More than three decades before SeaWorld opened in Orlando in 1973, Marineland of Florida was a major tourist attraction, hosting as many as 900,000 visitors annually.
Located between St. Augustine and Daytona Beach, Marineland started out as Marine Studios. Business partners W. Douglas Burden, Sherman Pratt, Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney, and Ilya Tolstoy (grandson of Leo Tolstoy) envisioned a venue for filming underwater sequences for movies, but quickly realized the potential of the facility as a tourist destination.
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