Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Orlando: Swimming with Dolphin and Stingrays

courtesy of discovery cove
The Discovery Cove came under "Splurge" in my recent trip to the United States. When we were deciding on which theme park/ day resort are we gonna spend time in, we came down to the final 2: Disney World or Discovery Cove. As I've been to Disney, and theme parks generally do not impress me, this is not a tough decision to make.

Discovery Cove is an all inclusive day resort. Meaning to say that all meals, snacks, drinks, cocktails, gear, wet suit and activities are included once you check in.

My breakfast.
A complimentary entry photo of us was taken and we were politely ushered into the resort. Breakfast was served since 8am and it was a big one. The use of lockers, wet suit, towels and mask were all included in the admission.

A visit to the Explorer's Aviary is perfect to kick start the experience, there are various colourful birds to feed and interact with. Cereal cups are distributed in every corners of the aviary so grab one and have fun treating your feathery new friends! After the visit, we jumped into the Wind-away river, spending some time at the cascading waterfalls, exploring underwater cave. Last but not least, we went to the Freshwater Oasis where one can encounter face-to-face with playful otters and curious marmosets.

Our in-water dolphin experience was 30 minutes long followed by a orientation plus QnA session at the cabana. Next we waded into the shallow water of Dolphin Lagoon to meet our dolphin of the day, Luna. I enjoyed patting the dolphin (She is very "rubbery"), giving her a tummy-rub and feeding her small fish and ice (Which according to the trainer, is Luna's favorite snack in summer.) The unforgettable experience ended with a swim in deeper water with Luna.

Another highlight of the day was the Grand Reef, where we enjoyed swimming with giant stingrays and snorkeling alongside with colourful tropical fish. You can even swim to the deeper waters for an encounter with sharks. To enhance your experience, reserve a "Sea Venture" experience which is a underwater walking tour wearing a dive helmet (SCUBA certificate not required. )

With a Stingray in Grand Reef.
Various snacks, cocktails, fresh juices and smoothies are available anytime of the day. So grab some to enjoy on the white sand Serinity Bay or one of the many hammocks.


It did not get crowded at all in the Discovery Cove although it was "high-season" in summer. The daily capacity of the resort is capped at 1,200 people so that all guests can enjoy their time here at a relaxed pace. We left this water paradise by 6 after picking up our complimentary entry photo at the souvenir counter (and you get a Discovery Cove Snorkel as souvenir too).

Guests of all ages are welcomed at Discovery cove. However, you must be 15 to enter the park without parental supervision, and at least 6 to swim with the dolphins.

Furthermore, the reservation also includes a 14-days unlimited access to SeaWorld and Aquatica Orlando (and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay if you choose one of the ultimate packages) , which we visited prior to Discovery Cove.

I gladly give this experience a full 5 star.

Thank You for Reading! This post is based solely on my honest opinion or personal experience. If you have a different opinion, feel free to share your thoughts with me by commenting below!

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