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Old 06-19-2012, 11:40 AM   #1
bopper
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What are your best Discovery Cove tips?

We are going in August and I was wondering if anyone had any tips to share.

So far I have read:

1) Go to the Grand Reef early if you want to get good pictures of the fish. The bottom sand is not stirred up as much.

2) Check in early so you get an earlier dolphin encounter time so it is not in the heat of the day.

Any others?

Also, has anyone surprised their kids with DC? My kids know we are going to Universal but don't know we are going to DC. Any ideas on a fun way to let them know?
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:09 PM   #2
LandJ
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We went last w/e for the first time and LOVED IT!!!! I also had read that about going to the Grand Reef early. But honestly, I can't tell a difference in my a.m. and p.m. photos. I have an Olympus Stylus Tough little thing that isn't a big $ camera. Maybe with the expensive high tech cameras one can tell a difference, but I couldn't.

And I definitely agree about getting there early to get a good time for the dolphin encounter. But it has nothing to do with the heat of the day, imo. You're going to be there when it's hot no matter what you're doing. You're standing in the water the whole time. Plus, the water in that particular pool is COLD no matter when you get there. We had an 8:40 time and it was good. I wouldn't have really wanted an earlier time b/c it gave us a chance to figure out the lay of the land, find a comfy spot for our towels/shoes to hang out, get the lockers and get our vests before it was time to find the right cabana for the talk.

I'm sooooo thankful we didn't get a cabana. I almost bit the bullet and got us one, but changed my mind. There were two adults and a 9 yo in our group. The only time we sat down was once when I needed to get my glasses to look at the camera. If we'd had a toddler that needed to nap or if G-ma and G-pa had gone with us then it would've been nice to have. But as I said, glad I didn't get one for us.

HAVE FUN!!!!
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Old 06-20-2012, 05:15 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LandJ View Post
We went last w/e for the first time and LOVED IT!!!! I also had read that about going to the Grand Reef early. But honestly, I can't tell a difference in my a.m. and p.m. photos. I have an Olympus Stylus Tough little thing that isn't a big $ camera. Maybe with the expensive high tech cameras one can tell a difference, but I couldn't.

And I definitely agree about getting there early to get a good time for the dolphin encounter. But it has nothing to do with the heat of the day, imo. You're going to be there when it's hot no matter what you're doing. You're standing in the water the whole time. Plus, the water in that particular pool is COLD no matter when you get there. We had an 8:40 time and it was good. I wouldn't have really wanted an earlier time b/c it gave us a chance to figure out the lay of the land, find a comfy spot for our towels/shoes to hang out, get the lockers and get our vests before it was time to find the right cabana for the talk.

I'm sooooo thankful we didn't get a cabana. I almost bit the bullet and got us one, but changed my mind. There were two adults and a 9 yo in our group. The only time we sat down was once when I needed to get my glasses to look at the camera. If we'd had a toddler that needed to nap or if G-ma and G-pa had gone with us then it would've been nice to have. But as I said, glad I didn't get one for us.

HAVE FUN!!!!

can you tell me, what there much shade there. I have tentatively book a cabana and am wavering back and forth. Note, it will also be very busy when we are thare the first week in august. Did they look cool?
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Old 06-20-2012, 11:00 PM   #4
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We did DC last year and loved it - a highlight of the trip for sure. I have three tip ideas. 1. Do arrive early, arrange your dolphin time and then enjoy breakfast. A lot of people do not arrive early which I found shocking considering the price. 2. If the aviary interests you at all, go EARLY. We had an early dolphin swim and by the time we got to the aviary, the birds were already well fed! 3. Enjoy the nonstop food and snacks. It takes a while to realize that all food at the snack areas are FREE! I mean you know that, but psychologically it is so strange to go up, grab some snacks and then just walk away!

As to the PP, there is plenty of shade and umbrellas. We went in August last year and our date was sold out, but the great thing about DC is they only let in 1000 people, so it does not feel crowded. There were plenty of available loungers under umbrellas all day long. We, too, considered a cabana but I am so glad we didn't - honestly no need to. I didn't even notice the cabanas so they must be somewhere remote-ish. They day goes by so quickly and there is so much to do I can't imagine getting my money's worth out of the cabana.
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Old 06-22-2012, 02:59 PM   #5
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Our family went to DC for the first time on May 22! We did have a cabana and wouldn't go again without it! We didn't spend a ton of time in there but it was a great meeting place for when our group seperated! My mom was with us and she is allergic to the sun so it was also nice to ensure that she had shade! Our cabana was located on the edge of the Sand Dollar dolphin pool! I loved sitting and watching other families enjoy their swim!

We arrived before 8a.m. and there was already a small line! Our dolphin swim was at 12:30! I would have liked to have one a bit earlier but it was nice to be able to go to the bird aviary first! I agree that if you want to feed the birds go as soon as you are done eating! The birds fill up fast!

My husband and kids snorkeled the WHOLE day! In their opinion there wasn't a better time of day to do it!

You will love your day at DC no matter what! Enjoy it!
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Old 07-03-2012, 02:58 PM   #6
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So, do you get to pick your dolphin swim time? Or are you just given one based on them filling all the early spots in order as they check you in?

We'd like to be able to do the aviary, maybe eat some breakfast, and then do the dolphin swim. We'll be going late October, so heat of the day is less of an issue (and in fact it might be cold out).

We definately want to get there early, but don't want to necessarily have to do the dolphins the very first thing.
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Old 07-03-2012, 07:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brenda1966 View Post
So, do you get to pick your dolphin swim time? Or are you just given one based on them filling all the early spots in order as they check you in?
Swim times are assigned by DC staff as you arrive. You don't get to choose, nor will they ask for your preference. The earlier you get to DC, the earlier your swim time will be.

It would be a scheduling nightmare if they allowed you to pick your time slot.

You will love DC..............its awesome!!!!
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Old 07-04-2012, 11:23 AM   #8
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So here's my question...
DH & I both want to swim w/dolphins, but our 2 kids don't & they are younger. If we both do the dolphin swim at the same time, then no one can watch our kids. Would they be willing to sign each of us up in different swim times so one of us can be w/the kids? Like I will be assigned the next slot, but DH assigned the swim time after the one I'm in. I may need to call & ask b/c it makes a diff obviously on which ticket we purchase.
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