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“Awesome time!!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Dolphin Research Center

Dolphin Research Center
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Dolphin Research Center is a nonprofit education and research facility. Home to a family of dolphins and sea lions, we offer fun-filled narrated behavior sessions and educational presentations every half an hour. During your visit you can watch and learn all about these amazing animals including dolphin maternity, social groupings, physiology, natural abilities and more. You'll see how we care for them, how we're working with them in cognition and behavioral research and the importance of conserving them and their ocean habitat. DRC also offers a variety of interactive programs including the Dolphin Encounter swim program, Ultimate Trainer for a Day, Trainer Experience half-day program, Researcher Experience half-day program and Paint with a Dolphin. We are actively involved in programs for people with Special Needs, as well as veterans from the Wounded Warrior Project, Military families, and others. Most of our dolphins were born here. Others have come to us for a variety of reasons -- including those who were injured and rescued as youngsters and later deemed non-releasable by the government. We are deeply committed to providing all of them with a safe, healthy, happy home for life. The well-being of the dolphins and sea lions is our top priority. Your visit and participation in programs supports the care of our marine mammal family, the maintenance of their natural sea water home, and the rest of our mission to educate others about these animals and the importance of conservation. Thank you for your interest in Dolphin Research Center!
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Activities for young children, Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase
Trowbridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
442 reviews
255 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 190 helpful votes
“Awesome time!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 29, 2012

We decided to come to The Dolphin Research Centre based on the great reviews on Tripadvisor. I wanted to treat my teenage girls to a experience they will never forget, a play and swim with dolphins. We didn't book a spot online as we thought we could just drop by on our way through to Key West, how wrong we were, no spaces available on the day but luckily there were a couple of spaces available the day after which we could fit in on our way back up the Keys! The lady who helped us book was very cheery and knowledgeable and even remembered us the next day when we went back, great customer service!
We paid $199 per daughter per dolphin encounter which also gave free admission to the centre and then $20 each for my husband and I for our admission charge although we did find a $5 off coupon in a guide book. To start with I thought that it was a lot of money but at the end of our visit felt it was money very well spent and to see the smiles on their faces was priceless!! The dolphins are very well looked after and happy to be there and this place is as near to their natural habitat as they will get, so good to see this and not in a manufactured aquarium. Some dolphins are rescued while some have been born here and there is lots of information on each of these wonderful mammals. The trainers are great people and interact well with the dolphins.
The girls were in the water for 30 minutes in a group of seven other participants and each had a fabulous time. They started off with a flipper rub and then a dolphin kiss, then progressed on to the dorsal pull with two dolphins and then did several things that the dolphins could mimic like a whistle, a laugh, a jump up and down, dancing and waving. in between time they would swim around and do fantastic jumps and generally having a great time showing off. There is a photographer there all the time and we came away with some fab photos which were put onto a cd, this cost $55 + tax ($30 for one person and $25 for a 2nd) There were 41 photos in total and good value for money.
If you spend time here you will not be disappointed! Just remember this is a not for profit charity and they rely on folks like us to stop by ;-)

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank sarahpWiltshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Massachusetts
2 reviews
“A wonderful family experience!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 29, 2012

This was definitely a lifetime experience for everyone in our family including our son with special needs! We did the Dolphin Encounter and although it may be pricey; it was worth every cent! They have a wonderful special needs coordinator, Rebecca, who made our experience great for the entire family! Do not hesitate if you have a child with special needs....this is one of the few experiences you can ALL share as a family! Rebecca recommended renting wetsuits at a local dive shop for 15 dollars each because the Gulf water was 68 degrees. Although we hesitated, we were so glad we took her advice!

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
Thank AutismMom611
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ithaca, New York
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“A great outing in the Keys”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 27, 2012 via mobile

What a great find! Dolphins are charming. Staff is friendly and helpful. A really nice way to spend part of a day. Kids really enjoyed the Meet the Dolphins experience.
Highly recommend a stop here for all ages.

Helpful?
Thank MamaCIthaca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mayville, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
249 reviews
50 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
“what a happy place to live or work”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 27, 2012

Everyone friendly and knowledgeable and the animals seemed very happy and respected and loved.Closest I have ever been to a dolphin lot's of fun and if you have kids you should definitely do a dolphin dip...kids we watched were smiling ear to ear.I learned a lot of info about dolphins like they cliff off their skin each 2_4 hours

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
Thank sarah h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
3 reviews
“Wonderful and pet friendly”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 21, 2012

We stopped in today planning to spend just an hour or two, and stayed for a half day. Zoos are sometimes sad places for me, but all of these dolphins are HAPPY to be here, and very interactive with the staff and the audience. The facilities are super-nice, well kept, and the staff is all very knowledgeable and friendly. The events are all fun to see, as they play and learn with the dolphins. For us the best part was that they let us bring our dog in -- he was fascinated by the dolphins and they were clearly fascinated with him too. This place is all about what's good for the dolphins.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
Thank Steve B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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