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Dallas World Aquarium

photography courtesy of Dallas World Aquarium

Dallas World Aquarium


  • Best of Big D: Best Family Attraction (2011)
  • Readers' Choice: Best Family Attraction (2011)


In 1992, an abandoned warehouse in the West End was remodeled and turned into the Dallas World Aquarium. Major additions were made with the Orinoco rainforest exhibit in 1997 and Mundo Maya in 2004, together showing off some of the most exotic creatures in the Western Hemisphere. With five major exhibit areas and feedings throughout day, there’s always something to see.

As you enter, this 200-foot walkway features plants and animals native to the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia. Tree kangaroos, freshwater fish, and chirping birds welcome you to the aquarium.

The Aquarium
Most of the traditional aquarium attractions can be found here; sea creatures indigenous to locations such as Australia, Japan, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, New Guinea, and British Columbia are on display. The Continental Shelf exhibit has a 22,000-gallon tank with many small fish that live in reefs, while incredible leafy sea dragons can be viewed in the Dragons from Down Under exhibit. Fans of Finding Nemo will be delighted by the clown fish in the 2,000-gallon Fiji tank, and invertebrates such as gigas clams, giant octopi, and jellyfish are spread throughout the aquarium exhibit.

Mundo Maya
Mundo Maya  features the enormous Cenote exhibit, where guests walk through a 40-foot-long glass tunnel underneath a 400,000-gallon tank, while stingrays, sawfish, and sharks swim around their heads. Another must-see feature? The three-story Temple of the Jaguar exhibit, where a group of large endangered cats and their smaller Ocelot cousins spend their days.  Mundo Maya also displays venomous snakes, leaf nose bats, tree frogs, hummingbirds, and owls, which the Mayans believed were messengers from the gods.

This rainforest exhibit boasts plenty of jungle animals, from three-toed sloths to howler monkeys. Black-necked swans swim with manatees and giant Arapaima fish in the 200,000-gallon River exhibit, but crocodiles, electric eels, piranhas, and anacondas are separated from their potential prey.

South Africa
The always-popular black-footed penguins share a 30,000-gallon exhibit with hyraxes and yellow hornbills, and a Madagascar display has a number of camouflaged reptiles on view—if you can spot them.

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