Disney Information Station Logo

Go Back   The DIS Discussion Forums - DISboards.com > Universal Studios/Sea World > Sea World / Discovery Cove
Find Hotel Specials & DIScounts
 
facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS UpdatesDIS email updates
Register Chat FAQ Tickers Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read





Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 11-05-2012, 01:48 PM   #1
graceandhayes
Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Mount Pleasant, SC
Posts: 102

Discovery Cove and Sea World Trip Report

My wife and I took our children (son 7 and daughter 6) to Sea World and Discovery Cove this past weekend. A quick report on our trip. I will be happy to answer any questions about our trip.

We stayed at the SpringHill Suites Orlando at Sea World Thurs through Sat night. I highly recommend this hotel. The rate was reasonable and the staff and the hotel room were excellent. I loved the layout of the hotel room with 2 Queen beds, sitting area, toilet separate from the shower and sink. Room was very clean and housekeeping was excellent. The free breakfast was pretty good with a good selection of food. The pool and pool bar/cafe was great.

Spent Friday at Sea World. Our first trip to Sea World, and probably our last. No real complaints, just not enough there to justify another trip. My wife and I like roller coasters, but did not ride Manta or Kraken because we were with our children. We saw 2 shows: Clyde and Seamore & Blue Horizons. Both shows were good. The pirate mime before C&S show was hilarious! Blue Horizons was an amazing show! We did the Dolphins Up Close tour and enjoyed it. Turtle Trek was interesting, but the volume on the movie is way too loud, and scared both of my kids. I was looking forward to Turtle Trek and was disappointed. Had lunch at Spice Mill which was pretty good for park food.

Reservations for Discovery Cove on Saturday. Arrived about 7:45 with no waiting. Got our dolphin encounter reservation for 10:05. Had a great breakfast, then went and got our wetsuits, mask and snorkel.
Here is my two cents on the wetsuit vs the vest. I am usually pretty warm, and cold water does not bother me. I considered getting a vest, but went with the wet suit because my wife and kids were getting wet suits. I was not sorry. It was in the low 80s on Saturday and warm outside. The water everywhere except the Freshwater Oasis took some getting used to. We were told by a lifeguard the water in the Wind Away River is normally warmer than it was last week. She said they had gotten some feedback that the water was too warm so they were working to adjust it. Too cold was our feedback. I don't want to scare anyone away. The water is cool, but you get used to it quickly - even in the dolphin pool. I recommend the wetsuit, but plenty of people were just wearing the vest. The wetsuit also helps keep you afloat. In fact my one complaint about the wetsuit was it made it hard to dive down to the bottom of the reef, and stay there. We were told you can always switch if you change your mind. My advice is get the wetsuit. If you are uncomfortable in it, and think the water is warm enough, go trade it for a vest.

The food and drinks were excellent. Not typical theme park food. Breakfast had a good selection of hot food (eggs, potatoes, sausage, french toast sticks) as well as fruit, yogurt, cereal, pasteries, bagels. Plenty of coffee, tea, juice and soft drinks to choose from (Coca-Cola products). Lunch was Cheeseburgers, Hot Dogs, French Fries, Grilled Tilapia, Jambalaya, Pork BBQ, Teriyaki Chicken Sandwich, Chicken Fingers, Mac and Cheese, Penne Pasta with Meatballs, Salads, Desserts and Coca-Cola products to drink. The snack bars have Beer, Sodas, Icees (Cherry or Lemonade), Frozen Adult Drinks (Mango or Pina Colada), Ice Cream Sandwiches, Soft Pretzels, Trail Mix, Chips, Granola Bars, etc. All the food was great!

The dolphin encounter was amazing, and worth the price. I recommend doing it at least once.
The Grand Reef is very cool. The water does start to get cloudy later in the day as the sand gets stirred up. Underwater pictures taken earlier in the day are more clear. Used a Kodak Play Sport camera which took good underwater photos. About 5:00 some staff came out in the shallow part of the Grand Reef with shrimp and fish and gave everyone the chance to feed the stingrays in the reef. Very cool experience.

The Bird Aviary was a big hit with my family. Highly recommend taking some time to walk through and feed the birds.
The Wind Away River is a great place to relax and float down the river. They have noodles for the kids if they are not great swimmers.
The freshwater oasis is also fun. You can check out the otters and marmosets. Water is nice and warm.
We stayed until 5:30 and wished we could have stayed longer. Truly a special day that was worth the price.

I highly recommend the SpringHill Suites. Sea World was fun, but I am not sure I would pay for admission. We only went because it was free with the Discovery Cove tickets. Just wasn't really a big hit with my family, and even less exciting after our trip to Discovery Cove. Discovery Cove is amazing, and worth the price. I think the Dolphin Encounter, Bird Aviary, and Grand Reef should not be missed. Please feel free to post specific questions. I will be happy to answer and provide my opinion on SpringHill Suites, Sea World, or Discovery Cove.
graceandhayes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2012, 05:43 PM   #2
trouttigger
Mouseketeer
 
trouttigger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: 575 miles from WDW in Georgia
Posts: 151

Thanks!

Thanks for posting the details on the DC food. I have 2 picky eaters in my family, and they seem to have enough stuff to make them happy.

