Fins & Flippers Dolphin Show
1973 - 1996

Fins and Flippers, otherwise known as the Worlds of Fun Dolphin Show, was one of Worlds of Fun' most popular attractions during its existence at the park from 1973 until its removal following the 1996 season. It probably also generated the most controversy especially over the last few years of operation. Fins and Flippers never moved locations during its twenty-four years at the park, it was located in the Orient section, exactly where the queue line is for Spinning Dragons is today. In fact, the pool and a portion of the old auditorium wall is still there. The pool today is the fountain located in the center of the ride, with the queue line being located at the top of the foundation wall of the original auditorium (notice the white painted concrete wall).

Fins and Flippers always stared a pair of bottle-nose dolphins, in the early years the duo was known as Skipper and Dolly, but by the 1990's they were replaced by a new duo, Clovis, and Sandi. The dolphins were on loan from a variety of marine life aquariums, and were moved twice a year from their warmer climate home to Worlds of Fun, once at the beginning of the season, and once at the end. The show itself was incredibly entertaining and provided an uncommon educational opportunity to see and more importantly, appreciate the intelligence of larger oceanic life especially for those who didn't often make it out of the Midwest.

The show, along with similar shows at parks across the country became controversial to animal rights activists across the country, who saw the dolphins captivity as harmful to these intelligent animals. And, when one approaches the argument from an unbiased viewpoint, the activists certainly had a valid point in that the dolphins at the park had a very small environment, with the pool being only 35 feet in diameter and 9 feet deep. In various articles published in the Kansas City Star, including a phone-in opinion column, the vast majority of local readers preferred to keep the show in place at the time. The park decided to discontinue the show following the 1996 season, park officials stated that the decision was not made due to protestors, but was most likely following the trends of parks across the country to discontinue their shows.

The Fins and Flippers arena continued to be used for several years until 2003 for a variety of different diving shows. Following the 2003 season, the aquatic arena, as it had been re-named, was partially removed to make way for Spinning Dragons.

YouTube Videos

Fins and Flippers Full Show (1983):

Additional Photos

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