Discovery Cove in Orlando Florida is an all-inclusive day resort where you can enjoy a one-of-a-kind opportunity to interact with dolphins, snorkel with thousands of tropical fish and rays, hand-feed exotic birds, and encounter playful otters and marmosets. Before you visit you need to read through my ultimate guide to Discovery Cove Orlando.
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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 Discovery Cove Tickets includes the use of
- Explorer’s Aviary - A free-flight aviary is home to more than 250 exotic tropical 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 meals to include both breakfast and lunch.
- 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!)
What is included in the Dolphin Swim Package at Discovery Cove Theme Park?
The dolphin swim package includes everything in the base ticket price and then you get:
- A 30-minute dolphin interaction experience: Accompanied by a trainer, wade into water and meet an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin through a unique hands-on interaction. (Say hello to Thelma for me!) Learn about dolphin behavior and communication from the trainer and be sure to ask them ALL the questions. Hold on an exciting dorsal fin tow ride back to shore. It is breathtaking!
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?
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 Feeding - 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.
- 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:
- Cabana Host to re-stock snacks, drinks, towels and to keep the cabana clean during your visit
- Table, chairs and chaise lounges
- Private Locker and fresh towels
- Unlimited snacks and drinks (including water and soft drinks)
- All cabanas include views of our waterways.
- Cabanas are designed to accommodate between six (6) and eight (8) guests comfortably, but no more than ten (10) guests will be permitted to occupy a single cabana.
- Parties exceeding ten (10) guests in size are required to purchase a second cabana. Guests ages 2 & under do not count toward the party size. Cabana locations vary and cannot be guaranteed. Limited quantities available.
Where else can you relax beside a Cabana?
Don't need a full cabana? Try a Day Bed! The Discovery Cove day beds are tucked within lush landscaping and alongside pristine beaches white sand beaches provide a special place to relax and unwind when not in the water exploring. Fits up to 2 adults comfortably, with a maximum of 4 guests per Day Bed.
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 with the discovery cove expereience, 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 this Orlando resort 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.
- Cabana Host to re-stock snacks, drinks, towels and to keep the cabana clean during your visit.
- Table, chairs and chaise lounges.
- Private Locker and fresh towels.
- Unlimited snacks and drinks (including water and soft drinks)
- All cabanas include views of our waterways and are complete with table and chairs, chaise lounges, and rolled towels.
- Cabanas are designed to accommodate between six (6) and eight (8) guests comfortably, but no more than ten (10) guests will be permitted to occupy a single cabana. Parties exceeding ten (10) guests in size are required to purchase a second cabana.
- Guests ages 2 & under do not count toward the party size. Cabana locations vary and cannot be guaranteed. Limited quantities are available.
👩🏻🍳 Sarah Mock
Sarah Mock is a classically trained Chef and graduate of Johnson & Wales University. A culinary blogger for 14 years Sarah helps the home cook prepare her recipes with professional results.