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A Day at Discovery Cove in Orlando

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I don’t know what took me so long . . . I don’t know why I never planned a day at Discovery Cove for my family before! It’s a true hidden gem in Orlando.

Although I was provided with a full day that included all of the extras free of charge as part of We Grow Retreat 2018 – I won’t hesitate to take my family to spend a day at Discovery Cove. I’m already making plans!

A day at Discovery Cove can be as relaxing or as busy as you like.

It’s a beautiful park. It’s a one-of-a kind experience where you can interact with bottle nose dolphins, feed tropical birds, play inches from a family of otters and even walk on the Grand Reef floor-all in one day. Between adventures, recharge with unlimited island fare and refreshments.

Discovery Cove is an all-inclusive day resort experience that let’s your family unwind, explore, learn, and create life-long memories. It’s also an ideal friends getaway too!

You can swim with dolphins and snorkel among thousands of tropical fish and rays.

Relax and explore rocky lagoons surrounded by lush landscaping, tropical reefs, winding rivers and white, sandy beaches. Freshly prepared meals, snacks and beverages throughout the day and swim gear are included. 

Cost

I won’t lie – it’s pricey. Is it worth the cost? ABSOLUTELY! It’s worth much more. What does your admission include? 

Food and Beverages: Freshly prepared breakfast, lunch, unlimited snacks and drinks including alcoholic beverages.

  • Breakfast is available from 7:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
  • Lunch is available from 11:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • Guests must be 21 years or older with proper ID to consume alcoholic beverages.

Gear and Facility Use: Changing facilities, swim vest or wet suit, snorkel gear, flotation devices, lockers and towels. Private indoor and public outdoor showers are also available.  Please note: In order to maintain a healthy environment for the animals, showering is required prior to entering any of their living space.

Sunscreen: A specially formulated sunscreen safe for all the animal habitats is provided at all locker areas.

Lounge chairs and hammocks located throughout the resort.

Parking: All-day self-parking at Discovery Cove is complimentary.

ID card: A personalized Discovery Cove ID card with the option to set up in-park charging.

The base price is around $159 per person for the above. When you consider it includes all of your food, it really isn’t a bad deal. Children 2 years old and under are free. Young children must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Day care services are not available at Discovery Cove.

The better deal in my opinion is $180 per person. That entitles you to a full day at Discovery Cove and 14 days of unlimited admission to SeaWorld and Aquatica.

But – let’s get back to Discovery Cove – add on the Dolphin Swim – you are up around $200 per person for the day.

Add on SeaVenture for an additional $50 per person

Ray Feeding – Another $60 per person

Animal Trek – An Additional $80 per person and Swim with the sharks – another $110 per person.

You can also upgrade your drink package to include fancy, mixed drinks for $30 per person, and reserve a cabana for the day with flat rates starting at $200 per day. Don’t forget the photo package for $220.

What Should You Bring

Photo ID: Identification needed for each party member 18 years and older. (ex: driver’s license or passport)

Credit card: For an optional in-park charge account.

Clothing: Bathing suit and a set of dry clothes. Please note that Discovery Cove is family-friendly, therefore appropriate swim attire should be worn throughout your visit. Children in diapers are required to use water proof protectors or Swim Diapers (can be provided if needed).

Completed Waivers: Waivers are needed for any minors (under 18 years of age) in your party not visiting with their parent or natural guardian. 

What You Should NOT Bring

Jewelry: For the safety and well-being of the marine-life, jewelry that can easily come off should not be worn. Also, do not leave valuables unattended/unsecured. The park is not responsible for lost, missing or stolen property. (Wedding bands are acceptable.)

Outside food and beverages: No outside food or beverages are allowed in. This includes alcohol and coolers.

Flotation devices: This includes noodles, swim fins and sand toys. Everything you need for a great day is provided.

You Need to Know

Discovery Cove limits the number of tickets sold each day. Only 1,300 people per day are allowed to visit. This insures the park is never crowded not only for the enjoyment of all the guests but also for the stress and interaction with the marine life.

This is one of the things that makes a day at Discovery Cove so relaxing. There is never a need to wait in a long line to enjoy everything the park offers.

Operating Hours: Discovery Cove is a full day adventure with waterways open from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. daily. Check in and breakfast begins at 7:15 a.m. If you’re participating in 3 or more add-on experiences during your visit to Discovery Cove, please plan to arrive by 7:30am for check-in and proper scheduling of your day.

Dolphin Swim and SeaVenture: Times are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis at time of check-in.

Shark Swim: This experience takes place at 11:30am. Please see general operating hours for arrival to Discovery Cove.

Ray Feeding: Arrival times based upon visitation date for check-in and proper scheduling of your day.

  • Visitation March 12 – November 3, 2018, please arrive by 7:00am
  • Visitation November 4, 2018 – March 19, 2019, please arrive by 7:30am

Age Requirements

  • All-Inclusive Dolphin Swim: Children ages 6-12 must be accompanied by a paying adult who is also participating in the dolphin swim experience.
  • SeaVenture and Shark Swim: Children ages 10-13 must be accompanied by a paying adult who is also participating in the experience.
  • Ray Feeding: All participants must be at least 6 years old and comfortable in water.

All Inclusive Food

Breakfast Hours are 7:15 AM through 10:30 AM and lunch hours are 11:15 AM through 3:30 PM.  At both meals you can help yourself to seconds, thirds and even fourths!

I found the food very tasty and the selection and choices plentiful. Those with special dietary restrictions and food allergies will be pleasantly accommodated.

Along with the food there is also an assortment of drinks to choose from. There’s smoothies, gourmet coffee, ice-cold beverages, snacks and more available at all of the little markets throughout the park. Visitors over 21 can also enjoy our beer, wine and cocktails.

If you reserve a cabana for the day, you will receive unlimited snacks and drinks all day delivered to your cabana.

Why not spend a day at Discovery Cove on your next visit to Orlando!

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