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“Wonderful experience”

Dolphin Research Center
Book In Advance
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$155.88*
and up
Full-Day Sightseeing Tour from Key West
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: Activities for young children, Food available for purchase, Wheelchair access, Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities
Green Valley
Level Contributor
139 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Wonderful experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 14, 2013

What a great experience. My wife swam with the dolphins and I did meet and greet from a platform. Both were wonderful with the "swim" significantly more expensive. Lots to see and learn at the Center including live performances and good displays. Very professionally managed. The pictures they take during your experience with the dolphins are expensive as is the activity, but the up close and personal activities were worth the substantial cost.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank James M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this review, June 17, 2013
Thanks for coming in to see, swim and meet the dophins at DRC. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on visitors to help support the excellent care and home that we provide for the dolphins and sea lions in the family and the other work of our mission.

We are happy to know that you had a great time and appreciate you sharing about your experience in this review. Thank you!
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Chelmsford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Amazing experience, you must go here!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 9, 2013

This was amazing from start to finish. I booked this before we went on holiday. It is not cheap, but well worth the money.

What is different about this place is it is essentially a research and rescue centre. The staff are so caring towards the dolphins, and make sure they are happy. One of the dolphins didn't want to interact with the humans on the day we went, so they let him go back and have a play and got another one that was more willing.

There are no sad dolphins in swimming pools here. These are in the sea, sectioned off, but none the less in huge enclosures. If you don't want to swim with the dolphins there are loads of shows, not really like exhibitions as such, but times you can watch what the staff do, from research to healing injured dolphins. And when they aren't going on, you can just watch the dolphins playing and having fun. It is also in a beautiful setting.

If you are planning on swimming with the dolphins you won't be disappointed. You get a good amount of time in the sea, and lots of interaction with the dolphins. The groups that you go in with are small and it all feels very personal. All in all this goes down as one of those things not to be missed!

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank leejudaniel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this review, June 10, 2013
Thanks so much for including Dolphin Research Center in your vacation plans and for sharing about your experience here with others.

We appreciate you coming in and are glad to hear that you had a great time!
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Maynooth, Canada
Level Contributor
48 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Great spot, good value, very educational!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 9, 2013

We spent an afternoon there and with a coupon it was fairly reasonable. I don't know why but they would only honor one coupon per group. Other than that, it was a great experience. The information they provide about dolphins throughout their 'show' was very interesting. It was funny to see the interactions between the dolphins and the trainers because this is not primarily a 'dolphin show' as it is an educational talk and the dolphins could be quite comical in their behaviours, not always doing what was asked, which was always met with tons of laughter from trainers and the crowds. It was a really great experience and for the money I'd do it again. We missed the sea lion experience and would love to go back. They have shows on all day and have a great water park for the kids, so this one is definitely something you should do in the Keys if you want to see dolphins.

The best part was the little statue and sitting area dedicated to the memory of Mitzi, who played the dolphin in the 1963 movie Flipper (and I think the sequels) It's quite a beautiful little park, with lots of wildlife creeping around the edges and tons of things going on all day. The gift shop is good too, if you want a trinket they have a variety of things at different price points.

I think this park definitely fulfills it's mandate of public education, and you get to see some great dolphin activity up close and personal. Definitely a must see!

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
Thank missmutt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this review, June 10, 2013
We're happy to hear that you felt that we fulfilled our mission of educating, while also introducing you to lots of dolphin activity and fun! That we were a good value for you too is great. We know that everyone has a budget on vacation. As a nonprofit organization, your visit supports the care and home for the dolphins. Thanks so much for coming in and for telling others about your trip.
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Cocoa Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Loved it!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 2, 2013

Great place, the dolphins are so amazing, we learnt so much from the trainers ( what a great job that would be) the staff are so helpful and friendly) it rained before we got chance to meet the dolphins so we got a full refund and we will definitely try again on our way back down the keys. This is a must when visiting the keys.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank 107Janec
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this review, June 6, 2013
Sorry to hear that it rained during your visit, but we're glad to know that you're in Florida so you'll definitely have a chance to come back and do the experience. We appreciate your patience, your visit, and that you shared about it with others. Thanks so much and we look forward to seeing you soon.
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Roswell, Georgia
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Loved it!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 1, 2013

Kids swam with the dolphins! (10 & 8) Great fun and there are many other exhibits! You can spend more time than we did. The trainers and educators are very nice and answered all our kid's questions!

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank familytrav280
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this review, June 6, 2013
Thanks so much for visiting. We love to see people enjoy getting to know the dolphins and sea lions and particularly love it when they ask questions! We appreciate you coming in and are glad that you had a great time.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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