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“Trainers really love the animals!”
Review of Theater of the Sea

Theater of the Sea
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Eco-Adventure and Snorkel Cruise
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Theater of the Sea General Admission
Ranked #1 of 61 things to do in Islamorada
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Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Our mission is to provide a wonderful home for our animals while sharing them with visitors in ways that inspire awareness and sensitivity towards animals, the environment, and conservation issues. At Theater of the Sea watch up close and personal DOLPHIN SHOWS, sea lion shows, parrot shows, and much more! A pioneer in animal interactive programs, at Theater of the Sea you can... SWIM WITH A DOLPHIN... SWIM WITH A SEA LION... Wade, Meet and Paint with a Dolphin... Meet and Paint with a Sea Lion... Swim with the Rays... Swim with the Sharks... And Meet the Sea Turtles! Our 30 minute dolphin swims include BOTH trained behaviors like dorsal tows, kisses, and hugs as well as swimming and snorkeling with dophins. We offer a variety of animal interaction programs for various ages and prices. Programs are available daily and include admission to our dolphin, sea lion, and parrot shows, guided marne life tour, lagoon-side beach, and bottomless boat ride. Theater of the Sea is family owned and operated since 1946 and one of the oldest marine mammal facilities in the world. The lagoons and lush, tropical gardens are home to Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, California sea lions, sea turtles, tropical and game fish, sharks, stingrays, alligators, marine invertebrates, and birds.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities, Wheelchair access, Activities for older children, Food available for purchase
Norton Shores, Michigan
Level 6 Contributor
211 reviews
81 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
“Trainers really love the animals!”
Reviewed March 1, 2013

My husband and I LOVED Theater of the Sea, it is so much better than a bigger Sea World in my opinion, you have a better view of the shows and experience. Also, the grounds and gift shop double as a cat rescue, homing SIXTY cats! And following every show the trainers give a small blurb about how you can help conserve the species and their fragile environments.

When you enter the grounds you walk through the gift shop to buy your tickets, which is a little confusing because there are separate areas if you're buying a "swim/touch/feed" experience or just general admission. The cashier will direct you to the next show (there is only one show running at a time).

Our first show was the parrot show, amazing! I had no idea they were so smart and they are very well trained and informative. Next was the dolphin show, this is what I'm talking about when I say you have better seats and an experience in a small venue. The dolphin is so close, you get to see his amazing maneuvering and they select people out of the audience to come meet him, meaning you get to choose if you want a kiss from the dolphin or to pet him.
Our third show was the walrus show, I had no idea they were so intelligent! They caught rings from audience members, showed how good they are with taking medication and know the difference between their food (jello cubes) and ice. My husband's favorite part was when the walrus smiled -- not very pretty!
Next up we were SUPPOSED to go on the boat tour (just to the end of the dolphin's lagoon and back with dolphin tricks thrown in). Well not everyone could fit on the first trip, so we remained standing in line -- when the boat came back to load up the second trip an employee came out and told us that we needed to line up in a completely different area -- therefore my husband and I lost our spots in line even tho we'd remained where the last line was! That was very frustrating and we decided to skip the boat tour. Also, before arriving at the park I thought this would be a glassbottom boat tour, no it's a 7-minute ride, so if you're interested check out John Pennekamp State Park.
So we also skipped the nature walk because now our schedule for the day was all thrown off. We wandered through the park seeing the fish, HUGE turtles, alligators, crocodiles, parrots and more.
We had lunch in the park which was iffy, there were two guys working it, don't order a pizza because it takes 12 minutes and don't expect free refills after paying an insane price. Husband and I split chicken nuggets with fries and a drink for $17! You're definitely paying amusement-park prices for food here.
The swimming lagoon was also disappointing, it's a small area and right before we went to jump in a lizard joined us and I no longer wanted to swim! But make sure you check out the gift shop, the clothing prices are really good in comparison to other places we looked, but we got ripped off on post cards. They have lots of nick knacks too.

Visited February 2013
1 Thank Michelle C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Cape Coral, Florida
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Make sure you know your prices.”
Reviewed February 28, 2013

Took my grandchildren and their parents to this and the children loved it but some how I wasn't told or was not specific enough on the prices for wading with dolphins for 4 people. Did not see the receipt since I was just a spectator but was shock when I did see the credit card bill when I was charged $175/person or ($850) for the day. By that time it was too late and would not have planned this if I knew the cost. Really wasn't worth it since the children were under the age of 10.
I don't like surprises nor would I have mentioned anything to my grandchildren. But its too late now. Will know better for the next set of grandchildren.

Visited February 2013
Thank churchlady_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Staffordsville, Kentucky
Level 3 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Nice way to spend the afternoon.”
Reviewed February 26, 2013

It is a little pricey. The shows wasn't long enough. The attendant said that the show started at 3:30.....but really it had started at 3:00. They said that it was a 2 1/2 hour show more like 1 1/2. Still worth stopping and taking in the shows.

Visited February 2013
Thank Lesa938
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Islamorada, Florida
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 attraction reviews
“Small but Cool”
Reviewed February 26, 2013

Much smaller than zoos and theme parks we are used to, but not $80 admission either. Dolphin show. Seal show. Parrot show. Little boat ride. Stingray interaction. And for extra $ you can schedule swim with dolphins. We didn't but I watched others do it and looked amazing.

Visited January 2013
Thank Kris F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marathon, Florida
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Hands on Fun!”
Reviewed February 26, 2013

I always take my out of town folks to this place! They love being able to touch some of the fish, birds and the seal! There is a place to swim and a boat ride with a dolphin that jumps thru the hoop in the center of a boat! The shows are just long enough and the tour guides are very knowledgeable and always stay after the show to answer any questions. It is a little pricey but well worth it!

Visited July 2012
Thank Yeti69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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