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“Dolphins are the most intelligent of us all!”

Marineland Dolphin Adventure
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Marineland Dolphin Adventure is a place for education, inspiration and connection with common bottlenose dolphins. With a variety of different programs, including immersions and behind the scenes tours, Marineland Dolphin Adventure is the perfect place for an unforgettable family visit.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed May 9, 2013

We'll get the slight negatives out of the way first - We purchased the 2 x touch and feed. I thought because we had each purchased a touch and feed that we would have double the length of time with the Dolphin, but we didn't, however instead of being put with another couple, we did have our session on our own.
The only other thing was the portaloos! - aaahhh disgusting with things floating around!!!! and they were nearly full!!
POSITIVES
Sunny the Dolphin - the star of our touch and feed was how we hoped, lovely, happy, intelligent and relaxed. I can understand why Dolphins are used as therapy for the seriously ill or to help those with a learning difficulty.
The Dolphins obviously know the different staff as they do different things when a staff member comes in duty. It was lovely to see the interaction. I could have stood all day just watching the dolphin with the red ball toss it and chase it and then swim close to the tank glass. A tip - Dolphins know when you are smiling and laughing and clapping and will interact more with you.
I would like to point out to those people who are narrowminded about the cost - do they realise how much it costs to keep those tanks, the trainers, the food, the vet bills?
How much joy did the Dolphins give you? - stuff the money.

4  Thank Helen-the-singer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"swim with the dolphins"
in 64 reviews
"sea world"
in 33 reviews
"marine land"
in 11 reviews
"behind the scenes"
in 30 reviews
"georgia aquarium"
in 14 reviews
"research facility"
in 7 reviews
"once in a lifetime"
in 18 reviews
"shark tank"
in 6 reviews
"sea life"
in 14 reviews
"shallow water"
in 7 reviews
"take pictures"
in 14 reviews
"answer questions"
in 6 reviews
"bucket list"
in 9 reviews
"well worth the money"
in 9 reviews
"awesome experience"
in 9 reviews
"spring break"
in 6 reviews
"st augustine"
in 9 reviews
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381 - 385 of 565 reviews

Reviewed May 4, 2013

My husband and I visited Marineland expecting so much more. We paid the general admission fee, around $10 I think. My husband happened to read the list of "programs" you could do for an extra price and we paid about $30 extra, per person, to do the Touch and Feed, which sounded very cool. They give you a set time for the Touch and Feed, so we watched the dolphins through the tanks until our time was called. Realizing what was included in the general admission price, I was so glad we paid extra to do the interaction. Otherwise, you literally pay $10 to look from a distance at the dolphins and watch other people doing interactions, not much to see. Our time was called and we were told to put all of our things in a cubby, no personal pictures were going to be taken then, even though that was my plan. The interaction started out good, we pet the dolphin, feed it, posed for a picture, then BAM, you're done and asked to leave. LITERALLY 4 minutes is all you get next to the dolphin, 4 MINUTES! $30 for 4 minutes, and we had to share one dolphin with 4 people. We were not told by anyone what a short interaction it was, our expectations should have been explained. As we walked back to the gift shop to look at our pictures, we were shocked that it was over so quick. We definitely wanted to buy a picture so we had at least one photo with the dolphin, for a 4x6 it costs $10! Yes, a 4x6 that you can get at Walmart for pennies. And there's no cardboard frame included, just the print. One customer took a picture of the computer screen with her photo on it with her cell phone and an employee literally yelled across the store "You can't take pictures!" She could have gone about that much differently instead of embarrassing the customer. The business plan for this establishment is all wrong. Extremely overpriced for what you get, they are just trying to get every dime out of you. After going here, I would recommend just going to Sea World, military is FREE there, and even if you're not military, you might end up paying the same amount and if you get there at feeding time, you can pet the dolphins all you want with no extra fees.

