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Why Discovery Cove Is One of Orlando's Top Attractions

We're so excited to finally be selling tickets to Discovery Cove. This park is consistently ranked as one of the top attractions in Orlando, and for good reason — this all-inclusive experience is a tropical paradise unlike any other. We spent the day at Discovery Cove on our last visit to Orlando and were truly amazed by how fun and relaxing the visit was. Today, we want to spend a little time introducing you to Discovery Cove.

Discovery Cove

First of all, know that the daily capacity is capped at 1,200 people. This is key to your relaxation, because even during the busiest travel times, it won't feel crowded inside Discovery Cove. You can leave the hustle and bustle of the real world behind, which makes Discovery Cove perfect for a day between theme park visits!

Discovery Cove

Inside this lush, water paradise, you can swim with dolphins, feed tropical birds inside Explorer's Aviary, snorkel in the Grand Reef, take an underwater walking tour and get up close with tropical fish, explore the Freshwater Oasis with otters and marmosets or while away the hours along the exotic Wind-Away River. Of course, you can also spend your day, lounging on the beach or enjoying Discovery Cove's many pools.

Discovery Cove - lunch

Breakfast, lunch, snacks and drinks, including a selection of alcoholic beverages, are all included in the price of admission, so you don't have to want for anything!

Discovery Cove - cabana

On this visit, we had the additional luxury of a secluded cabana, with covered and uncovered seating, overlooking the Dolphin Swim area. It was absolutely fabulous, outfitted with lounge chairs, snacks and drinks. We had our own locker, so we could leave all of our gear and it served as the perfect "home base" during our visit. For many, a cabana falls into the "splurge" category, but the cabanas are perfect for families, especially those with babies or young children who are still napping, or for those who want a little more privacy.

Discovery Cove - lobby

Your Discovery Cove ticket also includes 14 day unlimited admission to SeaWorld Orlando and Aquatica (and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay if you choose one of the ultimate packages), so it's also a terrific value if you're planning to visit those parks. Upon arrival, you'll be ushered into the serene lobby, where one of the many employees will check you in. Depending on when you arrive, you'll then be assigned times for any experiences that require reservations such as Dolphin Swim or SeaVenture. After that, you're free to explore the park or grab breakfast.

Discovery Cove - Aviary

Mornings are a great time to visit Explorer's Aviary, since the birds will be hungry. You can grab different types of bird grub and see if you can lure a few flying friends to your perch!

Discovery Cove

This was one of our very favorite experiences during our day at Discovery Cove. Even though we're surrounded by plenty of wildlife around the Frog Pond, it was absolutely amazing to get so close to so many winged creatures and so many of them rare species.

Discovery Cove - Stingrays

Along The Grand Reef, you can spend quality time with the stingrays or snorkel alongside the tropical fish.

Discovery Cove - snorkeling in the Grand Reef

Lily and Tad both especially loved this, as they are absolutely obsessed with petting the stingrays, and then Tad and Leap headed out to explore the Grand Reef on their own!

Discovery Cove - dolphin swim

Of course, we wanted to take part in the Dolphin Swim, one of the key park experiences. The swims take place in small-group settings at reserved times throughout the day. After a brief presentation, we waded into the chilly waters in wet suits, and our instructor introduced us to several of Discovery Cove's dolphins. Since participants have to be at least 6 years old, Leap and I split up. Tad and I went first as Leap and Lily watched us nearby from the shore.

Discovery Cove - Dolphin pic

We learned a bit about dolphins, including how to touch the dolphin, which was key since we had many opportunities to touch the dolphins while we were in the water! Even better, our instructor showed us hand signals to make with the dolphin so that we could give it a kiss. While you can't take your camera in the water, don't worry, because Discovery Cove photographers are on hand to catch it all! Yep, I have a pic of my dolphin smooch!

Discovery Cove

Each person in the group also had the chance to swim with a dolphin across the lagoon. Less proficient swimmers have the option of swimming with a dolphin from a shallower area, but this really wasn't an issue since the dolphin did all the work! This was my favorite part of the experience because it was so much fun to watch everyone's expressions as they sailed across the water holding onto a dolphin!

Discovery Cove - SeaVenture

Next, it was on to SeaVenture. In this experience, guests can go down, down, down 12 feet below in The Grand Reef for a walking tour. You don't need SCUBA certification, you just need to be prepared to have fun!

Discovery Cove - Sea Venture

You'll wear a special dive helmet that feeds you oxygen as you tour with a small group. Guests must be at least 10 years of age to participate, need to be in good physical condition, not be flying within 4 hours of participating and should not have had any alcohol for the 12 hours prior to the tour.

Discovery Cove

I won't lie, as comfortable as I am in water, I found the initial moments down below quite unnerving, but the instructors down below made sure everyone was OK, using the hand signals we were shown in our brief training beforehand.

Discovery Cove - shark tank

Down below, you'll have prime views of the shark tank, while the tropical fish swim freely around you.

