Discovery Cove – My Favorite Orlando Theme Park

Orlando has so many theme park choices. My family has seen them all, but we have a definite favorite. Discovery Cove is a beach destination in the heart of the city. It is located next to SeaWorld and is a great addition to your next Orlando visit. Here are some reasons why Discovery Cove is my favorite Orlando theme park.

Dolphin Swim
If you have always dreamed of swimming with dolphins, this is the place. Guests who purchase the dolphin swim option are assigned a swim time at check in. When your time arrives, you join your group for instruction before the swim. All of the trainers at Discovery Cove are more than happy to answer and questions and share their love for the animals. During the dolphin swim, you interact, feed and swim with the dolphins. It is truly an amazing experience with these unforgettable animals.

Wet suits and snorkeling equipment are provided to everyone to use throughout the day. The water is heated so with your wet suit, Discovery Cove is perfect any time of the year. My son’s favorite part of the day was snorkeling in the Grand Reef. Hundreds of tropical fish are in the reef for easy viewing. You can also swim next to the shark enclosure and view them through the underwater glass partition.

Lazy River
The Wind-Away River at Discovery Cove is my favorite lazy river, ever. The river winds through caves, waterfalls and animal exhibits. Our favorite part was going past the Freshwater Oasis.  You can swim next to an otter exhibit that makes you feel like you are swimming right along with them. My son dove under the water to the glass partition and was face to face with these cute little animals.

Bird Aviary
When you need a break from the water, rest on one of the hundreds of beach chairs or head to the bird aviary. The free flight enclosure houses all different types of tropical birds. My daughter was amazed being face to face with the beautiful birds. Food is also provided to hand-feed the birds as you walk through their exhibit.

Feeding the birds at Discovery Cove.
Feeding the birds at Discovery Cove.

Food, Food and More Food
Everything is included in the admission price. Breakfast and lunch are severed as well as unlimited snacks, drinks and alcoholic beverages. My kids snacked on granola bars, trail mix and unlimited slushies while they hopped between snorkeling pools.

Tips for Visiting Discovery Cove in Orlando:

  • Arrive right when the park opens and plan to stay the entire day. You do not want to miss a minute of this fabulous experience.
  • There are lockers and nice shower facilities so bring a change of clothes, and you will not have to leave in your wet swimsuit.
  • Reef-safe sunscreen as well as towels are included.
  • The cost of admission may be expensive, but there are discounts available. If you have a SeaWorld annual pass, there are discounted rates on certain dates for the pass holders and additional guests. American Express and well as AAA also offer discounts from time to time. Check around before making your reservation.

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Know Before You Go

  • If you’re visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort, be sure to pack adequate walking shoes. The resort is close in size to San Francisco!
  • At Universal Orlando™, the general parking is $25.
  • International Drive is known as the tourist center of the city – you’ll be close to trendy restaurants, bars, and sightseeing activities.

This post was written by Hilton Suggests Team Member, Tricia P. Are you interested in traveling to Orlando? Let us know if we can help you with any other recommendations. Tweet us for more great local travel tips!

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