Discovery Cove

Despite facing stiff competition from meerkats these days, dolphins still remain everyone’s favourite mammal and swimming with dolphins features on many a “wish list”. At Discovery Cove you can do just that and more!

Even if you’re not doing the dolphin swim, your ticket includes breakfast, a buffet lunch, unlimited snacks, soft and alcoholic drinks and the use of  sand toys, towels, sunscreen, lockers, hammocks, life jackets, wetsuits, snorkels and masks, so there’s no need to lug lots of bags about. The cafeteria closes at 3pm, so take an early lunch.

Discovery Cove dolphin show

For dolphin swims you need to check in at 8am to reserve your slot. Only 1,000 guests per day are allowed at Discovery Cove, so it never feels busy or crowded. Before your swim you will learn about dolphin behaviour and how they communicate before having some “getting to know you” time with a beautiful Atlantic bottlenose dolphin. These playful, intelligent creatures are the ultimate swimming companions, and will even let you ride on their backs, holding onto their dorsal fins!

Although you are not allowed to take cameras into the dolphin lagoon, professional photographers are on hand to record your experience, and you can chose later which ones to purchase.

Elsewhere at Discovery Cove, feel free to take pictures of whatever you like, and if you have a waterproof camera you can capture everything else you do on film, from snorkelling with rays and tropical fish, to floating on the Wind Away River, under tumbling waterfalls and into peaceful grottos.

In the Explorers Aviary you can hand feed exotic birds and the earlier you do this the hungrier the birds are, which means better photos!

Discovery Cove Fresh Water Oasis

Relax between activities at Serenity Bay, a sandy beach with a large freshwater pool, surrounded by lush vegetation, and feel like you’re on  tropical island. Discovery Cove now offers an undersea walk, Sea Venture. No diving experience is necessary, since you descend to the bottom of the pool via a ladder, and oxygen is fed into your diving helmet through a tube. You will walk on the “seabed” for around 25 minutes, as shoals of tropical fish and rays swim around you, and watch them being fed before you resurface.

You can also purchase an Ultimate Package, which gives you free entry to affiliated Orlando attractions like Seaworld, Aquatica and Busch Gardens at Tampa Bay.

Discovery Cove Ultimate Package

Kate Quigley

Kate Quigley Travel Writer