FAQ’S

Dolphin Experiences

How far in advance do I need to make reservations?

We suggest making reservations in advance for Swim Experiences because spaces fill up quickly. We may be able to take reservations for same-day requests, especially for Land Experiences, depending on availability. Discounts are available when you make your reservation online at www.dolphinarisaz.com. For questions about our programs or help with reservations, call
1-800-92-DOLPHIN or in Arizona, 480-407-5154.

What are the height and age and other requirements?

Land Experience:
This is an amazing experience everyone can enjoy! Children must be at least 3 years old. Children under 6 years of age must be accompanied by an adult with a paid reservation.

Dolphin Swim Experience:
Children must be at least 3 years old.  Each child under 6 years of age must be accompanied by an adult with a paid reservation. There can be no more than one child under age 6 per adult. Life jackets are provided and are required for all swim experiences. If you have heart issues, back pain, or are pregnant, we do not recommend participating in a swim experience.

If you have heart issues, back pain, or are pregnant, we do not recommend participating in a swim experience.

Deluxe Dolphin Swim Experience:

Children must be at least 3 years old and at least 48” (1.22m) tall. Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult with a paid reservation. There can be no more than one child under age 6 per adult. All participants must have a basic ability to swim. Life jackets are provided and are required for all swim experiences. If you have heart issues, back pain, or are pregnant, we do not recommend participating in a swim experience.

Trainer For A Day:
Children must be at least 12 years old to participate in this program. All participants must have a basic ability to swim. Life jackets are provided and are required for all swim experiences. If you have heart issues, back pain, or are pregnant, we do not recommend participating in a swim experience.

For the safety of swimmers and dolphins, phones, cameras and other personal items such as jewelry, glasses and hats are not allowed near the dolphin habitat. Lockers are provided for these items. Sunblock and sunscreen cannot be worn in the dolphin habitat.

Does Dolphinaris Arizona offer programs for people with disabilities or special needs?

Dolphinaris Arizona is wheelchair accessible and can often accommodate special needs for Land and Swim Experiences. Please inform of us of special needs when you make your reservation and we will do our best to accommodate them.

Can I participate if I don’t know how to swim?

The Dolphin Swim Experience is suitable for all swimming levels, as long as you’re comfortable in about three feet of water. Access to the shallow water is down steps with handrails that allow easy access for any person, even if they don’t know how to swim.
Life jackets and wet suits are provided for all swim programs.

The Deluxe Dolphin Swim Experience is suitable for those who feel comfortable moving through deeper water.

If you are not comfortable in the water, you may prefer the Land Experience, where you can interact with Dolphins without getting wet.

What is the depth of the water for the Swim Experiences?

The water is between 3 feet and 10 feet deep. The water for the Swim Experience is about waist-deep for an average adult. The Deluxe Swim Experience is in deeper water, about 10 feet deep.

Can my friends and family watch my dolphin experience?

Friends and family of Dolphinaris program participants are able to watch from designated observation areas only. The dolphin habitat is a controlled area that can only be accessed by participants accompanied by a dolphin trainer.

Can pregnant women participate in the programs?

Our Dolphin Swim Experiences are not recommended for pregnant women. Expectant mothers are welcome to participate in a Land Experience and can observe from several observation areas.

Where can I leave my belongings while I am doing my Dolphin Experience?

Dolphinaris provides complimentary lockers where you can leave your personal belongings safely.

About Dolphinaris Arizona

Where is Dolphinaris Arizona Located?

Dolphinaris Arizona is adjacent to the OdySea Aquarium in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community at Vía de Ventura and the 101. The address is: 9500 East Vía de Ventura Scottsdale, AZ 85256.

What other services are provided at Dolphinaris Arizona?

For our guests’ convenience, we provide restrooms, changing areas, towels, lockers, life jackets and wetsuits with your reservation. For additional costs, you may also enjoy Modern Grove restaurant, the Dolphinaris Beach Club, our gift shop and photos of your experience.

