The Parkz Update: Sea World, June 2015
Prehistory meets mythology and present day with Creatures of the Deep now open at Sea World. In this Parkz Update we take you through the unique fact and fiction based walk-through exhibit.
Image: Parkz. Creatures of the Deep takes a fun look at some of the ocean's biggest creatures – and biggest legends.
Creatures of the Deep
Creatures of the Deep, like Dinosaur Island before it, is separated into two distinct components. This is the entrance to the indoor section.
Tentacles engulfing the monorail station above is an interesting touch, though the nets add more of a half-finished vibe than a maritime theme.
The entrance to the indoor portion features a bold graphic style that is used throughout the attraction.
Jellyfish cover the ceiling as you enter; the convenient placement of the air conditioning vents even adds some motion.
Nicely punned, Sea World.
Inside is an assortment of weird and unusual sea creatures. Despute what its name would suggest, they're not all deep-see creatures.
The indoor section is a mixture of prehistoric and living creatures. Bizarrely they've decided to vary the scale from creature to creature. Some have been scaled down or appear life-sized, but perplexingly some have been made larger-than-life.
I'm guessing this guy was teased at school.
For those that like their prices in terms of cups of coffee and lengths in terms of football fields, Sea World offers a scale that gives you your weight in great white sharks.
While the downstairs section is really nicely lit and extensively sculpted with sand and other landscaping, the upstairs half seems to be a bit of an afterthought.
The upstairs section also features some of the more boring creatures. If you can't be bothered with the walk over to Shark Bay, then these fibreglass fish are the next best thing.
The sand surrounding the leatherback turtle has been cleverly designed to look like a busy beach.
What's known as a 'bait ball' is approximated with this sculpture that probably looked better in someone's head than it does in real life.
Giant touchscreens add an interactive element. Not quite as impressive to kids as it would have been before the advent of smartphones and tablets.
The indoor section does try to hype the outdoor section a bit, but the two still feel very separate.
At the outside section, the main entrance gates look great but sit at an odd angle and are not entirely inviting. The entrance could really do with clearly listed opening and closing times given that the attraction closes intermittently throughout the day.
During the ski shows, Creatures of the Deep is shut to the public. This is because of the low barriers on the lakeside pathways. Without signage indicating this fact, guests are given no heads up and are instead interrupted by attendants and told to leave midway through their journey.
Signage lines the paths of the outdoor section.
The attraction has a very bold entrance between the Kraken and its wrecked ship.
Right from the get-go Creatures of the Deep lets you know that fantasy and myth are at play here.
Depending on your proclivities, you'll know Kraken as either either a rum, a beast in Game of Thrones or a really awesome roller coaster
at the unrelated SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida.
Because you're on Parkz, you probably know it as all three.
Sea World definitely put the most impressive of their sculptures front and centre for Creatures of the Deep. Be sure to stick around long enough for the (probably not intentionally) comical dancing eye routine.
Many of the scultures are of prehistoric creatures, such as this kronosaurus.
The kronosaurus's claim to fame is that it was a Queensland discovery.
The exhibit doesn't limit itself to sea creatures with this prehistoric crocodile making an appearance.
The megalodon is a prehistoric shark known for its gigantic size and apparent lifeless, plastic appearance.
What photos don't capture about Creatures of the Deep is its immersive sound effects and the continual movement of most of the sculptures. Though the motions are fairly simplistic and mechanical, it does do a lot to liven up the area, particularly when surrounded by mist and sound effects.
The great white shark here gettin' all artistic in the sunlight and mist.
The whole area is kept in shrouds of mist with these water misters place throughout the landscaping.
And this inexplicable tree stump remains...
The exhibit has been given a backdrop of gravel and rocks.
It wouldn't be so bad if it weren't obvious that someone has spent a lot of time landscaping this bleakness to look as depressing as it does.
While blue whales are known to be intelligent creatures, this guy looks like he's a few krill short of a meal.
It's a shame they weren't able to make these sculptures support themselves, as the steel beams do sort of kill the imagery.
Either a very obvious support beam, or a questionable homage to the Tangalooma whaling station on nearby Moreton Island that decimated humpback populations in the 1950s and 60s.
Giant squid v. sperm whale.
The oddly placed whale shark towards Sea Lion Theatre is already showing signs of wear.
Leviathan is a dragon-like mythical creature.
While the Kraken takes a somewhat believable form, Leviathan is a thoroughly ficticious winged, fire-breathing creature. But it looks cool.
Combined with the animatronic motions, the mist really adds to the effect with some of these.
The end of the attraction also features some walls that do their best to hide some of the Dockside Tavern's back-of-house area.
In a few months' time the new children's area will connect here.
The newly paved parts of Creatures of the Deep look great.
Much better that the bitumen paving that was hastily installed for Dinosaur Island.
With its overall fact-based approach, it's odd that Sea World would ask a question like what do you believe? of a clearly fictitious creature, as if belief plays some role in the existence of such animals.
Blue bark and some aquatic looking plants blended in with artificial plants complete the effect.
Snaking through the garden bed disguised as a seabed.
The new area has a very surreal feel to it.
The Sea Serpent in all his punk glory.
Looks like work isn't quite finished... this whale's tail will be partially submerged in the lake.
Unfortunately nothing was done about the derelict island that now sits in close proximity to Creatures of the Deep.
New children's area
Work hasn't progressed significantly since our last update, but some of the newly reclaimed land is looking more level and set for construction.
The bigger the sign, the more they'll sell, right? Apparently airbrush caps are worthy of more fanfare than a new attraction.
Fencing in place surrounds the new children's area that will make use of some of the newly reclaimed land.
New kids' attractions will fill the area.
We're up to the most exciting part of any new attraction's construction: piping and drainage.
The new area will join onto Creatures of the Deep to the right.
Overall the area has seen little development in recent weeks.
General Sea World
These very dated dolphin statues date back to when Sea Lion Theatre was home to the park's signature dolphin show.
We tried to sea it today, but apparently the SpongeBob ParadePants show still doesn't exist.