Discovery Cove is a secluded tropical retreat unlike any other Orlando theme park. For a real change of pace, especially for those who love Dolphins, a visit to this attraction is a must do. The all-inclusive attraction is a bit pricey compared to other Orlando parks, but the experience is absolutely unforgettable.
Located across from SeaWorld in Orlando, Discovery Cove offers a tropical paradise for a day, as well as an opportunity to Swim with Dolphins. Reservations are required and with attendance limited to 1,000 guests it is never crowded (but book ahead!).
The attraction is a veritable tropical paradise with pristine white sand beaches, crystal-clear turquoise lagoons for playing and snorkeling, a coral reef with thousands of colorful and exotic fish, a ray lagoon, and more. There are picturesque water falls, a lazy river that meanders through the grounds, beautiful palm trees galore, lush tropical gardens, striking grottos and an expansive free-flight aviary.
The facility is carefully arranged to give an impression of a secluded and natural tropical location, and - they succeeded very well! Once inside, one would never know that Orlando, SeaWorld and Disney are nearby.
Plan to go early and stay the whole day to get the most from this luxurious park. Once inside, the all-inclusive service provides every need. At the time of this writing the admission fee includes: parking, "fish friendly" sunscreen, a continental breakfast, a superb lunch, all snacks and beverages throughout the day including beer and wine coolers, use of snorkel gear (new, unused snorkel), flotation vest or wet suit, towels, lockers and beach chairs.
Two admissions are available - with and without the dolphin swim. The non-package includes all of the park's amenities but without the swim. The package adds a 30 minute session with a dolphin.
An orientation is provided and then moves to the water where 6 to 8 guests join in shallow, clear water. A trainer will guide the guests through a session of hugs, kisses, belly and back rubs, playful antics and ultimately a one-on-one swim with their playful friend. The experience is quite memorable. They are playful and clearly seem to enjoy interacting with the guests. Photographers capture the session and offer a variety of pictures and formats if desired (additional cost not included in admission). Children must be age 6 or above to do the swim.
Discovery Cove is home to over 30 dolphins with first rate facilities. Trainers take good care of these amazing marine mammals and their well-being is always a priority. The park, along with sister parks SeaWorld and Busch Gardens, actively promote wildlife conservation and protection.