SeaWorld Orlando temporarily converts simulator to Polar Express Experience

Posted Friday, December 14, 2007 9:58 AM | Contributed by Jeff

The train crested the mountain, then tipped downward, rushing like a roller coaster. And, as if they were on a roller coaster, many of the children seated inside raised their arms, and some squealed. Of course, they were all sitting in a room, inside a building at SeaWorld Orlando, rocking up and down, back and forth or side to side, yet going nowhere while watching a movie. They were experiencing SeaWorld's newest attraction, the Polar Express Experience, taking a wild but simulated train ride to Santa Town.

Read more from The Orlando Sentinel.

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Friday, December 14, 2007 10:00 AM
eightdotthree's avatar Neat, really nice idea.
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Friday, December 14, 2007 10:08 AM
Jeff's avatar Am I the only one who thought that movie was over-hyped and under-delivered? I saw it on TV again recently and I just don't get the love for that movie. It's very mediocre.
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Friday, December 14, 2007 10:57 AM
I still haven't gotten around to seeing it. It's been recycling on a handful of channels recently, and I haven't even put it in my tivo queue.
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Friday, December 14, 2007 10:59 AM
janfrederick's avatar I love CG, trains, and glaciers and still have had no desire to see it.
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Friday, December 14, 2007 11:09 AM
Carrie M.'s avatar I'm surprised you think so, Jeff, given the technology used to make it. It wasn't perfect, but it was pretty cool. I think it loses something on a small screen, though. The book is magnificent, because of its brilliantly colorful illustrations. I think the movie was meant to portray the same experience which is why it did so well in IMAX.
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Friday, December 14, 2007 11:15 AM
Jeff's avatar You know, The Gravity Group is in the credits as consultants.

Technology doesn't interest me that much in movies. I've seen great movies shot on DV and terrible movies with hundreds of effects shots.

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Friday, December 14, 2007 6:53 PM
I thought the Polar Express was a horrible and obnoxious film that completely bastardized a great book. Props to SeaWorld for doing something in the spirit of the season - I'm sure it fits in nicely - but the movie itself was ridiculously bad.

-Nate

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Saturday, December 15, 2007 4:11 PM
It can be very challenging to expand a children's book into a full length feature film. See "James and the Giant Peach" and all the Dr. Seuss attempts.

The last few years, it seems there's been a heartfelt attempt to try and maintain the unique spirit and tone of these masterpieces. I think of the recent "Curious George" as an example. I would place Polar Express in this category.

Personally, I found it charming and delightful. It was refreshing after so much garbage being produced under the moniker of children's films. My daughter, who just turned six, just watched it for the first time last week and pronounced it, "timeless" (she's been exposed to a few too many movie trailers, I think...)

The only thing I find fault with the movie is the creepy eyes. They really tried to get close to realistic human faces and expressions, but the close-but-not-quite quality makes them look like zombie undead.

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Saturday, December 15, 2007 8:06 PM
If you didn't see the IMAX 3-D version of Polar Express then you didn't see the movie and thus it explains why you didn't enjoy it. The 35mm release should not have occurred. It was a bastardized version of the film.
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Sunday, December 16, 2007 10:53 PM
Personally I think that the movie is a great movie no matter how you watch it. Having said that, the IMAX 3D version of the film is hands down the best theater experience I have ever had, and I have been to see it several times there since it's initial release. I agree with others who have said that the IMAX version really is how this movie is meant to be seen. If you haven't seen it there, do so promptly.
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Monday, December 17, 2007 4:41 PM
Does seeing the film on IMAX make it any less obnoxious? I'm guessing no.

Horrible, horrible film.

-Nate

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007 12:24 PM

See "James and the Giant Peach

Oh dear God let's just NOT.

That was one of the few movies FKA CoastaBaby and I took turns napping on in the theater. Okay, fine--other than VF's IMAX 'Dolphin' movie this summer, where the attendant had to wake all three of us up after the screening.

But at least we were up late the night before! I digress.
James. Peach. NO.

Okay, I'm done.

-'Playa

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007 4:43 PM
Well Nate, to each's own. You're entitled to your opinion. I suspect you don't like Christmas movies in general. A lot of people don't, and usually I don't much either, but this one I thought was very good. A little long in places perhaps, but overall a very good film and deserving of a timeless Christmas classic stamp placed on it.

Nice to see it made into an attraction for the holidays. Good idea!

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007 9:04 PM
How does not liking the Polar Express film = not liking Christmas movies in general? That's a pretty asinine asumption. I don't dislike Christmas films, I dislike bad movies.

-Nate

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