FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. — Florida’s oldest marine park is celebrating 85 years of operation in the sunshine state.

Marineland opened in Flagler County in 1938 and was once a movie making facility producing feature underwater films.

The park is still open and home to a variety of marine creatures. 

What You Need To Know

  • Marineland in Flagler County is Florida’s oldest marine park celebrating 85 years
  • Marineland began as a movie studio mainly filming underwater creatures
  • New animal interactions include watching dolphins and tortoise’s paint on canvas
  • The marine park is open Wednesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Marineland offers guests several new animal encounters, including its dolphin design and tortoise time programs.

Dolphin design allows guests to get one-on-one with dolphins but not have to get in the water like traditional swim programs.

Visitors who pay a separate fee can pick out paint colors hold a canvas while a dolphin takes a brush and paints right in front of the guest.

The experience gives visitors quality time with dolphins, and a chance to make memories, including the option to take home the dolphin-painted picture.

“Each dolphin has their different style. So, they have their different learning behaviors when they take the canvas. They can decide to rock their heads back and forth, side to side, up and down,” said marketing specialist Trey King of Marineland.

Marineland offers visitors a variety of ways outside to watch and learn about sea creatures, including dolphin shows with the ocean providing a steady breeze into the park (located right along the Atlantic Ocean).

Inside there are eels, corals and even a tribute to Nellie, once the oldest bottlenose dolphin in human care that lived until the age of 61 years old.

On the other side of the park is another experience at the red-footed tortoise’s exhibit.

At tortoise time, visitors sign up and interact with these reptiles, where guests place a canvas with paint on it and place it in a plastic bag.

The bags are placed in the red-footed tortoise’s habitat and the creatures crawl over the bags, while guests hand feed the animals, creating art that the visitor can take home with them.

“And then the tortoises work their magic,” said Joni Lott, a Marineland Aquarist.

Marineland is open Wednesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

During the month of February, guests can paint with dolphins for $50.00 per person by using promo code mydd20.

Or you can call the guest services desk at 407-563-4701 for reservations.

For more information, visit Marineland.