What is Theater of the Sea?

Mission statement
To provide a wonderful home for our animals while sharing them with visitors in ways that inspire awareness and sensitivity towards animals, the environment, and conservation issues.

Established in 1946 by the P.F. McKenney family, Theater of the Sea is one of the oldest marine mammal facilities in the world. The McKenney family still owns and operates the park today.

Originally a rock quarry excavated for Henry Flagler’s railroad in the early 1900’s, the lagoons and lush, tropical gardens at the facility are home to Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, California sea lions, sea turtles, tropical and game fish, sharks, stingrays, crocodiles, alligators, marine invertebrates, and birds. Twelve million gallons of ocean water are pumped in daily to supply water to the three-acre natural salt-water lagoons.

Many of our animals were born here and the rest are non-releasable/rescued. The health and well-being of the animals takes precedence over all other interests and their care and maintenance is supported by patronage alone.

Theater of the Sea is open daily from 9:30 a.m. E.S.T. for educational and entertaining shows and programs. After enjoying the shows and programs, guests can browse in our unique gift shop, dine at Papa’s grill, and visit our private lagoon-side beach to snorkel, sunbathe, or just relax.


General admission to the park includes dolphin, sea lion, fish and reptile, and parrot shows, access to the lagoon side beach, and a 5-minute bottomless boat ride around the dolphin lagoon. Shows are up close and personal and guest participation is encouraged. One of the shows is always taking place; guests join the one that is in progress when they arrive and should plan to spend two to three hours in the park.

A pioneer in animal interaction programs, Theater of the Sea offers:

  • Swim with the Dolphin (since 1987)
  • Meet the Sea Lion and Meet the Dolphin (since 1994)
  • Train the Baby (since 1994)
  • Swim with the Rays (since 1997)
  • Swim with the Sea Lion (since 1998)
  • Wade with the Dolphin (since 2000)
  • Paint with the Dolphin and Paint with the Sea Lion (since 2007)
  • Meet the Sea Turtle (since 2009)
  • Swim with the Sharks (since 2013)
  • Meet the Alligator (since 2017)
  • Meet the Parrots (since 2018)
  • Adventure and Snorkel Cruise
About us

Certain restrictions apply for programs and it is advised to make advance reservations by phone or in person for these popular activities.

The facility is available for private parties and catered functions, both during and after normal hours of operation. We have the experience and atmosphere to make any occasion unforgettable…birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, wedding receptions, corporate dinners.

Our professional affiliations include Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums, International Marine Animal Trainers Association, Florida Attractions Association, The Ocean Project, and SeafoodWatch.