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Amusement Parks: Gulf World Marine Park – a Potted History

Monterey Bay Aquarium / San Francisco Zoo / Palm Beach Zoo / Santa Barara Zoological Gardens 

Gulf World Marine Park is a marine-based amusement park located in Panama City Beach, Florida.

The marine park was established in 1969 and remains one of the most popular amusement parks in the entire Northwest Florida Gulf Coast region. It is also an accredited member of the Alliance of Marine Mammals Park and Aquarium as well as the Area Co-ordinator for the Southeast Marine Mammal Stranding Network which helps marine mammals which get stranded in the wild. It provides a long-term facility for rehabilitation of small whales and dolphins and the marine park is also a temporary home for sea turtles that have been injured.

In addition to the tremendous effort the marine park goes to in order to rehabilitate injured mammals, its popularity is borne out by the entertaining shows it puts on. There are a number of shows at the marine park featuring dolphins, sea lions and even tropical birds such as parrots perform their own show. Well, have you ever seen a parrot riding a bicycle or a cockatoo on roller skates? Well, you can at this marine park.

As well as these entertaining shows, the marine park also has tropical gardens which are home to lots of alligators. There are penguins, a shark pool and many reptiles, including iguanas, and you can also see flamingos, otters and sea turtles. The marine park also features a stingray petting pool.

In addition to the shows themselves, the marine park also offers a number of highly popular interactive programmes which include ‘Swim with a Dolphin’ and ‘Become a Trainer for the Day’ and there’s also a ‘Dolphin Day Camp’ for youngsters. You can even participate in ‘Snooze with the Sea Life’ which is an opportunity to stay overnight at the marine park and learn all about the night time habits of your favourite marine mammals. 

All of the day camp programmes at the marine park include lunch and a snack as well as a souvenir photograph and T-shirt.

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