Discovery Cove

You'll also get hands on with some of the sea creatures.

Discovery Cove

After SeaVenture, we spent some quality family time exploring the Wind-Away River. This lazy, tropical river that has a rocky bottom in places and reaches depths of eight feet, winds past sandy beaches and waterfalls. Life jackets are available for all ages, so even non-swimmers can enjoy these tranquil waters. While you can float down it on noodles, more intrepid explorers will want to make use of the complimentary masks and snorkels to explore the underwater depths.

If you go to Discovery Cove ...

Since the experience is all-inclusive, you really don't need to bring much with you. Discovery Cove will provide you with towels, beach chairs, wetsuits, masks, snorkels and even sunscreen. We recommend wearing water sandals, since some of the water surfaces are rocky. You may want to bring a set of clothes to change into, along with a camera and maybe music and a good read if you plan to relax on the beach, but all you really need is a bathing suit and maybe a hat! Plan to spend a full day at Discovery Cove, and make sure to get to the park early so you have time for breakfast!

All in all, it was an incredible day at Discovery Cove, and we cannot wait to return. What makes us even happier is knowing that you can now purchase Discovery Cove tickets directly from us! What questions do you have about Discovery Cove? Share them in comments below! Have you visited Discovery Cove? Tell us about your experience! 

Hoppy discovery!

Mommy Frog 

 

 

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
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Comments
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Crystal Oct 15, 2014 at 4:05 p.m.

Would this be a place that a 3 & 5 year old would enjoy?

Reply
FrogBlog Oct 15, 2014 at 1:19 p.m.

Hi Crystal,

Yes, young children would absolutely love it, especially for the beaches, swimming and the animals. They just would not be able to participate in the Dolphin Swim or SeaVenture.

Mommy Frog

Reply
May Sep 10, 2015 at 8:54 a.m.

I am taking my granddaughter to Florida and would love to see her swim with the Dolphins. My only problem is she will be 5 years 11 months when we go. She can swim and isn't scared of the water at all but absolutely loves Dolphins. Do they check ages eg. Passports etc before they allow kids to swim with the Dolphins? It would be a great shame for her to miss out on such a memorable experience for just being 4 weeks short of 6 years!

Reply
Elizabeth Jun 9, 2016 at 9:04 p.m.

queremos viajar a discovery cove, nadar con los delfines, sistema todo incluido por 2 noches para 2 adultos y una niña de 6.años 9 meses. fecha desde el 9 al 11 de septiembre.. me pueden ayudar?

Reply
Jill Evans Oct 15, 2014 at 6:40 p.m.

Do you sell a day pass to Discovery cove only as we have tickets for Sea World etc and if so how much are they for adults and children .

Price for swim and none swim thanks.

Reply
FrogBlog Oct 16, 2014 at 7:32 a.m.

Hi Jill,

Please reach out to our customer service team directly at 1-800-846-1302 or by email at info@undercovertourist.com.

Mommy Frog

Reply
Margaret Oct 17, 2014 at 1:54 p.m.

is the cabana extra money or part of the ultimate package only?

Reply
FrogBlog Oct 20, 2014 at 9:01 a.m.

Hi Margaret,

The cabana is an additional fee. For 2014, it is $199.

Best,

Mommy Frog

Reply
gamaliel rivera Oct 20, 2014 at 12:44 p.m.

cuanto es el precio para junio 3 la taquilla de discovery cove junto a sea ,bush y aquatica .

Reply
FrogBlog Oct 21, 2014 at 9:20 a.m.

Hi Gamaliel,

The price varies by date. You can select your tickets here. Once you enter your date, you will see the price.

Best,

Mommy Frog

Reply
FROGGY Feb 24, 2015 at 12:56 a.m.

What is the difference between your day and ultimate packages for discovery cove?

Reply
FrogBlog Mar 2, 2015 at 7:34 a.m.

Hi Froggy,

The day package includes 14-day unlimited admission to SeaWorld Orlando and Aquatica. The ultimate package adds on 14-day unlimited admission to Busch Gardens.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
bob Apr 23, 2015 at 12:30 a.m.

I'm traveling to the area in August, 15 to 25. Tried to get the tickets but none were available for any of days of our trip. Is it possible that you more at some point? If I go to their site, there are tickets available.

Reply
FrogBlog Apr 29, 2015 at 10:02 a.m.

Hi Bob,

We have limited inventory for those dates. Please check back as cancellations may open for additional swims!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Noreen Jun 1, 2015 at 1:12 a.m.

Are we able to go to Sea World and Aquatica before going to Discovery Cove or only after going to Discovery Cove?

Reply
FrogBlog Jun 1, 2015 at 8:40 a.m.

Hi Noreen,

If you visit SeaWorld® Orlando or Aquatica, SeaWorld's Waterpark™ before your reservation date, you must present your E-Ticket and a photo ID for each party member 18 years or older at the Guest Relations/Services window located at the front gate of the sister park.

