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Old 09-27-2012, 09:26 PM   #1
janinca
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Two of my kids have decided not to do the dolphin swim

We are going to Discovery Cove for the first time. My husband and I decided that we would ask the kids to pay for half of the dolphin swim themselves to help make the trip a little more affordable but also to get them to really value and appreciate it. Two of my kids have decided not to do the dolphin swim. They say they would like to but not enough to pay $50 for just 30 minutes! In one way I am glad that they are really thinking about what they want to spend their money on but I also fear they will regret not doing the dolphin swim. My oldest has no question that she is doing it! I am hoping to book the trip tonight and wonder if they can change their minds after I have already booked it as a non dolphin swim package. Anybody ever regret not doing the swim?
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Old 09-27-2012, 11:43 PM   #2
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Personally I can't imagine not doing the dolphin swim. I've done it twice and would do it again in a heartbeat. It's a short part of the day but pretty much the best part. If they really don't want to do it, I suppose that's their decision BUT I would very seriously consider what would happen if they change their mind.

For instance, do you think they might think if they change their mind the day of you'd pony up the money? Are they old enough to sit out by themselves while the rest of the family does the swim? Is it going to cause a tantrum? Would you be willing to front the money if they did change their minds with the strict agreement that it would be paid back?
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Old 09-28-2012, 08:43 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by janinca View Post
We are going to Discovery Cove for the first time. My husband and I decided that we would ask the kids to pay for half of the dolphin swim themselves to help make the trip a little more affordable but also to get them to really value and appreciate it. Two of my kids have decided not to do the dolphin swim. They say they would like to but not enough to pay $50 for just 30 minutes! In one way I am glad that they are really thinking about what they want to spend their money on but I also fear they will regret not doing the dolphin swim. My oldest has no question that she is doing it! I am hoping to book the trip tonight and wonder if they can change their minds after I have already booked it as a non dolphin swim package. Anybody ever regret not doing the swim?
You can add the dolphin swim once you get there if there is any still available. But be warned, if the price you are paying now, is say $169.00 you will pay the price difference of that day, so if it is $229 that day, you will have to pay the difference! I learned the hard way. We did the dolphin swim one year, and the following took my niece and her family with us, we were doing the resort day, and her family was doing the dolphin day. Well my kids wanted to do it with them, I ended up with paying almost $300 more that day just to add the dolphin swim for them, as my annual passport was not usuable the day of!
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Old 09-28-2012, 10:26 AM   #4
janinca
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Originally Posted by LockShockBarrel View Post
Personally I can't imagine not doing the dolphin swim. I've done it twice and would do it again in a heartbeat. It's a short part of the day but pretty much the best part. If they really don't want to do it, I suppose that's their decision BUT I would very seriously consider what would happen if they change their mind.

