Last month I visited Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida which is part of the SeaWorld theme park group and offers a more relaxed sealife encounter. Discovery Cove offers lots of different experiences from swimming with the Dolphins to diving in the Grand Reef with String rays, sharks and thousands of tropical fish.
In the past I have been put off visiting Discovery Cove due to the cost but decided to bite the bullet and go for it and what a good decision that was as I had an amazing day and did things I never thought I would get to do and it turned out to be great value.
There are a number of different packages available so please see the Discovery Cove web site for details but you can buy an all inclusive package that gives you the dolphin swim and then unlimited use of the rest of the park which also includes all of the following
- Free Self Parking
- Free lockers, sun screen, towels
- Unlimited soft and alcoholic drinks, snacks and freshly prepared breakfast and lunch
- Unlimited admission to Seaworld and Aquatica in Orlando for 14 days
- Busch Gardens for an extra $20
Now if like me you have visited lots of other theme parks, not having to pay for parking, food, drinks, lockers is amazing, they also limit the number of people in Discovery Cove to 1000 per day so it never feels crowded. You can take your time, relax, have a drink and take in this amazing place.
You get a 30 minute dolphin interaction where you get to swim with the dolphin, watch them do tricks and much more. After that you can relax in the Wind-Away River and ride the soothing warm waters of a tropical river, then swim on the Grand Reef with string rays, sharks and thousands of fish.
If you fancy a diving experience then visit the SeaVenture (this is an extra cost). This is an underwater walking tour where you wear a big dive helmet that is connected with an air pipe from the surface, very cool. You will get up close and personal with all the fish, rays and be face to face with sharks through the panoramic window on the reef floor (don't worry they can't get to you).
The Freashwater Oasis opened this spring and features a family of Otters that you can view above and below water and is themed around a tropical rainforest. With sparkling clear water and sandy beaches Discovey Cove is a great day out and with the added access to SeaWorld and Aquatica it's great value.