and slow spins. I will give them credit for the indoor portion of the queue and pre-show as those were great for SEAS, as well as the actual Penguin exhibit which was the star of the show and is really impressive. The fact that the ride was programmed to have both a “Mild” and “Wild” setting was also very neat despite its near identical motion.
I’m surprised Wild Arctic didn’t go earlier to be rather honest. The simulator violently shakes when it operates and it was consistently a walk-on apart from when a show in the main Orca stadium let out. The Pre-Show and choppy animation permanently left this ride in the 90’s and made it an irrelevant and outdated addition to the line up.
Hoping something replaces these attractions sooner than later as this park really does need a dark ride and more indoor rides and general, but with Mako and Ice Breaker along with the dulling down of JTA it seems highly unlikely a replacement for either of these attractions will come anytime soon.
The Wild Arctic walk-through is fantastic and the animal exhibits are great. I always skipped the simulator.
I think the Antarctica dark ride portion was charming and fun and had two key functions:
1. It slowly acclimated guests to the freezing temperatures in the penguin area.
2. It managed the numbers of guests entering the exhibit.
Both areas have great animals, which I think is the main point of SWO. The rides just need to be well-themed, clever, and fun. They don’t have to be Spiderman, Smugglers Run, or Peter Pan. I think judging them exclusively on their quality as dark rides is unreasonable.
Weird, I happened to be on the Sea World Orlando site earlier today and the rides were there but designated as closed due to social distancing needs, but the animal habitats were open. I certainly wouldn't miss the Wid Arctic sim (or Polar Express, for that matter), but I thought the Antarctica dark ride was rather charming as well.