SeaWorld Orlando and the Turtle Trek
Published: 06/17/2012 11:55:52 PM
SeaWorld Orlando has an exciting new attraction that is both fun and educational for adults and children alike. This brand new attraction holds the honorable distinction of being the only 360-degree3-D dome theater in the world.
Turtle Trek features many captivating things that are both exotic to enlightening, from the animal pre-show to the 3-D film to the video game turtle races. This attraction showcases the sea turtles’ incredible journey from the point of hatching on the beach to enduring the may dangers of the sea to their eventual return back to the beach where they were hatched to spawn again. Those who experience this journey realize just how awe-inspiring the sea turtle’s life really is.
The pre-show consists of large tanks containing rescued turtles, manatees and other variety of marine life for one’s viewing pleasure. By watching these creatures, viewers gain a new respect and appreciation for turtles and manatee and how they live.
The main feature of this new attraction is the 3-D film, which serves as a chronicle of the sea turtles’ life journey. Within the context of this adventure, however, viewers get to witness other wonders of the sea: small crabs, great white sharks, a coral reef and even an underwater ship wreck to add a bit of color and intrigue to the entire experience. The film ends with a Sea World rescue team there to save those turtles who have endured so many dangers to get back to the beach where they were born.
3-D glasses offer viewers a ‘feel right there’ experience as they watch the film. These glasses, much like the 50s style, are wrap-around to accommodate the peripheral vision. The panorama extends all the way around and overhead. In effect, viewers not only learn about turtles, they also experience the turtle’s life through the creature’s point-of-view.
Additional facts about the film make the experience even more amazing. Each individual frame consists of 26 million pixels, which exceeds the commonly recognized limit of “high-def” by at least thirteen-fold. This ensures sharp, vivid colors and motion that can be challenged only by the actual experience of being in the ocean. Thirty-four different projectors produce a total of 268, 800 lumens of combined light generation, which goes beyond the output of a typical digital projection system by a multiple of fifteen. The sound system contains 22 distinct audio channels that are blended on-site to create a pinpoint-placement audio experience. To top it all off, the entire movie requires an astounding 950 gigabytes of RAM. That’s one powerful digital program.
After the film, viewers head backup to the video station where they engage as 4-person groups in what is known as the “race to the beach”. This video game allows players to take part in the role of the turtle as it overcomes the myriad of obstacles necessary to reach the safety of the beach. The race is not a simple one, but it is an exciting one. The controller is tortoise-shaped, and a turtle expert is present at all times to answer questions.
The plight of the turtle and the manatee is precarious. Their respective populations are dwindling each year from the constant onslaught of shell hunters and habitat loss due to over-development. Manatees especially are at risk of many diseases and stress caused by cold water. Conservation is important and necessary to prevent these species from dying out. International bans have been set in place to stop all dealings involving tortoiseshell products. Hopefully, within time, these laws will completely due away with all hunting practices that threaten the very existence of the sea turtle community.
Be sure to visit the SeaWorld Orlando Website for more information.
To read more about Visiting Orlando visit the Orlando.org Website.
By Jeff Collins
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