Discovery Cove

Sea World Discovery Cove is a truly memorable interactive experience that will have you swimming with dolphins and petting harmless stingrays.  Reservations are required at this one-of-a-kind Florida theme park, where only 1,000 people a day are allowed to enter.  With a high staff to guest ratio, you and your family will be made to feel special as you enter a marine world that gives you an up close and personal meeting with various aquatic creatures.  Discovery Cove Orlando is adjacent to SeaWorld, and its chain of pools and lagoons wind in and out of lush settings complete with beaches, palm trees and rock formations. 

Perhaps the highlight among the attractions found at Discovery Cove is the opportunity you will get to swim and play with bottlenose dolphins.  Seven people at a time enter a shallow water pool to learn about the amazing creatures they are about to meet.  A trainer begins with an overview about dolphin behavior and shows you how SeaWorld Discovery Cove trainers communicate with the animals through hand signals and positive reinforcement.  During that time, guests meet the dolphins with hugs and kisses.  After the primary introduction is over, it’s time to actually swim with the dolphins.  Enjoy a tow through the water holding onto a dolphin’s fin, or give the playful animals a rubdown. 

As you move on to some of the other attractions at SeaWorld Discovery Cove, your marine world adventure continues as you encounter more amazing animals.  Snorkeling at the Coral Reef allows visitors to visit a submerged shipwreck where exotic fish teem, and you come face-to-face with sharks and barracuda.  Sounds scary, but there is no need to worry, as the sharks and barracuda are behind a glass wall.  Wading along the tropical pools and riverways will eventually lead you to the free-flight aviary, where guests interact and play with tropical birds, while feeding and touching them.  Gentle and harmless stingrays play host at the Ray Lagoon, where you can feed, touch and swim with these beautiful creatures.

As you move from pool to pool around the grounds, you encounter sandy beaches, picturesque grottos and waterfalls.  And for some rest and relaxation before or after your complimentary lunch, you can hang out at the large resort style pool.  The Laguna Grill is where you will receive you complimentary meal, and among the food selections are chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, chicken pasta, Caesar salad, cobb salad, and stir-fry.  Beverages in the form of water and sodas are also free, and beer and wine can be purchased by adults.  The Laguna Grill opens at 11 a.m. and provides seating areas outside under umbrellas, or delivers your meal to you on the beach with their waiter service.

Due to the exclusive nature of Discovery Cove Orlando, guests will not encounter crowds or long lines.  Again, advance reservations are required, and attendance is limited to 1,000 people a day.  When you arrive at Discovery Cove, you are greeted at the check-in desk where you will meet with a personal guide for orientation and an initial tour.  On-site, you will find clean and accommodating locker rooms, and all the equipment you need to enter the water, minus your bathing suit, is provided for you.

There are two all-inclusive Discovery Cove Orlando admission packages available when booking your reservation.  The Dolphin Interaction package costs $259, and the Non-Dolphin Interaction goes for $159.  Add $20 to each package admission price between the dates of March 12 - Nov. 11th.  Included in your admission to Discovery Cove are your meals, beverages, gear, parking, and a 7-day pass to either SeaWorld Orlando or Busch Gardens Tampa.  If you are planning to visit all of the Walt Disney World Theme Parks, your best deal is likely to purchase a Disney Park Hopper Ticket.  It allows you to come and go through all four of Disney theme parks at Epcot Center, Magic Kingdom, Disney-MGM Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  Your unused days never expire, and the options run from 4-7 days, ranging in price from $203-$325 for adults, and $161-$261 for kids.  Slight discounts can be found when ordering on-line.

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