Did you use the free transportation from Springhill Suites to SW? How often does it run?
__________________
Trouttigger

AS Music - Feb. 2000
AS Music - Jan. 2009
Port Orleans Riverside - Dec. 2011
Discovery Cove & SeaWorld - Dec. 2012
Coronado Springs - Dec. 2013
trouttigger is offline   Reply With Quote
|
The DIS
Register to remove

Join Date: 1997
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 1,000,000
Old 11-06-2012, 02:18 AM   #3
Littlenemo
Mouseketeer
 
Littlenemo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Kent, UK
Posts: 163

Quote:
Originally Posted by trouttigger
Thanks for posting the details on the DC food. I have 2 picky eaters in my family, and they seem to have enough stuff to make them happy.

Did you use the free transportation from Springhill Suites to SW? How often does it run?
The only thing I found at discovery cove was they do not cater well for people with special dietary requirements.
But this year food was quite bad. Even DH said he wasn't impressed.
__________________



WDW Orlando

August 1998 : Radisson Resort Parkway
August 2000 : Westgate Villas
September 2011 : QII on I-drive
September 2012 : QII on I-drive

Disneyland Paris
September 2014 : Santa Fe Taking the baby to Disney!
Littlenemo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2012, 05:31 AM   #4
Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina
DIS Veteran
 
Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Canada, Eh!
Posts: 6,532

Quote:
Originally Posted by Littlenemo View Post
The only thing I found at discovery cove was they do not cater well for people with special dietary requirements.
But this year food was quite bad. Even DH said he wasn't impressed.
Just out of curiosity.....what dietary requirements were poorly accommodated? (its helpful for others who may share the same issues to know where DC fell short)

Did you contact the park in advance to discuss your special dietary needs? Did they offer to provide an alternate meal options for you? Just recently, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment launched special measures to make their park dining more accommodating to visitors with food allergies:

http://disboards.com/showthread.php?p=46458764

Park policies are pretty encouraging for guests with special dietary requirements (they are listed in the FAQ's on their website):

http://discoverycove.ca/Plan/FAQ.asp...48723127#gpi27

Dietary Needs
In order for our team to best serve you and ensure a safe and enjoyable dining experience, we ask that you please read and understand ALL of the important information below.

WHAT TO DO: Upon arriving at a meal facility, please go straight to the cashier and ask to speak with a supervisor in order to discuss the severity of your allergens and determine a meal that will be safe for you.

OFFERING OF SPECIALTY ITEMS: Our Park offers several allergen friendly prepackaged items for your special dietary needs. For a list of these items and their location, please ask to speak to a supervisor at our main meal facilities.

CROSS CONTACT: Not all of our meal facilities are free from cross contact. In order to ensure your meal is safe, please discuss the preparation process for your meal with the supervisor as you place your order to ensure no cross-contact takes place.

TIPS FOR A SAFE TRIP: Follow these tips to allow us to best serve you and ensure a safe and great dining experience with us!
• Always ask for a supervisor upon arriving at a meal facility
• Visit meal facilities during non-peak hours or ahead of meal time so that you can be efficiently assisted and served
• Always ask about cross-contact potential


Was it the selection that you didn't like, or the quality of the items offered? If the quality was not acceptable, what did you find inferior? I am curious, as we have been twice this year and the food has been GREAT, with so many items to choose from it was impossible to even have "a little bit of everything" (not that I would have....some things, like the seafood dishes, I simply don't like but most items were pretty crowd-friendly) . Everybody's tastes are different, so I'm always curious to find out what other's didn't enjoy.
__________________
Gina and her two guys ...conquering awesome Orlando, one offsite attraction at a time!

Jan. 2009....onsite at POR: all 4 Disney Parks
Jan. 2012....offsite on I-Drive: Universal Studios, IOA, SeaWorld, & Discovery Cove
Aug. 2012...Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa: Aquatica, Discovery Cove, and more
Dec. 2012...onsite at SW! Christmas week at SeaWorld, Aquatica, Gatorland, airboats, & holiday fun
**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! Visit my trip report in progress: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=51863899


Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2012, 09:33 AM   #5
graceandhayes
Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Mount Pleasant, SC
Posts: 102

We did not use the shuttle from the SpringHill Suites. We drove to Orlando so we drove to Sea World and Discovery Cove. You can get a shuttle schedule from the Expedia Travel Desk in the hotel lobby (when you get your Sea World Quick Que vouchers). I believe the shuttle runs once an hour. Parking at Discovery Cove is free. Parking at Sea World was $14. I hated to spend the $14 for parking at Sea World, but in the end we just decided it was worth the convenience.
graceandhayes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2012, 09:14 PM   #6
trouttigger
Mouseketeer
 
trouttigger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: 575 miles from WDW in Georgia
Posts: 151

Did you feel that 1 day was enough for Sea World?
__________________
Trouttigger

AS Music - Feb. 2000
AS Music - Jan. 2009
Port Orleans Riverside - Dec. 2011
Discovery Cove & SeaWorld - Dec. 2012
Coronado Springs - Dec. 2013
trouttigger is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS Updates
GET OUR DIS UPDATES DELIVERED BY EMAIL



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:00 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Copyright © 1997-2014, Werner Technologies, LLC. All Rights Reserved.