I concur with many other reviews when I say that Marineland could benefit from a lot of updating. Given the economy, and the sheer size of the park, that's not likely.
The admission cost is high--but they're maintaining giant whales and sea mammals for crying out loud! That fact alone made it an easy few hundred dollars to part with.
We visited the park in early June, and it was essentially desolate. I kind of missed the cheerful buzz of other humans--that's how quiet it was! My son could go on any ride time after time with zero waiting--again, this was almost to a fault for us.
The space between exhibits is expansive. We walked. A lot. We're young and didn't mind, and it caused the park experience to last the entire day.
The show was great for the kids--and the staff was interactive and cheerful, even considering the auditorium was only at about 1/8 capacity.
The Orca whale was pretty sad to witness. It wasn't part of any show, and was alone in his tank. The tank was tiny and dreary with nothing for the whale to do except swim in circles. You'll definitely get pictures with him swimming up close in the background--which I guess is a plus? I guess this is just "how it is," and he wouldn't survive in the wild, but man--how sad!
I recommend the Beliga feeding experience. It's great to get your kids that close to such a unique animal. Those exhibits are better in my eyes, mostly because there are other whales to socialize (if whales do that!). Some could argue there appeared to be too many whales in a tank, but I'm no marine biologist. They just seemed happier because they had company.
The most disturbing facet of the park to me where the multiple opportunities to "feed" various animals. The treats can't be healthy, and it's kind of gross and pathetic to see wild animals essentially begging. The bear exhibit really surprised me! It was gross to watch them eating ice cream cones and puffs of sweetened human food. I guess it has been that way, and they're accustomed to it... I just can't imagine it being approved for a modern park in America.
Finally, the park is a good experience. You might feel a little sad at times, but I just imagine that the animals could never make it in the wild any more. It is what it is. Enjoy it, and let your kids get up close to whales and marine wildlife.
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LowTech Tank reviews Marineland LED light. Got this light on sale. Was so excited to get this thinking I was upgrading by getting a name-brand light. To chagrin I had spent over 100 dollars on this light and find out that it just isn't bright enough for my tank and plants. Don't waste your money on the fancy expensive light bars. THE only thing I did like it for was the night light option. I currently run 60wt LED Philips Daylight bulbs in shop lights and they work great. And at Only 20 each set I would rather GO LowTech.
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