Discovery Cove has seriously got to be the best kept secret in Orlando. I know this, because I lived in Florida for a year and a half before hearing about Discovery Cove. My friend Erin was going with her husband, and she told me that it’s basically a place to swim with dolphins. You can swim with dolphins, but it is so much more!
Swimming with Dolphins at Discovery Cove
Should you pay extra to swim with the dolphins? Yes! Our military family did the Day Resort with Dolphin Swim Package and one of the highlights was definitely the dolphin encounter.
- The Day Resort with Dolphin Swim Package is $289 per person. If you are a FL resident the price is $149 per person. (Packages also includes unlimited admission to SeaWorld® and Aquatica, SeaWorld’s Waterpark™ in Orlando during your vacation.)
All of my kids were able to participate, because they are 13, 10, and 7. (Note: kids have to be at least 6 years old to participate in the dolphin swim.) During the dolphin swim, we got to meet two dolphins and learn all about them. One of them was young and one was old. It was fascinating to see the difference. I never thought about dolphins aging before. For example the young one look just like they do in the movies and has all of its teeth still. The old one only had 6 teeth and just looked older. Of course, it was the old one we had to kiss for the pictures!
Everyone gets to kiss the dolphin and take a dolphin ride where the dolphin pulls you through the water. My kids LOVED this. The entire encounter is photographed and videotaped, with the option of purchasing them afterward. I can’t remember how much this cost, but it was not cheap.
We also swam with manta rays and tropical fish, fed birds, pet a sloth, learned about marmosets, and overall had a great time. I spent a lot of time relaxing on the beach watching the kids swim and play. It is a relaxing place to be, unlike many theme parks where you are waiting in line after line.
One of our favorite parts was the lazy river. There are no tubes, but you can get a life jacket or a pool noodle to help you float. There were some deep parts and younger children should be in a life jacket. As you float down it, you enter into an aviary, where you can look at the birds or get up and walk through the aviary and feed the birds.
As a mom, I loved the fact that the package was all inclusive. If the kids got thirsty or hungry, they could go up to any snack shack and pick out whatever they wanted. I didn’t hurt that mama could have pina coladas all day.
Discovery Cove Day Resort packages are available with and without the Dolphin Swim Experience. Packages also include:
- Unlimited admission to SeaWorld and Aquatica, SeaWorld’s Waterpark in Orlando during your vacation. Upgrade to the Ultimate Package for an additional $25 to add Busch Gardens Tampa.
- Unlimited snacks and drinks, including alcoholic drinks
- Breakfast and lunch
- Snorkeling with tropical fish and rays
- Snorkel gear and animal safe sunscreen
- Hand-feed parrots, toucans, and other exotic birds
- Complimentary transportation to Busch Gardens Tampa for guests whose Discovery Cove package includes admission to Busch Gardens
Although the tickets are expensive, they are not nearly as expensive when you factor in the admission into Sea World and Aquatica.