Rise and Shine with Dolphins at Atlantis
Children (4-12): $35
Adults (13+): $59.99
Under 4: Free with paying adult
All Ages (Minimal swimming skills required)
What To Do
Play with dolphins Included
As fun as Atlantis is, it is also expensive. There is no way to sugarcoat it, it just is. However, if you do it right, you can still have a great time without breaking open your piggy bank.
Atlantis is home to a multitude of dolphins rescued from an aquatic park after Hurricane Katrina. They make a point to inform you that they could have chosen to get stolen dolphins from their own backyard much cheaper, but instead chose to fly trainers, vets, and dolphins across the ocean to rescue these dolphins. Very neat.
Most of the activities at Atlantis that allow guests to hang out with the dolphins cost $200-$500. So one thing we found to do to enjoy the experience without spending a ton of money is Rise and Shine with Dolphins. I am warning you ahead of time that to participate, you will have to get up at the bootycrack of dawn, which isn't always on the agenda on vacations. But if you do, Rise and Shine with Dolphins is only $60 per person. Plus, and this is a big plus, kids four and under are free with a paying adult. Pretty sweet deal.
Here's a link to the info on their site.
We went in with the thrilling promise that we would NOT get to touch the dolphins. Well, good news, if the dolphins don't feel like performing at 7:00 in the morning, you get to pet the dolphins. Keaton and I went one day and did not get to touch the dolphins because, darn the luck, our dolphin was obedient. However, Cohen and Caden went a different day and they did. (You can see both experiences in the video.) So, here's to hoping your dolphin isn't up to entertaining you in the morning.
Here's the gist of the experience.
The kids get to throw toys while the dolphins retrieve them.
They get to race the dolphins on and off the beach (the kids are on the beach, not the dolphins).
The dolphins will splash them.
They wave their arms around and the dolphins do tricks.
They hold a hoop and the dolphin swims through it.
The website is confusing on who can participate. It says you must be over five, but that is not true. If the kid is four or under, they can participate and are free with a paying adult. If they are five or older, you must pay for them and any participating adults.
The website says minimal swimming skills required. The water is ankle-deep, so if your kid can stand in water, they're good.
As a parent, you do not get to participate at all, but you have to be there if your kid is there.
The program is not marketed as one for small children, but it definitely feels that way.
The arena is very far away from everything, so plan accordingly. (It was a solid thirty-minute walk for us to get there from Comfort Suites.)
If you have the money to spare, and need to fill time at Atlantis, grab your kids and head on over. I probably would not recommend this if you don't have small children simply because you might fill a little out of place. I didn't see any adults or older kids participating. For us, we found it to be way worth the money. Explore LIFE, yo!