View Full Version : Anyone been to Discovery Cove?

02-20-2004, 11:11 AM
I tried to book the Anguilla Dolphin & Stingray Encounter with DCL but it booked up too quickly for our cruise to the eastern. I didn't want to go all the way to Florida without an encounter with dolphins! It has been a life time dream for us.
I bit the bullet and spent the BIG bucks to go to Discovery Cove! Has anyone been there? Can you tell me if it is worth the money?
Any feedback would be appreciated!
Thanks:cool: :sunny:

02-20-2004, 11:19 AM
We went in May and it was great. The dolphin time is only about 1/2 hour but it is very well done. Great pix available to buy.

It includes a wonderful lunch.

The setting is very nice. It is not crowded at all. They limit the number of people allowed in each day. The snorkling is fun and nice environment for the kids to practice in.

The lazy river goes around the whole place the takes you into or thru a bird aviary (sp?). That was much nicer than I expected.

It is pricey, but we loved it!

02-20-2004, 11:29 AM
I have been lucky enough to have been able to go there twice. The first time was in October 2002, and the second time in December 2003.

This is what heaven must look like! Honestly i am really into snorkeling big time, and it has about the best you can get for this! Not to mention all the other things included in the price.

You will enjoy it. There is also a forum for Sea World and Discovery Cove on the DIS board that you may want to check out for more info.


02-20-2004, 12:51 PM
I'd do it again in a heart beat. One of the best non-disney activities we have done.

We went last year and thought it was great. Besides the obvious fun with the dolphins I found the whole experience to be very fun and relaxing. My 7 year old and I must have snorkeled for a couple of hours. The other nice thing is since they have a low max cutoff for park attendance you know your going to get beach chairs for everyone and it never really feels crowded.

02-20-2004, 01:32 PM
Thanks for the replies! I am excited now! Just 2 weeks away! First staying at Ron Jons resort then 7 day DCL eastern and finally Discovery cove!

02-20-2004, 01:38 PM
Discovery Cove is the only FL thing I've been to that compares to Disney. It is great. You have 15 minutes in an orientation session, then 30 minutes in the water with the dolphin and trainer. When we were there, it was one dolphin to 8 people. Family groups are kept together. We each got our "own" time with the dolphin and lots of great pics.

The big treat was when they asked my then 10 year old if she wanted to go fast. She said yes, so the dolphin took her for a swim at high velocity...she thought it was great.

Florida law limits you to 30 minutes with the dolphin. However, you will spend the whole day at the other swim activities at the park. Lunch and parking are included in the price, as is an "entry" photo of your party.

02-20-2004, 03:02 PM
Looking at their website, they quote package prices that include 7 days at another park.....but certainly you can get a ticket just for the day! But I didn't see anywhere that was stated and how much.....anyone here have info?

02-20-2004, 03:13 PM
The ticket price does not change wheter or not you use the seven days admission to one of the other parks...

02-20-2004, 04:29 PM
Children and adults are the same price of $229 plus 6 1/2 tax. Little expensive if you aren't able to take advantage of the extra days at Busch or Sea World.
Looks like a fantastic day though.


02-20-2004, 05:55 PM
You will have a blast!! I agree it is the best thing in Florida other than WDW of course. We went with my In-laws the first year it opened (over MLK day) and loved it so much we took our DD (who was 6 at the time) back for her B-day in April. She is a strong swimmer but had never snorkled before and eased right into it. She asks to go back every time we visit WDW. She did a Dolphin Encounter in CA at Sea World but it was nothing like this.

Hope you enjoy your time!!! :Pinkbounc

02-20-2004, 06:04 PM
We went in April of last year and absolutely loved it. I had to keep checking on the website for openings - and once I saw them I had to act immediately.....

My wife was concerned at first about the cost - but she loved it!

02-20-2004, 07:38 PM
Is it worth if it if you take the package without a Dolphin Encounter? My friend is afraid of Dolphins!!! I'm okay with that but is there enough to do in the park to still feel satisfied if you don't get to see the Dolphins?


02-20-2004, 07:47 PM
We LOVED the whole experience! NExt time, I would buy the Dolphin Encounter for my husband but not for me - he REALLY LOVED the dolphin time. I loved it too, but would rather take pictures of him REALLY loving it!

Lunch was good. The aviary was wonderful. My husband loved the snorkeling. The stingrays were peaceful. It was an OUTSTANDING experience.

Be prepared to spend $$$$ on pictures - they are IRRESISTABLE!
(See Delswife trip report account of same)

Horace Horsecollar
02-20-2004, 08:56 PM
At nearly a thousand dollars for a family of four, it's a big ticket expense. But, as others have noted, it was well worth it.

Others have already described Discovery Cove, so let me mention that your Discovery Cove ticket is good for seven consecutive days, with only one of those days being at Discovery Cove itself. The other days, it's good across the street at Sea World.

We went to Sea World for two days with our Discovery Cove tickets. The first day, we did all the big shows. The second day, we did the secondary shows, and we explored the many exhibits. Guess what? Both Sea World days were fun, but the second day was actually better!

There are a fair number of places in the Caribbean with dolphin swims. I wonder how many of them have appropriate facilities for the dolphins, provide proper care of them, and make the welfare of the animals their highest priority?

The dolphins at Discovery Cove were (with very few exceptions) born in captivity, not captured in the wild. The facilities are outstanding. The number of interactions per dolphin per day is limited to avoid overstressing the dolphins.

02-20-2004, 09:01 PM
the price of 229 includes the dolphin encounter. Since my best friend and i went here first, when i returned with my husband and son, i paid 129 and got everything they did, including the admission to the parks, except for the dolphin swim.

Cindy B
02-20-2004, 09:32 PM
I loved it.. it was amazing. We went back in 2001 (ten year wedding anniversary) and it was amazinG!

Its beautiful! And I will say it, better than Disney. Its peaceful, beautiful, tranquil and amazing!

02-20-2004, 10:39 PM
Never done Discovery Cove,but "Dolphins in Depth" @ WDW is awsome.



Belle's Castle
02-22-2004, 09:50 PM
does anyone know if you can just do the dolphin encounter at Discovery Cove? We are no so much interested with the other activites as we would rather do some of them on the 4 day cruise.

02-22-2004, 11:36 PM
My husband and I spent a day at Discovery Cove last year for our 10th anniversary. We got a babysitter for the kids and enjoyed some quiet time together. It was a great way to relax in the middle of a busy week at Disney World.

You can do everything except the dolphin swim or everything plus the dolphin swim. There is no option to just do the dolphin swim. It is well worth spending the day there though. Like others have said, it is a great experience - not crowded, lots of different things to do or just hang out on the beach. Have a great time!

Horace Horsecollar
02-23-2004, 12:17 AM
Originally posted by Belle's Castle
does anyone know if you can just do the dolphin encounter at Discovery Cove? We are no so much interested with the other activites as we would rather do some of them on the 4 day cruise.
You are assigned a time for the dolphin swim when you check in in the morning. I got the feeling that the times were assigned on a first come, first served, basis. So, if you get there very early, you're likely to be scheduled in the morning. You're welcome to leave right after your dolphin swim, but there's no difference in the price.

02-23-2004, 06:03 AM
Horace is correct, the dolphin swims are assigned as you check in on a first come first serve basis.