For instance, do you think they might think if they change their mind the day of you'd pony up the money? Are they old enough to sit out by themselves while the rest of the family does the swim? Is it going to cause a tantrum? Would you be willing to front the money if they did change their minds with the strict agreement that it would be paid back?
My kids are all old enough. The two that are going to do the swim are 17 and 13. The two that have decided not to are 11 and 15. Actually dh and I were not planning on doing the swim either. Dh has no interest and and wouldn't mind but it isn't huge on my list. If my 11 year old decides to do the swim then I will have to do it because he is under 12. I don't mind if they change their minds as long as it doesn't cost extra at the time and as long as they are allowed to.
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Old 09-28-2012, 10:27 AM   #5
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You can add the dolphin swim once you get there if there is any still available. But be warned, if the price you are paying now, is say $169.00 you will pay the price difference of that day, so if it is $229 that day, you will have to pay the difference! I learned the hard way. We did the dolphin swim one year, and the following took my niece and her family with us, we were doing the resort day, and her family was doing the dolphin day. Well my kids wanted to do it with them, I ended up with paying almost $300 more that day just to add the dolphin swim for them, as my annual passport was not usuable the day of!
Thanks for this warning, I would not want to be surprised by that!
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Old 09-28-2012, 04:11 PM   #6
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Well then I guess they're older enough to understand the consequences of their decision and you can inform them that if they change their mind later it'll cost them that much more. I had no idea if we were talking about a 7 year old who might say no now then yes tomorrow then no again you know?
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:30 PM   #7
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I expect my child to use some of her own money to pay for souvenirs and such but can't imagine asking her to pay for part of a family vacation. As someone who was a huge saver as a kid it would have killed me to be expected to pay a portion of a family vacation. I would really worry that one or more of the kids will regret not doing this and I guess if I couldn't afford for us all to do it I would skip DC. I'm not sure how big your kid's allowances are but $50 would take a long time for my child to earn back. It wouldn't even cross my mind to have her pay, but now I have a great story to tell her about kids that do have to. We've been selling some of her old toys and some of my items on ebay to help pay for our DC tickets so I think that has helped her understand just how pricey this day is going to be.
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:37 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by brenda1966 View Post
I expect my child to use some of her own money to pay for souvenirs and such but can't imagine asking her to pay for part of a family vacation. As someone who was a huge saver as a kid it would have killed me to be expected to pay a portion of a family vacation. I would really worry that one or more of the kids will regret not doing this and I guess if I couldn't afford for us all to do it I would skip DC. I'm not sure how big your kid's allowances are but $50 would take a long time for my child to earn back. It wouldn't even cross my mind to have her pay, but now I have a great story to tell her about kids that do have to. We've been selling some of her old toys and some of my items on ebay to help pay for our DC tickets so I think that has helped her understand just how pricey this day is going to be.
Well, part of the reason we are doing this is that they really wanted to go to Discovery Cove. Dh decided it was way too expensive. Once I realized we could do it without the dolphin swim it made it a little more affordable so we decided that we can afford it without the dolphin swim but if anybody wants to do the dolphin swim bad enough they can help out. They all have plenty of money in the bank and receive Christmas and birthday money and I know they all can afford it if they want it bad enough. For us to put out that much extra for 30 minutes just is not something we feel we can do at this point. But the point of this post was not to find out if we are doing the right thing as parents but to see if it is possible for them to change their minds last minute (and I found out the answer) and to see if people have chosen to go without the swim and then regretted it. I know for myself that I would love to go to Discovery Cove even without the Dolphin swim and don't really feel I would regret it but would hate for my kids to feel like they missed out.
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Old 09-29-2012, 12:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by janinca View Post
Well, part of the reason we are doing this is that they really wanted to go to Discovery Cove. Dh decided it was way too expensive. Once I realized we could do it without the dolphin swim it made it a little more affordable so we decided that we can afford it without the dolphin swim but if anybody wants to do the dolphin swim bad enough they can help out. They all have plenty of money in the bank and receive Christmas and birthday money and I know they all can afford it if they want it bad enough. For us to put out that much extra for 30 minutes just is not something we feel we can do at this point. But the point of this post was not to find out if we are doing the right thing as parents but to see if it is possible for them to change their minds last minute (and I found out the answer) and to see if people have chosen to go without the swim and then regretted it. I know for myself that I would love to go to Discovery Cove even without the Dolphin swim and don't really feel I would regret it but would hate for my kids to feel like they missed out.
Are you doing Seaworld and Aquatica as the package? I know that is the package, but if you weren't planning on going there, did you think about getting an annual passport for one of the above parks and you can get a resort day for $69 or a dolphin day for a $169. It might be a cheaper option if you weren't wanting to go to the other parks! Something to consider!
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Old 09-29-2012, 01:38 AM   #10
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We are going to DC and Disney world, we leave in 15 days!
We booked the dolphin swim package. I have been reading reviews for the last couple of months and to date, have not heard one thing negative about the dolphin swim, or discovery cove.

