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Flipper’s 50th Anniversary brings “A year full of wonder” to Miami Seaquarium®

Park Launches Year-long Celebration to Honor Flipper

MIAMI – December 12, 2013 – The year was 1964.  The average cost of a new home was $13,000.  A gallon of gas was 30 cents.  Ford Motor Company unveiled their brand new car, the Mustang and a brand new TV show titled “Flipper” captured the hearts and minds of Americans.

Fast forward five decades and Miami Seaquarium, the original film location of the popular TV series “Flipper,” will commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the television program’s first broadcast.  The year-long celebration tagged, “A Year Full of Wonder,” will feature special events at the park and around South Florida along with fabulous giveaways, promotions and festivities for the whole family.

“Flipper” the TV show, which first aired on the NBC network in 1964, was an instant hit.  The adventure series featured two brothers, Sandy and Bud, befriended by a bottlenose dolphin, Flipper, and their father Ranger Porter Ricks of Coral Key State Park in Florida.  The show centered on the adventures of Flipper and the boys and usually ended with Flipper saving the day.

“Miami Seaquarium is very proud of its association with ‘Flipper,’ the TV series, which is a classic among TV fans throughout the world,” said Andrew Hertz, president and general manager at Miami Seaquarium. “This TV series forever changed our awareness of marine mammals and how we interact with them.  Our goal is to commemorate this momentous anniversary with a year-long celebration with special events, community initiatives and park activities.”   

“A Year Full of Wonder” commemoration will consist of events, activities, initiatives and happenings throughout the year, including:

  • New Flipper Dolphin Show

The year-long celebration kicks off with a new dolphin show, staring none other than Flipper himself.  The new show debuts in December 2013 with a special pre-event celebration with an appearance by original cast member of the television series, Tommy Norden, best known for his years playing Bud Ricks and Ricou Browning, producer/creator of the television series.  The new Caribbean themed show, with a new set, music and behaviors will let everyone know what Flipper has been up to in recent years.  While the show demonstrates that Flipper’s surroundings may have changed, his core commitment to helping out when there is a need has not.

In addition, a new historic display of images and nostalgia from the original TV show will be on exhibit at the entrance of the Flipper stadium.

  • New Flipper Splash Area

Flipper interiorIn the summer of 2014, the park will unveil a new water play area designed especially for toddlers.  To be located near the Flipper Stadium, the splash area will commemorate Flipper’s 50th anniversary with fun water elements featuring marine animals, including, of course, Flipper.

  • “Flip it Forward, South Florida”

What is “Flip it Forward?” In the popular TV show “Flipper” frequently “saved the day” by helping his human companions.  The park will be encouraging everyone to ‘Flip It Forward’ through random acts of kindness.  www.miamiseaquarium.com/flipitforward  provides details on how everyone can get involved in making South Florida a more caring community, whether by volunteering at a local charity for an hour or simply holding the door for a stranger Miami Seaquarium encourages everyone to make the pledge online.

  • “Miami Seaquarium Flips it Forward” 

Beginning December 13, Miami Seaquarium will be partnering with Burger King offering admission discount coupons at Burger King’s South Florida locations.  A portion of the proceeds from the coupons redeemed at the park will be donated to Camillus House, whose mission is to provide Christian hospitality and respect for life through direct services of food, clothing, shelter, addiction counseling, behavioral health and job training, and health care to the poor and homeless of South Florida.

In the coming year, the park will donate more than $200,000 in park admission and animal encounter gift certificates to a variety of charities to assist in their fundraising activities.

Miami Seaquarium will host a series of charitable events at the park, such as the Hispanic American Firefighters Association annual holiday event for special needs youth, the Padres Contra El Cancer family holiday party, disabled veterans monthly visits throughout the year and over 1,000 volunteers from the annual Ocean Conservancy Miami-Dade Coastal Cleanup to name just a few.

  • “Flip It Forward”- Poster Contest 

flipper 3Miami Seaquarium, in conjunction with The Miami Herald, Newsmedia In Education and the Coconut Grove Arts Festival is launching a month-long student poster contest to create artwork encouraging everyone to “Flip It Forward.”  First, second and third place winners will be selected from primary level 1 (K-2nd), elementary level 2 (3rd –5th), middle (6th-8th), and senior high school (9th-12th).  First place winners receive a Flipper VIP Pool Party for 14 people at Miami Seaquarium including a Dolphin Encounter, park admission, lunch and more.  Second place winners receive a Dolphin Encounter for four people.  Third place winners receive an Annual Pass for four to Miami Seaquarium.  In addition, teachers of all winning entries will receive two Dolphin Odyssey gift certificates to swim with the dolphins.  For more information, visit www.miamiseaquarium.com/postercontest.

  • Flipper’s Celebration on Social Media

Flipper’s 50th Celebration also will be underway via social media including Facebook and Twitter.  Guests are encouraged to visit the park’s social media channels throughout the entire year for upcoming contests, games and surprises such as Flipper’s Fun Fridays, #ISPYFLIPPER, Facebook contests and Flipper photo bomb where guests can place Flipper in famous photos.

  • Special Discount Offers and Promotions

Look for special offers throughout the year in celebration of “Flipper’s 50th.”

Source: Miami Seaquarium, South Florida's most popular tourist attraction, is a family-oriented marine-life park open to the public 365 days a year.  The park provides visitors with a greater understanding and appreciation for marine life through shows, presentations and marine-life exhibits.  More information on Miami Seaquarium is available at www.miamiseaquarium.com.


*Miami Seaquarium, a privately held company, is an accredited member of the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums, an international organization committed to the care and conservation of marine mammals. Accreditation by the Alliance means this facility meets or exceeds all the standards of excellence for marine mammal care, husbandry, conservation and education.

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