Animal Encounters

Animal Encounters

Nurse shark swimming

Animal Encounters

family on deck for dolphin encounter

Dolphin Encounter

Work next to a CMA Animal Care Specialist. Includes feeding and training poolside with a resident dolphin.

Little boy meeting otter as trainer for a day animal encounter

Trainer for a Day

Assist with dolphin and otter care for a day such as food preparation and animal enrichment.

Winter's Assistant Trainer

Winter's Assistant Trainer

Assist in the training of the most famous dolphin in the world. This powerful experience will allow you to understand exactly what it takes to care for the star of the blockbuster hit Dolphin Tale.

While you are more than welcome to wander our facility at your leisure, we recommend taking part in some of our animal programs to learn more about what we do, enhance your experience and get the most from your visit.

Pelican encounter outside

Pelican Encounter

During this 30 minute encounter you will get to assist animal care specialists while they care for our resident Pelican, Ricky who played the role of Rufus in Dolphin Tale! Learn all about Great white pelicans and get up close to experience the daily care we provide. Includes a souvenir photo.

Boy meeting nurse sharks as part of shark encounter program

Shark Encounter

Get up-close on a platform to assist with feeding and target training our two nurse sharks.

otter encounter

Otter Photo

Have your photo taken with one of our resident otters! Includes the opportunity to feed an otter and a souvenir photo to take home.

feeding ricky the pelican animal encounter

Feed Rufus the Star of Dolphin Tale

Feed fish to our pelican, Ricky, who played the role of Rufus in Dolphin Tale.

Feed a Stingray


Experience what it is like to feed fish to a stingray.

Times: 10:30 AM, 1:30 PM and 3:30 PM daily.
Price:  Seasonal Pricing applies, check the date of your visit for program pricing information.

Please check with guest services upon arrival for feeding times and availability.

During all animal interactions, no jewelry can be worn and there are no exceptions. Please prepare accordingly.


Feed a Puffer Fish Program

puffer fish

Meet our fun and friendly striped burrfish, a type of puffer fish, to feed and learn more about this species.

Presentation Times: 1pm and 4pm at Winter’s Dolphin Tale Adventure*
Price: $5.00

*Winter’s Dolphin Tale Adventure is currently only open on Saturdays, Sundays, holidays and seasonal dates. Please check seasonal hours for full schedule.

Please note:

  • Educational presentation will be given before feeding
  • Puffers will interact with the guest and come right up to the tongs to get their food
  • Guests will use special tongs to feed small pieces of krill or fish to the Puffers
  • 5 tickets per session will be sold at $5 a piece to feed the Puffers
  • Guests will have staff assist with feeding
  • Ages 5 and up


Spectrum Duke Energy Coca-Cola Bay Star