What standards does Dolphinaris abide by?

Dolphinaris is one of the world’s leading providers of dolphin experiences in the world. Based in Mexico, the company abides by the highest standards of animal care both nationally and internationally. Dolphinaris is a member of the European Association of Aquatic Animals and is a founding member of the Mexican Association of Habitats for Interaction and Protection of Marine Mammals. Dolphinaris is licensed in the US and like all licensed US zoos and aquariums, we are subject to regular unannounced inspections by the USDA.

Does Dolphinaris help marine life in the wild?

Dolphinaris prides itself on being a socially responsible organization. The company operates a Foundation, which works in partnership with universities, to provide students hands-on opportunities to study dolphin biology, physiology, behavior, medicine and conservation issues for marine life.

The company sponsors a conservation study that monitors the ecosystem of dolphin habitats in the wild and how changes in the environment affect the dolphins and other wildlife. This ongoing study began in 2011.

Dolphinaris also offers school group tours to educate and inspire young people about dolphins and ocean conservation. Educational program participants have expressed that their Dolphinaris visit made them more aware of the urgency of caring for the oceans.

Cancellation Policy

How do I change or cancel a reservation?

Dolphinaris Arizona will reschedule the date or time of your reservation one time, pending availability, within one year of the original date. Because discounts are sometimes provided for reservations on less popular days and times, your Experience will be charged at the original rate, or the rate posted on the Dolphinaris Arizona website for the date and time requested, whichever is higher. Policies for Group reservations may differ.
To make any changes, send the confirmation number of your reservation and your requested new date and time by email to: reservationsAZ(at)dolphinaris.com or contact reservations at 1-800-92 DOLPHIN or in Arizona call 480-407-5154.

Reservations cancelled 48 hours prior to the confirmed reservation date and time will be refunded. If a reservation is cancelled with less than 48 hours’ notice, you will not receive a refund, but may reschedule for a future date within one year of the confirmed reservation. Changes cannot be made within 2 hours of the scheduled time of your reservation.
We request our guests to be at our location at least half an hour before the confirmed schedule for your Dolphin Experience. Guests arriving less than 30 minutes prior to the scheduled time may be rescheduled into a later program time, depending on availability. In case of no show, the charged amount is not refundable.
If you have to change or cancel your reservation, please send an email to: reservationsAZ(at)dolphinaris.com or contact reservations at 1-800-92 DOLPHIN or in Arizona call 480-407-5154.

What is your refund policy?

In order to receive a full 100% refund, you must cancel your reservation 48 hours prior to the date and time of your scheduled Experience. No refund will be provided if you cancel or reschedule your reservation less than 48 hours prior to your reservation. If you have to change or cancel your reservation, send an email to: reservationsAZ(at)dolphinaris.com or contact reservations at 1-800-92 DOLPHIN or in Arizona call 480-407-5154

What happens if there’s bad weather?

Dolphinaris Arizona remains open and provides Swim and Land Experiences rain or shine. If we are required to close due to inclement weather, we will reschedule your Experience at no charge. Reservations cancelled due to weather are valid for one year from the date of purchase. Changes cannot be made within 2 hours of the scheduled time of your reservation.

Photos & Videos

Can I take pictures with my camera in the Dolphin habitat?

For the safety of our visitors and dolphins, which are often very curious, cameras, cell phones or other personal belongings are not allowed near the dolphin habitat. However, Dolphinaris provides a professional photographer who will take photos and videos which will be available for purchase after your Experience.

Can my friends take pictures?

Dolphinaris provides areas designated for companions where they can observe and take photos.

Dolphin Care

How are the dolphins cared for?

Our dolphins are loved and cared for at Dolphinaris. The well-being of the dolphins is our number one priority. Our dolphins enjoy extensive social opportunities, enrichment programs, and ample high-quality food.
Our dolphins also receive the finest veterinary care from our on on-site veterinarian. The dolphins form positive social groups and even breed successfully. The animals are content, in excellent physical health and live long lives.

