Jun 13

Dallas World Aquarium: A Whale of a Tale

Aquarium Tunnel
The Dallas World Aquarium is a very unique place.  Karen and I had never been there before and were expecting the usual aquarium fanfare; the rooms with many fish tanks, some of them with themes like freshwater and saltwater…. if we were lucky maybe a walkthrough shark tank or coral reef.  We were not expecting what we saw at all.  The Dallas World Aquarium is more like a walk through rainforest/zoo with an aquarium that is built as an addition.

Now the price is a little high at around $20 per person, but after going through it I can say it is well worth the price.  A person or family could spend all day there and still not see everything.  One of the big differences between going to an aquarium and a zoo is that fish seem to be a lot more active and there was a lot more to see here than just fish.
Rainforest Layers

The Dallas World Aquarium has a little bit of everything inside its doors.  In fact, when you first start off you might be thinking where are the fish?  The first exhibit is a recreation of the Orinoco Rainforest canopy which is the top level of a rainforest.  They really made us feel like we were at the top of the rainforest with all the birds and tamarins that were on display.

After visiting the canopy we moved on to the understory which is the part of the rainforest that is above the forest floor.  Here more monkeys and birds were on display along with poison dart frogs and a giant river otter.  One of the coolest things was that there was a “free range” sloth that was just hanging out.  It’s kind of a neat feeling when you are just walking around and right above your head is a two-toed sloth who you make eye-contact with.
Rainforest Canopy

Finally we reached the fish at the aquatic level of the Orinoco Rainforest which had a giant pool that came complete with two manatees, catfish, and turtles along with other aquatic creatures.  This area also had several other tanks of saltwater fish from around the world.  All the tanks were labeled with the geographical area they represented.  Leaving this area we had to go under a 22,000 gallon tunnel with fish from the continental shelf.  This level also housed the aquarium’s black footed penguins.
Freshwater Stingrays


Leaving the Orinoco Rainforest the Dallas World Aquarium took us to the wilds of the Yucatan.  In the Mundo Maya exhibit Karen and I got to see many reptiles and amphibians.  To give you an example, we saw everything from an eyelash palm viper to a helmeted basilisk.  We were quite impressed, this aquarium had a little bit of everything.
Dart Frog

Karen in Fish Tunnel

The Mundo Maya exhibit also housed the shark tunnel where we saw bonnethead sharks (a type of hammerhead), eagle rays, sawfish, and loggerhead sea turtles.  The tunnel under the cenote is a good place to stop and set down and just watch all the sharks swimming around you.  Leaving the shark area we then entered a desert area where we were able to look upon rattlesnakes, owls, and cottontail rabbits among other things.
Shark Tunnel

We ascended up to the next area which is the upper level of the Yucatan.  There Karen and I were able to see many different types of birds including, hawk eagles and flamingos.  There was also a very well done Temple of the Jaguar exhibit that housed a jaguar or an ocelot depending on what time of day it is.
Flamingos Above Shark Tunnel

Above the Shark Tank
Karen and I definitely recommend the Dallas World Aquarium in spite of the high cost.  I would recommend going to see it at least once if you are traveling in the area or live in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metropolis because it is such a good way to spend the day.   If you are seeing it for the first time I highly recommend going all the way through it and then doubling back and seeing your favorite areas a second or third time that way you would get your money’s worth out of it.
to see other aquariums like the Dallas World Aquarium click here.  Looking at an aquarium
Dallas World Aquarium
1801 N Griffin St Dallas, Texas
Hours of Operation – March through August 9:00 to 5:00 and September through February 10:00 to 5:00 closed Thanksgiving and Christmas
Admission Adults as of 2011 (Over 12) $20.95, Seniors (Over 60) $16.95, Children (3 -12) $12.95
For more information check out their website at http://www.dwazoo.com/

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  1. Cecilia

    very cool hope; I really like Omaha’s but this looks even bigger and better

    1. Kenny and Karen

      The Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha has an Aquarium that is really nice, but is only one part of the zoo where as the the Dallas World Aquarium is more set up as a rainforest/aquarium. They are both worth seeing- I know the Omaha Zoo is going through major renovations over the next 10 years which should make it even nicer – If you like the Henry Doorly Zoo you would really like the Memphis Zoo. Thanks for commenting!

  2. Kristin L

    If you like this you should visit the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga, Tennessee! It’s amazing like this! I highly recommend it!

    1. Kenny and Karen

      Thanks for the wonderful tip! Hopefully we’ll be in Tennessee again soon and we’ll have to check it out. Thanks for your comment, hope you like the blog 🙂

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