Marineland: 75 Years and Counting!

Marineland of Florida lies on the northeastern edge of Flagler County and just celebrated its 75th anniversary. Created originally as an innovative oceanarium to film marine life, Marineland was the brainchild of W. Douglas Burden, Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney, Sherman Pratt, and Ilya Andreyevich Tolstoy (grandson of Leo Tolstoy). In 1938, Marineland opened with its main attraction, a bottlenose dolphin and 20,000 tourists created congestion on Highway A1A to visit this new entertainment venue. 

In its heyday, Marineland enjoyed 900,000 visitors per year and there were hotels, restaurants, and lounges to accommodate the masses. Those who ventured to see the dolphins, electric eels, small whales, exhibits, and the ever popular dolphin show were not disappointed. There were even two films that had scenes at Marineland, Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) and Revenge of the Creature (1955). When Disney World opened, attendance peaked, but once Sea World opened Marineland’s attendance declined drastically and was eventually sold several times. Challenged by high maintenance costs, the once successful park fell into disrepair and financial ruin. In 2003, all but the original buildings were torn down. The park closed for two years in 2004 (hence 75th anniversary vs 77th) for renovations. 

Marineland is currently owned by a subsidiary of The Georgia Aquarium and is currently Marineland Dolphin Adventure and offers educational programs and visitors may also swim with dolphins. Accredited by the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums and a member of The International Marine Animals Trainers’ Association, Marineland Dolphin Adventures has a bright future in education and again as a sought-after attraction. 

http://www.marineland.net

 

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Thursday, 14 November 2019

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