I'm excited to give my girls this experience, and am excited my husband and I will doing this with them. I hope our pictures turn out nice. I am already planning on purchasing a photo package.

We also booked a private cabana. It is a vacation after all!!

Now, to address the user that posted having her boys pay for a dolphin swim, and they have decided not to to -- it's their choice. If they don't want to, I wouldn't have them do it. I think once they did did it, they would probably be happy they did. But, they are old enough to know what they do, and don't want to do, as well as what they want to spend their own money on and what they don't want to. I guess, if it's a lot of money to you/ them, then they should spend it on something else that they really want to do.

It is an expensive day, we paid around $1500.00 for our package for 5 of us.
However, it's really a unique, awesome experience, that not all that many people get to do.
Vacations can be spendy, but kids are only at home for, what seems like a short time before they are out on their own-- why not indulge and spoil them some?
We are going to be in Florida 12 days. DC 1 day, Disney 4 days, sea world 1 day. Universal studios 1 day, downtown Disney and various shopping ect 1 day, and then Rest an Relaxation at our timeshare, pool or whatever!
You don't ever forget being able to swim with dolphins, and kiss dolphins! I know our girls will remember it for the rest of their lives! My husband and I don't feel you can put a price on that
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Old 09-29-2012, 06:55 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brenda1966 View Post
I expect my child to use some of her own money to pay for souvenirs and such but can't imagine asking her to pay for part of a family vacation. As someone who was a huge saver as a kid it would have killed me to be expected to pay a portion of a family vacation. I would really worry that one or more of the kids will regret not doing this and I guess if I couldn't afford for us all to do it I would skip DC. I'm not sure how big your kid's allowances are but $50 would take a long time for my child to earn back. It wouldn't even cross my mind to have her pay, but now I have a great story to tell her about kids that do have to. We've been selling some of her old toys and some of my items on ebay to help pay for our DC tickets so I think that has helped her understand just how pricey this day is going to be.
So its okay for you to sell your child's belongings to help pay for your DC experience, but its not okay for the OP to have their children contribute some of their Christmas and birthday money to offset the cost of the swim portion?

janinca, I think you know your family best. I am a huge advocate of teaching kids early on the value of money, and to make them fiscally responsible (I work for two financial planners.....let me tell you, you can't start too soon in my opinion). Your kids are not little, and as teens, I can appreciate that most of them would have their own slush funds which they could dig into if needed to help finance an otherwise out-of-the-budget activity. My 16 year old works full time all summer, and part time during the school year. He would not hesitate to kick in money for a vacation activity if we ever asked him too.

Discovery Cove is a wonderful park that will be enjoyed immensely even without the dolphin swim. That portion of the day, while awesome and amazing and very worth it to do at least once, is only a small part of the whole experience. It literally will take less than 45 minutes from start to finish. Those that choose not to participate can watch their family's dolphin encounter from the shoreline. If those not taking part won't feel "left out" as they watch their siblings, then book them the day resort admission and know that they will still have an awesome and amazing time.

Our whole family did DC on August 29th and didn't do the dolphin swim (*gasp!*) and still had an amazing day. We did the swim on our January visit and while it was a ton of fun, its not a necessity. If the dolphin swim is going to be a budget breaker, skip it without guilt.
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Old 09-29-2012, 07:28 AM   #12
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Are you doing Seaworld and Aquatica as the package? I know that is the package, but if you weren't planning on going there, did you think about getting an annual passport for one of the above parks and you can get a resort day for $69 or a dolphin day for a $169. It might be a cheaper option if you weren't wanting to go to the other parks! Something to consider!
We are planning to make full use of the whole package including Busch Gardens! I am so excited to go to all those other parks. Thanks for the idea though, that definitely makes it a lot cheaper.
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Old 09-29-2012, 07:30 AM   #13
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We are going to DC and Disney world, we leave in 15 days!
We booked the dolphin swim package. I have been reading reviews for the last couple of months and to date, have not heard one thing negative about the dolphin swim, or discovery cove.

