Member Rating 3 out of 5 by lharri on May 18, 2006

Marineland is like a less commercialized version of SeaWorld. It was conceived and built in the 1930s.The project was born from the unique partnership of W. Douglas Burden, great-great-grandson of Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt; Burden’s cousin, Cornelius Vanderbilt (CV) Whitney; Sherman Pratt, descendant of a founding Standard Oil partner; and Count Ilia Tolstoy, grandson of Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy.

The current programs offered rival that of Discovery Cove in Orlando at about a quarter the price. From simple sideline interaction with the dolphins to more intimate interaction swimming with the dolphins. There are special needs accommodations, I believe.

Currently, Marineland is undergoing redevelopment, which can be inconvenient to visitors. Their website states that plans feature a historical restoration of the Marineland attraction, which is included in the National Register of Historic Places, and development of new dolphin habitats. The adjacent land may include an ecologically sensitive housing project, research resort hotel, marina, spa, and beach club. So it will all be worth it in the end.

Additionally, Marine Studios opened in Florida 1938 as the world’s first underwater motion picture studio and “oceanarium.” Designed to show marine life in their natural habitat, the founders designed an extraordinary project to serve as both a tourism attraction and a location for underwater cinematography.

Today, Marine Studios is being restored to again function as a motion picture studio and underwater film facility. Under the leadership of Jim Jacoby, President of Jacoby Development, Marine Studios will draw on the rich legacy of its past while also breaking new ground with innovative technology for production, distribution, and communication.
In the meantime, with the exhibits and tanks and dolphin shows and programs, it is a comparatively inexpensive day. General admission is $5 per adult and $2.50 per child, and interactive programs range from $75 and up per person.

I expect that, over time, this park to be back in competition with the Orlando attractions.
9600 Oceanshore Blvd.
St. Augustine, Florida, 32080
(904) 460-1275

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