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Oahu FAQ

Dolphin Quest Oahu Frequently Asked Questions & Tips

  1. Where is Dolphin Quest Oahu located?
  2. Do we have to pay for parking at The Kahala Hotel & Resort?
  3. Are you part of The Kahala Hotel & Resort?
  4. Do you have to be a hotel guest at The Kahala to participate in a Dolphin Quest program?
  5. How far in advance do you take reservations?
  6. How do you make a reservation if you are staying at The Kahala Hotel & Resort?
  7. How quickly do your programs fill up?
  8. What are the minimum guest requirements for participating in a Dolphin Quest program?
  9. Does Dolphin Quest welcome guests with special needs?
  10. When and how do I pay for my program?
  11. What is your Cancellation Policy?
  12. When do I check in for my scheduled program?
  13. Do your program times ever change?
  14. Do you offer changing areas or lockers?
  15. Does Dolphin Quest provide towels?
  16. Do you offer a “wait list” when programs are completely booked?
  17. Can I take pictures with my own camera during the program?
  18. How can I purchase my photos?
  19. Do you offer video of the programs?
  20. Does Dolphin Quest have a gift shop?
  21. Can I use The Kahala Hotel & Resort pool while on property?
  22. Does Dolphin Quest have dolphin shows?
  23. When is the next dolphin feeding?
  24. How many Dolphin Quest locations do you have?
  25. How does Dolphin Quest care for its dolphins?

1. Where is Dolphin Quest Oahu located?

Dolphin Quest Oahu is located at The Kahala Hotel & Resort on the island of Oahu in Honolulu’s residential area of Kahala just East of Diamond Head.

  • The address for Dolphin Quest Oahu and The Kahala Hotel & Resort is: 5000 Kahala Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96816.
  • From the Honolulu International Airport, please allow 45-60 minutes to travel to Dolphin Quest.
  • Click here for directions to The Kahala Hotel & Resort from the airport.
  • Please allow yourself about 10 minutes walking time from the hotel’s parking area to Dolphin Quest.
  • Dolphin Quest is located outdoors in the center of the hotel between the waterfall and swimming pool.
  • It is wheelchair and stroller accessible, but please feel free to ask for directions upon arrival to avoid staircases. 
  • Click here to view a map of The Kahala Hotel & Resort.

2. Do we have to pay for parking at The Kahala Hotel & Resort?

Dolphin Quest will offer program guests a 4-hour parking validation.

  • The Kahala Hotel & Resort charges for self-parking and valet.
  • Dolphin Quest provides program guests with a four (4) hour complimentary parking validation.
  • Guests that sign up for the Trainer for a Day program will receive a six and a half (6.5) hour complimentary parking validation.
  • You can call 808.739.8888 for current parking rates.
  • Guests who participate in Dolphin Quest programs may request parking validation at the Dolphin Quest kiosk during check in.

3. Are you part of The Kahala Hotel & Resort?

  • No. Dolphin Quest Oahu is a separate company from The Kahala Hotel & Resort.
  • The Kahala is our hotel partner.  
  • Dolphin Quest is not owned or operated by The Kahala Hotel & Resort.

4. Do you have to be a hotel guest at The Kahala to participate in a Dolphin Quest program?

  • No. Anyone visiting Oahu, including local residents, can experience a Dolphin Quest program.

5. How far in advance do you take reservations?

Reservations can be made up to 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 the online reservation system and must be reserved through our Central Reservations Office.

6. How do you make a reservation if you are staying at The Kahala Hotel & Resort?

There are a variety of ways to make a reservation with Dolphin Quest while at The Kahala.

  • Call Dolphin Quest Oahu directly at 808.739.8918.
  • Dial extension 8918 from your room phone or any Resort house phone.
  • Visit the Dolphin Quest kiosk located outside between the waterfall and swimming pool.
  • Book now with our online reservation system.
  • Call our Central Reservations office at 800.248.3316 (daily – view hours of operation).

