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“Perfect day!”
Review of Discovery Cove

Discovery Cove
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and up
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, Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children, Lockers / storage
Reviewed 16 March 2012

We visited on one of our last days in Orlando and after a hectic week of theme parks, it was a great relaxing day.
You have to do the dolphin swim as it makes the day.
All inclusive food and drink were great but I took the car so would recommend you get the ihop.
All in all a perfect day

1  Thank Alex J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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10,210 - 10,214 of 14,824 reviews

Reviewed 16 March 2012

The moment I walked into Discovery Cove I got excited, which is a big deal for me since I rarely do. The service is fantastic and the staff is very accommodating and helpful. While the sticker price is scary (sometimes $300 per person) all food and drinks are included, and the dolphin swim is something most people never get to enjoy. While the dolphin interaction is limited, it is still an experience. The bird aviary was phenomenal, birds literally sit on your hands and eat with a little patience. The beach area was beautiful, the grand reef swimming area was unreal (swimming with a variety of fish & stingrays was awesome!) and serenity bay was relaxing and peaceful (floating down a river basically). I will likely come again next time I'm in Orlando.

3  Thank xScience
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 March 2012

I bought tickets at the last minute so I paid full price. The closer you get to the date the more you pay for admission. Plan ahead, they only let 800 people in the park per day and they aren't open everyday.

When we arrived they had just fixed a technical glich in the computers so there was a lineup. To entertain the small crowd, they brought out an armadillo. I had never seen one before and it was cool.

We went for our free breakfast. Since I'm Celiac, I asked what they have that is gluten free. They had lots! The food was good.

The aviary was our first stop. There are all kinds of tropical birds large and small. It appears to me they don't feed the birds on days when they have guests and the bird have to eat from your fruit cups to be fed. The little ones land on the lip if the fruit cup you hold out. The large birds walk over and eat and the medium birds land on your arm and eat. It was interesting.

Then we went in the Wind-away River. It was bath water warm. We floated through a cave under a waterfall, down the manmade river, through the aviary and into the Serenity Bay. I got out to see what was at the snack bar. They had slushies, chips, other snacks and even beer ... all free; help yourself, no kidding. I was surprised that admission included not just breakfast and lunch, but snacks too. What a cool concept!

We then went to explore the Grand Reef. We walked in and saw some coral and plants and a couple stingray immediately. We thought that was it until I went out deeper in the water. That was when the ocean opened up to me. There were all kinds of beautifully coloured tropical fish and 3 gigantic stingray along with many smaller ones. I waved to my son to come out deeper. He did and disappeared in his tropical swim for a long time.

I touched a stingray and it felt like velvet. Around the corner and under a bridge, we saw sharks. They have a Plexiglass tank within the reef with sharks in it. We were amazed. The Grand Reef is like swimming in the deep blue sea without any of the dangers. It was an extraordinary. I liked this as much as the dolphin swim, and I love dolphins.

When we went for lunch, they made me a special gluten free plate; it was delicious. I talked to a lady there about the dolphin swim. I asked her about the instructional movie. I'm half deaf and can't wear my hearing aids near water. This staff member went and told the desk and when I arrived for the movie they put closed captioning on for me. I thought that was very nice and with so little notice. I recommend telling them, if you need closed captioning, when you book your tickets.

Finally, we went for the Dolphin Swim. I think the name is misleading. You don't swim with the dolphins like you do with the stingray and fish in the Grand Reef. I would call it a close-up dolphin encounter. Our dolphin was a 10 year old male named Hutch. We got to pat him, command him to do tricks and then we each got a tow by Hutch back to shore.

Dolphins feel like rubber or a hot dog. There was an awful lot of energy spent on photography in this area. Each group had a photographer and videographer assigned to them. The photos were available for purchase and the photo take of your group on arrival is waiting for you free when you leave.

I would have to say it was a perfect day even though it sprinkled rain for a few minutes. (They were calling for thunderstorms that day)

I wouldn't give up these memories with my son for anything!

Since the park closes at dinnertime, consider driving to Downtown Disney. Parking is free. There is a free boat ride. (Don't get on the water taxi unless you want a very short ride.) We ate at T-Rex and did some shopping.

Since we were staying in Tampa, we chose Bush Gardens as our free second pass.

11  Thank ResorTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 March 2012

My boyfriend and I spent the day here, and it was absolutely wonderful. Discovery Cove is like a paradise. I don't think a trip to Florida would be complete with a visit here. I definitely will make reservations for Discovery Cove on every future trip I plan to Florida!

2  Thank Heather E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 March 2012

This was a highlight of our trip and a must do. Our dolphin Katalina was four years old and the experience of swimming with a dolphin and interacting with her was absolutely fantastic. Book early and arrive early on your day for the full Discovery Cove experience.

Thank Paul C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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