Mommy Frog

Reply
Grace Jun 4, 2015 at 1:32 p.m.

We are planning to visit 2nd or 3rd week of December. Will it be too cold to visit Discovery Cove and Aquatica? Travelling with 3 kids 13, 11,7.

Reply
FrogBlog Jun 8, 2015 at 1 p.m.

Hi Grace,

Depends on where you're coming from ;) You're looking at average highs in the low to mid-70s. The pools will be heated at Aquatica, and at Discovery Cove you will have the option of a wetsuit. For our tadpoles, that's just fine.

Mommy Frog

Reply
Diana Dec 13, 2015 at 7:23 p.m.

How far in advance do we need to book our day at Discovery Cove with dolphin swim? I'm waiting to find out whether I'll be traveling for work over the summer, so I can't book anything until I know my travel schedule. I was aiming for August 2016 for 6-8 people.

Reply
FrogBlog Dec 16, 2015 at 7:33 a.m.

Hi Diana,

I would recommend booking as soon as you know. This park does reach capacity almost daily.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Neil Jan 6, 2016 at 8:51 a.m.

What happens if the day you book for discovery Cove it is raining?

Reply
FrogBlog Jan 6, 2016 at 9:32 a.m.

Hi Neil,

Discovery Cove tickets are not refundable unless canceled at least 30 days prior to reservation date. As far as the experience, it is rain or shine. There are wetsuits if that helps.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
kerry Jan 30, 2016 at 11:26 p.m.

They let you reschedule once free of charge. If you reschedule a second time they charge you 50.00.

Reply
Neil Feb 3, 2016 at 6:16 a.m.

is there an issue if you dont know how to swim? Anything that shouldn't be done? Still purchase dolphin tics?

Reply
FrogBlog Feb 10, 2016 at 12:25 p.m.

Hi Neil,

For visiting the dolphins, you have the option to just be up close and touch them if you didn't want to swim with them (they do do all of the work). The other pools range in depth, but there are plenty that are shallow or shallow in parts that I don't think not being able to swim should keep you from having a great time. Life jackets will also be available.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Jess Mar 1, 2016 at 9:34 p.m.

Hi we're looking to come to florida in October I have a 8 ur old and a 4 year old I no he can swim with the dolphin but would he Beable to touch them and be close to them with me? X

Reply
FrogBlog Mar 8, 2016 at 2:19 p.m.

Hi Jess,

Unfortunately, he will not be able to get in the dolphin pool. The encounter does take place in shallow water near the beach, and he could be there on the beach and definitely see what is going on, but he would not be able to touch the dolphins.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Dave Mar 22, 2016 at 5:32 p.m.

We plan to come to Orlando the last week of April. Will the water be too cold for Discovery Cove? We want to do swim with Dolphin and snorkelling

Thanks,

Dave.

Reply
FrogBlog Mar 28, 2016 at 9:49 a.m.

Hi Dave,

It shouldn't be too bad. Some of the pools are kept cooler for the animals, but there are wet suits you are free to use.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Kelly Jun 18, 2016 at 7:11 p.m.

Do they have wetsuits for babies? We'll have a 1 year old at the time we visit.

Reply
FrogBlog Jul 11, 2016 at 8:32 a.m.

Hi Kelly,

They might, but it's doubtful. Most pools are quite comfortable and heated during cooler times. The wetsuits are primarily for the Dolphin Encounter, as that pool is quite chilly, and your daughter will not be old enough to get in.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Akanksha Jun 16, 2016 at 2:40 p.m.

Hi- we are planning on going to discovery cove in March. I've been reading reviews on trip advisor, and some have said the dolphin experience was not worth the money bc of long wait times, etc. I have 10 year old twins. Do you recommend doing the dolphin swim and the sea venture? I'm worried this may not give us enough time for snorkeling and other activities.

Reply
FrogBlog Jul 5, 2016 at 1:57 p.m.

Hi Akanksha,

The dolphin experience is well worth it, but it does depend on your children's interests of course. Sea Venture is also a one-of-a-kind experience. With limits on the number of people who can do both of these experiences, as well as get into the park, you should have no problem getting time for snorkeling and all of the other experiences.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Bridget Jul 6, 2016 at 10:44 p.m.

We have purchased 5 Discovery Cove passes for this November. If we purchase the $229 photography option, will all five of our family members be included in the photographs?

Reply
FrogBlog Jul 12, 2016 at 2:09 p.m.

Hi Bridget,

Yes, you just need to let the photographer know it is for family shots.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Holly Aug 16, 2016 at 5:38 a.m.

We have a 1, 6 & 8 year old. Can one parent do the dolphin experience w one child while the other parent and child stay back with our toddler? Then we can swap out?

Or should one parent go w both children at the same time? Then the other parent wouldn't participate in the dolphin experience and sits out w our one year old.

Reply
FrogBlog Aug 16, 2016 at 1:37 p.m.

Hi Holly,

You could do either option, whichever will work for you.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
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