Proposals in Paradise: Swim With the Dolphins at Discovery Cove

By: Kara Franker


Looking for a creative way to ask for her hand in marriage? She'll say "yes" to a dolphin -- trust me on this one!

It worked for Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Alex Cobb, who proposed to his girlfriend, Kelly Reynolds, during a dolphin swim at Discovery Cove in Orlando. An Atlantic bottlenose dolphin swam up to Kelly with a buoy that read: "Kelly, will you marry me?"

(Photo Credit: Discovery Cove) (Photo Credit: Discovery Cove)

She was totally surprised," Alex told the Tampa Bay Times. "The whole thing was awesome."

Then the couple retreated to their luxury cabana, where Alex got down on one knee and presented her with a diamond ring. To sweeten the deal, the baseball player secretly flew in Kelly's mom from Alabama and invited his dad to drive over from Vero Beach.

Check out the proposal caught on video:

A Tropical Oasis Awaits at Discovery Cove

Discovery Cove is an all-inclusive adventure where you can swim with dolphins, rays and tropical fish, and hand-feed exotic birds. It's a paradise of rocky lagoons surrounded by lush landscaping, tropical reefs, winding rivers, a resort-style pool complete with waterfalls, and man-made white-sand beaches.

The highlight of a visit to Discovery Cove is the opportunity to swim with an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin during a 30-minute interactive adventure. Accompanied by a trainer, you'll wade into shallow water where a photographer will snap photos of you interacting with the dolphin (hugs, kisses and rubdowns are encouraged!). Then you head out to deeper water for an exciting dorsal fin tow ride back to shore -- so fun!

Here's a shot of me planting a big one on my new best friend:

Kara Franker and Dolphin

The staff limits daily attendance to around 1,300 guests, to ensure that the property doesn't feel overcrowded. And your admission includes breakfast, lunch, snacks, as well as beverages (water bottles, soft drinks, and alcoholic beverages) throughout the day. You'll also get your own wetsuit, towel and snorkel gear to use at the park, where there are private lockers, showers and dressing rooms available.

Snorkel at the Grand Reef, Embark on a SeaVenture or Drift Away on the Lazy River

At the Grand Reef, you'll have the opportunity to snorkel among tropical fish, rays, and canyons inspired by reefs from around the world. You've also got to try out the SeaVenture. It's an underwater walking tour with dive helmets where you get up-close and personal with unique animals, colorful schools of fish and sharks (safely behind massive panoramic windows).

Hands down the coolest lazy river I've ever seen, there's a winding waterway that meanders through the park, where you'll encounter hidden beaches, palm-covered walkways and rocky lagoons. Grab a floating device and travel through different environments: a sunny island beach, a dense tropical forest and an underwater cave. There's also waterfalls and a bird sanctuary with exotic species.

Book a Private Cabana for a More Luxurious Experience

Tucked away behind lush foliage, private cabanas are available for an extra fee. All come with shade, table and chairs, chaise lounges, towels, a locker and a mini-fridge stocked with drinks. It's a great way to relax and unwind in a Robinson Crusoe-style hideaway.

Special Occasion Packages

The special occasion packages at Discovery Cove are a perfect way to ask for her hand in marriage, celebrate that special someone's birthday, an anniversary or simply to enhance an already wonderful day.

The Celebration Package ($129) includes:

  • A buoy with personalized message delivered by a dolphin
  • Discovery Cove Signature Tote Bag
  • Choice of deluxe photo frame or plush toy
  • 25 percent off your choice of photo package (Adventure or Discovery)
  • The Elite Package ($359) includes:

  • A buoy with personalized message delivered by a dolphin
  • Discovery Cove Signature Tote Bag
  • Choice of deluxe photo frame or plush toy
  • A private cabana
  • Discovery Photo Package (valued at $219 including an assortment of photo prints, digital photo CD, Dolphin Interaction DVD, poster, photo frame and a photo album)
  • If You Go: For more info visit or call 1-877-434-7268. Prices vary seasonally and unlimited admission to SeaWorld Orlando and Aquatica is included in the ticket. Note: Discovery Cove’s Special Occasions Packages are an additional charge to park admission and require the purchase of a dolphin swim package.

    Did you get married in Florida? Or do you have an amazing proposal story? We'd love to see your photos and possibly feature your story on VISIT FLORIDA's weddings website. Email Kara Franker at

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