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Georgia Aquarium Review

Updated on May 4, 2010

Georgia Aquarium Walk Through

The Georgia Aquarium is split into different sections, which breaks up the 8 million gallons of water.

  • Cold Water Quest- Check out animals that are native to cold ocean waters. Check out the penguins and the weedy sea dragons, garibaldi damselfish and Japanese spider crabs. You will quickly find though, that the penguin exhibit is pretty packed; even if you walk away and come back to it, it'll still be packed. In my opinion, their habitat is way too small for them.
  • Georgia Explorer- Check out the animals native to the Georgia coast, such as the full of horseshoe crabs, sea stars, stingrays, and shrimp. You'll find fun touch pools in this section. The main thing that irritated me were the children and adults that did not listen; the guide will tell you the best way to touch the animals (just leave your hand in the pool and don't shake it around scaring the animals away), yet people still shake and carry on. Plus, when they say "do not put your hands in the pool while we feed, people still put their hands in the pool. Personally, those people need to be kicked out for not listening.
  • Ocean Voyager- Walk through the acrylic tunnel and have the ocean all around you. Watch the whale sharks, manta rays, Nandi, and Tallulah. The only two manta rays in a U.S. aquarium, will be found while walking through this exhibit, and the only whale sharks in an aquarium outside of Asia are located here.This exhibit alone has 6.3 gallons of water, and is the largest aquarium habitat in the world.
  • River Scout- Check out the animals living in the rivers of Africa, South America, Asia, and Georgia. This wasn't one of the more exciting sections of the museum, but it's definitely worth a walk around.
  • Tropical Diver- Check out the colorful coral and fish that reside in the tropical ocean waters. You'll easily be able to spot out the characters from 'Nemo,' which is pretty exciting for the children. This is the largest living reef exhibits in any aquarium across the world.

Ticket Prices

The aquarium has many different packages that have varying prices, depending on what exhibits you plan on seeing, or if you want to go to other events or locations in Atlanta.

For example, if you plan on going to the World of Coca Cola museum, you should definitely go there first because you can purchase their Pemberton Place Pass and get discounted tickets for both locations.

As for the general ticket prices for the aquarium, see the chart below.

I want to give my personal advice. Buy the cafeteria combo for $10 extra. You may not think that you'll get hungry walking around the museum, even if you just had breakfast or lunch, but about halfway through, you'll get hungry, and you'll want something to eat. You will save money by purchasing this add-on to your ticket. What I'm not sure about is whether every ticket needs the combo or if you can purchase it for just one ticket. For two adults, I paid over $20 in food and drinks while at the aquarium, so even adding the combo price for both tickets, I would have saved money.

General Admissions

Adult
Senior (65 and up)
Children (3-12)
26.00
21.50
19.50
I believe these are online prices, as I paid $27 per adult ticket when purchased at the aquarium.

Aquarium Cafe

The food at the cafe was pretty good. There is a wide variety of salads, sandwiches, soups, burgers, fries, pizza, pasta, and desserts. The food is brought in by different vendors and served hot.

I bought a Chicken Fettucine pasta, which was definitely one of the best that I've ever eaten.

The pizza looked like plain-ole microwaveable pizza, but the salads and deserts looked great. You won't walk away with an empty stomach as the portions are pretty good.

You will have a choice of fountain drinks or bottled drinks. The fountain drinks are cheaper and you get free refills, so they're a great option, especially if you decide not to get the cafe combo added to your aquarium tickets.

For the most part, the prices aren't that bad, ranging from about $5 to about $9, depending on what you get as a main meal. $2 to $3 for a drink, and $1 to about $4 for a dessert or ice cream.

Overall Experience

For an aquarium, it wasn't too bad. Personally, I found that most of the exhibits were small and packed for the number of animals they have in them. Yes, there may be over 8 million gallons of water, but if you think about the largest habitat of about 6.3 gallons, there swims 4 whale sharks, 2 manta rays, large groupers, a few medium sized sharks, and tons of other small to small fish.

I wouldn't mind going again, but the price of tickets alone was a little high for my tastes. I paid $54 for two adult tickets, plus another $30 or so for food, and then two shirts from the gift store. I spent way too much.

The better habitats were packed with people. I didn't get a good look at the teeny penguin habitat, the otters were hard to see with the crowd, and the acrylic tunnel was packed. I did manage to get many pictures, but the overall experience would have been more enjoyable if the place wasn't so packed. Even first thing in the morning, right after opening, on a Sunday morning, in 30F degree weather, there was a crowd.

If you have someone in a baby carriage or in a wheel chair, it will be hard to get around, and not so enjoyable. I have a younger brother in a wheel chair that I know would enjoy the aquarium, but because of the crowd, he probably wouldn't be able to see anything, which is very disappointing.

If you're in the area, and plan on spending time at the attractions, I would recommend going to the aquarium, but it's going to be a little pricey, and no matter what day or time you're going to make it out there, it'll be crowded.

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