Skip to content

Gulf World Shows Thrill and Delight All Ages

by Renee Taliaferro on July 27th, 2010

If you’re planning a trip to Panama City Beach or nearby areas, be sure to save half a day for an unforgettable trip to Gulf World Marine Park in Panama City Beach. My daughter and I had a free afternoon on our Destin beach vacation recently, and so planned a day that included a leisurely drive down Highway 30A, with a few breaks for shopping and beachside dining along the way, and then an adventurous fun-filled afternoon at Gulf World. We checked the Gulf World website first for a schedule, and learned that a four-hour visit is recommended, as they offer 5  different shows spaced about 45 minutes apart — all included in the park’s admission price.

We arrived around 1:00, just in time for the Exotic Bird Show that featured trained parrots and macaws doing some hilarious and impressive tricks. Next on the schedule was the main event for us — a fast-paced Dolphin Show that featured spectacular jumps and tricks, some with the trainers swimming alongside. Although we went to Gulf World mainly for the dolphin show, we were delighted by the variety of shows as well as by the skill and dedication of all the trainers and performers at the park. We skipped the reptile show and caught back up with the Magic Show — which included some amazing tricks and illusions — even sawing the assistant in half. The children were on the edges of their seats, oohing and aaahing the whole show. The last performance we saw was the Sea  Lion show — funny and cool and a little educational as well.

photo after dolphin show at Gulf World Marine ParkAfter the Dolphin and Sea Lion Shows, guests have the option of purchasing photos of their child shaking hands with the dolphins or being kissed by the sea lions. I debated about the extra $10 expense, but when we picked up our photos  just 15 minutes later  I was beyond pleased.

Gulf World offers several interactive programs, such as Dolphin Day Camp, Trainer for a Day and Swim with Dolphins. Gulf World is one of the few places nationwide that offers such an opportunity. The price is $150 for a 75 to 90 minute session and requires advance reservations: 850-234-5271.   Next summer, we’ll be back to Gulf World for a swim with the dolphins!

One Comment
  1. I have done most of the swimming with the dolphins programs in Florida but never in Gulf World. Since I live in Ft Lauderdale, it is far drive but I told my wife we need to try to take a week off and travel around the panhandle and check out that area. Maybe next summer. I really like your post.

Leave a Reply

Note: XHTML is allowed. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS