Gulf World Marine Park Florida
Gulf World Marine Park located in Panama City, Florida offers a lot of splash for your cash. The popular attraction was established in 1969 and is a Member of the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquarium. Its expansive property is home to sea lions, penguins, flamingos, sharks, otters, alligators, sea turtles, dolphins, and iguanas. Families can take in a live show, visit one of the park’s many exhibits, and interact with the animals in an experience like one they have never had before. With warm weather year round, the Florida panhandle city is a tourist destination and brings in visitors from all around the world. Sandy white beaches and an ample supply of attractions and accommodations give vacationers plenty of time to have fun and soak up the sun. Gulf World Marine Park fits into every schedule easily. With flexible hours and discounted season passes, even locals can enjoy all that is offered at the exciting marine life destination.
What to Expect
If you have ever wondered what is like to swim or kiss a dolphin, this is the park for you. For an additional fee, you and your family can take part in a two segment long program designed to give you an up close and personal view of what it is like to share the water with one of the ocean’s most intelligent and docile creatures. The first part of the program teaches you about marine life conservation and the second acquaints you with the hyper sensitive personality of the dolphin. Once in the water, guests can touch, play with, and even rub noses with the star of the show. Gulf World Marine Park Staff are available to take your picture and proofs are available to purchase after the dolphin encounter. Although the program is great for all ages, participants must be five years old and at least 48 inches tall to take part according to the park’s guidelines.
Visitors twelve years old and older can see what it’s like to be an Animal Trainer for a day. This unique program goes behind the scenes and allows guests to assist in feeding the animals, prepare the creatures for their daily scheduled showings, and even walk on stage during one of the programs. The program costs are not included in the cost of admission but do include lunch, a 5 by 7 picture to take home, and a Gulf World Marine Park t-shirt.
Designed just for the kids, the Dolphin Day Camp is sure to put a smile on your son or daughter’s face as they spend the day learning more about their new marine friends, assisting backstage at one of the shows, and completing arts and crafts projects to take home. A fun pizza lunch gives the children time to interact with their new human friends as well. Like the Animal Trainer program, there is an additional charge to attend the camp and all children get to take home a park t-shirt as a souvenir for their efforts.
Tips for Visiting
The hot Florida sun can be grueling especially in the month of August. All visitors should dress appropriately, wear sunscreen, and hydrate often. Routine breaks between shows and programs make it easy to cool off in the shade which is recommended for parents with small children. Snack bars and refreshment stands are available throughout the park but as most suspect, the prices are comparable to those in most tourist attractions. Participants in the Animal Trainer Program must bring a bathing suit, swim shorts, and a towel. Children who have a fear of water or animals should not be asked to participate in programs that involve swimming or feeding the marine life.
Gulf World Marine Park is fun for all ages. Whether you are looking to increase your knowledge about mammals or just trying to find a memorable way to spend one of the days of your vacation, you can rest assured that you did just that by visiting this first rate park located in Panama City, Florida.