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Discovery Cove is a beautiful, tropical oasis. The park is well run, and the entire staff is very friendly. Buy the picture CD that the park sells if members of your group are doing the dolphin swim. Their close up pictures are great quality, and you won't be able to get such a good angle on pictures you take yourself. Also, look for the photographer throughout the park, and ask to have your picture taken. All pictures of your group taken during the day will be included in the CD. There is a photographer in the bird aviary, by the waterfall, and in the sting ray pool. If you go with another family, you can combine the pictures of everyone in your group on one CD. You will be allowed to split the cost of the CD. You can then burn a copy at home to share. The CD or USB stick with all your pictures is $125 (or $75 if bought with another picture package). A DVD with video of your dolphin experience is also available.
Although the park is expensive, it is a good value considering everything that is included (including unlimited 14-day admission to either Sea World or Busch Gardens, all your food and drinks and parking at Discovery Cove, as well as a free photo of your group when you enter DC). The park's restaurant is open from 9AM to 3PM, and there are also snack shacks offering chips, cookies, hot pretzels, ice cream, beer, soft drinks and coffee free all day.This site recommends pool shoes, but honestly they aren't necessary. Nowhere is it uncomfortable to walk (including in the snorkeling area). In fact, the white powdery sand throughout the park feels wonderful on your feet!
The snorkeling is so easy to do once you get the hang of it, and the fish are so beautiful. The water in the lazy river is warm and the tropical landscape surrounding it is so beautiful. There are waterfalls and a cave in the lazy river, as well as birds pirched in the trees since the aviary is in the area. If you are an accomplished snorkeller do not waste too much time going around the lazy river as there is nothing to see under the water except one or two small glass sections containing sharks. It is much more entertaining to snorkel in the other two pools where there are fish!! Then enjoy floating down the lazy river with floats and vests later in the day when it is not as crowded. This will save you time as there is so very much to cram into your day.
The tropical bird section was great fun as food for the birds was free and they will fly up and and land on you to eat it.
Get there early as the day will fly by. Do not bother with taking a book to read as you will have no time!! The transfers leave from a bus stop outside Seaworld, do not bother going into Seaworld if you have tickets. If there is no transfer vehicle, there is a telephone to call one. Eat breakfast once you arrive at the park (as it is free!)
This was a superb day: a big highlight of the holiday. It was excellent value as the ticket also included a open-ticket to SeaWorld, Aquatica and Busch Gardens.