Discovery Cove in Orlando Florida is an all-inclusive day resort where you can enjoy a one-of-a-kind opportunity to swim with dolphins, snorkel among thousands of tropical fish and rays, hand-feed exotic birds, and encounter playful otters. Before you visit you need to read through my ultimate guide to Discovery Cove Orlando.
What is there to do at Discovery Cove Orlando?
If you have not visited Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida you MUST visit next time you are vacationing in Orlando. I call it a 'hidden oasis jem in the playground of Orlando'. The Day Resort Packages at Discovery Cove are all-inclusive!
Your admission to Discovery Cove includes the use of
- Explorer’s Aviary - A free-flight aviary is home to more than 250 exotic birds. Reach your hand out and hand-feed hundreds of birds and interact with birds as tall as four feet! Be sure to take a float under the refreshing waterfalls in the Wind-away River.
- Freshwater Oasis - Have a few face-to-face encounters with playful otters.
- Wind-away River - Explore this waterway that meanders through the park, encountering beaches, palm-covered walkways and rocky lagoons. Swim through the Wind-away River travel through different environments: a sunny island beach, a dense tropical forest and an underwater cave. Swimmers going under a waterfall will emerge inside the immense free-flight aviary. Flotation devices are provided as the river varies in depth.
- The Grand Reef - multiple levels of exploration, shallow waters to deeper swimming adventures, from white sandy beaches to snorkeling among tropical fish, rays, and canyons inspired by reefs from around the world. Discover a below-the-surface world of sea life, or venture out to snorkel in deeper waters as thousands of exotic fish and rays swim around them. Families can explore along the water’s edge or cross a bridge to see sharks swimming below.
- Serenity Bay Beaches and Pools - These beaches are lined with swaying palms, tropical foliage and thatched huts. be sure to claim your own spot among the tall shady umbrellas, sunning lounges and beach chairs. Buckets and sand toys are sprinkled along the beach for kids to enjoy.
- towels and mask during your stay
- free parking at Discovery Cove
- shower amenities
- souvenir snorkel
- drinks and snacks (including alcoholic beverages for those over 21)
- select in which activities you would like to participate.
What is included in a base ticket price at Discovery Cove?
- Discovery Cove Amenities Included:
- Freshly prepared breakfast and lunch (I was BLOWN AWAY at the quality of cuisine!)
- Unlimited snacks and beverages, including alcohol (yes... you read that right!)
- Snorkel gear, animal friendly sunscreen, lockers, changing facilities, and parking. (the snorkel is yours to keep!)
- Animal Experiences:
- Snorkel among thousands of tropical fish and rays
- Come eye-to-eye with sharks through a 10-foot-tall panoramic window
- Encounter playful otters, curious marmosets, and hand-feed exotic birds
- Ultimate Relaxation:
- Enjoy white sandy beaches and freshwater grottos
- Float along a scenic crystal-clear river
What is included in the Dolphin Swim Package at Discovery Cove?
The dolphin swim package includes everything in the base ticket price and then you get:
How old do you have to be to swim with dolphins at Discovery Cove?
Children ages 6-12 must be accompanied by a paying adult who also is participating in the dolphin swim experience. This policy was established to ensure the cognitive and physical stature of the child. These factors are taken into consideration to ensure children are able to interact in a group social setting, accept instructions, and understand the trainer.
Also, the physical size of the child is taken into account since he/she will be in water that is approximately 3 feet deep with large, powerful animals. Unaccompanied minors must be at least 14 to participate in the Trainer for a Day program with an accompanying adult in the park with paid admission.
Can teens go to Discovery Cove alone?
Teens must be 15 to enter the park without parental supervision. Parent or Legal Guardian must sign "Authorization to Treat" forms before allowing park entry. All Minors participating in the Dolphin Experience must have any and all release forms signed by a parent/legal guardian over the age of 18.
Any guest under the age of 18 participating in the SeaVenture experience must have liability waiver signed by parent or legal guardian after watching the instructional video.
What else is available at Discovery Cove, beside swimming with dolphins?
I was blown away at all the offerings and options at Discovery Cove! My family would be happy with the base ticket experience and a dolphin swim, but I know that as they come back year after year they are going to want to discover all that Discovery Cove has to offer. For an extra fee there are upgrades available. They are fabulous experience and well worth the price, in my opinion.
- SeaVenture - On this underwater walking tour, guests wear dive helmets, step up-close for a breathtaking view of dozens of sharks, and experience one-on-one touches with unique animals and schools of fish and gentle rays. Guests must be at least 10 years old for the SeaVenture experience.
- Ray Feed - This exclusive opportunity gives guests the chance to feed the stingrays during a private tour of the Grand Reef before it opens for the day. The session includes educational hands-on opportunities with the exciting animals that call the reef home. Guests must be at least 6 years old to participate in this experience.
- Shark Swim - The awe-inspiring Shark Swim program provides closer-than-ever encounters with legendary predators. Guided by the park’s aquarist team, guests learn about the threats the animals face in the wild and shark anatomy as they engage in hands-on interaction and an exhilarating snorkel experience through the habitat. Guests must be at least 10 years old to participate in this experience.
Are the cabanas at Discovery Cove worth the extra price?
I got to experience a cabana at Discovery cove and would TOTALLY be booking one if I had my parents with me or my tiny nieces. A perfect place to take a break from the sun (my Dad get sun burn easily) and my nieces and nephew would be able to take a much needed nap in the closed off cabana. But beyond having a home base for everyone to meet back at there are many perks to a cabana:
Where else can you relax besides a Cabana?
What are the Discovery Cove Orlando Hours?
Discovery Cove is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Guest check-in begins at 7:30 a.m. Park opens earlier during peak seasons. I would recommend getting to the park on the earlier side. You There is so much to do at Discovery Cove, you don't want to miss a minute of it. Don't worry about eating breakfast before you arrive. It is included!
What is the maximum people capacity at Discovery Cove, Orlando?
One of the fun facts about Discovery Cove is the daily attendance is limited to approximately 1,300 guests to ensure no overcrowding. There were plenty of times I would look around Discovery Cove and wonder if I was the only guest on property! It was amazing! But keep in mind reservations are required.
My best Discover Cove Orlando tips:
- Arrive early! Get the most out of your day and enjoy breakfast made for you!
- Skip packing the towels, sunscreen and snacks. It is all included in your day.
- Check back for snacks often. The snacks will rotate and you don't want to miss one.
- Ask for a treat to feed the aviary birds. They are available and included.
- Treat yourself to a an additional experience! They are all wonderful and make wonderful memories.
- Don't forget your ID!
- RELAX! Take the time to savor the beauty and experience of the day.
- Step out of our comfort zone. Do something you have never done before.
Where is Discovery Cove, Orlando located?
To get to Discovery Cove, plug this address into your 6000 Discovery Cove Way, Orlando, Florida, 32821. Located on Central Florida Parkway, at the Intersection of Interstate 4 and FL 528 (the Beachline Expressway), 10 miles south of downtown Orlando and 15 minutes from Orlando International Airport.
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published October 18, 2018