View Full Version : Discovery Cove

pink puppie
01-07-2003, 04:22 PM
Hi there. Can I just say first of all I have just discovered this web site and it is wonderful. Thank you. I wanted to ask peoples opinions on Discovery Cove, should I go or not? Is it worth the money? I am coming to Florida in June and so looking foward to it.

01-07-2003, 05:34 PM
I've not done Discovery Cove myself, only because my budget was too tight when I was there in 2001, and this next trip the kids will be along, so we're not going to do an adult-only experience like that until we go back just ourselves.

That said, I believe it would TOTALLY be worth the money. If I could have afforded it, I would not have hesitated! I've also heard raves about it from those who've done it - not specifically on this discussion board, but on many.

I am envious, I have to say. I'm sure you will love it!


pink puppie
01-08-2003, 02:41 AM
Thanks very much John. I think I just need someone to talk me into it because it costs such a lot of money. It is just myself and my partner that are going, leaving the child at home this time. How cruel is that!

01-08-2003, 02:21 PM
My girlfriend and I have done Discovery Cove twice. The first time it was soon after they intially opened when the price was expensive, but not whhat it is today. I believe it was $179 for the dolphin swim, and $79 without it. We arrived very early in the moring, and had one of the first dolphin encounters. We were in a group that had two insructors and 3 other groups of two. The dolphin experience itself was wonderful, just touching one in my opinion was well worth it. But here is the problem, the say that u will get about a 30 minute encounter with a dolphin, and this is true, we were in the water for at least 30 minutes....but, ther are other people in your group, and there is only one dolphin per group, so all in all, you are probably only getting 2 minutes at most "with" a dolphin. Yes its great fun to see the person u are with swimming with the dolphin, and kissing it. Its even fun watching the other people in your group, but lets be honest. You paid all that money, and YOU want to be the one doing it. At least that is the way i felt about it. Then u are not allowed to take any cameras in the pool with u (a great ploy on DC's Part to make money) so the only way u can have any up close photos of your experience is to buy the ones that "their" photographer took. We got some paschage with like 2 8x10's, 2 5x7's and 4 key chain pictures, and it was well over $100.
If i sound like i didnt enjoy myself, thats not the case, I think Discovery Cove is an amazing place. And i would recommend it, but u have to decide if spending that extra money is worth it. I would recommed going there and not doing the dolphin swim, that would save u alot of money per person. And as wonderful as being with the dolphins was, we liked the rest of Discovery Cove better. The stingray pool was amazing, the aviary, the reef everything. It is just a very relaxing park, and a great change of pace for an otherwise hectic orlando vacation. Plus u get to go to Sea World for free for 7 days and that is a great part too.
Our second trip, we wanted tdo DC, but we didnt want to do the dolphins. So we bought the non-dolphin package through AAA--it cost $99--a great deal if u ask me. just admisiion to Sea World is well over $50 now, and u get eveything else plus a VERY good meal. Well i hope I have answered ur questions, I would definately recommed the non-dolphin swim. And maybe u could go there that day, and watch other peoples interactions with the dolphins, and if it is something, u would like to d, then ask if u can upgrade--i am sure if they are not booked solid u can. If u have any questions, feel free to ask me

pink puppie
01-08-2003, 03:45 PM
Thank you Dan, you have been most helpful. I think we will do the non dolphin swim. it has been one of my ambitions to swim with dolphins but I shall wait till I can do it properly. You sound as if you had a wonderful time anyway. Are you going back this year?

