Florida Guide > Disney Parks
Dolphins in Depth - Epcot
We took this behind-the-scenes experience for guests a couple of years ago. It is great for anyone interested in learning more about the dolphins and research at The Living Seas, as well as those wanting to know more about dolphin counterparts in the wild.
All guests must be at least 13 years old to attend and a participating adult must accompany anyone under the age of 18. It takes place Mondays to Fridays at 9:45am and lasts approx 3 hours.
The $150 cost includes a photograph with the dolphin, refreshments, and a T-shirt. Theme park admission is not required or included.
Everyone has to bring their own swimsuit and wetsuits are provided. You are in the water up to your waist for about 30 minutes. No swimming is required and you are not allowed to take in cameras or video recorders.
We met at Epcot Guest Services and after getting checked in we were taken behind the buildings to the office/lab area behind the Living Seas.
We then had a 20-minute introduction of dolphin physiology and behaviour using video and hands-on items, this took place next to the aquarium while the two dolphins, swam over and checked us out. Next, we went out into the Living Seas exhibit where we were given a demo on how the two dolphins were being trained to recognize shapes. We were lucky as we got seats at the front next to the aquarium glass.
After that, it was back upstairs for a short stop in the lounge room where we had free coffee and soft drinks while were told what to expect in our upcoming encounter, then onto change into wetsuits. The restrooms have private shower/changing stalls and lockable lockers so your belongings are safe. Jewellery cannot be worn by anyone during the interaction with the dolphins; even wedding rings have to be taken off.
The two trainers then divided the group in half. Each group works with one dolphin for the first half and then they change over. Our younger dolphin had only been at Disney a short while and was still learning hand signals so we were allowed to practise with him. The dolphins loved being gently stroked.
We then had a photograph of us taken with the dolphin as we knelt in the water. If there are 2 of you you can have your photo taken together, however we opted for individual ones. The dolphin balances on your knee and the cast member takes a photo with a digital camera.
The time went very quickly and before long we had to return back to the shower room. After the showers we went back to the classroom where we were presented our photos and T-shirts.
A great experience.
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Page added on: 17 October 2006
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The following photos have been submitted by our villa owners for this article.