Historic Milestone for The Florida Aquarium

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When David Narankevicius, his wife and two young sons planned their very first trip to The Florida Aquarium, they never imagined the experience would be quite like today’s visit. The Aquarium staff packed the lobby and erupted in cheers and applause when The Florida Aquarium President and CEO Roger Germann revealed that the local family, David in particular, was the one millionth guest of 2023. The surprise marks the first time in the Aquarium’s 28-year history that one million guests visited the iconic Downtown Tampa cultural attraction in a calendar year.

“The kids are really excited and we definitely weren’t expecting something like this,” said David Narankevicius. We’re excited to see everything that’s here.”

“We had planned to go somewhere else today and this morning we changed our plans,” added David’s wife, Aylla. “So, this was a surprise!”

The day-long festivities kicked off with a special photo shoot for the family, taking pictures with Germann, as well as costumed characters.

“It’s a super exciting day here at The Florida Aquarium to welcome the one millionth visitor for the very first time,” said Germann. “We hope the family, first and foremost has fun, has the opportunity to learn, and remembers this special day and that they played an important role in our long history here at The Florida Aquarium.”

In addition to the fanfare, the family also received customized celebratory buttons and a gift basket overflowing with goodies—a one-year membership to the Aquarium, and an array of swag from the Aquarium gift shop, including a beach towel, water bottle, penguin backpack, stuffed animals and more.

The family enjoyed exclusive experiences including a complimentary lunch at Café Ray, as well as a VIP penguin encounter and a 75-minute wild dolphin cruise to wrap up what turned out to be an extremely exciting and unforgettable visit.

On this special day, all guests got to be part of the celebration, receiving a conservation wristband and sweet treats throughout the day. The Aquarium hopes this is the first year of many to come that will reach the one million mark.

The recently unveiled MORPH’D gallery that opened this summer has played a pivotal role in attracting even more guests. To wrap up the year, visitors enjoyed the spirit of the holiday season with the Aquarium’s Snow Days activities and Photos with Santa, in addition to exploring the thousands of unique species and habitats.

For more information, visit The Florida Aquarium’s website.

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