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Advice on Discovery Cove

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Cromwell, CT
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766 posts
2 reviews
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Advice on Discovery Cove

Hi - I'm just looking for some straight-out advice on Discovery Cove, as to whether it's really worth the price, and if so, why do you think that? My husband and I are returning to Orlando in May for the third year in a row, and each year we say "Oh, we should have tried out the Cove". Honestly, the price rather scares me, as it would be a lot to "invest" if it wasn't worth it. Staying at the Grande Vista and driving by it every day on our way to the parks only makes me want to go more, but I'm going to have to be able to talk my husband into this expense on top of the rest of expenses this trip brings. Any advice will be GREATLY appreciated! And I do want to hear negatives (if any) as well!!!

Thanks much!!!

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1. Re: Advice on Discovery Cove

Hello jwedding,

Yes! Discovery Cove in my opinion is worth the price. If you book the 30 minute dolphin swim it also includes free tickets to Sea World if that would help sell your husband. If your not interested in Sea World, then skip the dolphin swim and just enjoy snorkeling, swimming in the lagoon or simply relaxing in this beautiful park.

Windsor UK
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1,328 posts
7 reviews
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2. Re: Advice on Discovery Cove

I went a few years ago with my daughter who really wanted to swim with a dolphin and yes it was worth it to see her wish come true,but if you havn't got a burning ambition to swim with the Dolphins then i think the price is excessive.

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634 posts
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3. Re: Advice on Discovery Cove

Never been a real dream to swim with a dolphin, but I'm glad I did - its a "do it once" park - you probably won't worry about doing it again once you have.

Its beautiful in there, the price includes a pretty good meal (better than usual theme park fare), the lagoon etc are great & its very peaceful & quiet there. Nice to just sit on the beach & watch the dolphins.

I have to say, although the dolphin experience was great (& I got some fantastic photos)it wasn't the life changing experience some had said it was. But then I'm very hard hearted so probably just me!

Go on, do it - just the once....

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1,145 posts
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4. Re: Advice on Discovery Cove


Haven't been yet but we have booked to go in April, just to let you know that the price is now all inclusive so you get snacks, drinks, breakfast and lunch included. You also get the Seaworld or Busch Garden 7-day ticket whether you swim with the dolphins or not. I too hope it's worth it but since we are going at a very busy time we thought it'd be nice to have a quiet, relaxing day. Will post a report when we get back.

London, England
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1,945 posts
1 review
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5. Re: Advice on Discovery Cove

We have booked to go for the first time in July. Everyone I speak to who has been says its the highlight of their trip, so it sounds like its worth it and I'm really looking forward to it. We are also going at a very busy time and I think it will make a nice change since it only allows in 1000 people a day.

Southampton, UK
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284 posts
8 reviews
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6. Re: Advice on Discovery Cove


We went to DC about two years ago and loved it. We are going back on the 16th April for a non-dolphin swim only because we had done it once and although we really enjoyed it and I guess it is one of those 'once in a lifetime' experiences we feel no burning desire to repeat the experience. Having said that if you book a non-dolphin swim and get there you're wish you had booked the full package when you see people dashing off for their booked appointment to swim with a dolphin. There is so much to do there without crowds of people compeating for space. I would recommend it; its beautiful and relaxing with plenty for the whole family to do. Promise I don't work for them. Hope this helps.


St. Louis, MO
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85 reviews
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7. Re: Advice on Discovery Cove

I'm probably a minority in my opinion, but for us it was a huge waste of money. We might have felt differently if the weather had been better (six days of beautiful weather on our vacation and one cold rainy day -- our Discovery Cove day.) We were freezing, and most in my family wanted to leave right after the Dolphin Swim. I insisted that we at least get lunch since that was included and inside. I figured we could at least snorkel in the warm coves, but all anyone wanted to do was go back to our warm dry condo. Also, I thought the time with the Dolphins was pretty minimal -- the trainer pets the dolphin first, then you pet the dophin right where the trainer did, etc. You're never alone to do your own interaction with the Dolphins at all. (I'm sure this keeps the Dolphins very safe, but it felt rather staged and unnatural to me.) Two very short swims was all we got in terms of swim time. Dolphin experiences we've done in Key West and Puerto Vallarta were far superior -- way more swim time / way less supervison / much less costly. Also here at Discovery Cove, you get a big sales job for pictures and videos -- please we already spent over $200 a piece just to get in. We told my son he could pick out one 5 * 7. Others were spending huge sums. Others too in our group even on this rainy day thought this was one of the coolest things they did in their life. Maybe I would have felt differently if I hadn't had previous dolphin swims that were so much more enjoyable and the weather was better.

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1,071 posts
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8. Re: Advice on Discovery Cove

Hi jk,

We went to the Cove 3 years ago on Spring Break with our 2 kids. We all loved it! The park is a very pretty and much needed respite from the hectic pace of the theme parks. The snorkelling, beach, stingrays, lazy river were great. The dolphin experience, however, was somewhat disappointing to me because it really wasn't much of a swim at all. We spent most of the time learning about the dolphins and watching the trainer. We also had to share our dolphin with another family which really limited our time interacting with it. The kids were thrilled, of course, they were not the ones paying. While our trainer was pleasant and knowledgable enough, we felt like he was hanging around us at the end waiting for a tip! Also, the cost of the photos and DVDs is fairly high.

Bottom line, I would go back and just enjoy the place and NOT do the dolphin part again. The extra 100 bucks isn't worth it for more than once in my lifetime. Also, you didn't mention kids. If it is just the 2 of you, I recommend splurging now while you can. If you don't do it, you will be in the same position next year wondering what it is like. Is there another park or attraction you can give up in order to do Discovery Cove instead? Have fun!

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1,155 posts
54 reviews
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9. Re: Advice on Discovery Cove

My boyfriend and I did it 2 years ago and I would recommend you to do it once. The actual place is amazing and very relaxing and the lunch was nice. As for the dolphin swim it was brilliant-it was a dream come true and I really enjoyed it. It was just a bit too short though-it would have been better to have more time with the dolphins. If I returned I would go back but I wouldn't do the dolphin swim again as I dont feel that its worth the extra money, however I know that if I had gone the first time and not had the dolphin swim I would be kicking myself!

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86 posts
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10. Re: Advice on Discovery Cove

Got back from florida last night. Must tell you that Discovery Cove was my best day of my life!! My husband and my daughter, myself went there last Wednesday and it was fabulous as everything was there - (no need to bring towels, suncream, shampoo, condition and body wash) as all there!!! We swam with dolphin and it was brilliant as we swam in tropical to see lots of different kind of fish. I got the photos and dvd and i think it was worthing for money as it was expensive but worthing i think my view that rates is 10 of 10!!! Go for it!