I am not sure all of what is happening at the aquarium, but it is an average to below average trip at the moment. Given the cost, it should be avoided for now.
In Summer 2013 Black Tip Reef is set to open. This replaces the bellowed sting rays that use to greet visitors. At the moment the sting ray area is walled off and covered as the artificial reef is created. This knocks out a huge portion of the open portion of the facility leaving a 4 story void.
Next up is the former dolphin show. This is in a large pavilion with stadium seating. Once upon a time this hosted an environmental show about dolphins and humans, the the show became a little more kids friendly showing the mammals playing while you learned... Now you go walk into the pavilion, sit if you like, and watch the dolphins swim around the tank. It is not terribly exciting, but as people are quizzically sitting in this huge space waiting for something , anything, to happen. After a while of lounging about you get bored and move on wondering what the heck that was all about.
The Australia exhibit, albeit small, is always good as is the rainforest area. The jellies are fun to watch, but like the tour of sea life from stream to ocean, it is the same as it has been for year and years.
I look forward to the new exhibit and hope that the programs get back on track. We have gone to the aquarium every year for more then 12 years at this point and this is the first time I felt that it was subpar. The price is high for what you are getting at the moment, so I would wait for then end of summer 2013 to visit hoping the reef is worth the price of admission and in hopes that there is something worth seeing out on the pier hosting the dolphin tank.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
January 5, 2013
We are sorry to hear that your latest trip was subpar compared to your trips to see us in the past. We are also looking forward to the opening of our Blacktip Reef exhibit in the Summer of 2013, however, the "four story void" in the meantime is actually a closing off of a portion of the first floor in one of our buildings. We apologize for any miscommunications or if you missed the pathway to the upper exhibits. We have extra staff to help with wayfinding and we apologize for our clear shortcoming if you were misled!
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By popular demand, we switched from a more formal dolphin show to our new Dolphin Discovery Program in May. With sold-out, formal shows, many visitors never had the opportunity to see our dolphins at all - and their experience was short. The Dolphin Discovery Program opens up our dolphin amphitheater all day long, and allows the opportunity to chat with dolphin trainers one-on-one, get much closer to the dolphins, and enjoy more natural dolphin behaviors. Indeed, this is a change from our past operations, but we hope that the next time you see us you'll take a seat and relax or approach our trainers who are eager to share their experiences and show off a few tricks.
Thank you for being a frequent visitor. We apologize again that we let you down during your most recent visit and hope that you will come back to see us again soon.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.