I'm excited to give my girls this experience, and am excited my husband and I will doing this with them. I hope our pictures turn out nice. I am already planning on purchasing a photo package.

We also booked a private cabana. It is a vacation after all!!

Now, to address the user that posted having her boys pay for a dolphin swim, and they have decided not to to -- it's their choice. If they don't want to, I wouldn't have them do it. I think once they did did it, they would probably be happy they did. But, they are old enough to know what they do, and don't want to do, as well as what they want to spend their own money on and what they don't want to. I guess, if it's a lot of money to you/ them, then they should spend it on something else that they really want to do.

It is an expensive day, we paid around $1500.00 for our package for 5 of us.
However, it's really a unique, awesome experience, that not all that many people get to do.
Vacations can be spendy, but kids are only at home for, what seems like a short time before they are out on their own-- why not indulge and spoil them some?
We are going to be in Florida 12 days. DC 1 day, Disney 4 days, sea world 1 day. Universal studios 1 day, downtown Disney and various shopping ect 1 day, and then Rest an Relaxation at our timeshare, pool or whatever!
You don't ever forget being able to swim with dolphins, and kiss dolphins! I know our girls will remember it for the rest of their lives! My husband and I don't feel you can put a price on that
Wow, that sounds like a great vacation! I hope our vacation ends up being unforgettable for our kids as well, I am really looking forward to it!
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Old 09-29-2012, 07:35 AM   #14
janinca
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So its okay for you to sell your child's belongings to help pay for your DC experience, but its not okay for the OP to have their children contribute some of their Christmas and birthday money to offset the cost of the swim portion?

janinca, I think you know your family best. I am a huge advocate of teaching kids early on the value of money, and to make them fiscally responsible (I work for two financial planners.....let me tell you, you can't start too soon in my opinion). Your kids are not little, and as teens, I can appreciate that most of them would have their own slush funds which they could dig into if needed to help finance an otherwise out-of-the-budget activity. My 16 year old works full time all summer, and part time during the school year. He would not hesitate to kick in money for a vacation activity if we ever asked him too.

Discovery Cove is a wonderful park that will be enjoyed immensely even without the dolphin swim. That portion of the day, while awesome and amazing and very worth it to do at least once, is only a small part of the whole experience. It literally will take less than 45 minutes from start to finish. Those that choose not to participate can watch their family's dolphin encounter from the shoreline. If those not taking part won't feel "left out" as they watch their siblings, then book them the day resort admission and know that they will still have an awesome and amazing time.

Our whole family did DC on August 29th and didn't do the dolphin swim (*gasp!*) and still had an amazing day. We did the swim on our January visit and while it was a ton of fun, its not a necessity. If the dolphin swim is going to be a budget breaker, skip it without guilt.
Thanks Gina I am glad to hear your thoughts on not doing the dolphin swim. To me discovery cove looks like an awesome place and I am excited to be there with or without the dolphin swim.
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Old 09-29-2012, 09:55 AM   #15
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I agree with Gina, we have been to DC 3 times, first time we all did the swim, the 2nd year the kids did the swim with my niece and our 3rd visit we just all did the resort day! We will be going back in March this year for just the resort day again, because we love the feel of DC. It is like being on a tropical island and all of your worries melt away! We are there from open to close, all begging for one more turn around the lazy river. From the food, snacks, drinks, to the hand towels in the bathroom you feel like you are being treated "like they want you there" and they will bend over backwards to make you happy! You won't go wrong going with or without the dolphin swim. This year we are bringing my niece with us from Ontario, Canada, she has never been outside of Ontario and she is 21, never flown, anything. So we aren't using our Annual Passport this year because she wants to do SW and Aquatica, so it is better for us to buy the package. Well of course unless we decide to do DC twice, being that we are there for 2 weeks, that may happen!
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