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“Discovery Cove With kids and grandkids”
Review of Discovery Cove

Discovery Cove
Book In Advance
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US$17.99*
and up
Orlando Attractions Roundtrip Transfer
Ranked #2 of 456 things to do in Orlando
More attraction details
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, Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children, Activities for young children, Lockers / storage
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

We had a wonderful time. Grandkids are 11 and 13, we are in our late 60’s. They great breakfasts buffets and lunches as it was all inclusive. If you left hungry then it was your own fault. They were so friendly and helpful. Provided wet suits vest, goggles and snorkel tubes. And sunscreen. Snorkeling was awesome so much fun and so many species of fish. The lazy River was also a lot of fun and the Avery was enjoyed by all of us. Beautiful. Very clean. I would highly recommend this resort. They really know how to take care if you.

Thank Ida M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"dolphin swim"
in 3,165 reviews
"dolphin experience"
in 1,147 reviews
"grand reef"
in 925 reviews
"breakfast and lunch"
in 536 reviews
"sea venture"
in 323 reviews
"lazy river"
in 2,408 reviews
"wet suits"
in 551 reviews
"bird aviary"
in 237 reviews
"tropical fish"
in 520 reviews
"underwater camera"
in 188 reviews
"great reef"
in 172 reviews
"snorkel gear"
in 170 reviews
"all inclusive food"
in 160 reviews
"wind away river"
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"sea world and aquatica"
in 240 reviews
"deep water"
in 138 reviews
"sun cream"
in 275 reviews
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Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

We planned to visit Discovery Cove whilst in Orlando, so glad we did, we visited on Father’s Day, so what an amazing treat for me and my family. We had booked the day months in advance, then a few weeks before travelling my wife noticed you can book cabanas, I phoned and they were all booked but the VIP cabana was available, it did make the day quite expensive as it added a further $900 to the £700 we had already spent for the three of us for the day inc. dolphin swim, but it was so worth every penny!!
On arrival we were greeted by our amazing host for the day MD, he was very friendly and knowledgable, he took us for a walk around, to show us where everything was, on route took us to our reserved seating at the restaurant, there is everything available for breakfast and all food and drink is included in the ticket price. As VIP’s you get proper cutlery, not the plastic ones. After a lovely breakfast MD appears and continues with our tour, we were taken to the aviary area, were were hand fed many species of birds, they land all over you and eat from your hand. We then went to be hooked up with our wet suits, vests and masks and snorkels, then MD showed us to the VIP cabana.
It was amazing, it has a large fan in the roof, a fridge full of drinks, locker, hammock and chairs. MD was happy to grab us beers and wines and kept our fridge well stocked. There also was a wooden chest full of snacks. We went for a quick swim in the reef, the water is cold but you soon get used to it, and it is full of all types of fish that you can snorkel with.
The whole visit was planned to treat my six year old daughter, and next to come was our dolphins swim, included in the vip package is all the photos and video package which is over $200 alone. Just before we left our cabana MD had arranged for a colleague to bring an armadillo to our cabana for a visit.
The dolphin swim was amazing, the trainers were great, knowing our daughter has epilepsy, they were always on hand to make sure she was safe. You meet and stroke the dolphin, then take it in turns to kiss the dolphin and pose for photos. We had Akai (not sure on the spelling), he was beautiful. Then he takes you for an amazing swim, just hold on and he does the rest. I have never seen my wife or daughter so happy. Then as VIP’s my daughter had another treat, the dolphin swam over with a special boay with a message on, it was so amazing, everybody was on the verge of tears and all our group applauded. On leaving the water our amazing host MD was waiting with fresh towels for us. We then went to a warmer pool with a marmoset area and another area you can see otters through underwater glass panels.
Then we went for dinner, another inclusive, have as much as you like from an amazing choice of great food. We then could do whatever we like and decided to try the tropical river, it was amazing it seems to go all round the park and through the aviary, under waterfalls, it does change depth quite a bit, luckily we made some amazing friends that helped us round with our daughter as none of us are great swimmers. Float vests are provided, so you are safe even if you can’t swim. We met some great people at Discovery Cove from all over the world that we will stay in touch with.
Having a host was great, we got to see bits of the park we may have missed on our own, and didn’t have to worry about times, as MD came and found us. He wasn’t with us all the time but seemed to just be on hand if we needed anything.
Seriously you need to visit Discovery Cove, it is a beautiful, exclusive, all inclusive tropical resort rather than a park, the memories from this day will stay with us forever!! A special thanks to MD, and our new friends Ross and Elaine, you made the day so amazing!! My only complaint is the day went so quickly!!

2  Thank Johnthefence
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

We went here at the beginning of June and there were 9 of us. Ages ranging from 3-63 and we all had the BEST day!
Upon arrival you all get a lanyard, showing who you are and who is over 21, meaning you don’t need to show ID when asking for an alcoholic beverage - as my birthday was in a few days I got a red lanyard and then all members of staff that saw me, wished me happy birthday (it was a lovely touch).
There were loads of beaches and areas to settle for the day - we didn’t spend any time at all on the sun loungers because there was so much to do that was so much better. 2 of our group did the dolphin experience and they loved it - the rest of us got to stand right next to them and hear and see all that was going on (we just weren’t in the water with them).
The snorkelling with the sting rays and various fish was amazing - Iv tried to snorkel before in Egypt and didn’t like it but this just took my breath away.
All day we were catered for - food, drinks, sun cream, life vests, snorkels.
I would 100% recommend this day out!!

