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Hawaii FAQ

  1. Where are you located?
  2. Are you part of the Hilton?
  3. Do you have to be a guest at the Hilton to participate in a Dolphin Quest program?
  4. How far in advance do you take reservations?
  5. How quickly do your programs fill up?
  6. What are the minimum guest requirements for participating in a Dolphin Quest Encounter?
  7. How do I pay for my program?
  8. What is your Cancellation Policy?
  9. When do I check in for my scheduled program?
  10. Do your program times ever change?
  11. Do you offer changing areas or lockers?
  12. Do you offer a “Waiting List” when programs are completely booked?
  13. What if I was unable to confirm a program reservation before my trip, do you offer a Standby List
  14. Can I take pictures with my own camera during the program?
  15. How can I purchase my photos?
  16. Do you offer video of the programs?
  17. Does Dolphin Quest have dolphin shows?
  18. How many Dolphin Quest locations do you have?
  19. How does Dolphin Quest care for its dolphins?

1. Where are you located?

Dolphin Quest Hawaii (DQH) is located at the Hilton Waikoloa Village on the Kohala Coast of the Big Island of Hawaii, about thirty miles north of Kailua-Kona.

Click here for directions to the Hilton Waikoloa Village from the airport.

Please allow yourself about 30 minutes walking time from the hotel’s parking area* to Dolphin Quest.

Dolphin Quest is located on the ocean side of the Lagoon Tower. It is wheelchair and stroller accessible, but please feel free to ask for directions upon arrival to avoid staircases. Click here to view map of hotel grounds.

*The Hilton Waikoloa Village charges for parking. Call 808.886.1234 for current rates. Guests who participate in Dolphin Quest programs may request parking ticket validation from Dolphin Quest at the time of check in.

2. Are you part of the Hilton?

Although we are not owned nor operated by Hilton, the Hilton is our hotel partner.

3. Do you have to be a guest at the Hilton to participate in a Dolphin Quest program?

No, anyone visiting Hawaii can experience a Dolphin Quest program.

4. How far in advance do you take reservations?

Reservations can be made one year in advance. Book now with our online reservation system, or call our Central Reservations office at 800.248.3316 (daily – view hours of operation). For International callers please dial 540.687.8102. For more information please fill out our Contact Us Form.  Please note that some programs are not available through online reservation system and must be reserved through our Central Reservations Office.

5. How quickly do your programs fill up?

We offer a limited number of programs per day. Our programs fill up quickly during the busy summer and holiday seasons.

We occasionally have cancellations, so if you are unable to reserve a spot, contact the reservations staff to see if openings are available. You may also ask about availability on our Standby List to participate in a same day program by asking a Crew Member at the Dolphin Quest Village check-in counter.

6. What are the minimum guest requirements for participating in a Dolphin Quest Encounter?

  • Participants must be able to follow directions and instructions provided by the guided trainer and other Crew Members.
  • Participants must be able to move about freely within the water environment. Guests must be comfortable in the water and be able to manage their movements as instructed in and around the animals while wearing required water safety gear.
  • Participants must be able to physically move from one location to another by crossing sand, climbing stairs, traversing floating platforms, have mobility between standing and sitting positions, crossing slippery and unlevel surfaces both in and out of the water.
  • Local weather conditions vary. Individuals to be able to handle heat, humidity, direct sun exposure, wind and torrential rains.
  • Participants can expect to be around large marine mammals as well as marine animals within the natural environment. Our dolphins have been trained for interactions. As wild animals, their behavior can still be unpredictable.
  • Guests under the age of five are restricted from participating in our standard encounter programs. However, we do offer the Wee Tots program for children ages 2-4 years old. Please call our Central Reservations office at 800.248.3316 for details.

Dolphin Quest welcomes guests with special needs and strives to meet those needs in our encounter programs at all of our locations. For more information please fill out our Contact Us Form. For assistance in making a reservation contact our Central Reservations at 800.248.3316 (daily – view hours of operation).

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7. How do I pay for my program?

All programs are paid for at the time of the reservation with a major credit card.

8. What is your Cancellation Policy?

Guests that do not show up on time to check in for their reserved program will be charged full price.

Reservations for parties up to, and including 6 participants

  • Any cancellations/rescheduling made prior to 48 hours of the scheduled program time will not be charged
  • Any cancellations within 48 hours of the scheduled program time will be charged the full price of the scheduled program
  • Any rescheduling made within 48 hours of the scheduled program time will be charged an additional re-booking fee of $75 per guest

Reservations for 7 or more participants

  • Any cancellations/rescheduling made prior to 2 weeks of the scheduled program time will not be charged.
  • Any cancellations within 2 weeks of scheduled program time will be charged full price of scheduled program.
  • Any rescheduling made within 2 weeks of the scheduled program time will be charged an additional re-booking fee of $75 per guest.

