|A staffer works with a dolphin in the lagoon where "Flipper" was filmed. (Necee regis for the boston globe)|
Antiquated Miami aquarium revived
The Seaquarium in Miami, loved for its retro-vintage theme park ambience (it opened in 1955), has a new dolphin habitat for its "Swim With Our Dolphins" program. Scheduled to open at the end of June , the gigantic 700,000-gallon pool, dubbed "Dolphin Harbor," is adjacent to a sleek new building with an education seminar room and changing facilities, surrounded by lush vegetation.
"Guests are coming to the park to interact with the animals, not just to see a show," said Carolina Perrina, a Seaquarium spokeswoman .
The two-hour program includes an interactive lecture about dolphin behavior and physiology. After donning wetsuits, participants are allowed in the pool with marine mammal staff. "The encounter and swim are very much structured," said Perrina.
The pool, filled with filtered salt water from Biscayne Bay, has shallow interaction areas as well as a deeper one. During the swim time, guests can receive a dolphin kiss (great photo-op), learn how to grab a fin and get pulled across the pool, and also get pushed by their feet while lying on a board.
Refreshments, parking fees, and a full day admission to the park are included . Before or after your swim you can see Lolita the killer whale and watch an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin show in the lagoon where the TV show "Flipper" was filmed.
Miami Seaquarium, 4400 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami . 305-361-5705, miamiseaquarium.com . Participants must be over 52 inches tall to swim with the dolphins. Price: $189, reservations required. The park is open 7 days a week, 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m.