Florida Guide > Other Parks
Discovery Cove - Best Ever Park Visit
We have just returned from Orlando where we visited Discovery Cove. This was a must do of ours for many years and we finally were able to do it this time around. For us it turned out to be our best ever park visit. The park is a little on the expensive side but it is worth every penny. The admission includes free parking, locker, breakfast, lunch, all snacks and drinks (including beer and wine), wet suits, snorkels (which you take home with you), towels. Our tickets also included 14 days admission to Aquatica, Seaworld and Busch Gardens.
We arrived at 07:30 so we would have a full day at the park. We suggest arriving early if you are swimming with the dolphins so you can get an early timeslot for your swim with the dolphins. This leaves the rest of the day to explore the park, laze around, do the lazy river, swim with the fish and eat not necessarily in that order!
On arrival, you are greeted personally by a member of the staff and you will have your picture taken for your ID. You will then receive your time for your Dolphin swim. We then went for breakfast at the dining area. The buffet included hot and cold selections and you could return as many times as you wanted. The staff was extremely pleasant and helpful.
While we were waiting for our time with the dolphins (10:00am) we picked out our loungers and went to pick up our towels, wetsuits and snorkels. The day we were there was quite chilly so we all chose the long wet suit. They also provide sunscreen that is safe for the fish and dolphins at Discovery Cove. Swimming with the Dolphins was an unforgettable experience and I was surprised at how long the time with the Dolphins lasted. Every member of our party had a swim with the dolphins I was allowed to hug the dolphins and then kiss the dolphin it makes a change from toads!! This was something that will be remembered for a long time.
We then had the rest of the day to explore Discovery Cove. The water in the lazy river was very warm but the depth of the water changes so a non swimmer may want to wear a life vest. The rest of our group decided to swim with the fish and were amazed by all the different fish they saw. You were able to swim right up to the glass enclosure that held the sharks and swim with the stingrays. The water in this area was much cooler than the lazy river.
We enjoyed the buffet lunch, which, like breakfast, was plentiful and contained hot and cold items as well as desserts. The children in our group loved the idea of going up at any time for ice cream or snacks at the many snack shacks located throughout the park. The park does not seem crowded as they allow only a certain number of guests in the park each day. If you want to swim with the dolphins you should book well in advance. You can also walk through the aviary where you can feed the birds as they come and sit on your shoulder.
At the end of the day we picked up the photo package we chose. The package we chose was $219. 00 but there were cheaper packages available. Our package included a large poster (with the picture of our choice), a selection of 8x10 photos, a photo frame, photo album, 2 key rings with our chosen photo, a 6x4 photo, 2 wallet size photos, a DVD of our dolphin swim and a CD that contained all our photos of the day.
We arrived at the park at 07:30 am and left at closing and enjoyed every moment. Yes, it was expensive but it was well worth it, as once you were in the park everything was included (except souvenirs). If I get the chance, I would definitely go back.
Author: Sharon Mader and Tanya Mader-Frans (Villa link: click here)
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Page added on: 24 February 2014
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