8  Thank Kelly G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 1, 2013

We have travelled a lot throughout the US and Canada and Central America and have been to many Marine and Animal attractions. Most I must say have been great experiences. Most if not all have been at a resonable price for what you were experiencing. But not at Marineland in Florida. We wanted to do the touch the dolphins so we picked that package. For 2 adults we paid $62.06 for a FIVE minute experience. And we were not allowed to take pictures near the tanks for safety which we onderstand but when I asked if we could take a picture outside the area for touching the dolphins they said NO, but their photographer takes pictures abd we couls buy them back at the main building. We feel the price was out of line for what you received. We would never recommend Marneland to anyone.

4  Thank 00StoneyLake00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 22, 2013

After reading many negative reviews about Marineland and having visited very briefly last year, I was not expecting much. During my previous stop, the man behind the counter didn’t even pick up his head when I approached and stood there. After about a minute of looking at some of the materials, I finally had to speak up to get his attention.

But despite reading complaints about the staff, brevity of time with the dolphins and the fees charged, I planned a family visit since it was in the area we were vacationing.

And I was actually pleasantly surprised. During the course of my visit I interacted with at least six staff and they were all very cheerful and helpful. I knew what to expect in terms of the limited time with the Dolphins (3 minutes for the “Touch and Feed” program) so I was not disappointed when we participated. In fact, I noticed that some of their literature actually show the amount of time spent with the dolphins – probably in response to prior complaints.

Yes, it was a VERY expensive 3 minutes (about $30/person). Add in the photos that I felt guilty not buying and our snack bar lunch and it was even more expensive.

But I think they are doing a better job managing people’s expectations and I was frankly thrilled to be able to do this with my son for about $100. He liked it so much that I went back a couple days later and brought my other two children. That session set me back about $120 for three “Touch and Feeds” and general admission for me and my wife to watch.

It is not cheap and they have set themselves up to make money on everything except parking. From touching to watching to buying their photos, food, gifts, etc. But the customer service was superb and in the end the cost was worth the experience.

I think they are doing a pretty good job of building their reputation back.

Thank Ross W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dolphinfan1937, Public Relations Manager at Marineland Dolphin Adventure, responded to this reviewResponded April 25, 2013

Thank you so much for sharing your experience. We truly appreciate any and all feedback we receive about Marineland Dolphin Adventure. We’re glad you and your family enjoyed your experience at Marineland Dolphin Adventure. As a 501(c)3 compliant nonprofit organization, all of our funds go back into maintaining our facility, conducting research, and ensuring quality of life for our marine animals. We hope you will visit again soon!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 22, 2013

The trip to Marineland was one way to celebrate our granddaughter's 16th birthday and encourage her interest in marine mammals. Rarely do you buy something and think that you've gotten much more than you paid for, but this was one of those times. The Dolphin Immersion program was perfect for older teens and adults (who can swim). The staff, from the reception ladies to the trainers, were knowledgeable and friendly. We also saw some little kids enjoying an 'out of water' dolphin observation program and they too were having a blast--close enough to touch the dolphins and get a little wet but not actually suited up in the tanks. We have watched Marineland go through many phases over the years, since the 1960's. Today, the facility emphasizes research, education and entertainment in that order. This is not a theme park any longer so if you're not participating in a program or watching your participant from the decks outside the tanks don't expect a traditional dolphin 'show.' The animals do perform behaviors, including some spectacular jumps, but it's done for the guests in the tanks rather than spectators on the decks, as participants learn the various hand signals. This is participatory and pretty intimate on the day we were there--8 participants for the 1 p.m. session. Do expect to buy photos of your loved one's dolphin adventure on the way out, which are taken in the water by the staff photographer. Unless you have a telephoto lens you won't get keepsakes like this. The food out of the little snack trailer on site wasn't great, but you're on the outskirts of St. Augustine where there are any number of great places to eat. More than worth it!

3  Thank Joan and Steve S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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