Marineland Dolphin Adventure
The World's First Oceanarium, Marineland opened in 1938 as "Marine Studios." Now a dolphin conservation center, Marineland Dolphin Adventure offers a number of ways to interact with Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, as well as hands-on exhibits and educational programs to inspire and connect guests with marine life. Marineland is located just south of St. Augustine on scenic A1A.
Guests with a valid Florida ID can save 20% on any Marineland Dolphin Adventure experience August 19, 2018 through February 28, 2019, excluding holidays. The discount applies not only to park admission, but also to Marineland’s unique dolphin encounters.
Marineland offers a Behind the Seas Park Pass for $22.95. This Behind the Seas Park Pass will take visitors behind the scenes and below the deck to tour the facility and animal habitats and learn about Marineland Dolphin Adventure's unique and fascinating history spanning over 80 years. The dolphins and trainers perform an exciting educational program daily at 11:15 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., and visitors may enjoy watching the shark feeding at 10:30 a.m. everyday except Thursday.
This park pass includes an overview of the pioneering work in aquatic animal research, the advancement of life support systems for aquatic environments and exhibits featuring live animals of the Southeast region of the United States. Guests may finish their visits watching sand tiger sharks and sea turtles swim in their habitats in Neptune Park. Seniors (ages 60+) are $21.95. Children (ages 3 - 12) are $13.95.
The Dolphin Immersion Program - Visitors can touch, feed and interact with dolphins in both shallow and deep water during this 30-minute seasonal encounter. Suitable for ages 5 and up. Children under 10 must be accompanied by a paying participating at least 16 years or older. Seasonal pricing for this experience ranges from $219 to $239 per participant, and includes a Behind the Seas Park Pass.
Discover Dolphins - Vacationers can feed, touch and interact with bottlenose dolphins in Marineland's shallow water habitat. Suitable for ages 5 and up, however children under the age of 8 need to be accompanied by a paying participating adult 13 years or older. Seasonal pricing for this experience ranges from $179 to $199 per participant, and includes a Behind the Seas Park Pass.
Trainer for a Day - This program allows visitors to see what it's like to be a dolphin trainer! Teens and adults can hang out with Marineland's trainers and learn what it's like to teach and train dolphins. This is a five-hour opportunity which includes participating in Immersion and Dolphin Designs programs along with other activities, including preparing meals and feeding the animals. Suitable for ages 13 and up. $485.00 per participant, and this includes a Behind the Seas Park Pass.
Dolphin Designs - Create a work of art with a dolphin artist! This activity allows you to interact with Marineland's dolphins and create a truly unique and unforgettable piece of art. Suitable for ages 5 and up. $99.00 per person, and this includes a Behind the Seas Park Pass.
Touch and Play - This activity allows visitors to Marineland to feed and interact with bottlenose dolphins poolside. Visitors will have the opportunity to play ball with their new dolphin friends as part of this experience. Suitable for ages three and up, however children under 5 need to be accompanied by a paying participating adult 13 years or older. $36.95 per person, and this includes a Behind the Seas Park Pass.
The idea for Marineland, the World’s First Oceanarium, first came from W. Douglas Burden, Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney, Sherman Pratt and Ilya Tolstoy. They imagined a place where sea creatures could live and thrive in a simulated ocean environment. Fred Henderich and Company designed the premises of Marineland, and was also responsible for the Orange Street School, the Y.M.C.A. building, Plaza Bandstand, the original Flagler Hospital, Florida Normal College, Excelsior School, and the Visitor’s Center. The ocean park was constructed by Arthur Franklin Perry Co. from the Jacksonville area. “Marine Studios” opened on June 23, 1938 with its biggest attraction being the bottlenose dolphin. More than 20,000 visitors attended the opening. Originally, Marineland consisted of a Circular Oceanarium that held 400,000 gallons of water, and a Rectangular Oceanarium that held 450,000 gallons of water. But several outside amenities began to spring up around it including the Marineland Motel, the Dolphin Restaurant, the Moby Dick Lounge, and Marineland Marina.
Marineland consists of 125 acres between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway. It was made a sophisticated destination due to its association with Ilya Tolstoy who was the grandson of Leo Tolstoy, and even famous writers such as Ernest Hemingway and Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings graced Moby Dick’s Bar with their presence. The site was a filming location for many movies including Creature from the Black Lagoon, Revenge of the Creature, Sea Hunt, and Benji Takes a Dive. Benji was the first dog to scuba dive, and he did so at Marineland. Over 900,000 visitors came each year to Marineland through the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s to see their spectacular Dolphin show.
Throughout the years, Marineland has pioneered studies in marine science, animal training, water chemistry and more. Marineland served as the model by which other aquariums, oceanariums and marine parks based their own development and design. Marineland was also the first to successfully breed and train Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, and it was the early scientists there who discovered dolphin echolocation, social behavior and communication. Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney, who was the major stockholder of the private company, opted to sell the marine park in the mid-1980’s. In 2004, following a series of hurricanes, Marineland retired most of the original, older structures and exhibits, and began construction on a new, updated facility focusing on education and intimate animal-human interactions.
In 2006, Marineland was reborn as a modern 1.3 million gallon facility designed with the behavioral needs of the animal, the viewing capabilities of the scientist, logistical needs of the trainer, and the “edutainment” needs of guests in mind. Three bottlenose dolphins were born at the newly constructed Dolphin Conservation Center in July 2008. Marineland has operated as a subsidiary of the Georgia Aquarium since January 2011. Gone are the days of circus routines and jumping through hoops while loud music and narration set the tone. Now the guests join the animals in their habitats and make the physical and emotional connection that inevitably leads to a true understanding of why there is a need to protect these incredible animals and their marine environment. The Marineland of Florida property was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.
Marineland offers summer camps, school field trips, and animal training seminars, in addition to private events such as weddings, corporate functions, and birthday parties. Please visit Marineland.net for more information.
Marineland is located on A1A about 18 miles south of St. Augustine.
Marineland Dolphin Adventure
Hours of OperationSun - Sat:
Admission | Ticket Prices
|Behind the Seas Park Pass|
|Seniors (Ages 60+)||$21.95|
|Children 2 and under||FREE|