Welcome to Discovery Cove, SeaWorld Orlando

Thanks to SeaWorld’s Discovery Cove theme park in Orlando, you can experience the magic of getting face to face with Atlantic blue tangs, giant angelfish and butterfly fish –plus the ultimate adventure, swimming with dolphins.

By Lauren Tjaden

Swim with dolphins! Snorkel with rays and tropical fish! Hand-feed exotic birds! Kick back in the Florida sunshine on a white sand beach!

These are but a sampling of the epic experiences Discovery Cove in Orlando promises, and there’s scarcely an award this innovate day resort experience hasn’t won: USA Today’s 10Best voted it the #1 best theme park in Orlando; it also voted it #1 on its list of the most romantic things to do in Orlando; and Global Brands Magazine dubbed it the best mammal marine animal park in the United States.

Obvious reasons exist for this multitude of accolades -- like dolphins frolicking beside you and the soft sand on your bare toes—but they’re just part of the resort’s appeal.

You can forget hassling with throngs of people as daily attendance is limited to around 1,300 guests, and your admission includes unlimited food, beverages, and select beers and wines. You’ll also snag amenities that include your own wetsuit, fresh towels and snorkel gear. Plus you and your gang will enjoy private lockers, showers and dressing rooms, and you’re invited to relax in lounge chairs and hammocks throughout the resort.

Read on to discover more about the blockbuster experiences Discovery Cove offers.

Rolling on the river

Grab a floating device and drift away on the tranquil currents of Discovery Cove’s lazy river to discover a tropical paradise. You’ll glide past hidden beaches, through a thick rain forest, underneath sparkling waterfalls, and even through an underwater cave.

Meet new friends at Discovery Cove.
-Discovery Cove

 

Delight to dolphins

Add the park’s signature 30-minute Dolphin Interaction to a day resort package for the unforgettable experience of getting nose-to-nose with a bottlenose dolphin. Discovery Cove’s animal care specialists will reveal the mysteries of dolphin habits and their stunning abilities to communicate and form deep relationships. And you’ll get to personally interact with one of these beloved mammals. You’ll wade into shallow water with a trainer where a photographer will snap photos of you with the dolphin and you’ll learn about its personality through behaviors. You may even get to head out to deeper water for an exciting dorsal fin tow ride back to shore—a once-in-a-lifetime trip.
Please note, children must be at least six years old to swim with dolphins. Children ages six-12 must be accompanied by a paying adult who is also participating in the dolphin swim experience.

Oh, cabana buoy!

For a special celebration like an anniversary or birthday, or if you just want to indulge, rent your very own personal cabana, with goodies like mini-fridges and snacks as well as blow-your-mind options that include a buoy with personalized message delivered by a dolphin.

You otter try this

A dense rainforest, crystalline springs and wading adventures with mischievous otters and inquisitive marmosets await you in Discovery Cove’s Freshwater Oasis.

Feathered friends

The Explorer’s Aviary features a lush natural habitat populated with hundreds of vividly-hued parrots, toucans, and other exotic birds soaring free above and around you. Your spirit will soar as well when a winged friend sails over to greet you and nibble snacks from your fingers.

Eat it up

Discovery Cove means it when it says all food and beverages are included, and when you need to refuel, you can go back for seconds, thirds, or as many times your tummy desires.  

Laguna Grill dishes up a tantalizing, buffet-style breakfast from 7:30 to 10:30 A.M., with favorites like sausage links, hash brown potatoes, French toast sticks and buttermilk biscuits.
Lunch begins a mere half hour after breakfast ends, starting at 11 A.M. and running through 3:30 P.M., serving up juicy burgers as well as Caribbean Spiced Salmon, Grilled Churrasco Steak and vegetarian options. Fire-roasted veggies, decadent desserts that include Pina Colada Cupcakes, and kid-friendly fare like mac and cheese round out the menu.
Quench your thirst with a selection of gourmet coffee, cold beverages and a selection of beer and wine – the latter for guests 21 and older, of course.

Discovery Cove SeaVenture invites you to take a stroll under the waves.
-Discovery Cove

 

Walk under the waves

Excuse me, Mr. Fish, we’re trying to get by.

In the SeaVenture experience, humans and underwater creatures interact in a way you could otherwise experience only while diving off Florida’s coasts-- but you don’t need a scuba certification here. This unique, 20-minute underwater walking tour employs dive helmets, enabling you get up-close and personal with velvety stingrays, colorful schools of fish and sharks. You can even touch some creatures, like the gorgeous sea stars.

A grand journey

The Grand Reef welcomes you into a vivid wonderland of tropical fish, sharks, and canyons inspired by reefs from around the world. Don a snorkel to play hide and seek with angelfish, run your fingers over the soft back of a ray, and swim alongside sharks. You can also explore paths and bridges at the water’s edge, revealing the reef’s islands and hidden grottos and providing plentiful views into the clear water below.

Bite into adventure

It’s true: at Discovery Cove, you can try a deep-water, free Swim with the Sharks, over 20 of the toothy beasts, including blacktip reef, nurse, zebra, and bonnethead sharks.

Morning munchies with the stingrays

Link up with Discovery Cove’s skilled aquarists in the early hours to wade into the water and help feed the resort’s stingrays, including animated Cownose Rays and massive Southern Rays.

And there’s more

Check out Discovery Cove’s website for more adventures, amenities and possibilities.

Insider tips for visiting SeaWorld

Don’t wear jewelry.
Wear a swimsuit or something you don’t mind getting wet.
Water shoes, hats, sunglasses and a change of clothes are encouraged.
Eco-friendly sunscreen is provided.
Bring an underwater camera, if you have one.

When you go…

What: DiscoveryCove.com
When: Park Hours vary.  For details, click here.
Where: SeaWorld’s Discovery Cove, at Interstate 4 and Florida Highway 528.
Contact: Attendance is limited to approximately 1,300 guests, so reservations are required. Book online or by phone at 407-513-4600.

More dolphin fun

Check out more places you can swim with dolphins in Florida as well as see them in the wild, including Destin, the Florida Keys and Orlando.

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