Monday, November 5, 2012

Discovery Cove - Orlando, FL

Recently for my birthday my husband and I went to Discovery Cove located in Orlando Fl.  Discovery Cove is an all inclusive park that allows you to have an interactive experience with a dolphin and we were able to take advantage of the Florida Resident special that they offered.  With our price of admission all the following was included - parking, breakfast buffet, non-alcoholic drinks, alcoholic drinks, snacks, lunch, towels, sun-screen, snorkeling gear and wet-suits.  We also received unlimited access to both Seaworld and Aquatica for the rest of 2012 and January of 2013.

We arrived at Discover Cove around 8:00 a.m. - the parking lot opens at 7:30 am and the person I made the reservations with said the 9:00 am is there busiest time and try to make it in before then.

We entered in a large waiting lobby area where we were called over to get our tickets - they take your picture and apply it to your badge for the day - it listed our dolphin excursion time, as well as that we were old enough to drink and that we are eligible for Seaworld and Aquatica.  After check in we meandered back to where the lockers and bathrooms are - lockers are included and wetsuits or vests are required - both my husband and I choose the vest option.  Our dolphin excursion was scheduled for 9:30 so we headed off to the breakfast buffet and to wander around before hand.


At 9:30 we met up with at the Seahorse cabana for our information on the dolphin excursion and headed off towards our lagoon.  Our dolphins' name was Kaleigh and she was 3 years old and weighed almost 400 lbs. The first 15 minutes the trainer had her swim back and front of us so that we could touch her as she swam around, we all got to feed her and then everyone got their picture taken kissing the dolphin.  At the end of the excursion each person got to swim with the dolphin pulling your through the water.  This was one of the most memorable and exciting things I have ever done.  I have wanted to swim with the dolphins since I was a little girl and my dreams finally came through.

After swimming with the dolphins we decided to explore - we hit the free flight aviary where Duane was able to feed the birds - at one point he became the bird man with a ton of birds all over him.

We hung out in the lazy river.  This was extremely nice and peaceful and ran through the aviary.  The two waterfalls on each side - kept the birds inside the aviary while allowing you to float through.

There was an island filled with marmosets to watch and swim around - or you check out the otters fight and play.

Want to just relax in the water... no problem - the water lounge is just the place to go.

One of the other really interesting areas is the Grand Key Reef.  We were able to snorkel with thousands of tropical fish and sting rays.  There is even a section that has sharks behind a protective area - but you can snorkel right next to them.  The water for the reef and the dolphin excursion were a chilly 74 degrees.  It is amazing how cold it is at first and then how quickly your body become acclimated.

After lunch we hung out - and then went back to the bird area.  She was about the feed the kingfish and they like fish to be thrown in the air for them to catch it - I was able to fee the birds - another really cool experience.

The day was one that I will never forget and was well worth the money - if you too want to do something off the beaten path and make memories that will last a lifetime - check out Discovery Cove -