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Swimming with the Dolphins & Sharks at Discovery Cove!


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Do you love dolphins, sharks, sting rays, and other marine life? They you NEED to visit Discovery Cove in Orlando! Part of the SeaWorld Orlando family of parks, Discovery Cove is a more 'exclusive' private resort with limited daily attendance and some of the most unique encounters you'll find in Orlando. The park offers two options - either including the dolphin swim or just visiting the park, both options are all inclusive. While the pricing may give you a sticker shock at first ($259 - $379 with the dolphin swim, and about $199 - $259 without depending on the time of year), let me tell you what the pricing does get you:

 

- Unlimited Admission to Discovery Cove AND the SeaWorld Orlando family of parks for several days before or after your visit (depending on time of year it's usually at least a week to 14 days)

- Breakfast & Lunch - all you can eat

- Drinks including alcohol (beer, wine, and specialty frozen drinks)

- High quality snacks (Planters Trail mix, chips, soft pretzels, fresh cookies, etc)

- Complimentary family photo

- Unlimited use of an of the water attractions (Grand Reed, Fresh Water Oasis, Aviary, etc)

- And depending on the ticket options you choose, it will include your dolphin encounter and/or SeaVenture

 

Discovery Cove is easily the most unique experience in all of Orlando and we highly recommend it! It's like a high-end resort destination right in the middle of all the crazy theme park world that is Orlando!

 

Here's a quick little video of our dolphin encounter and swimming with the fishes! Check this out:

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Here we are at Discovery Cove! Let's go check it out!

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Your day starts with getting your personalized admission card and a lanyard, which will also give you access to SeaWorld Orlando and Aquatica for the length of your visit. I also LOVE the plastic park map they give you!

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We are all here and ready to swim with the fishes!

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Seriously, this is such a great idea! Small little park map that can't get destroyed in the water!

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Kristen's first visit to Discovery Cove! You can tell she's excited!

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Can you believe we are still even in Orlando!??!?

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We are all wet-suited up and ready to swim!

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We highly recommend the upcharge cabanas at Discovery Cove. Great place to store your items, comes with concierge service, and even more unlimited food, drinks and more!

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And here we are!

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The view from our cabana was amazing! Get to watch all the Dolphin encounters!

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Our cabana includes a hammock, awesome seating...

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...and a fridge full of drinks!

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It's time for dolphin training class! Emily gives us the scoop on what we are about to experience in the dolphin pool.

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Here is one of the three dolphin pools at Discovery Cove.

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We got to hang out with Capricorn, the oldest dolphin in captivity and the largest that SeaWorld has. This guy is nearly 50 years old! In the wild, they only live to be about 20. Capricorn is also a movie star! He was in Jaws 3 and played the role of one of the dolphins that saved the families at the end of the film!

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Capricorn didn't mind us tickling him!

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Kristen goes for her dolphin swim!

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Capricorn is certainly getting his workout today! =)

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"You want me to do what???"

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"Just give her a kiss!" Cindy the dolphin came out for kisses!

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Kristen loved hanging out with the dolphins!

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As you can see, they were excited for her to be there, too!

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The dolphins liked Kristen, but they put up with Robb! =)

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"Don't worry Cindy, this won't hurt a bit!"

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"Got to kiss a hot girl at Discovery Cove!"

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You know, just hanging out with the dolphins!

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Capricorn is all "I don't get fed enough fish for this!!!" lol

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Kristen really LOVED the entire encounter!

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The trainers were amazing and were encyclopedia's of knowledge about the dolphins.

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And of course we got to watch the dolphins have a bit of fun as well!

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Lynne was FANTASTIC! Thank you for all the info and everything you do with these animals!

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Now it was time to go swimming with the fishes in the Great Reef!

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Yup, both of us about to go in.

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Kristen was having an awesome time as this was the first time she's gotten to do something like this.

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Thank you to the underwater GoPro for capturing some amazing images!

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The sea creatures were so much fun to swim with!

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We stayed in here for over an hour!

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Hey, look! A cowfish! I hear these guys make GREAT "burgushi!" ;)

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Stingrays either about to kiss or go on a turf battle! You decide!

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"Hey, Elissa, why don't you join us?"

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Was so much fun swimming around seeing the variety of fish in the reef.

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Kristen put her hand out and many of them would swim right up to her.

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And yes, this is the area where you can swim with the sharks! (on the other side of the glass, of course!)

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More stingrays, more fish!

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Here is the lunch menu, again all food, beverage and snacks is all included in the price of the admission.

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And the food was fantastic!

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The pulled pork was amazing!

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All this is 100% included!

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And yes, unlimited beer!

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Checking out the Wind Away River which is kind of the "lazy river" part of the park.

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It's more than your typical water park lazy river though, it's more of an 'adventure river!'

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Let's see what else we can find in here.

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Oooh! We have found the Explorer's Aviary, which is part of the river!

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Hello bird, how's it going?

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Not sure what these guys are, but they are super cool!

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Love exploring the river! Now off to the Fresh Water Oasis!

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The otters were amazing! They were gathering leaves for some sort of nest!

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They would come out for a moment, say hello, and then gather more!

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The marmosets were cool!

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Here is the habitat they live in. You can get very close and they are separated from the guests with the moat around their enclosure.

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Here is one of their homes.

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But you can get close enough to get some awesome photos!

