Information on Marineland
Marineland of Florida, otherwise known as simply Marineland, is one of Florida’s first themed attractions, and is commonly known as the world’s first oceanarium. Marineland’s primary function is that of an entertainment park, but it doubles as a swim with the dolphins facility. The park reopened on March 4, 2006, and charged the original admission price of one dollar.
Marineland was first thought of by Ilya Tolstoy, Sherman Pratt, Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney, and W. Douglas Burden as a way to film natural marine life. A site on the Atlantic Ocean south of St. Augustine, eventually became home to Marineland, and even ended up taking its name. This site is inside of a 20,000-acre piece of land originally given to Levett Blackborne, who was a London philanthropist, in 1767. Blackborne, who was the grandson of Sir Richard Levett, who was the Lord Mayor of London, never finalized his grant. Therefore, the grant was eventually given to John Graham of Georgia, who was fleeing the Revolutionary War. The land that is now known as Marineland was broken up into smaller portions.
Construction and financing were major problems that plagued Marineland, due to the fact that it was the first time anyone had attempted to capture and sustain sea life. However, the park eventually overcame these challenges. Arthur Franklin Perry Co. or Jacksonville eventually carried out the engineering and construction. Marine Studios, which would later be renamed to Marineland of Flordia, began operations on June 23, 1938. Its first attraction was a bottlenose dolphin. However, the park was not prepared for the opening day, because 20,000 people clogged the highway leading to the park in order to visit the newly built attraction. This was absolutely unheard of in 1938, in a time when even the automobile had not been fully realized yet.
Closing and Re-opening
The fact that the grandson of Leo Tolstoy was involved in the project helped Marineland become a popular tourist destination in its beginning days. Writers Ernest Hemingway, John Dos Passos, and Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings all visted the park’s Moby Dick’s Bar at some time or another. In addition, the park hosted film sets for various popular movies of the time, including Revenge of the Creature, and the original Creature from the Black Lagoon. Dolphins that had been trained became the most popular attraction for the park by the late 1960s, and Marineland was quickly becoming Florida’s top theme park. The park attracted over 300,000 visitors every year. However, Walt Disney World opened in 1971, and forced the park’s tourist traffic to decline. Tourists simply were not interested in the old style park anymore, they wanted the newest and best in theme park attractions. However, in the 1980s, tourism began to return to the park. The small-town feeling of the park made many tourists feel as though they were still with family, and this led to an increase in attendance for the park.
The maintenance demands for the old park eventually became too costly. The real estate investment firm that owned the park at the time simply could not keep up with it any longer. Therefore, the park closed its doors in 1987.
Get Promotional Discounts, Deals, and Coupon Codes for Marineland
However, the park reopened, bigger and better than ever, in 2006. This time the park had all new attractions, and the latest innovations. Marineland periodically sends out coupons through the mail to residents of Florida. However, people who live in Florida are not the only ones that can get discount coupons for Marineland. Marineland has a home website where patrons can print out coupons that will give them a discount on admission. In addition, Marineland offers group rate coupons for groups of 10 or more.