Marineland Dolphin Adventure
The “World's First Oceanarium,” Marineland opened in 1938 as "Marine Studios." Now a dolphin conservation center, Marineland Dolphin Adventure offers several 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. General admission, which includes access to the Behind-the-Seas tours as well as viewing animals and presentations that occur throughout the day, is $22.95 for adults, $21.95 for seniors (ages 60+), and $13.95 for children (ages 5 to 11).
Also included in the general admission ticket are opportunities to enjoy dolphin training demonstrations, daily shark and sea turtle talks, and the “step below the decks” exhibit that features hundreds of species of exotic sea life. Marineland also boasts a new historical museum, where guests can see how the attraction has changed over the years.
Marineland dolphins and trainers perform an exciting educational program daily at 11:15 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
Marineland offers guests an overview of pioneering work in aquatic animal research and the advancement of life support systems for aquatic environments, with exhibits including 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.
Exceed all your dolphin expectations by participating in the Royal Swim at Marineland. This immersive experience allows guests not only to swim with dolphins but also to interact with their behaviors, including having themselves raised above the water's surface with a foot push for approximately 30 minutes. Some of the other tricks and behaviors include the Dorsal Tow, Hand target, Handshakes, Hugs, Caresses, and others. General admission is included with the Royal Swim, which is offered daily at 10:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3:00 p.m. The price is $189 for adults 54” and up in height, and $149 for children between 48” and 54” in height. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Visitors can touch and interact with dolphins in both shallow and deep water during this 30-minute encounter. Height restrictions apply. Participants must be at least 48″ tall to participate in the Swim Adventure. Children between 48″- 54″ must be accompanied by a paying participant over the age of 18.
Young children ages 3 to 4 may accompany adults as a non-paying participant in the Swim Adventure as long as they fit in a life jacket supplied by Marineland Dolphin Adventure and are held throughout the program. They will not require a Swim Adventure ticket. The interaction may be limited for the young child. Pricing is $129 per person, which includes general admission.
Vacationers can touch and interact with bottlenose dolphins in Marineland's 30-minute shallow water experience. Height restrictions apply. Participants under 48″ must be accompanied by a paying participant over the age of 18.
Young children ages 3 to 4 may accompany adults as a non-paying participant in the Dolphin Encounter as long as they fit in a life jacket supplied by Marineland Dolphin Adventure and are held throughout the program. They will not require a Dolphin Encounter ticket. The interaction may be limited for the young child. Pricing is $99 per person, which includes general admission.
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 all about training dolphins. This is a four-hour opportunity, which includes participating in Swim Adventure and Dolphin Designs programs along with other activities, including preparing meals and feeding the animals. Suitable for ages 13 and up. $249 per participant, which includes general admission.
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, which includes general admission.
Meet and Greet
This 15-minute activity allows visitors at 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 all ages, however children under 5 will need to be held by an adult. $59 per person 18 years or older, which includes general admission.
Tortoise Time is a 25-minute marine life encounter where guests ages 5 and older can interact with Marineland's red-footed tortoises and even have an opportunity to participate in creating a tortoise painting, which they can then take home with them. This activity is offered daily at 9:30 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. for $59.00 per participant.
Aquarist for a Day
This immersive experience (approximately three hours) is a unique opportunity to see what it's like to be an Aquarist. During this program, guests will assist with feedings, cleaning aquariums, and interacting with some of the more active marine life at Marineland. Guests can expect to see marine life like eels, rays, octopuses, along with a variety of different fish. $169 per person, which includes general admission. Offered daily at 8:45 a.m. for ages 10 and up.
The idea for Marineland, the World’s First Oceanarium, 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 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 Operation
Admission | Ticket Prices
|Behind the Seas Park Pass|
|Seniors (Ages 55+)||$21.95|
|Children (4 and under)||FREE|