Sunday, July 17, 2016

Discovery Cove Orlando

  So this isn't Disney related but it is related to another Orlando theme park... Discovery Cover Orlando is an amazing tropical oasis located across from its sister park Sea World Orlando. We finally were able to go to Discovery Cove last year for my daughter's 13th birthday. It was a surprise for her (and her brother) and I know it is an experience that none of us will ever forget.
  We opted to purchase the Birthday package with a private cabana and it was definitely worth the splurge! The package included our own private cabana area that was stocked (and then restocked) with drinks and snacks by our own personal attendant. Cabana locations are not guaranteed upon booking, but we ended up with one overlooking the dolphin lagoon area.
  Discovery Cove is an all inclusive resort experience so all food (breakfast and lunch) and drinks (including adult beverages) are included.  Wet suits, snorkels, and even sunscreen are all provided by the park. Upon check in we were given our badges (this serve as your tickets for the day and for the other Sea World parks - but I will get to that in a minute) and then we went over to have breakfast. After breakfast we were fitted in wetsuits and snorkels and headed to our cabana.
  There are so many things to do at Discovery Cove that don't have to do with swimming with the dolphins (so if that package with the dolphin swim isn't appealing to you there are still other things to do). We fed exotic birds, relaxed down the lazy river, swam next to otters, went snorkeling and saw tons of fish, coral, sting rays, and so many amazing creatures. The lagoon that has the snorkeling is COLD so I highly recommend wearing the wetsuit even if you don't want to! When it was time for our dolphin swim we sat through a short safety presentation and then it was off into the water. We got to do some training exercises with the dolphins and swim with them. Since we paid for the birthday package, our daughter was called out to do a special activity with the dolphin where the dolphin brought her a buoy that said "Happy Birthday" on it. The package came with tons of amazing pictures of our dolphin experience as well as a DVD of the whole thing.
  Now onto the badges that I mentioned earlier... along with one day admission into Discovery Cove, your ticket also comes with 14 consecutive days of admission into Sea World Orlando and Aquatica! When you factor all of that in, it is definitely worth the price! Florida Residents and Triple A members can get discounts during certain times of the year too. Children have to be over 6 years of age in order to swim with the dolphins and children between the ages of 6-12 that are doing the dolphin swim must be accompanied by a paying adult.

Here are a few pictures of our adventure at Discovery Cove!

Eating Breakfast

Our Private Cabana

Time for snorkeling

Feeding the birds 

Dolphin Kisses

Getting her birthday gift from the dolphin!

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