A visit to the Gulf World Marine Park can be a wonderful thing to do during a Panama City Beach vacation. This is especially true for animal lovers. Among the creatures that are on display at this Panama City Beach water park of sorts are dolphins, sea lions, sharks, sea turtles and alligators. Also found at the Gulf World Marine Park are iguanas, flamingos and a variety of tropical birds. Visitors should expect to see penguins as well, and the park is home to some fascinating reptiles.
Gulf World Marine Park
On a daily basis, the Gulf World Marine Park puts on live shows that feature animals. Visitors also have the chance to swim with dolphins, and it never hurts to check the park’s event schedule. The Gulf World Marine Park is known to host concerts on the side, and it can surely make for a fine place to celebrate World Oceans Day. This holiday is observed annually on June 8, and its main objective is to make people aware of the importance of conserving our oceans, and it's one of the best things to do with kids on a trip to the Florida panhandle.
Gulf World Marine Park Swim with Dolphins
For many Gulf World Marine Park guests, swimming with dolphins is the highlight of the visit. This experience involves getting in a relatively shallow pool and interacting directly with the curious creatures. The dolphins are known to give out handshakes and kisses. They also take guests for spins around the pool. These rides are known as dorsal fin pulls, and they require the visitor to do nothing more than grab the dorsal fin and hang on. Before the interactive session begins, guests learn about dolphins and dolphin conservation. The entire experience lasts between 60 and 90 minutes, and all participants must be at least five years old and a minimum of four feet tall.
Gulf World Dolphin Show
Seeing a dolphin show is also possible at the Gulf World Marine Park. These shows are offered twice daily and display the animal’s ability to perform flips and other dazzling tricks. Trainers get in the water to show how playful and friendly the dolphins are, and for those who are sitting in the right spots, it is customary to get splashed. Dolphin shows aren’t the only shows that are offered on a daily basis at Gulf World, it should be noted. Sea lion shows, parrot shows, and reptile shows are also offered. It is also possible to enjoy a special scuba diving show that involves sharing the water with eels, turtles and other interesting marine life. Some days even see the park offering magic shows.
Gulf World Marine Park Tickets
The normal Gulf World Marine Park tickets include general admission and all shows. There are discounts for children ages five to eleven, and kids who are age four or less get in for free. The dolphin swim experience tickets are much more costly, though they include general admission and are worth it for those who want the full experience. As for hours of operation, the Gulf World Marine Park is open daily regardless of whether it is raining or the sun is shining. Summer hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. All other times of year, the park is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Parking is free.
Gulf World Marine Park Coupons
Anyone who is planning to add a Gulf World Marine Park visit to their northwest Florida vacation might see if they can track down some coupons. The park fees can add up, especially for large families and other sizeable groups. In general, coupons for area attractions are often found in travel brochures and tourist guides, so they are good places to start. Should repeat visits to the park be the aim, then purchasing an Annual Pass is the way to go. These passes only cost about twice what the regular daily passes cost, and they allow unlimited access to the park for a year’s time. Annual Pass holders are also known to get special discount offers on the side.