Florida Guide > Discovery Cove
Discovery Cove - Swimming With Dolphins
Superb! Fantastic! Amazing! Brilliant! Incredible! These are just a few of a huge number of adjectives which can be used to describe a day spent at Discovery Cove.
A day at Discovery Cove is, without any doubt, one of the best days it is possible to spend in the Orlando area. It may be expensive, but it is worth every cent. There are no white knuckle rides, no roller coasters, no stomach-lurching simulators, no log flumes and, best of all, no queues. Instead, there are pristine white sandy beaches, sparkling lagoons full of rays and fish of every colour and variety, coral reefs, grottos, waterfalls, a lazy river and a free-flight aviary full of beautiful birds.
Arriving at Discovery Cove is like arriving in the foyer of a 5* hotel. You are welcomed and ‘processed’ efficiently, given your pass for the day and then directed to your locker area. On the way to the lockers a complimentary group photo is taken which you can pick up as you leave at the end of your day. At the locker area you are kitted out with your wetsuit (available in every size), given a life-vest if you are not a confident swimmer and handed a bag containing your goggles, snorkel and dolphin-and-fish-friendly sun cream. If you normally wear glasses, there are prescription goggles available too.
After that you have the extremely difficult task of deciding where to go and what to do first. Everything looks so inviting, set amongst lush green tropical plants, that it can cause an overload of indecision…..
For those who have not snorkelled before, it is worth going to the Resort Pool and Tropical River first, where you can practise and perfect your skills, ready to enjoy the wonders of the coral reef and lagoon.
The coral reef is full of hundreds of tropical fish of every type, colour and hue that you can imagine. Here, also, there are huge rays swimming lazily around the fish and under the legs of the swimmers. Swimming in and around the reefs, grottos and the shipwreck remains, you can catch a glimpse of sharks and barracuda which are safely behind protective glass. The whole effect is stunning and it is easy to spend a very long time marvelling at the whole experience.
Situated next to the coral reef there is a shallow lagoon full of rays where you can swim with them or just stand and let them swim past, brushing your legs, or reach down into the water and touch them. This is a fantastic opportunity for the smaller children who are maybe reluctant to go into the deeper coral reef.
For a complete change of activity take the lazy river and, just after you have passed under the waterfall, climb out of the water, up the steps and into the free-flight aviary, where you will find over 250 tropical birds. You can get a close up view of them as you walk through the aviary, over bridges and along paths – some will even eat from your hand. Non-swimmers can also access the aviary from the beaches.
Lunch needs to be fitted in somehow, and that is an excellent occasion too. There is a good selection available on the menu to suit every taste, and live music is provided for your entertainment while you dine.
Perhaps you would like to do a little shopping too, and buy a souvenir of your visit. There are several outlets offering everything from postcards and camera films to tee-shirts, jewellery and glass ornaments.
If all this activity is too much for you, then you can go to the white sandy beach and lie on one of the loungers, with a cooling drink in your hand and watch the world go by……….
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