Were the dolphins taken from the ocean?

All of our dolphins have been born and raised in human care – none of them were taken from the wild. The dolphins at Dolphinaris Arizona have only known the love and care of their caregivers.
Dolphins raised under human care are not likely to survive if released into the wild. The survival of marine mammals in the wild requires an elaborate series of skills including the ability to detect and avoid predators and forage for food.

Do dolphins live as long in human care?

According to the European Association of Aquatic Mammals, due to improved facilities, the estimated median life spans of dolphins under human care in the United States is nearly double the highest estimate for wild dolphins (34.3 compared to 17.4 years). Many dolphins in member facilities are in their 40s and 50s.

How are the dolphins trained?

Marine mammal experts have learned that successful dolphin training is always done in a positive manner. Excellent relationships develop when the animal and caregiver have a good rapport, based on mutual respect and trust. Desired behaviors are rewarded or reinforced. If an animal does not respond or offers the incorrect response, the behavior is simply ignored.

Our dolphins do not work for food and food is not withheld in order to encourage a certain behavior. Instead, positive rewards, like toys to play with or special treats to eat, are used.

Dolphins often continue to offer behaviors long after they have eaten all of their food, seeming to do so simply for the positive interaction with their caregivers.

Regular enrichment activities provide variety and stimulation for the dolphins, helping to keep them healthy physically and mentally.

What is included in the dolphin Habitat?

Careful Water Management:
The habitat holds approximately 1 million gallons of salt water that is monitored around the clock. The water is kept clean and balanced with an advanced life-support system maintained by a team of water-quality professionals 24 hours a day. The water is turned over about once every 90 minutes and is moved into the habitat by gravity, not motors, to keep the underwater environment quiet.
The habitat’s salt water is warmed in the winter and cooled in the summer, keeping the dolphins (and visitors) at a comfortable temperature between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit all year long.
Natural Water Depth:
The depth of our habitats reflects those of the bays and estuaries for the “in-shore” ecotype of bottlenose dolphins found at Dolphinaris Arizona. Bottlenose dolphins generally are found in bays, in tidal waters, and along open ocean beaches, often at depths of 10 feet or less. In the wild, this species of dolphin naturally stays in the same area and does not often travel far or migrate.
Protection from the Elements:
Nearly one third of the water surface is under roof to provide the dolphins shade when desired.
Dolphinaris Arizona has an enclosed area to provide shelter for the dolphins during inclement weather, such as dust storms.

How much do the dolphins interact with guests each day?

Dolphins enjoy social interaction with other dolphins and with people.
Each day, our dolphins interact with visitors only a few hours total, and have at least 10 continuous hours without public interaction.
If a dolphin does not want to interact with guests, it’s okay. The dolphin is allowed not to participate that day. The dolphins are loved and cared for just the same.
The U.S. government reports that it “is unaware of any valid scientific research that documents or supports that [dolphin encounters or] performances cause additional unnecessary stress for the animals.”

Is swimming with Dolphins safe?

In acknowledging the safety record of dolphin interactions programs, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) recently stated: “We note that interactive programs have been operating for over 20 years without any indications of health problems or incidents of aggression in the marine mammals, as evidenced by medical records maintained by licensed facilities and observations by experienced APHIS inspectors.”

Dolphins in the Desert?

Porpoises and other marine mammals actually live adjacent to the Sonoran Desert about 50 miles from Arizona. In fact, the vaquita species, which some people call the “desert porpoise,” is the world’s most endangered cetacean with fewer than 40 remaining. Increasing public education about conserving our oceans is a critical mission of Dolphinaris Arizona.
Dolphinaris seeks to help children and adults in Arizona understand and appreciate dolphins and the ocean – even if they cannot make a trip to the beach. Animal advocates from the zoo and aquarium profession welcome this facility for the education, conservation, and public awareness it will foster.