Florida Guide > Discovery Cove
Discovery Cove in Orlando
- Our Day OutLast year we were lucky enough to be able to visit Discovery Cove. We were advised to book 6 months in advance to avoid disappointment and we were glad we did. We did deliberate when we saw the admission prices but decided that we might not get the opportunity again and therefore to give it a go. We were glad, with hindsight, that we did not just decide to go on one of the tours on offer to visit dolphins in the sea, as the day proved to offer much, much more than dolphins! Lunch was included (the variety and quality of the meals on offer were very good). Also included in the price was dolphin friendly sun tan lotion, towels, scuba equipment and anything else we might have needed.
The day allocated to us arrived and we were all very excited. My Mum and Dad should have been coming as well but it was very hot. As Mum is not ‘good’ in the heat they decided to stay by the pool at our villa. We needn’t have worried, as there was plenty of shade and loungers. In fact, we rang them to try to persuade them to come as they would have loved to have seen their grandchildren’s faces as they swam with not only dolphins but stingrays and tropical fish galore! The ground was also very flat meaning that the all terrain wheelchair we had ordered could be used anywhere on the complex. The staff were very helpful and informative and every once in a while brought around different animals for us to look at and ask questions about.
We had been allocated the last session of the day with the dolphins so we had plenty of time to explore the other things on offer. The first thing the children insisted on was to go in the tropical pool. It was a truly amazing experience to be able to swim amongst all kinds of fish and stingrays – even the odd shark! – although, thankfully, these were behind a very thick piece of glass! ! We then swam through waterfalls and river currents and generally messed about. The other pool was full of stingrays that the staff let us feed or pet under strict supervision. At no time did we ever feel that any of the animals were put under duress. It was a nice change to be able to walk through a rainforest type of place looking at all the different tropical birds (and even deer) that were free to roam about.
The pinnacle point of the day must have been the experience of a lifetime when we went to swim with our dolphin, called CJ. Unfortunately no one could have prepared us for the sheer coldness of the water! ! We were given wet suits but my youngest child found it very cold indeed and I had to cling on to her to try to keep her from turning blue! We were not in the water for a very long time but we interacted with CJ and played games with him. At the end of the day we were shown video film of our time with CJ and although it seemed an extortionate price to pay we decided that it had to be bought because of the experience. Some words of advice: the photos taken of the dolphin experience are very expensive so do not be pressurised into making speedy decisions about which ones to buy – although we still have our photo on the mantelpiece and we reminisce every time we look at it.
Also, if you can buy one of these underwater, throwaway cameras before your visit you can take some fantastic pictures of the rest of your day.
Do not arrange to go out for a meal with anyone who has not been out that day! We were absolutely shattered by the time we got back and would have preferred to curl up on the settee and fall asleep!
We would recommend the day to anyone- our ages ranged from 6 to 76. Even if you do not swim with the dolphins there is so much to do and look at that it is a very worthwhile, albeit not cheap, day out.
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Page added on: 21 July 2004
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