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"What are you looking at???"

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Our little dolphin trainer in training!

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Oh, did we mention... unlimited Shamu bars!!! Yesss!!!!

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I loved that they had charms for all the dolphins for their charm bracelets! This was an awesome souvenir that Kristen picked out!

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You are VERY welcome Discovery Cove!!! We love this park and we will absolutely be back for more!

Edited by robbalvey
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We spent a day at Discovery Cove when we visited Orlando in September last year. It was one of the best "park days" I've ever had, so relaxing! We also did the dolphin swim, which was fantastic! I will absolutely reccomend visiting if you're in Orlando and haven't visited Discovery Cove.

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Seems expensive at first, but they really do include a lot! Theme Park admission is icing on the cake. The girlfriend and I are plannig a trip to Orlando in October for Food & Wine Festival and looks like I need to include this into our itinerary. Thanks for sharing, Robb.

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GREAT Report! Discovery Cove is a great place to "get away from Orlando!" We often go without doing the dolphin interaction and just enjoy the day there. It's a great place and highly suggested!

 

Did you not try the SeaVenture this time around?

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We are totally doing this the next time I'm in Orlando.

 

Quick question - do you know if the SeaWorld/Aquatica admission is included before your Discovery Cove trip (for example, if it's valid for seven days, could you use 3 before and 3 after your DC visit)? We are looking at a Wednesday to do Discovery Cove but will be in Orlando Sunday-Saturday.

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That looks amazing. Such cute pictures of Kristin and the dolphin! I would love to visit this park whenever I go to Orlando, and there's so many bonuses that the price would be alright. Unlimited beer? Sign me up!

 

Thanks for the TR!

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Looked like a great day for everybody, Robb. How much extra was it for the cabana, etc?

 

I think I would definitely include that, as well as the entire day w/dolphin swim.

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Quick question - do you know if the SeaWorld/Aquatica admission is included before your Discovery Cove trip (for example, if it's valid for seven days, could you use 3 before and 3 after your DC visit)? We are looking at a Wednesday to do Discovery Cove but will be in Orlando Sunday-Saturday.

I *think* you can go in and get your lanyard before your visit, but for questions like this I'd say just give them a call or drop them an email.

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Just to add my $0.02...

 

I don't like animals and I don't like the beach...but...I could live at Discovery Cove!

 

We had such a nice day and the park has improved a TON since my last visit about 13 years ago! Snacks and drinks were always available and the freshwater was heated!

 

Now, I could not do the Dolphins or the Saltwater because it was too cold for me, but I know I'm more sensitive than a lot of people when it comes to cold water.

 

The cabana is about a $200 upgrade and you don't NEED it, but it was really nice and worth it for a lot of reasons. It's also more reasonable if you book it as part of a photo/video package. Some of the positives include having your own private locker, refrigerator, awesome cabana guy that brings you drinks and snacks, base camp, good location, fresh towels always waiting for you, etc.

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Here's how to go before, during or after your visit to the other parks...

 

SeaWorld, Aquatica, SeaWorld's Waterpark™ and Busch Gardens Tampa Pass Usage

Your reservation includes a 14-day pass to SeaWorld and Aquatica, SeaWorld's Waterpark™ in Orlando (if you have the Ultimate package which includes Busch Gardens Tampa), you must use it consecutively with your visit to Discovery Cove, either before, after, or a combination of both. Your personalized ID card will serve as your ticket if you decide to visit your selected sister park(s) after your reservation date.

 

However, if you plan on visiting SeaWorld, Aquatica, SeaWorld's Waterpark™, or Busch Gardens prior to your Discovery Cove adventure, simply present your confirmation letter and photo ID for each party member 18 years or older at their Guest Relations/Services window located at the front gate. At Aquatica, SeaWorld's Waterpark™, the process is the same should you visit there prior to Discovery Cove, however, the entry is located at the Big Kahuna Entrance just to the left of the turnstiles.

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Thank you guys for sharing this report...this place looks soooo cool!

 

I would really love to do this one day, but I have had issues with cold water as well in that I have gotten hives in water when it was too cold. It looks like the salt water is regulated to 72 so that could a be hit or miss for me. 85-88 degrees for the fresh water sounds more my speed though!

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You had me at...

 

....awesome cabana guy that brings you drinks and snacks....(towels) always waiting for you, etc.

 

 

Oh right, and the dolphins, too!

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This looks very cool, indeed. Wouldn't mind checking out Discovery Cove some day, even though I'm not a big fan of super cold water, either.

Edited by cfc
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The fact that you can go without the Dolphin Swim for as little as $150 and still get the entry to SeaWorld and Aquatica (and Busch Gardens for something like $25 additional) makes DC probably the best value in an increasingly expensive Orlando market. Been twice, will go again.

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Great report! We absolutely love Discovery Cove! I have been a few times and always have a blast. We always happen to stumble on a great deal during off-peak times and for the price, you can't beat it. We have yet to do the dolphin swim portion (we get the package without), but one day perhaps I will be intrigued enough.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Late reply, but thanks Robb/Elissa for the explanation on SeaWorld, Aquatica and BGT entry.

 

Like someone else said, it's really a no-brainer if you plan on visiting the other parks anyway - as a multi-park ticket to those three already cost $119/person! Why WOULDN'T you go to Discovery Cove?

 

I wish I realized this benefit sooner...

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