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“Heartbreaking experience”

Sea Life Park Hawaii
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Sea Life Park Hawaii Admission Tickets
Ranked #5 of 17 things to do in Waimanalo
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Sea Life Park, Hawaii's marine life comes alive in a dazzling display that will entertain and delight visitors. Located just 15 miles from Waikiki, on Oahu's beautiful and scenic Makapuu Point, Sea Life Park is a world-class marine attraction perched between the majestic Koolau Mountain Range and breathtaking Makapuu Beach. See dolphins swim, sea lions sing, and penguins perform in this magical place by the sea.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Reviewed April 18, 2012

As an animal lover I was close to tears on many occassions when I visited this Park yesterday. The enclosures are very old and badly maintained and the sealion and turtle enclosures were very small for the amount of animals in there.

There was a poor Dolphin in a large tank just swimming in circles and calling out to the dolphin in the next tank who was banging his head against the side, I couldnt watch anymore it was so sad.

The Park like others have said is very old and run down.

I did the Dolphin adventure swim which was $200 and there were about 20 of us and 1 dolphin and we had 30mins in the tank with the dolphin. I got the kiss on the cheek, a belly ride and we got to touch the dolphins tummy but that was it. So overpriced for what we got. And the trainer was just trying to rush us through so she really took no time at all to explain anything at all.

Not only would I not recommend this Park I would go as far as saying please dont go it is not only a rip off it will make you so sad seeing these beautiful animals in these tanks/cages.

21  Thank LaboneWGTN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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895 - 899 of 1,256 reviews

Reviewed April 15, 2012

I used to go here as a kid. I decided to sign myself up and my wife to the Dolphin Royal Swim... There were eight of us that had ample time to pet, take pictures with, and most of all be pulled and pushed by the dolphins.

you get to do the following:
1. pet the dolphin multiple times in the shallow and deep areas (in our case the Wolphin)
2. kiss it (for pictures)
3. feed it
4. pulled by 2 of them by their dorsal fins
5. pushed by the feet by two of them to a standing position and almost launched(like me) into the air.
Note, the trainers were very patient & enthusiastic... also they made sure that each person was comfortable (no doubt to also protect the dolphins).

As for the rest of the exhibits. There are some renovations being done. It needs some help... And it seems that the shows have changed quite a bit since i was last here. The shows had a lot more to them than they do now. Thus, the dolphin packages are the main attraction...
I hope some private donor can help this place out...

I wont say anything about the food except... maybe you should eat a big breakfast(if your not swimming with dolphins) just get a hotdog and save your appetite(and $) for dinner.

I have read others saying that the Royal Swim is a waste of money... If you compare this dolphin package to others... you get the best deal... Kahala Resort has a dolphin experience package that cost way more...

Note: the photo and video packages are of course pricey... if you invite a friend to take pictures and another to do video... its cheaper to get them in the park to do that for you, than to pay the photographers and videographers... However, their work is good... no bad shots from my experience.

In the end, not many of us can say we touched, played or swam WITH dolphins... Its not cheap, but its one of those things you will never forget... My wife and I were happy in the end. Save up and try it...

So the Dolphin Royal Swim 5 STARS! the rest of the park 1.5 stars... thus i gave the park a 3.

2  Thank G M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2012

This attraction is located along the beautiful Eastern coast of Oahu. It is a beautiful drive. The park has many different animals to view, most notably the dolphins; there are dolphin shows several times a day. There are green sea turtles to see and there is a VERY large salt water tank with local fish and sharks, etc.

That said, the park is aging and is not especially well maintained. There are many various interactive activities that you can pay extra for that allow you to interact with different sea animals. My kids did the dolphin interaction and they LOVED it. However, as a visitor, it is distracting to see so many guests in wetsuits with staff in some of the exhibits.

This is an expensive park. The food is OK. The gift shop is large but not great. It is a fun excursion which is best for young kids. I wish there was more educational information for visitors. A worthwhile visit, but the facility is not very well maintained for the price.

Dolphin encounter is great for teens & adults.

1  Thank honoluluK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 9, 2012

I recently visited Sea Life Park, Waimanalo, Hawaii for my daughters 5th birthday. She chose there because she wanted to feed the Turtles and Sea Lions. So, we decided to make a special trip there on a monday morning to avoid the weekend crowd.

We arrived at 0945 and purchased a few tickets using our kama'aina discounts and mililtary coupons. We saved about 4 dollars using the military discount. We took advantage of the $14 refillable souvenior cup and lunch box deal. This deal was a great buy because you can visit any shop in Sea Life Park and they will refill your drink. And, depending on the day, you don't have to wait in the purchase line in order to refill your drink. Great deal!

Our first attraction was the sea lion feeding which my daughter enjoyed. Unfortunately, the Staff was a bit strict about how to feed. You weren't allowed to take a photo of yourself holding the fish once the sea lions were called over to begin feeding. These sea lions don't enjoy waiting for their meals. My daughter was provided with 20 or so fish which took about 10 minutes to feed. If you ask me, it was not worth the money we spent on the sea lion feeding for the amount of fish we were provided.

We decided to try the turtle feeding next as there were lots of turtles in a lagoon near the "under renovation" front entrance. I counted about 15 turtles swimming along the lagoon edge checking the surrounding rocks for vegetable leftovers. At 1100 and 1135 are the two times you can feed the turtles. You can purchase a small cup full over vegetables for $4. The cup itself you can keep and reuse or get the paper cups to be thrown away after the feeding. We opted to buy the plastic, reusable cup versus the paper. Both cups don't hold much vegetables so don't be alarmed if you get only a few pieces of brocolli, lettuce and celery. The feeding lasted about 5 minutes.... if you know how to stretch the feeding. I wish the cups were a bit bigger but I understand that they have to exercise some sort of portion control. And, I managed to buy the last 4 cups which disappointed the rest of the people behind me.

The Dolphin Show was exciting and I enjoyed the music. I wish the show itself was interactive but the kids enjoyed watching the tricks and music. I watched the show a few times before and noticed a few differences in the shows. For example, the staff working the show were all new. And, it appeared that there was some confusion aroud releasing and caging the animals. I noticed that one of the senior staff members ran quickly to close and open the dolphin cages. After doing so, a heated conversation occured between two of the younger female staff. Interesting!

My son and I enjoyed seeing the large birds in the bird rehabilitation area. I have never seen such large sea birds and my son enjoyed the constant wing flapped by each bird. He began flapping as if he had wings... haha...

For those of you thinking of visiting Sea Life Park, I would suggest that you take advantage of any discount available in the Staradvertiser, Honolulu Weekly, military discount, kama'aina discount or special offers at the ticket counter. You may find yourself saving a few dollars if you plan accordingly. Take an umbrella as the weather on that end of the island is unpredictable. Do not leave valuables in your vehicle even though there is a security guard. Ask the ticket counter for any specials as they are VERY helpful.

3  Thank SecretBeer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 8, 2012

Loved the dolphin encounter. Park is well kept. This attraction is a true enjoyment for all ages. Transportation included (nice full size bus) and minimal cost. Highly recommended for children 12 and under.

Thank Debbie P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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