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“DiveQuest: Bucket List Experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Epcot Divequest

Epcot Divequest
Orlando, FL (Walt Disney World Resort)
407-939-8687
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Ranked #15 of 239 Activities in Orlando
Type: Disney, Water sports, Adventure
Activities: Scuba diving
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Attraction details
Owner description: Swim with sharks - as long as you have an open water scuba certificate.
Greensboro, North Carolina
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
“DiveQuest: Bucket List Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2014

If you are a scuba diver and go to Disney World, you are really missing a bucket list opportunity if you don’t experience DiveQuest at what is now The Seas with Nemo & Friends (formerly The Living Seas) with its over 6,000 sea creatures. The Seas is so large that Spaceship Earth could fit inside with space to run around the perimeter. At 203 feet in diameter by 27 feet deep it contains 5.7 million gallons of salt water that is filtered every two hours and 43 minutes by an enormous filtration system in several huge tanks nearby.

Disney World Epcot Center DiveQuest

DiveQuest cannot be compared to open water diving. It is obviously a completely different kind of dive and is enjoyed for its unique merits. The DiveQuest experience takes about 3 hours. The dive itself is about 40 minutes. It is a shallow dive so the air in the tank lasts longer. Before the dive the 16 divers are treated to a back lot guided tour of the educational and research work taking place, observing first hand the magnitude of operations at The Seas. It is a fascinating experience as you walk past offices, research areas, and holding tanks for large sea creatures that are moved in and out of the facility via the roof, taking advantage of rising floors, and hydraulic lifts with harnesses.

I was interested in the food preparation area. A white board has the names of the variety of sea animals, and even the names of individuals for large creatures like the dolphins, sharks, and manatees. The board showed the recipes and volumes consumed by each animal type. Divers feed the animals in separate groups, the animals having been trained to individual audible signals to come eat. Interestingly, the food standards for feeding these creatures exceeds FDA standards for feeding humans.

We learned that the manatees are rescued animals, one having been injured by boat propellers. In fact we were told that one of them had been rescued, restored to health, released, and rescued again.

After the tour we were directed to a lounge room where we could relax a bit, get some instruction, sign our lives away, and then off to assigned lockers to get into wet suits before heading upstairs above the water level for final instructions and putting on tanks. We were supposed to have an opportunity to get on video with our family on the other side of the glass but my son and I waited and never saw the videographer, so I missed having that part of the experience recorded. Divers are not allowed to bring their own cameras.

There were a couple of other aspects of my previous DiveQuest experience that I thought were better by a small measure. On my previous dive the divers were made to feel a little special by being informed that they are part of the Disney World cast. It was also nice to have an opportunity to spend a little time with the family before going upstairs to don the rest of the equipment over the wet suit. That was not included this time. This time seemed a little rushed compared to the way it was done before.

Still, we had a great experience. I loved sharing the dive with my son. In addition to the fun of diving amidst a captive group of an amazing array of sea life in an “always perfect” environment, there is another captive group behind huge windows to entertain the divers. Many in this group, humans, are even related to the divers. It makes for an interesting and fun photo opportunity. The video taken by our family on the air side of the glass was interesting to see. My wife put her hand to the plexiglass and I did the same from the other side. The video made the 8-inch plexiglass thickness apparent. It was also really cute when a little girl from another family put her hand to the glass, too, so I reached up to hers.

One of my favorite things to do is to swim over to the large picture windows with a view into the restaurant. It is fun to go above the windows out of sight and then come down upside down to wave at the kids who are eating in booths at those windows. Asked nicely the restaurant guests will even offer to share their food with you, albeit a bit difficult to get to it. One of the young children was fascinated by a shell just outside the window and signaled for me to let her see it more closely. Uncertain whether it was ok to do so, it was just a shell, so I picked it up to show her and then placed it back where it had been. She was pleased by the attention which pleased me.

This time the DiveQuest experience was extra special, getting to do the dive with our youngest son and with our very happy youngest daughter and her mother following us with video cameras.
For a complete report please visit FrictionFactor.com/2717

Visited February 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Los Angeles, California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Very exciting!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2014

I can say very little that hasn't already been said about this. It's a very safe and reassuring experience for less-experienced divers but also a great thrill for people with hundreds of dives. The gear was well-kept and although I didn't have any issues with fit, any problems others' had were promptly resolved. I was alone and I was "buddied up" with someone, but we didn't spend much time near each other in this controlled environment. The entire experience is quite enjoyable, the only thing that could possibly make it better is more time! I would jump at the chance to do this again, especially with someone who has not done it.

Visited May 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“A great experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2014

The owner of a local dive shop in Nashville suggested that I try Epcot DiveQuest while I was in central Florida and I found it to be a great experience. I am a newly certified diver and the staff and dive masters were very attentive and made this novice feel quite comfortable. The experience includes a behind-the-scenes tour of the facility and we got to see rescued manatees being cared for by the staff. I was surprised to find that there were a couple of professional divers in our tour group who had heard what a great experience DiveQuest was and they had nothing but great things to say about it afterward. I would call that pretty high praise from individuals who travel the world diving. The dive itself was very nice and it was quite a thrill to have sharks swimming so close to me. I'm sure all the creatures were lovely but I have to say I spent a good deal of time keeping an eye on the whereabouts of the sharks.
One of the highlights of the experience was swimming up to the windows and interacting with the children, they seemed so excited to have a diver wave at them and their expressions were priceless. I am very happy that I decided to join DiveQuest and I would highly recommend the experience to anyone.

Visited January 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“This is NOT "JAWS"! But it's Exciting!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2013

This has to be one of the all time 'bucket list' items! you can read all the other reviews and they will tell you how fantastic the adventure is for EVERY diver! I have over 10,000 dives and this was still very exhilarating for me. I had a 8 foot Sand Tiger come right up to me and look at my mask. I was able to see if he flossed well!! I don't care how much experience you have, that takes your breath away. All the occupants seem happy and adjusted which makes an incredible dive! This is a must! The Disney people give great information leading up to and after the dive. It's not hard to believe 47,000 people work at Disney because it is run sooo well! Don't miss this if you have a chance to dive there. The people looking thru the windows are happy for all the attention you give them especially the children (future divers)!

Visited November 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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Munford, TN
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Sharks, Turtles, and Rays! Oh My!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2013

We had wanted to do this since becoming certified two years ago. Our diving friends from Florida highly recommended it and the reviews just were terrific.

The entire operation was first class from the initial briefing to the final goodbye. All equipment was provided and was in top notch condition. Don't know how they did it but without ever asking how much weight I might need, when I got in the water, it was perfect. Wetsuit was a great fit and the mask they provided was better than my own. Our briefings were spot on, to the point, and covered all aspects of the dive.

Really not enough room to say the glowing things about the dive. My wife and I were thrilled. Swimming next to the sharks and following the turtles and rays around was a blast. I also had a lot of fun waving at people at the observation windows and restaurant windows. Felt like a real part of the show and cast of the aquarium.

If I have to add a negative, we were told by the telephone operator who made our reservation that admission to Epcot was included. Unfortunately when we showed up at 10:00 AM to tour the park before our dive, that didn't happen. We were told at the ticket booths that they didn't handle the dive reservations and we would have to take up the issue with whoever we talked to. Tried calling them but no luck or satisfaction. We ended up waiting 6 hours to finally get in to dive. Probably would not have gone had we not been promised park admission as well.

I would probably do this dive again but it is a bit expensive. They told us almost the entire amount goes to research but even with our military discount, $158.00 each was a bit much for one dive. We did get to see a lot and the conditions like visibility, variety of sea life, and water temperature were superb.

Visited October 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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