Discovery Cove is an experience like no other in Orlando, and its signature experience is to swim with the majestic Bottlenose Dolphin. Many of our customers are unaware though of the other wonderful experiences you can enjoy in this tropical paradise, apart from swimming with this beautiful creature, and so often visitors to Orlando miss out on what is regularly described as ‘our favourite day of our holiday!’.
The park is unlike Disney, Universal or Sea World. It is exclusive and designed to create calm amongst a storm of theme parks that surround you, giving you peace and tranquillity for a full day. You don’t need to swim with a dolphin to enjoy what this amazing park has to offer, as there is plenty to whet your appetite for the entire day you book.
The park itself only allows a maximum of 1,300 people in the park on one day, therefore you are guaranteed a stress and queue free day away from the hustle and bustle of Mickey & Co! This is important to know, as this means spaces are limited at Discovery Cove, so booking early is essential, as you cannot walk up and buy a ticket like you can do at the other parks.
Here are a few of my favourite features of Discovery Cove, apart from the signature Swim with Dolphin:-
1. SeaVenture – Walk along the Ocean Floor (seperately ticketed)
SeaVenture is an under-water walking experience and is the only experience of its kind in Florida. Offering a totally unique chance to meet and greet sea life from the ocean bed, it is a wonderful way to enhance your day at Discovery Cove. You’re fitted with a fully-fledged Scuba helmet but don’t worry, you don’t need any Scuba experience as this helmet is designed to allow you to breathe as normal whilst walking underwater. You’ll feel the sense of weightlessness while coming face to face with sharks through a panoramic glass window, stingray floating overhead, handling some unusual tropical aquatic life all before the finale of schools of fish feeding on the backdrop of the open reef. A truly spectacular sight. There is an extra charge for this experience, and can only be booked on the same day as your Discovery Cove date so be sure to get in there quick, as spaces are extremely limited!
2. The Grand Reef – Just like the Great Barrier Reef, only smaller!
Opened in 2011, it is fairly new but it offers arguably the most exhilarating experience of the day that you don’t need to pay extra for! The Grand Reef stretches over 2.5 acres, and offers swimmers the opportunity to snorkel with thousands of tropical and colourful fish, as well as various species of stingray. Utterly unique and totally open plan meaning no queuing, this is somewhere that anyone could spend all day and along with the free Underwater Camera we offer with all Discovery Cove bookings, this is the perfect place to use it. Surrounding the Reef is a beautiful white sandy beach with plenty of sunbeds for people to catch the rays (the Sun not the Stingray) and kick back with a drink or two!
3. Explorers Aviary – From Fish to the Birds
Yes indeed, Discovery Cove is home to all kinds of animals, so it won’t just be the underwater kind you can get up close to, as the Explorers Aviary houses hundreds of tropical birds, bursting with colour. Watch as they soar overhead, while you feed others with little bits of fruit that are complimentary on the day. The aviary itself is a maze of doorways through to different areas housing different species. A great way to spend some time away from the marine life, and a personal favourite of mine on the day.
4. Freshwater Oasis – Face to face with Otters & Marmosets
The Freshwater Oasis is laden with playful otters and curious marmosets who provide endless entertainment in this rainforest themed area of the park. The theme is perfect for the Discovery Cove vibe, and no matter where you turn, there are endless discoveries. Built to offer a more diverse chance to explore or relax, the Freshwater Oasis is a waterway filled with winding trails, sparkling springs and beautiful animals. Don’t miss out on this chance to get up close to two of the most beautiful creatures Discovery Cove is home to.
5. Serenity Bay – And Relax!
Image credit: Zoochat.com
As if you needed another excuse to relax in Discovery Cove, Serenity Bay offers warmer waters for you to soak up the sun, and enjoy the calmness of the park. The water is at a gorgeous 80 degree temperature, so if you happen to visit Discovery Cove on an unusually cooler Orlando day, the Serenity Bay water will soon warm you up while you sip a drink in this freshwater playground. No fuss, just warm waters here and a great way to relax after a hard day swimming with dolphins, stingray and tropical fish. Such a hard life!
Discovery Cove may pride itself on being the only place in Orlando where you can swim with a dolphin, but the park itself is certainly worth considering even if swimming with a dolphin is not your thing. At a small supplement in comparison to the Sea World 3 Park ticket, the Discovery Cove packages can be booked as a Non Swim, where you can enjoy all the perks of the park without having to pay to swim with the dolphins. Sea World and Aquatica are also included with Discovery Cove packages, with Busch Gardens available at a supplement cost but what’s more, the day at Discovery Cove is ALL-INCLUSIVE! Yes you heard right, Discovery Cove is an all-inclusive day so breakfast and lunch is provided in the cost of your package along with drinks and snacks throughout the day. Parking, lockers, towel hire, snorkel gear and even animal friendly sun-cream is also included in the package price, so it is a fantastic addition to your holiday in Orlando.
To purchase tickets for a magical day at Discovery Cove, click here.
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