Clearwater, Florida -- If you were to ask anyone at Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA) a little more than five years ago if they ever thought one of their own would inspire a big screen movie, they might have laughed.
That all changed when a baby dolphin named Winter came into their lives.
The youngster was rescued off the east coast of Florida near Port Canaveral. Winter had somehow managed to get caught in a crab trap line.
While she ultimately lost her tail, she didn't lose her spirit.
She found her own way to swim and even got her own prosthetic tail and now her story is set to inspire millions.
Watch on YouTube: A Dolphin Tale movie trailer
Starting Friday, audiences going out to see the new movie Soul Surfer will get a first glimpse at Winter's movie, A Dolphin Tale.
A 3-D version is due out next week with the movie Rio, according to CMA.
The 1:45 minute movie trailer previews the inspirational family movie inspired by Winter. While the story line is fictional, the basis of the movie is real - a young dolphin who loses her tail, fights to survive with a team behind her and eventually inspires countless others.
"It's kind of showtime for her, she enjoys the attention," said David Yates with CMA.
While Winter has always been considered a local celebrity, her launch to the silver screen is about to make her and the Clearwater Marine Aquarium world famous beyond what anyone could have imagined when the aquarium opened its doors nearly 39 years ago.
"Our biggest challenge now, beyond the excitement, is let's get ready, let's ready ready for all of the people," said Yates.
The buzz about the movie has already attracted a more than average sized crowd, but once the trailer gets out and the movie releases later this year, they anticipate even larger crowds as people try to catch a glimpse of Clearwater's newest celebrity.
Yates says they launched a $12 million capital campaign to raise money to expand the facility to accommodate more people and more animals.
They hope to get started on construction in June and wrap up by December.
But, you don't have to wait for the expansion to feel like you've taken a walk through a movie set.
Take Yates own office, for example.
"My office was a nice, corporate style office," Yates smiled, standing in front of his new desk...a worn down desk, stacked with fake files.
Everything, down to the pictures - even the fake receipts on a cork board - remain from the production.
Yates says he doesn't want to change it around too much, so people can see what it was like during the filming late last year.
Once new construction on his office is complete, he plans to leave his old office so guests can get the "Hollywood" experience.
Even the new tanks built for the movie remain, which now house Winter's swim sister.
The baby dolphin doesn't have a name, but she has a story that incredibly lines up with Winter's.
Yates says within ten minutes of wrapping up film production, he got a call from the east coast about a baby dolphin that had just been rescued by the same woman who rescued Winter...and in the same location!
"Some of the people in the film who actually played our team, that rescued and rehabed Winter, got to see us do the real thing that night," he said.
The baby dolphin is doing well and will soon get a name. A nationwide naming contest ended Friday and the CMA expects to announce the baby's name next week!
Here are just a few stories about people inspired by Winter:
Young amputee athlete meets Winter
Wednesday's Child: Gregory
Amputees visit Winter the Dolphin
Brock Mealer meets Winter the Dolphin
Dolphin, breast cancer survivor beat the odds