If you’re on vacation and staying in Orange County, Florida, and you like animals and relaxing in a tropical environment; a visit to Sea World’s Discovery Cove is a must-do. The park is your own personal slice of paradise for the day. Guests will be so immersed in the park they will forget about the outside world.
Discovery Cove has a beautiful lagoon, tropical reefs, white sand beaches and even a pool with waterfalls and a winding river. You can explore and create so many memories that will last a lifetime. In an effort to keep a safe controlled environment for the animals, there is a park limit of 1,300 guests per day. If you are wanting to plan a visit, I would recommend booking as far in advance as possible. Reservations are currently being accepted through December 2017.
All-Inclusive Experience at Discovery Cove
A day at Discovery Cove is an all-inclusive experience. Pricing begins at $229 per person and increases depending on the time of year you plan to visit. Everything is included with the exception of SeaVenture (additional charge of $49 per person). Guests will receive sunscreen, wetsuits (a must-wear), snorkeling gear, as well as all drinks, food and snacks throughout the day. All you need to bring with you is your bathing suit.
Check-In at Discovery Cove
Guests will meet at the Welcome Center where you will check-in and get your lanyard with park ticket. Here you will be assigned your reserved time slot for your Dolphin Adventure. Check-in begins at 7:30 a.m.
As I mentioned before, all of your food is included with the entrance price. I highly recommend you visit the breakfast buffet on your way into the park. They have almost everything you can think of to eat! Eggs, bacon, fruit, pancakes, yogurt, and much more! This is the best way to start a perfect day at Discovery Cove.
What to See and Do
First you can take a lazy swim in Wind Away River. With a life float-jacket you can just drift along the course as lazy as you can be. This river even goes through Explorer’s Aviary. Here you can feed exotic birds, or other animals they have in the aviary. Also there are contributors to tell you everything about the animals and their habitat.
Near the aviary you will find the Freshwater Oasis. A place with animals like some playful otters and marmosets.
Visit the Grand Reef for an opportunity to snorkel with what must be thousands of different beautiful fish. And even snorkeling among rays. A MUST DO! Those animals are amazing. Further in the reef you can even come face to face with sharks. Of course, they’re safely behind glass.
Guests can visit Serenity Bay for a simple swim or relaxing in the sun.
What to Expect at the Dolphin Adventure
We started the experience in a briefing area where we watched a brief film. Once the film was over all participants were required to sign a waiver before they could participate. After the briefing, we headed in to the water with two other families (a total of 10 people) where we were introduced to our personal dolphin, Capricorn. Capricorn is a male dolphin that is about 40 years old. We had the chance to touch and feed him and he even sprayed water all over my husband. He was such a beautiful creature.
We learned so much about the dolphins, their habitat in Discovery Cove, and their behavior. The trainers at Discovery Cove are so involved, dedicated and loving towards the animals. Feel free to ask any questions you may have about the experience.
The most overwhelming experience was when I was finally able to swim with Capricorn. I gave him a big kiss and had a short swim with him, making sure not to hurt him. This was the best experience ever.
DIStracted Tip: If you are going to participate in the Dolphin Adventure, leave your jewelry at home. Guests are required to remove jewelry (and sunglasses) to keep the dolphins safe during the experience.
If you want more it’s even possible to walk under water at SeaVenture. This is the only experience not included in your park entrance. For an additional cost of $49 per person, guests can wear a dive helmet and interact with the fish. We haven’t done this one yet, but it’s on our to-do list for our next visit!
Don’t let the prices deter you from visiting Discovery Cove. The experiences we had during our day at Discovery Cove were worth every single penny. It’s a special day you’ll never forget!