View Full Version : How would you rate YOUR Discovery Cove experience?

Cindy B
08-03-2001, 06:41 AM
We are excited on going in just about 3 weeks. Obviously, we've never been, and it probably will be a one time only thing. I've never snorkled before, but DH has.

Was DC what you you expected? I'm having very high expectations, dont want to be "let down"

What besides the dolphin swim, was your favorite part?

Did it feel lush and Tropical? (Like you weren't in Florida, say the Caribbean or whatever)

Did you stop and look at everything?

How would you grade the experience? (A+ or F)

08-03-2001, 08:05 AM
Well, you know what I'm going to say.

Yes, DC was what I expected and more.

Don't worry if you can't snorkle, it's easy and most of the time you stay on the surface of the water. You only need your mask for the dolphin swim.

Besides the Dolphin Swim, the Coral Reef and feeding the Stingrays was my favorite part. Feeding the birds was next.

Yes, it did feel lush and tropical like we we're not in Florida anymore.

Yes, we looked at everything.

Best piece of advice from me, get there early, I would say 8am. From what I've heard, even though the official opening time is 9am, I think they start earlier than that. Even though they only allow 1000 people in, if they all show up at 9am to check in, there will be a line. They move the people thru as fast as possible, but if a badge printer goes down, like it did for us, then everything gets stuck. After everyone checks in, they all end up at the mask/snorkle station where another line forms. Then you need the required vest, which are in boxes near the beach. If you get all these things and grab a beach chair (don't worry, there are plenty of these), then you can settle down and relax. Go to the left side of the beach, then you're closer to the coral reef and lazy river.

Same thing with lunch, everyone goes there at noon. We ended up going at 2pm because we had a 12:20 dolphin swim. Noone was there. If you're going to have an early lunch, then get in line before 11am, otherwise go at 2pm, the food is great.

Now, on the stingray part, you have to ask a trainer when the next feeding is and swim over to the far end of the coral reef lagoon. Do this half an hour before they show up and just sit on the beach. The rays will circle closer and closer to you. Then the trainer comes over, but only has about 30 fish, they go fast.

See what I've said about all three things, you have to be there early. The only complaints I've read from others, are the ones who got there late, and had to stand in line, then went to lunch at noon, and hit another line.

But now you know better, stay one step ahead of the crowd.

Oh yeah, it gets an A+ from me.

I don't think it's something you go back for (others have and said it wasn't the same), but if everything goes well on your first visit, then you'll remember it for a long time.

Cindy B
08-03-2001, 12:22 PM
Thanks, we are planning to arrive early. DH is an earlybird, so thats fine for me....

The late lunch tip is good, I'm not a big 12 noon eater...

annie's dad
08-04-2001, 09:14 PM
On a scale of 1 - 10, we gave it a 20!! A definate must. It was nice to be away from the crowds we experienced at the parks.

It was like being on a tropical resort, very lush, non crowded.

We ate lunch at 1:00 and had no wait.

Dolphin swim was great but we too enjoyed the snorkeking.

The tropical river was just ok. Not much to look at and kind of got boring (except when swimming through the aviary - very beautiful.

Have a great time,

08-09-2001, 10:13 AM
Discovery Cove was absolutely fantastic! We went last December and it was the highlight of our trip! It had only opened about 6 months prior and there were NO crowds. I think total there were only 100 people in the park all day long. The Dolphin swim was great. We were a little put off that the whole swim was about taking pictures with the dolphins instead of learning about them and actually swimming with them. But it was fun just the same. The 30 minutes went so quickly. The snorkling in the Coral Reef was my favorite part. We spent nearly the entire day in there looking at all different kinds of fish. The sting rays literally come right under your feet. Take an underwater camera with you, we didn't know if they would allow it or not. They charge $20 for one. It was worth it though. The food is delicious and plentiful!!! Stay until sunset, (it was early in December), we have the most beautiful picture of the sunset over the entire park.

I hope you enjoy your day there! :sunny:

08-12-2001, 06:44 AM
I'd rate the overall experience B.

The dolphin swim was by far the best part. I'd give that A+.
To be honest, by about 2-3pm I was bored. My dophin swim was the first of the day, and after I'd gone round the lazy river & seen the rays, I was stuck for things to do. I hate my head going under water, so snorkelling wasn't an option.
I ended up buying a magazine & lying on the beach.
The beach is nice & makes you feel away from everything.
Lunch was good.
They could do with better gift shops & cheaper souvenirs.
They also need more to do apart from the dolphin swim, maybe more animal interaction areas.

You can see my pics & read my report at www.wdisneyw.co.uk/dcove.html


08-13-2001, 04:21 AM
We loved discovery cove. (July 2001) It was a little smaller than I thought it would be though. We said that it would be a once in a life time trip but now we want to do it again.

I would recommend not doing the dolphin swim first thing but wait till later. As anything after that will be a let down. Take time to do the river run and tropical fish first.

I did not enjoy the snorkelling - could not get the hang of it but did enjoy just using the mask and holding my breath. The guys mananged very well and saw the sharks etc.

We also enjoyed feeding the birds in the small aviary, I would do this first as the birds tend to be full up later on in the day. Get there via the river run.

Lunch was excellent and we did not go at a busy time so there was not a wait.

I enjoyed the relaxing time after our lunchtime dolphin swim especially after all the hustle and bustle of the parks. Had a little nap in fact! Then later in the afternoon there was a guy playing a guitar by one the bars and he had tamborines so the kids could join in. A little cheesy but still good fun.

Be prepared to spend a lot on souvenir photo's we wanted them all but had to limit ourselves. If we went again and there were a few of us like this time I would make two bookings for the dophin swim at different times. Then while one party was with the dolphin the other could be taking extra photo's etc. from the beach or the bank and vice versa.

Get in early for the showers if you want one before you leave as there are not that many. (Towels, shampoo, shower gel and hair dryers are all supplied).

08-13-2001, 11:57 AM
Another A+ from me. I've been there twice, once with the dolphin swim and once without, and both times were wonderful (although the dolphins really are THE highlight). Second time around, I was most impressed at just how relaxing DC is, especially after a long snorkel in the coral reef. It truly is a vacation from your vacation. Enjoy.