01-09-2003, 03:39 PM
Yeah pink puppie, I try to get down to Orlando 3 or 4 times a year. But most of those trips are just long weekend--fly down on a Friday after work, fly home Monday. So on those trips i dont really do Discovery Cove because u really do want to spend a whole day there, and my first loves are Islands of Adventure and MGM. But i usually go down for a week also, and in that trip i will most likely go to Discovery Cove, but just the dolphin swim. The place really is great, although, i will let u know that it was not as "great" as it was our first time. Like i said, the first time we went was a few months after it opened in 1999. They have a stingray pool that u can go in, and there were literally, hundred of stinrays swimming around u. It is the coolest thing. And then in the aviary, there were all these types of birds, and they would give u as much food as u wanted to feed the bird. U could spend hours just in there having dozens of different bird come up to u, and trying to get pictures with yourself and all of them.
But when we went last time, in May 2002, they had taken alot of the stingrays out of the pool I didnt ask why, but it seemed like a quarter of the munber that were there our first visit. IT was still GREAT, but we were expecting one thing and got a little less. If u never have gone when there were tons of these littel guys in the pool then it will still be a great time. And then in the aviary, it seemed like there were not as many birds, and the put a limit to how many "little" cups of food u could have to feed them. Like I said, if u had never had anything to judge it agaist, u would still have a ball. It must tell u something that i do plan to go back there--the place is THAT MUCH FUN.

01-13-2003, 01:52 PM
It's WELL worth the money. I have yet to meet a family who was not over 95% satisfied with their experience. I've been with Busch Entertainment for over three years now. I would definitely call guest relations there to find out more information at 1-877-4DISCOVERY.

Good Luck! :D graemlins/clappy.gif graemlins/silly.gif

pink puppie
01-13-2003, 04:30 PM
How far in advance would I need to book. :D

01-14-2003, 09:36 AM
I did Discovery Cove in October of 2000 and I came away with mixed emotions.

The place itself is gorgeous ... nice beaches ... nice pools ... pretty scenery. I really enjoy swimming and snorkling so that part was great.

Also ... it was nice having lunch included and all that ... the food was good and well above average for a theme park.

The biggest disappointment I had was the fact that "swimming with the dolphins" actually involves a half hour of your day and that's it. It's a scheduled event that you do as part of a group of like 10-12 people. Your actual personal interaction with the dolphin is maybe like 2-3 minutes tops. It was amazing being that close, but I sure expected a lot more for my money.

Also ... while I understand the nature of the park is that it's supposed to be a low-key, relaxing, luxury experience, there really wasn't all that much to do. They have a fresh water pool that flows like a river where you can float and snorkel and then another salt water pool with manta rays that you can stand in to watch them swim. They have another salt water pool with a reef and lots of tropical fish where you can snorkel and that's it. Once you've messed around for a bit you're kind of done.

Now when I went it was a little cheaper than it is today ... I think it was $175 compared to $200. I have to admit ... I'd be hard pressed to justify going back, but I'm glad I did it the one time.

01-14-2003, 08:41 PM
It all depends on when you are planning to visit. If it's the summer, then you need to contact them ASAP, but if it's an off-season (fall, winter or spring) then you can hold off. But your best bet is to call the toll-free number I gave you earlier.

Tom Morrow
02-13-2003, 11:29 AM
Correct me if I am wrong, but children 12 and under are not allowed, correct?


02-13-2003, 05:54 PM
My brother just got a job at Discovery Cove, his first day on the job was today! I gotta find out what sort of discounts he gets there. ;) When I moved here I had never even heard of Discovery Cove, even though I came to Orlando about 3 times every year. tongue.gif Now that I know what it is I am rather interested, sounds neat so I wanna give it a try. graemlins/thumbsup.gif

02-18-2003, 12:01 PM
We went to Discovery Cove in September with our son (9), and it was the highpoint of our trip to Orlando! It is very expensive, but absolutely worth the money! graemlins/muscles.gif

By the way, children over 6 can participate in the dolphin-swim experience, and children between the ages of 3 and 5 are allowed into Discovery Cove, but can't swim with the dolphins.

For more information: www.discoverycove.com (http://www.discoverycove.com) ;)

02-26-2003, 01:40 PM
I went to Discovery Cove and did the dolphin swin in May 2002 with two friends. It was such a great experience!!

Yeah, it cost a pretty penny, but I'm trying to convince my parents to do it next time we go down to Disney.

The reason they don't allow you to take cameras into the dolphin pool is because the dolphins may mistake it for one of their toys and get hurt with it -- that's beside the fact that you'd then be out a camera!