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Baltimore Aquarium Opens Dolphins To All Visitors At Higher Admission Fee

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Mary Bubala 370x278 Mary Bubala
Mary Bubala joined WJZ in December 2003. She now anchors the 4-4:30...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Major changes are happening at the National Aquarium in Baltimore. It’s becoming more interactive for visitors.

Mary Bubala reports the changes include the dolphin experience, which is toned down, more educational and opened to everyone.

The new Dolphin Discovery at the National Aquarium in Baltimore still pleases the crowd. But now it’s open and more interactive.

Families can wander in, watch the dolphins for as little or as long as they want, when they want.

“What brought this on is that last fall with dollar days we opened the stadium up fully for everyone to just come in, and we saw a magical thing happen. Families stayed in here for an hour, grandmas and grandpas sat down and took a well deserved rest while the kids came down to the window,” said John Racanelli, Aquarium CEO.

And the aquarium had already scaled back the dolphin show after two baby dolphins died last year.

Now the atmosphere is calmer. The loud music is gone, although the dolphins still do tricks.

But trainers are teaching kids why and how the dolphins jump, play and interact.

We tested a group of sixth-graders from West Virginia.

Bubala: “Can anyone answer that question why you aren’t supposed to feed a dolphin?

“Because they will get attached to humans,” one student said.

“Whenever you are out in the wild you are not supposed to feed dolphins,” said another.

But Dolphin Discovery still has some fun built in. What kids should still know: there is still very much a splash zone.

Ticket prices at the aquarium are going up slightly to offset revenue lost from the paid dolphin show. The price will rise from $24.95 to $29.95  for adults and from $19.95 to $20.95 for children.

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