1  Thank Emmakay88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

They say get there early for ray feeding. Don't bother they didn't open on time (15 minutes late). Opened the doors and never greeted guest just ordered you to one of the reception tables to get badges. If you are registered for ray feeding early you get to wait on a couch until 7:15 (supposedly) until someone comes and gets you as all the other guest begin to file in and enjoy breakfast (before you who was here much earlier). Not to mention everyone entering the park is getting the pick of the chairs along side of the event areas while you sit on the couch and wait. When this issue was brought to the attention of management they assured everyone would get an umbrella or you could gladly reserve you a cabana for $400 more dollars. All the ray feeding participants were stirring around lobby asking just how long past 7:15 it was going to be before someone came and greeted us. At about 7:25 a young lady sprinted up apologizing because someone had not shown up for work to take us to the designated area. Funny thing the manager never mentioned that when asked when we were going to be taken back, after all we had been there an hour already. The management is disorganized and nonfunctional. When I asked guest relations for a map of the park I was told there were two out in the park. Good luck finding one when you don't know where you are going. So I thought I would do the next best thing and ask a staff member where the snorkeling area was. No luck the staffer said she thought it was down that way pointing down to the lower end of the park (guess she hadn't ever used those two maps in the park either). The ray feeding and the dolphin swim was good and instructors were knowledgeable. The underwater walk was good but the people snorkeling in the same tank got to see the same fish and species for a lot less money. Food was fair but you do get as much as you wish with snack,s but for the entrance fee you should. Then comes the grand finale the pictures they shot of your group throughout the visit, they are of great quality but they must be on gold leaf paper because you get a total of 4 for $99, oh and then you can add a single for $10 more or if you don't want to break the bank you can buy a single print for $40. This place has a lot of potential just because of the animals and the "encounters with the animals" but it is a money pit and is poorly managed. The staff needs to go to Chick-fil-a and see what customer service is all about. I will never return and will never recommend, I would recommend saving the money and it is a lot, and take your kids on another excursion. You and your group will be much happier than wondering around a park all day trying to manage something that should have been done for you, customer service 101.

4  Thank 1CoalCountry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jeff A, Guest Relations Manager at Discovery Cove, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

Good Day from Discovery Cove-

I am very sorry to hear your did not enjoy your day at Discovery Cove. I do want to touch on a couple topics for any future guests and to hopefully ease some concerns. The Ray Program does begin daily between 7:15-7:30. That being said we do not require check in to occur before 7:00 am since it is typically very quiet that time of day. I am sorry that if you felt this was rushed but we did operate within our time parameters. I know you had some concerns regarding umbrellas and seating on the beach but after speaking with you personally and offering personalized service I am sorry if you did not find seating that met your needs but were certainaly available on request. We are very proud of our animals, our park and our Ambassadors. We are consistently the top attraction in Orlando and we are always concerned when even one person walks away dissatisfied. I do hope you plan another visit so we can provide you the experience that we strive so hard for each and every Guest.

Best Regards and hope to see you soon!

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Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We swim with the dolphins in Mexico, so we did not pay for that during our day trip to Discovery Cove. While the base ticket is $200, it does include admission to Sea World and Aquatica. So when you consider you’re getting three parks for $200, that’s a bargain!

The food at discovery Cove was pretty good! Scrambled eggs were a bit runny for my taste, but it was all you can eat so there was plenty of fresh fruit, sausage, bacon, cereal to go around! Lunch was pretty phenomenal. Ate the salmon and that was very tasty. Too, snacks are served throughout the day. These included warm chocolate chip cookies, pretzels, variety of beverages, at least three different types of Miss Vicky’s potato chips, Pepperidge Farm’s Gold Fish, and other options. You could purchase adult beverages on site as well.

Now onto the things to do while you are there... The lazy river is nice and the temperature is just perfect. Not cold, but not bath temperature either. Next to where you can observe the otters there is a shallow pool with cement seats. So you could sit, relax, and enjoy a beverage! In the same area, there is a little island with a couple of monkeys on it. They were nice to see, but that’s not the highlight of your day.

There are two beach areas that they use for those who pay to swim with the dolphins. The cool part about this is if you don’t pay for this, you can still stand at the edge of the water and watch the show. When we swim with the dolphins in Mexico, it was irritating because the employees at the facility would actually walk in front of us as we try taking pictures with our cameras. They did everything except ask us not to take pictures. Here at Discovery Cove, they could care less!

The BEST part of the day is snorkeling in the Grand Barrier Reef. Please know that the water temperature is on the cool side. I heard somebody say it’s 73°. You may find this helpful when you first enter the park because they ask if you want a swim vest or a wet suit. The latter will certainly keep you warmer as you snorkel. However if you truly enjoy snorkeling, you will get used to the water as soon as you put your face in it! There are sting rays in the pool...some so big an adult would fit on top of it! And they are not shy about swimming right next to you. One of the lifeguards sits on top of the eel tank. You can only see the eels underwater, so make sure you don’t miss them. You can swim up to the shark tale however I don’t think you get a great view of the sharks underwater. There’s a bridge that you can stand on top of them look down into the shark tank. I think that view is even better.

You can snorkel right up to shark tank, however I don’t think you get a great view of the sharks underwater. There’s a bridge that you can stand on top of them look down into the shark tank. I think that views even better.

One final suggestion… While discovery Cove does provide sunscreen for you, if you choose to use it, use it sparingly! It is thicker than Elmers glue and it is REALLLY hard to rub in. However you could bring your own brand of sunscreen, but just make sure that it is safe for the animals. I wish we had brought our own as it is a whole lot easier to use than what they provide. Sunscreen is only available at the lockers. Speaking of lockers…we learned something... We placed our belongings in lockers that were blue. However, the key for our locker hung from an orange lanyard. This meant that we had used an orange locker. Would’ve been helpful to know when we were ready to leave at the end of the day because we were looking for the blue lockers when in fact we should’ve been looking for the orange lockers. Overall, had a wonderful day and would not hesitate to go again!

Thank Tieanna L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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