To cancel or change a reservation please contact either our Central Reservation office at 800.248.3316 (daily – view hours of operation) or Dolphin Quest Hawaii at 808.886.2875 (daily from 8:30am – 5pm HST).

9. When do I check in for my scheduled program?

Check-in time for all programs* is no later than 30 minutes prior to the scheduled program start time. If not checked in by this time, the guest’s reservations may be given to a Standby guest. *Wee Tots and Dolphin Moments check-in time is no later than 20 minutes prior to the scheduled program start time.

Please check in at Dolphin Quest Village for all programs. Dolphin Quest is located on the ocean side of the Lagoon Tower. It is wheelchair and stroller accessible, but please feel free to ask for directions upon arrival to avoid staircases. Click here to view map of hotel grounds.

10. Do your program times ever change?

Yes, on occasion, program times are changed. If guests are booked in those programs, we contact them directly to make alternate arrangements. Otherwise, all information on our Web site is up-to-date.

11. Do you offer changing areas or lockers?

Yes, we do offer changing areas and lockers in Dolphin Quest Village with the presentation of a rental car key or room key (for any area hotel) to be held during the course of your program.

It is suggested, if possible, to come to Dolphin Quest with your swimsuit on. In addition, Dolphin Quest doesn’t provide towels for your programs, so remember to bring one with you. Dolphin Quest is not liable for lost or stolen items.

12. Do you offer a “Waiting List” when programs are completely booked?

At this time, we do not offer a waiting list. However, if you are looking for a specific time and date that is not available, we invite you to call the Central Reservations office for assistance at 800.248.3316.

13. What if I was unable to confirm a program reservation before my trip, do you offer a Standby List?

For guests without confirmed reservations wishing to participate in a Dolphin Quest program, a daily Standby List will be generated to fill any possible openings.

If a guest wishes to be placed on the Standby List, the guest will need to come to Dolphin Quest Village beginning at 8:15am daily and submit their name to the Dolphin Quest Crew Member at the check-in counter. Those showing up prior to 8:15am will be handled on a first come, first-served basis. The daily availability and options will be announced at this time.

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14. Can I take pictures with my own camera during the program?

No, we do not allow cameras in our programs. This is because we want you to take part in the full Dolphin Quest experience, which might be hard if you are occupied by taking pictures.

Dolphin Quest has a wonderful staff of photographers who will be taking posed and candid photos throughout your program. Non-participants are welcome to use cameras and video cameras in the designated viewing areas.

15. How can I purchase my photos?

You can view and order your encounter photos on-site immediately following your encounter using one of our DQ Photo ordering stations located in the DQ Gift Shop at Dolphin Quest Village.

If you are unable to purchase your photos at that time, we will keep your encounter photos online for 14 days from your program date, which you can view by clicking here.

16. Do you offer video of the programs?

Yes, Dolphin Quest offers filming of programs throughout the day on a limited basis for DVD purchase. These videos are available on a first-come, first-served basis on the day of the program only. Please be advised that other guests in your encounter will also appear in your video.

If guests would like a video, please check at the Dolphin Quest Check-In when it opens for availability on the day of your scheduled program.

17. Does Dolphin Quest have dolphin shows?

Yes, Dolphin Quest Hawaii will sometimes offer free dolphin shows throughout the year, normally around holidays. Contact the site for exact show times.

The general public is welcome to watch all encounters from the lawn area overlooking the lagoon. If you would like to host a group function with Dolphin Quest, please call us.

18. How many Dolphin Quest locations do you have?

Dolphin Quest has three beautiful locations worldwide on the islands of Hawaii, Oahu and Bermuda.

19. How does Dolphin Quest care for its dolphins?

Our dolphins are well loved and well cared for at Dolphin Quest. We give them enriching attention and affection, and the best food, shelter and veterinary care. Each dolphin receives daily health assessments where our expert animal caregivers check them out from rostrum to tail fluke. Our dolphins also participate in their own healthcare allowing their trainers and veterinarians to take a variety of voluntary medical samples, ultrasounds and x-rays to monitor their health.

Our dolphins thrive in their protected ocean water habitats. They are coastal Atlantic bottlenose dolphins well adapted to living in shallow coastal areas and bays in the wild. The majority of our dolphins are 1st and even 2nd generation dolphins born under human care. They live as long or longer than their counterparts in the wild.

Dolphin Quest facilities meet all of our dolphins’ needs and exceed both US government regulations and the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums professional animal care standards.

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