Marineland Dolphin Adventure has been named a place of prominent historical value by the Florida Department of State, receiving the distinction of a Florida Heritage Landmark with a historical marker in recognition of being the world’s first oceanarium.
The Florida Historical Marker Program recognizes places of historical and cultural value to the state of Florida, and aims to increase appreciation of these places and their contribution to Florida’s overall cultural heritage. Founded in 1938 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986, Marineland has been a significant historical site for almost 80 years.
Opening day of Marineland Dolphin Adventure, then Marine Studios, drew more than 30,000 people to the world’s first oceanarium, a place for movie producers and inquisitive visitors alike. In the 1940’s, Marine Studios pioneered the road in complex animal training and behaviors, and had the first dolphin calf successfully born in human care – Spray. Marineland was also home to the world’s longest lived and one of the most beloved dolphins in human care, Nellie, born in 1953.
The home of several iconic movie filmings, including “Creature From the Black Lagoon,” Marineland also represents the evolving history of the film industry. Marineland has since moved away from the film and entertainment industry, choosing to focus more on personal interactions in hopes that people will become connected and inspired to make an effort to conserve marine life and our ocean. Today, Marineland Dolphin Adventure is known for its dolphin care, research and conservation efforts, and history.
As Marineland celebrates 79 years and being named a Florida Heritage Landmark, there will be a continued effort to treasure and preserve the past, while making efforts to educate guests about aquatic life and inspire conservation through meaningful dolphin interactions.