A few weeks ago Jax and I had a day we will never forget at Dolphinaris Arizona. I’ve had a passion for dolphins from a young age and I’ve passed on that love to my daughter. Last April we vacationed in San Diego and took her to Sea World where she had a land experience with a Bottlenose. That experience opened up a world of wonder for my self-proclaimed mermaid and after that I knew that an in-water experience was a must for her…and for me, to fulfill a lifelong dream of swimming with these amazing sea creatures.
I did have a few reservations when booking our Dolphin Water Experience at Dolphinaris, Jax is so young and tiny and sometimes a little skittish around animals. I was worried she would be overwhelmed and intimidated at being so close to the dolphins, but the trainers make the experience non-intimidating and loads of fun.
I know, I know, there is plenty of controversy over dolphins living in captivity, and in the desert, but I can assure you from what I saw these dolphins are happy, healthy and living a pretty sweet life. Dolphinaris is a great way to expose folks to the majestic beauty of these animals, thus creating a deep gratitude and respect for them.
Dolphins at all Dolphinaris facilities were born and raised in human care and would not be able to survive if released. At Dolphinaris they live in comfort, loved by the trainers and staff, fed high quality diets, receive top-notch care from highly-trained vets and live in a climate controlled habitat. It is plain to see they are well taken care of and it is amazing to experience a little love from a happy dolphin.
There are several interactive experiences to choose from at Dolphinaris, I opted to do the Dolphin Water Experience with Jax. The experience lasts an hour with 30 minutes in the water. The first half hour is spent suiting up in life vests, provided by the facility and required for all water experiences (wetsuits are available upon request). Once suited up a hostess tells the group what to expect and lets you know the names and personalities of the dolphins the group will interact with. Guests are welcome to ask questions while they wait to get in the water during this time and photographers are buzzing around snapping shots available for purchase.
Then comes the exciting part! I was beyond thrilled to finally get in the pool with the dolphins. Jax approached with caution, a little unsure and really just wanted to swim around and play in the water, but once she saw the dolphin approach her reservations were lost to the sea.
The trainer gave us instructions on how to play and interact with the beautiful dolphin. We played ball with him, had a splashing match with him and squeezed in lots of gentle touches. We also got some pretty cool one-on-one interaction that included sweet dolphin kisses. It was amazing, and heart warming and surreal.
I was so sad when the experience was over and it was time to leave the pool, and I pretty much had to drag Jax out. It was so incredible!
I can’t recommend a visit to Dolphinaris Arizona enough. Even if you “disapprove” of it you should go, check it out and see for yourself how happy, healthy and well-loved the dolphins are.
In addition to dolphin interaction experiences Dolphinaris offers the Beach Club with cabanas and a “people pool” which has an observation window into the dolphin habitat. All summer long they are offering Summer Day-cation Deals with fun themed nights like Wednesday Couples Nights inclusive of two water experiences and access to the Beach Club for only $189 (a savings of over $100); Salsa Night Fridays with live entertainment from 5:30-8:30; Saturday Pool Party from 12-4pm with a live DJ; and Sunday Fun Day with corn hole contests for a chance to win a dolphin water experience!
The family fun is endless at Dolphinaris Arizona and the learning experience and appreciation gained by visiting is truly priceless, as are the memories you will create with these amazing animals.
Dolphinaris is located at 9500 East Vía de Ventura, Scottsdale, AZ 85256. Call 480-407-5154 to book or for more information.
Disclaimer: This experience was free of charge to help facilitate this post. All opinions are entirely my own.