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Review of Discovery Cove

Discovery Cove
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Orlando Attractions Roundtrip Transfer
Ranked #3 of 435 things to do in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Owner description: Discovery Cove is a one-of-a kind experience where you can interact with bottlenose dolphins, feed tropical birds, play inches from a family of otters and even walk on the Grand Reef floor-all in one day. Between adventures, recharge with unlimited island fare and refreshments. With this all-inclusive experience your family can unwind, explore, learn, and create memories that will last a lifetime.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Lockers / storage, Bathroom facilities, Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Reviewed October 12, 2012

Lovely resort. Swim with dolphins is well organised, food and snacks served thoughout the day were of good quality. Truly wonderful day one that we will never forget. Truly worth the money.

Thank Dalton2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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9,086 - 9,090 of 14,822 reviews

Reviewed October 12, 2012 via mobile

This was our first visit here, although expensive was a good day. All we would say is Are these animals not best seen in the wild?

Thank Tony M
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Reviewed October 12, 2012

loved the high class amenities of this park select yet so peaceful closed at 5 could have stayed till 8 or more

Thank Elizabeth M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 12, 2012

I've been to Discovery Cove twice; in August 2011 and August 2012. Both trips were very definitely the highlights of their respective holidays.

The dolphin experience is just out of this world. Both occasions were fun, educational and very different. Like humans, dolphins have very different personalities and so which dolphin you get dictates the sort of experience you get. We could not have had two more different dolphins, and we got two different experiences. If you are thinking of going back, don't let the fact you've had a dolphin experience before sway you to go for the non-dolphin package.

The rest of the park is equally amazing. On our second trip, I pushed the boat out and bought a celebration package. A dolphin provided a personalised buoy to my wife (a honeymoon surprise) and we enjoyed a cabana by the grand reef which had a fridge full of drinks and snacks. It wasn't cheap - a common theme I'm afraid with Discovery Cove - but it was an excellent experience that made our day that bit more special. The new areas involving marmosets and otters really are very well done.

Discovery Cove is definitely not something you can do if you are wanting an Orlando holiday on the cheap, but it is worth doing if you can afford it and want a memorable day in a very fantastic place.

My tip: Do your research! The park opens earlier than advertised during peak season. Go early, get some breakfast and do the bird feeding straight after. The birds become full and not at all interested in you later in the day.

2  Thank Anickerson84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 11, 2012

I had visited Discovery Cove 11 years ago with my family when it first opened and loved it. So when my husband and I decided to go to Florida, I made sure to take him there. It was by far the best part of our trip.

We had looked at other swimming with dolphins companies along our drive of Rt. 1 to Key West. After comparing them to what Discovery Cove was offering, we decided to wait until we arrived back in Orlando to do it. Your daily admission tickets includes a hot breakfast and lunch buffet, a 40 minutes session with the dolphins, swimming in the Reef Pool with tropical fish and rays, the lazy river, and time in the aviary. It also includes snacks and drinks (including some alcoholic drinks), lockets, sun screen, towels, and snorkeling supplies. And don't forget the 14 day Sea World pass! You really do get a lot of band for your buck.

The park itself is beautiful! It's very well laid out and offers quite a bit to do. Swimming with the dolphins is incredible! You get to pet them, play with them and ride them across the pool. They do have a photog and videographer who take photos and video of your session. We bought the photos since it was my husbands first time with dolphins. However, I did see a significant difference between the quality of the photos from my two visits. I emailed Discovery Cove and told them that I was disappointed b/c I know they can do better. If this is your first visit, getting some photos is well worth it.

My husband loved the Reef Pool. We are divers, and have never seen manta rays in the wild before. I think my husband could spend all day in there. The aviary was so much fun! They give you food. So the birds come right up to you. You might even get lucky and have one land on your arm of head. We also saw a ton of other wildlife that the trainers bring out around the park so guest can get up close. These included monkeys, a giant tortoise, and an ant eater. The lazy river was great. We grabbed some floats and spent the end of our day just floating around the river. If you prefer, you can grab a chair and lay out on the white sand beaches that make up most of the park grounds.

The facilities are top notch. The bathrooms have privates showers and changing areas with soap and shampoo. There are hair dryers and plastic bags for wet clothes. They have the main dining area as well as two other snack stations. The food was really good, nice variety. They also offer a shuttle which will take you and pick you up from Sea World for free. Since parking at Discovery Cove is free, we decided to go over to Sea World after we were done. We got to Discovery Cove at 8 am and left around 3pm. That gave us plenty of time over at Sea World. At the end of the night, we called Discovery Cove, and they sent a van over to get us. it was great!

Spending a day at Discovery Cove is an experience that is so worth the price! It is great for families and couples, young and old. The Discovery Cove staff is amazing, and everything you could possibly need is there. We will definitely be back!

Tip: Definitely have a waterproof camera. The disposable underwater camera are very inexpensive and give you decent photos. But if you really want great pictures and video, buy an underwater camera case for your point and shoot. We bought and Ikelite case for our canon ($280), but it was so worth it. We have used it on several other trips and feel we have gotten our moneys worth out of it based on the quality of the photos and video.

2  Thank aboyer8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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