Discovery Cove, a SeaWorld-owned property located directly across the street from the main entrance of SeaWorld Orlando, is definitely a splurge. With rates starting at $219 per person (for Florida residents), it certainly isn’t a bargain. After a recent press visit to Discovery Cove, I definitely found it to be worth the splurge for families who are looking for a fun, unique family vacation experience. While I would recommend waiting until your children are very comfortable in the water (for my kids, I think age 8 and up would be appropriate), there are many reasons to splurge on a day trip to Discovery Cove.
Reason #1: Swim with Dolphins
Take a peak at most people’s bucket lists, and you’ll see swimming with dolphins prominently on the list. At Discovery Cove, you can sign the whole family (aged 6 and up) for a 30-minute dolphin swim experience led by two dolphin trainers. Guests of Discovery Cove receive a specific swim time, so you won’t have to wait in line. Although Discovery Cove doesn’t allow underwater cameras during the experience, a photographer takes photos and a DVD that are available for purchase. I did the Dolphin experience and would absolutely recommend it – it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
#2: Limited Attendance
When you purchase admission to Discovery Cove, you’ll need to chose your specific attendance date. Attendance to Discovery Cove is limited to a little over 1,000, so it never feels overcrowded or uncomfortable.
#3: Amazing Service
While I was at Discovery Cove, I couldn’t believe how many employees were working there. There are naturalists in the water everywhere to help with your experience, as well as cleaning and service staff. The place is spotless – despite the amount of sand being kicked around, staff members were available to clear up the paths constantly.
#4: All Inclusive
With the exception of photos and gift shop purchases, the Discovery Cove experience is all inclusive. You won’t pay for breakfast, lunch, snacks, alcohol, snorkels, masks, locker rental or dolphin-friendly sunscreen. The restaurant and snack stands are fully staffed and lines are short.
#5: Relaxing Experiences
Between the great staff and the limited attendance numbers, the whole experience is completely relaxing. While waiting for your dolphin time, relax on the winding river, snorkel, grab a snack or lunch, and enjoy your time.
Photo courtesy of Discovery Cove.