7. How quickly do your programs fill up?

Our programs fill up quickly during the busy summer and holiday seasons.

  • We have a limited number of spaces for the various programs offered daily.
  • We occasionally have cancellations, so if you are unable to reserve a spot, contact the Dolphin Quest kiosk and ask about our wait list.

8. What are the minimum guest requirements for participating in a Dolphin Quest program?

Our goal is to make all encounters safe and exciting for the dolphins and guests, so we have some basic requirements for all participants:

  • Participants must be able to follow directions and instructions provided by the program trainer and other Dolphin Quest 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 walking in sand, climbing stairs, walking across floating platforms, crossing slippery and uneven surfaces both in and out of the water, and be able to transition between standing and sitting positions.
  • Local weather conditions vary, so individuals should be able to handle heat, humidity, direct sun exposure, wind, and heavy rain.
  • Participants can expect to be around large marine mammals as well as other marine animals within the natural environment.  Our dolphins have been trained for interactions, but 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 Family, Fins & Fun as well as our popular private programs where children of all ages can participate. Please call our Central Reservations office at 800.248.3316 for details.
  • For assistance in making a reservation contact our Central Reservations at 800.248.3316 (daily – view hours of operation).

9. Does Dolphin Quest welcome guests with special needs?

Our goal is to make sure your visit is safe and enjoyable for both you and the dolphin.

  • We welcome guests who may require additional assistance in our programs due to a disability or special need.
  • Each encounter is customized to the comfort level of our guests while also ensuring safety for our guests and animals.
  • To discuss making dolphin encounter reservations for a guest with special needs, please contact us directly at Central Reservations at 800.248.3316.
  • For more information, please fill out our Contact Us Form.

10. When and how do I pay for my program?

All program fees are charged in full to the credit card used when making a reservation.

  • If you are already checked in to The Kahala, you may also charge the program fees to your room with the addition of a 2% processing fee.
  • If using a Dolphin Quest Gift Card for payment, this can be processed online or through a reservations agent.
  • For any other payment questions, please contact Central Reservations at 800.248.3316 (daily – view hours of operation) or Dolphin Quest Oahu directly at 808.739.8918 (daily from 8:30am – 5pm HST).

11. 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

  • There are no fees or penalties for cancellations/rescheduling made prior to 48 hours of the scheduled program time, and a full refund will be issued.
  • 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

  • There are no fees or penalties for cancellations/rescheduling made prior to 2 weeks of the scheduled program time, and a full refund will be issued.
  • Any cancellations within 2 weeks of scheduled program time will be charged the full price of the 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 Oahu directly at 808.739.8918 (daily from 8:30am – 5pm HST).

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

Check-in time for all programs* is 30 minutes prior to the scheduled program start time.

  • *For the Trainer for a Day program you may check in the day before during normal business hours (8:30am-5:00pm HST).
  • For morning programs, the earliest check-in time is 8:30am HST.
  • Please check in at the Dolphin Quest kiosk located next to the dolphin lagoon for all programs.
  • 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.

13. Do your program times ever change?

Yes, on occasion, program times are changed.

  • If guests are booked in programs whose times have changed, we will contact them directly.
  • Otherwise, all information on our web site is up-to-date.

14. Do you offer changing areas or lockers?

Yes, changing areas and lockers are available for use.

  • We offer complimentary and secure lockers near the Dolphin Quest kiosk for Dolphin Quest participants.
  • There are restrooms located next to the pool area at the Kahala for use as a changing area.
  • It is suggested, if possible, to come to Dolphin Quest with your swimsuit on and ready to go into the water.
  • You may wear sunscreen while in the water, and we encourage you to use ocean-safe products.
  • An outdoor, fresh water shower is available for program guests to use.
  • Dolphin Quest is not liable for lost or stolen items.

