I surprised my husband with this tour as a birthday gift when we were at Disney World. It was really cool to go behind the scenes to see how the aquarium worked but even cooler was swimming in the tank.
The tour starts out with meeting the guides at guest relations outside Epcot. They take you through the back side of the aquarium and give you fun facts about the aquarium (for example the Epcot ball can fit inside the tank and still have room). They explain the types of fish in the tank and how they maintain the tanks. Then you go inside and see where they prep the food for the fish and they explain the diets. You get to walk past the back side of the manatee tanks and watch them for a bit. Then you watch a video about Disney conservation efforts and the snorkeling equipment. Our guide went over how the assisted snorkeling system worked. It's basically a vest and air tank but you stay at the top of the water and don't dive. I thought it was a little odd and would have preferred traditional snorkel and mask.
Then you change into your wetsuit and go through the front of the aquarium where all the guests are. Then we got in the water and snorkeled for about 30 minutes. It was so amazing in the tank. There was a group of 8 of us and I don't think I passed anyone in the 30 minutes except my husband so I almost felt like we had the tank to ourselves!
As we were swimming back to the platform a sea turtle swam right next to us. It was really neat.
When you get out you walk by the backside of the dolphin tank and got to see the trainer interacting with the dolphins for a few minutes. Then you shower and change back to your clothes. As a reminder - bring deodorant and a bag for your wet clothes! I knew they'd have shampoo and conditioner there but I didn't think about lotion and deodorant! Good thing it was a cool day. They also provided towels and there was a blow dryer in the bathroom.
While much at Disney seems overpriced, this tour really seemed like a good value for what you get to experience. I have the Disney Visa Rewards card so I think that got us 10 or 20% off as well. I'm surprised more people don't take advantage of this tour.
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