Discovery Cove--just how cold is the water?
I understand they keep the water cold for the dolphins. We're thinking of going in early May. Think we would need the wet suits then?
Everyone's tolerance for "cold" is different than others, so that's hard to say.
In May, you might get air temperatures that are warm enough that you welcome a break in the cooler water.
You can always use a wetsuit for the dolphin swim portion, then switch to a vest for the warmer areas of the park like the lazy river and Freshwater Oasis.
Dolphin lagoon is 72 degrees, the grand reef is 77 degrees, and the fresh water pools are around 85 degrees.
Gina is correct in that everyone's definition of cold is different. But you will find the lagoon and reef to be on the chilly side, especially if you don't have much body fat. I'm a guy and I've done days with just swim trunks and the Discovery Cove vest and been fine. I've also done days with the wetsuit. The wetsuit can get uncomfortable and hot out of the water and you may find yourself a little on the cold side with just the swim vest.
My personal preference is to just wear swim wear and the DC vest, as I can always take a dip in the pool or lazy river to warm up. On another note, you can opt for just the vest and try things out and always go back for the wetsuit later if you want. The DC staff are excellent about catering to you!
We have only ever been to DC in October and the temps were only high 70's low 80's. Not hot at all.
We all wore the shorty version of the wet suit.
To ME the dolphin water was EXTREMELY COLD but it seemed a bit warmer to me than the reef did. That reef water was the coldest water I have ever been in. I wasn't able to go out there and snorkel with my family because it was just too cold. I went out to my ankles and had to just get back out.
But DH and the kids snorkeled and loved swimming among the fish a rays so it was all that mattered. I mainly went to do to the Dolphin swim, and I did it. So I was good.
One piece of advise. I wouldn't go through the lazy river or especially not the fresh water warm oasis BEFORE doing the Dolphin swim because it will make the cold worse. Those areas have very warm soothing temps to the water. And it makes getting in that shockingly cold water even colder.
We had a pretty early Dolphin swim so after eating breakfast we went into the bird aviary to feed the birds. That was really neat because first thing in the morning they are all hungry and they will fly down onto your head or onto your arm. So we spent about a half an hour in there before our Dolphin swim.
If it was summer time and really hot outside I would keep the wet suit on for the dolphin swim and the snorkeling then I would change into the vest for the rest of the day.
I would like to go back just to have some more of their blackened grilled Talapia. I had it twice. We ate one breakfast and 2 different lunches a few hours apart.
You will love the park. It is amazing.
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