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Old 05-12-2012, 10:25 AM   #1
Earning My Ears
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Discovery Cove without dolphin swim

Those of you that have done DC- I would like to take my 7 year old, but the budget is not allowing the dolphin swim, even with the Season pass discount. If I take him just to do the day trip without the dolphin swim, are we going to be really disappointed? He loves animals and snorkeling, will there be enough to occupy him? Thank you !
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Old 05-12-2012, 11:09 AM   #2
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Discovery Cove without dolphin swim

I would say yes there is plenty to do without the dolphin swim assuming your child likes the water.

You are only really in the water for 20 minutes or so with the dolphins.

It's a very relaxing day
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Old 05-12-2012, 02:55 PM   #3
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DW, DD11, and I take a fairly long trip to Orlando every August and went to DC the last to years. I have found it to be the most relaxing day we have while we are there. My daughter enjoys the whole day there. We will be going again this year. Although the dolphin swim is special, having done it twice I asked my daughter if she wanted to do it again this year. She said yes, but I think she would be just as happy going w/o the swim. The grounds are really nice and there is no shortage of stuff to do. I would recommend it even w/o the dolphin swim.
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Old 05-12-2012, 08:56 PM   #4
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I agree with the previous posters. Provided your child enjoys the water, you will have no problem finding enough fun things to do to fill your entire day.

The lazy river is LONG and it takes about 20 minutes (or more, if you dawdle ) to complete the full loop. Its so warm and beautiful you will want to do this multiple times. And there's a cave area in the lazy river that's fun to just splash around and play in.

The snorkeling is great fun. Get your child an inexpensive disposable underwater camera and allow him to capture some photos of the rays and beautiful coral. He will love seeing the rays swim by his legs (and some of them seemed HUGE to me....I can only imagine how big they would seem to a 7 year old). I will bet you will come back to this area several times.

The aviary is great, and there's lots of birds to feed (food in the avairy, like everything you might need at DC, is provided at no extra cost ). They will come right up and sit on your shoulder (or on your head ), and of course they will perch on your hand and eat the food out of the little dish.

You will both probably want to spend some time on the shore of the dolphin ponds and watch the interaction with the guests doing the swim. You can enjoy all their beauty and magic even if you are not in the water with them.

The freshwater oasis is supposed to be opening sometime soon. You will be able to swim with the otters and see the marmosets frolicking around. Not sure what the official opening date is (the website says "spring 2012") but I must say I'm excited to check out this new area of the park on our next visit!

There's lots of sandy beach for making sand castles.

You will want to take time for a leisurely breakfast and a nice lunch. All that swimming will probably make you want to just chill for a while on the loungers and relax, and maybe enjoy a few snack breaks. Depending on the budget, you might want to spend some time checking out the souvenir shop too.

So a big YES, I think there's plenty to do even without the dolphin swim. The dolphin portion, like already mentioned, is only a half an hour of the day. With so many different areas and unique activities, you will be amazed at how fast the day goes by.
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Jan. 2012....offsite on I-Drive: Universal Studios, IOA, SeaWorld, & Discovery Cove
Aug. 2012...Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa: Aquatica, Discovery Cove, and more
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**Christmas 2012 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3041415
Aug. 2013....Sheraton Vistana Resort: Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, Cocoa Beach & more! **August 2013 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3167818

Aug. 2014.....SVR, SW, DC, AQ, TL, Daytona & MORE! **August 2014 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=51863899

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Old 05-12-2012, 11:42 PM   #5
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Thank you so much for your input!
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