December 8, 2012 4 Comments
Marineland was one of Florida’s earliest tourist attractions. It debuted in 1938 as the “World’s First Oceanarium” (south of St. Augustine). The attraction’s original name was Marine Studios, because it catered to both tourists and film studios. Movies and television shows filmed there include Tarzan, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Sea Hunt, and Benji (which featured the first scuba-diving dog).
In 1951 Marineland was rated number one in Florida tourism. I can’t help but smile when I look at those vintage photographs. Marineland’s beloved dolphin Nellie was born there in 1953, and is now 59 years old. She is one of the world’s oldest dolphins!
Although the facility fell on hard times in the 1980s, the future looks much brighter now that it was bought by the premier Georgia Aquarium. I especially like Marineland’s authentic feel. Besides, where else can you feed a dolphin for $29? More info is at: http://www.marineland.net/index.html
UPDATE: Nellie passed away at the age of 61 on May 1, 2014. The previous May (2013) Nellie was given an honorary Ph.D. in health science and longevity by Jacksonville University.