Gulf World or Gulfarium?

Discussion in 'Events and Activities' started by tsutcli, Jul 1, 2008.

  1. tsutcli

    tsutcli Beach Fanatic

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    Have the grandkids coming to visit in August ( 2 and 6 yrs ). IYO which of the two water shows is best? Thanks for any advice.:idontno:
     
  2. jodiFL

    jodiFL Beach Fanatic

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    I vote for Gulf World. it is a newer place, shows/ grounds etc are in alot better shape.
     
  3. GoodWitch58

    GoodWitch58 Beach Fanatic

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    my granddaughter and I enjoy Gulf World. Depending on where you are staying in Sowal, it may be much easier to get to--traffic wise--than Gulfarium.
     
  4. kitlit

    kitlit Beach Fanatic

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    I used to LOVE the Gulfarium when I was a kid! That was the place to go! However, I recently talked the hubby into a trip out there and I was very disappointed. It seems that they have fallen on some hard times--the enclosures and pools were dirty, and the animals looked a little sickly.

    In fact, there was a large sea turtle in a tank by himself, and we stood watching it for a very long time concerned that it wasn't moving or, for that matter, appearing to be breathing. We came to the conclusion that it very probably was dead, and quietly went over to one of the employees to mention it. He looked very startled, but said, "Oh... uh, no... they can just hold their breath for a really long time... he's probably just sleeping..."

    Now, I know that sea turtles CAN hold their breath for long periods, but I just really did not get the feeling that this was the case. This idea was reinforced when we walked by later, and saw three employees standing in the tank with it looking pretty grim.

    On the other hand, I have heard really wonderful things about Gulf World (haven't had a chance to go, but want to soon) and I doubt they'd disappoint. Have fun wherever you go! :D
     
  5. scooterbug44

    scooterbug44 SoWal Expert

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    Would either of these be funn for adults or is it mainly crowds of screaming kids?
     
  6. jodiFL

    jodiFL Beach Fanatic

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    Last edited: Jul 1, 2008
  7. Mango

    Mango SoWal Insider

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    I've never been to the Gulfarium, but have been to Gulf World and was impressed. All the animals and marine life are rescues and can not be put back into the wild. It is clean and the aquariums, pens and animals seem well taken care. They have a wide variety of different shows during the day, so if you want to leave, go and do something else for a while, they stamp you so you can come back later.
     
  8. ShallowsNole

    ShallowsNole Beach Fanatic

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    It's been YEARS since I've been to either, but the Gulfarium is much older (it's older than I am!) and has repeatedly taken a beating and flooding from storm surges. Gulf World, being north of the beach road, has fared better.

    The elementary school field trips go to Gulf World. My son has been to Gulf World ad nauseum, but never to the Gulfarium.

    Hate to say it as the Gulfarium is a part of local history, but my money's on Gulf World.
     
  9. tsutcli

    tsutcli Beach Fanatic

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    Thanks for all the replies. Looks like Gulf World is the hands down winner. Much closer so i was pulling for GW.
     
  10. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    definitely Gulf World! it is a wonderful place, and you can see and do it all in a short period of time. I cry whenever I see the dolphins perform because of their grace and beauty. and I laugh whenever I see the sea lions because of their incredibly funny and wonderful personalities. we've seen extreme high diving shows performed by diving team of young folks, little shows with big snakes, baby gators, BA frogs, and a bearded dragon that stole our hearts. they have many parrots here and there, some flamingos, and some of the biggest gators I've ever seen. they have a small section where rescued dolphins are kept and cared for. an albino sea turtle who must be kept in captivity because it will be very easy prey in the wild.

    the only thing that bothered me at Gulf World was the enclosure for the gigantic pair of gators. it was small and concrete. not at all natural, and no room. that makes me very sad to see. the smaller gators have a more natural environment with more room.

    season passes are available, and they also have special events/shows nightly.

    Gulf World Marine Park
     
  11. DuneLaker

    DuneLaker Beach Fanatic

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    I went to Gulf World with a group of adults and had a great time. Scooterbug, you could call ahead and make sure no big school trips are planned for that day or pick a day when school is in session. Sad that the Gulfarium is struggling. It was part of our childhood and we have lots of pictures and videos (old 8mm, too) of the great shows there. Just this week, I caught the CMT family vacation special at Seaside and GulfWorld was featured. The family and Pauly Shores actually got to get in and swim with the dolphins. Don't know if everyone gets that opportunity. (CMT also showed family having a nice dinner at WaterColor's Fish Out of Water and Criolla's Johhny Earles cooking up something at their beach house) Check ahead, but if you want to touch the dolphins you might be able to pay extra and get a chance to go back stage after the show.
     

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