15. Does Dolphin Quest provide towels?

  • No. Dolphin Quest does not provide towels so we ask our guests to bring their own.
  • Towels are also available for purchase in our retail area.

16. Do you offer a “wait list” when programs are completely booked?

  • Yes. Please contact Dolphin Quest Oahu directly at the Dolphin Quest kiosk or call 808.739.8918 during our normal business hours from 8:30am-5:00pm daily.

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

Personal cameras and GoPros are not allowed in our program areas.  

  • However, someone with you who is not doing the program may take pictures or video your interaction from the spectator side of the ropes and railings.  
  • You may also take pictures of our animals before or after your program from the spectator side of the ropes and railings.
  • Dolphin Quest’s photographers will be taking posed and candid photos throughout your program.
  • Your program photos are available for pre-order or as a post-program purchase.

18. How can I purchase my photos?

Your program photos are available for pre-order or as a post-program purchase.

  • Pre-order pick up, viewing and post-program photo orders will be at the Dolphin Quest kiosk.
  • Your program photos are available for purchase for up to 5 days after your program from 9:00am-4:00pm daily at the Dolphin Quest kiosk.  
  • If you are unable to purchase your photos directly from Dolphin Quest Oahu, on-line photo ordering will be available for 14 days from your program date.

19. Do you offer video of the programs?

No, Dolphin Quest Oahu does not offer videos of your programs.

  • Non-participating guests and family members are welcome to film you during your program from the spectator side of the ropes and railings.

20. Does Dolphin Quest have a gift shop?

Yes, Dolphin Quest Oahu has a gift shop located in the Guest Services area.

  • The gift shop is filled with Dolphin Quest and marine-themed items.
  • Items available include: plush animals, t-shirts, rash guards, towels, jewelry, ornaments, toys, books, and much more.

21. Can I use the Kahala Hotel & Resort pool while on property?

The pool at The Kahala Hotel & Resort pool is reserved for hotel guests only.

  • The Kahala pool and jacuzzi are reserved for Kahala guests only.
  • The beach (with the exception of beach chairs and cabanas) is open to the public.
  • Everyone is welcome to visit the stores and restaurants while visiting The Kahala Hotel & Resort.

22. Does Dolphin Quest have dolphin shows?

Yes, Dolphin Quest Oahu will sometimes offer free dolphin demonstrations throughout the year for special events and holidays.

  • Contact the site for exact show times or visit Current Events for more information.
  • The general public is welcome to watch all encounters from the designated viewing areas overlooking the lagoon.
  • During regular business hours, our Crew Members are available to answer questions.
  • If you would like to host a group function, or schedule your own demonstration, with Dolphin Quest, please contact us.

23. When is the next dolphin feeding?

We do not have set times for dolphin feedings.

  • Our dolphins are positively reinforced with food, touch, play, and other reinforcers throughout the day both during programs and training sessions.

24. How many Dolphin Quest locations do you have?

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

25. How does Dolphin Quest care for its dolphins?

Our dolphins are well loved and well cared for at Dolphin Quest.

  • We provide each dolphin with learning opportunities, loving affection, high-quality food, enriching environments, and top-notch veterinary care.
  • Each dolphin receives daily health assessments by our marine animal specialists and veterinarians to ensure they are healthy and demonstrating normal dolphin behavior.
  • Our dolphins participate in their own healthcare by learning a variety of behaviors which allow us to collect important medical samples, conduct ultrasound, and ensure their health is a top priority.
  • Our dolphins thrive in their protected ocean water sanctuaries.
  • They are a coastal ecotype of the common bottlenose dolphins and are well adapted to living in shallow coastal areas and bays in the wild.
  • The majority of our dolphins are first and second generation dolphins born under human care.
  • The dolphins under our care 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.
  • Dolphin Quest locations are all Humane Certified by American Humane assuring the facility meets the highest standards of animal care.

Learn more about Dolphin Quest’s animal care and wellness