|Address:||1010 Miracle Strip Pkwy SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548, USA|
|Working:||9AM–5:30PM 9AM–5:30PM 9AM–5:30PM 9AM–5:30PM 9AM–5:30PM 9AM–5:30PM 9AM–5:30PM|
Past Experience: I have been to Florida’s Gulfarium in Destin several times. The first time back in 1999 it was amazing. My young daughters were able to pet the dolphins and all the shows were running. Within the last few years they have stopped allowing kids to pet the dolphins for liability reasons. The last time I went in 2009 the seal show, dolphin show in main tank and the multi animal show were all entertaining. JUNE 2011: Last week we went with my 4 year old son and it was totally disappointing. The main tank was closed for renovations and the main dolphin show was moved to the multi-animal show tank. The seal show was not to its normal performance. Then we walked around the park and visited the other exhibits but I was totally unimpressed. The petting station was empty. The alligators were no where to be found. It looked as if the place had been abandoned. Then when we went to the multi animal show tank to see the dolphin show (that we had been told would be performed) it was absolutely horrible. The whole time they did a Q&A session. Also the rest of the park was not maintained as usual. Several of the guests in our group requested refunds because of the lack of any show and disappointing performance. The manager was reluctant to give us a refund but we persisted and finally we received all of our money back. At this time I would not recommend this attraction until the main tank is reopened. I really hope they will work on getting this attraction back to its glory days. As at one time this was an a great attraction that my daughters really enjoyed.
We were at the Gulfarium on 05-18-2017 . We got there with high expectations based on the reviews from Google. When we arrived (with 3 kids) we were informed that the main attraction (dolphin show) wasnt going to happen due to maintenance on the main areana , so instead they were going to have a "dolphin chat" in onother pool (literally a small pool for such large animals ). We were offered 20% discount at the door due to the "inconvenience". There was nothing on their website saying about the maintenance and needless to say we were disappointed. The facility looks dated and in need of an upgrade. The sea turtles were in a small dirty looking tank , the "dolphin chat" was in a small swimming pool that according to one of the ladies that work on the facility the dolphins were transported by streaches to this pool. The sea lions , penguins and seal exhibition were WAY too small for the size of those animals. Im not a tree hugger or animal activist, although I felt sorry for those animals. Again, we went there with high expectations for what we payed ( even with the 20% discount very expensive) and we left disappointed. if you are from St Louis MO area, I let you know that every animal they have there ( except for the dolphins) they have at St. Louis zoo with 10.000 x better facilities than this place. Again Im only giving 3 stars in respect to the the animals . make your own judgment but if I knew it was going to be like that I would saved time and money.
Jessie Leigh Orsburn
Amazing aquarium. I mean seriously incredible. You definitely want to go. I cant stress that enough. Its incredible. Kids of all ages will have a blast. DUDE THEY HAVE MERMAID SHOWS!!!!!!!!! And massive animals. HUGE SHARKS!!!! MASSIVE SEA TURTLE!!!!!! Go. Just do it. Go. And there is all kinds of cool fun explore level things for kids. Good food court. Amazing gift shop. The employees are amazing. Any kind of problem whatsoever tell them. They will happily fix it for you. I mean beyond amazing. You can meet the mermaids after the show, ask questions, take pictures. Seriously the coolest aquarium Ive ever been to. Definitely so totally worth going. Oh they also have other shows but I happened to see the mermaid one and it was incredible. Absolutely stunning. Fresh and salt water tanks. Mostly salt. Are you ready for the best part? The animals are incredibly well cared for. Like seriously these babies are well fed and kept happy. I actually watched one of the sea turtles eat while I was there. It was super cool. And they have cool things in the tanks to look at. A submarine is in one. I think I saw a pirate ship? Dont remember super well. But definitely saw a submarine. The sharks literally swim over your head. Your literally walking threw the tank if you go down one hall/tunnel/pathway. Seriously so totally worth going.
Terrible customer service when it came to viewing photo taken! When we went to the gift shop to view our photos theyd taken we were informed that their photo viewing equipment wasnt working, so I wrote down my contact info since we were leaving Destin to make the drive back home immediately after our visit. Anyway, we ended up buying other souvenirs in the gift shop before heading out. When contacted about our photos (after arriving back home) I was told that Id have to provide my credit card info over the phone to pay for the photos w/o even seeing what Id be purchasing! Their equipment breaking wasnt our fault & as a single mother I saved up all year long to be able to take my son on this vacation & wanted to have these photos to be able to remember our adventure! Considering the price we paid for admission+the other $ I spent buying souvenirs in the gift shop (& the fact that their equipment breaking had nothing to do w/us) the photos shouldve been complimentary emailed, but their customer service in this situation leaves much to be desired!
This place was extremely depressing. Please dont waste your money. These wild animals have extremely small inclosures and theyre all dirty. The dolphins had rake marks and small chunks missing from their fins. These animals should be in the wild where they belong. The sharks are in a "lazy river", piled on top of one another. There is no where for them to swim. The sea lions have a pool no larger than an average in ground pool. The dolphins are kept in a pool that is no bigger in diameter than a large above ground pool. We saw them feed the penguins and most of them didnt even want to eat. There was a large sea turtle in a small pool, it was filled with algae and grim. The stingray tank was no deeper than 3 to 4 feet and also the size of an in ground pool. I am not marine expert but these living conditions for these animals are awful! I will not be returning and hope to see this place shut down in the future. Also to add, I purchased one of the souvenir cups with Icee and wanted a refill of water that they charged $3 for!
My husband took me here while on our honeymoon and i absolutely loved it! This is not meant to be Sea World, this is small facility that rehabs animals and is used primarily for education. We saw at least three different groups of school children on field trips in the four hours we were there. My husband and i did the stingyray/shark swimming encounter and we were the only ones in the group! The trainer was very knowledgeable and friendly, she even knew all the names of the 50+ stingrays in the pool. My husband loved the stingray/shark pool but my favorite was the Seal and Sea Lion encounter that i went on. I was the only one in group so i was able to meet two seals and a sea lion one-on-one. The encounters are definitely worth every penny! The only reason i am not giving it a 5 star review is because the sea turtle upset me so much. Id like to see a larger enclosure for the turtle or at least some kind of companion, the poor soul looked so lonely.