Hoppy summer, dudes and dudettes! No matter when you're reading this, it's basically always summer in Orlando, Florida ... especially at Discovery Cove! If you're not familiar, Discovery Cove Orlando is an all-inclusive day resort right across the street from SeaWorld Orlando ... with all of the aquatic adventures to match. Sounds like froggy heaven, right? Right.
Mommy Frog (that’s Flora to you folks), Dad (Leap), Lily and I recently had the pleasure of visiting our dolphin friends at Discovery Cove. I’m going to answer some frequently asked questions about the Discovery Cove Dolphin Swim, and tell you all about our experience along the way. This is the most popular add-on experience at Discovery Cove, and best of all you can book your Discovery Cove dolphin swim with us at a discount.
Discovery Cove Dolphin Swim Experience & FAQ
When you're exploring something new (and investing in an add-on experience), you're always going to have questions. Don't worry — we wise frogs have the answers you seek. Have more questions not answered below? Hop to our comments and shoot 'em our way.
How do I make my Discovery Cove Dolphin Swim reservation?
Check out our discounted Discovery Cove ticket options, and be sure to select one of the packages including the dolphin swim. You'll need to choose a date for your visit, as only a limited number of people are allowed in the resort per day. (For ultimate relaxation, duh.)
Upon arrival, you will choose your Discovery Cove dolphin swim time with the host or hostess you check in with. The early bird gets the worm ... meaning the earlier you arrive, the more flexibility and availability there will be with your swim time.
Considering those frequent Florida afternoon showers, try hopping on a morning swim to be safe.
I don't do well in deep water. Can I handle the Discovery Cove Dolphin Swim?
Don't fret! You can choose between the shallow and deep dolphin swims. The shallow swim keeps you closer to the shore and you there won't be any point at which you can't stand up. For the deeper swim, you are still standing for a majority of the time and only need to briefly swim about 20 ft. for the dolphin to pick you up for your ride-along. Believe it or not, (don't frog-shame me!) I'm not an excellent swimmer myself, but the deep swim was a breeze. Go for the shallow swim if you have little ones with you!
What do I wear for the Discovery Cove Dolphin Swim?
Great question, Tad. (Thanks, Tad!) You'll need to wear either a wet suit (short-sleeve or long-sleeve options available) or vest during your swim. The water can feel quite chilly, so we recommend the hoppy medium of the short-sleeve wet suit on most days. All of these choices are provided to you at no extra charge! The beauty here is that the Discovery Cove employees will choose a size for you, and they're awesome at estimating your fit. If it's too big or too small, no worries ... just go exchange it! No questions asked.
What else am I allowed to wear for the Discovery Cove Dolphin Swim?
Sunglasses are allowed and toadally recommended for the Discovery Cove Dolphin Swim, because the glare of sunlight on the water can get pretty intense. You can wear regular glasses as well, or prescription goggles are available at guest services at no extra charge. Mommy Frog had a couple of tight, captive hoop earrings that would have been very tough to remove, and she was allowed to leave those in. However, you are definitely encouraged (if not required) to remove any jewelry possible, including bracelets, necklaces, etc.
You should wear your Discovery Cove lanyard to the swim, as this will be your proof of purchase and swim time! You will be asked to tuck the lanyard into your wet suit before diving in.
What about my rings? I don't want to leave them in a locker.
If you're wearing an engagement ring or wedding set with a large stone ... first of all, congrats! But more importantly, one of the Discovery Cove employees will ask to wrap it up for you with a gauzy material to make sure you don't accidentally scratch the dolphin, or have a stone fall out and become dolphin dinner. That would be disastrous for everyone involved!
Will I receive any training or education beforehand?
Yes! You’ll meet at a covered station where one of the trainers will give you a nice safety spiel and play-by-play of your anticipated adventures. We even got to watch a cool video telling us all about dolphins!
How many people will I be grouped with?
Including you and your party, your group will be approximately 10 people. It was fun seeing other families, couples and even people hoppin’ solo while interacting with Luna! They asked questions we didn’t think of and made it a more interesting experience. We met people from all over the world!
How many dolphins do you get to meet during the Discovery Cove Dolphin Swim?
You’ll meet one super special dolphin during your swim, but see many others playing and swimming in the lagoon. We love that this makes the experience a bit more intimate, as you really get to learn all about your dolphin. Ours was named Luna, and she was born at Discovery Cove … her mom still lives there, too! It might sound silly, but Luna reminded me a bit of a puppy … she was so excited to receive attention and affection! How adorable. Your designated trainers (there are two with you, one of which is the primary “narrator” so to speak) will answer any and all questions you and your tadpoles have about the dolphins and other Discovery Cove wildlife. The trainers will ask YOU questions too, making the experience interesting and informative.
How much dolphin interaction will we receive?
When you think “Dolphin Swim,” you inevitably imagine doing the classic dolphin ride-along, and probably not much else. Don’t be fooled or scared away by this misconception! The Discovery Cove Dolphin Swim will wow you with the interaction you receive. I’ll walk you through our experience to help paint a picture for you!
To start, our group lined up and the trainer had Luna swim right by all of us, allowing us to “pet” her just past the dorsal fin. Like most humans and frogs, dolphins don’t feel too comfortable with you touching their faces. We got to do this about four times during our interaction! Each of us got to feed Luna a little fish. (In this case, fish are friends AND food.) The trainer walked us through a few hand signals that encouraged Luna to perform her behaviors such as rolling over on her back (AW!) and even making adorable sounds. We pretended to be fishing and she made the funniest (and cutest) noise imitating a fishing reel. The coolest part was when Luna joined forces with the dolphins from other groups to do flips together. I think Lily’s face turned into the actual heart-eyes emoji. After this, of course, came the dolphin swim itself. We each swam our way out to the trainer further in the water, where we could gently hitch a ride alongside Luna. Videographers and photographers were there to capture all of the magic!
What about the most important part … the photo opportunities?
You can let out a sigh of relief, because I assure you, your Instagram will be hoppin’ after your Discovery Cove Dolphin Swim. The trainers, videographer, photographer and Luna herself were all awesome about all of the photos! Of course, photos and a video of our ride-along were captured. Afterwards, Luna was sweet enough to pose for both solo and group shots, both standard and KISSING! That’s right, we got to plant a big ol’ smackeroo on the gorgeous Luna, which resulted in the most adorable pictures. We recommend springing for the largest photo package (especially for a big group!) so you can get all of your photo downloads.
Can I bring a waterproof camera?
Nope! As the Frog Family's resident videographer, it breaks my heart to say that you are not allowed to bring cameras of any kind into the Discover Cove Dolphin Swim. Cameras have tons of tiny, small parts that could easily fall into the water and become a danger to the animals. As frogs, we must put the safety of our fellow aquatic friends first!
Don't worry, Discovery Cove has both photographers and videographers in the water with you to capture your experience. You'll definitely want to purchase a photo package to take all the fun home with you (and it makes great social media content, duh.)
What if it rains?
Ah, the beauty of SeaWorld parks! Discovery Cove has a generous inclement weather guarantee. If rain spoils your Discovery Cove dolphin swim plans, the staff will do their best to reschedule your experience to another day during your Orlando visit. If you’re not available, you have up to a year to come back and splash with your dolphin pals!
Are you ready to dive right in and swim with the fishes ... or in this case, dolphins? Hop on our discounted tickets today and get cruisin' to your Discovery Cove dolphin swim. If you have more questions (whether frequently asked or not!) comment below so we can help you out. That's what Frogs are for!