Discovery Cove

Photo by Meagan Shamy / Military TravelingMom

Discovery Cove is the best kept secret in Orlando. Wondering how I can be so sure, especially if you don’t know what Discovery Cove is? I didn’t know what it was, either, the first time I heard about it and we were stationed in Florida for 2 years! A friend was going, and she told me that it’s basically a place to swim with dolphins.

While swimming with dolphins is always fun, there’s so much more to Discovery Cove in Orlando, Fla.

More than Just Dolphin Swimming at Discovery Cove


photo credit: Meagan Shamy / Military TravelingMom


Did we swim with dolphins? Yes! Our military family did the Day Resort with Dolphin Swim Package. My kids were all able to do it, because they are 13, 10, and 7. (Note: kids have to be at least 6 years old to participate in the dolphin swim.) During our swim, we got to meet two dolphins and learn about them. One of them was young and one was old. It was weird to see the difference. I never thought about dolphins aging. For example the young one look just like they do in the movies and has all of its teeth still. The old one only had 6 teeth and just looked older. Of course, it was the old one we had to kiss for the pictures!

Everyone gets to kiss the dolphin and take a dolphin ride where the dolphin pulls you through the water. My kids LOVED this. The entire encounter is photographed and videotaped, with the option of purchasing them afterward.

We also swam with manta rays and tropical fish, fed birds, pet a sloth, learned about marmosets, and overall had a great time. I spent a lot of time relaxing on the beach watching the kids swim and play. It is a relaxing place to be, unlike many theme parks where you are waiting in line after line.


Photo by Meagan Shamy / Military TravelingMom

One of our favorite parts was the lazy river. There are no tubes, but you can get a life jacket or a pool noodle to help you float. There were some deep parts and younger children should be in a life jacket. As you float down it, you enter into an aviary, where you can look at the birds or get up and walk through the aviary and feed the birds.

As a mom, I loved the fact that the package was all inclusive. If the kids got thirsty or hungry, they could go up to any snack shack and pick out whatever they wanted.

Discovery Cove Day Resort packages are available with and without the Dolphin Swim Experience. Packages also include:

  • Unlimited admission to SeaWorld and Aquatica, SeaWorld’s Waterpark in Orlando during your vacation. Upgrade to the Ultimate Package for an additional $25 to add Busch Gardens Tampa.
  • Unlimited snacks and drinks, including alcoholic drinks
  • Breakfast and lunch
  • Snorkeling with tropical fish and rays
  • Snorkel gear and animal safe sunscreen
  • Hand-feed parrots, toucans, and other exotic birds
  • Complimentary transportation to Busch Gardens Tampa for guests whose Discovery Cove package includes admission to Busch Gardens

Although the tickets are expensive they are not nearly as expensive when you factor in the admission into Sea World and Aquatica.