Awesome Day at Discovery Cove

Discussion in 'Sea World / Discovery Cove' started by 2littlestitches, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. 2littlestitches

    2littlestitches Mouseketeer

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    Hi there,

    I just wanted to post a quick review on the wonderful day my family spent at Discovery Cove this March! Just a quick preface - it was my first time in this park (though I have been to Sea World before), and I am a Disney girl who is often reluctant to go off Disney property for any reason at all. I also am not afraid to spend money in Orlando, but even I was balking at the high prices for Discovery Cove. After reading so many positive reviews, I decided to just go for it, and I booked the Dolphin Swim as well as our admission to the park. It was myself, my husband and our two boys ages 11 and 9.

    From the minute we pulled up in our vehicle, the Discovery Cove employees were so professional and so friendly! All smiles and big welcomes for us, which was so nice. That level of professionalism continued throughout our day. The day was awesome. The dolphin swim was so wonderful, and something we have never done before. I was worried my kids would be a little scared, especially my one son who is not the strongest swimmer. Not at all! They both absolutely loved it.

    The Grand Reef snorkel area surpassed my expectations by a lot! I thought we would see some fish, but who would have guessed we would see thousands and thousands of fish in all the beautiful colors. And the stingrays - they were HUGE! My kids literally swam with the stingrays, touching them as they swam. We also loved the eels and sharks that were behind glass, but appeared as though they were with us in the reef. We were so very impressed with the Grand Reef area!

    The lazy river was fun, too. For me, it couldn't beat the other areas, but my kids sure enjoyed getting out and feeding all the birds in the aviary. It was really neat, and I have to say SO impeccably clean. Very relaxing and very enjoyable.

    The food was good and plentiful throughout the day. We didn't drink any alcohol, but I understand it was included. My kids liked the slushy machines a lot. For anyone who has been to Disney's Castaway Cay island, this place honestly reminded me a lot of it. I feel that's almost blasphemy to say that, being the Disney fan I am, but truly it felt a lot like the Disney island to me. It was like we were actually in the Bahamas while at Discovery Cove. My kids also had fun building sand castles and we had the best, most relaxing, enjoyable day.

    I would agree with previous advice to book this in the middle of your week in Orlando. It was a great relaxing break from the parks mid-week. I will definitely return to Discovery Cove in the future. Yes it was very expensive, but it was wonderful. I don't regret the money spent there for the awesome time we had!
     
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  3. mrsltg

    mrsltg Guest

    Thanks for your review! I just booked a day at Discovery Cove for my family. We've been going to WDW regularly for 10 years, but have never made it to DC - I am so excited! It's going to be a surprise for our middle dds birthday, and she is going to flip!

    Question- are you assigned a dolphin swim time when you arrive? And, what time can you arrive?
     
  4. 2littlestitches

    2littlestitches Mouseketeer

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    Yes, they assign you a dolphin swim time at check-in. I followed the advice of others to get there at 8:00 for checking in. This was great, because it takes awhile to get your snorkel gear, lockers, etc. We had the first dolphin swim of the day, which was also great because we could relax and take our time for the rest of the day instead of worrying about being somewhere at a certain time. Actually, I believe we were pulling into the parking lot at around 7:45 am, and we were not even the first family there. So, aim for being there around 8:00.
     
  5. mrsltg

    mrsltg Guest

    Thank you!!!
     
  6. Lorix2

    Lorix2 <font color=blue>Pixie and Dylan's mom<br><font co

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    So glad you had such a wonderful time!

    Before we went there in 2005, my kids were excited but my DH complained he didn't want to spend that much money just to "swim with some fish".

    Wouldn't you know he had the kids high five me for booking this park and we had such a great day! It's worth every penny for it's offerings and the memories are priceless.
     
  7. ETHANSMOMMA

    ETHANSMOMMA Earning My Ears

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    We went 3/29/12 and also had the MOST amazing time! I wasn't sure at first, spending all that money but it was truly an awesome experience!!!
     
  8. bas71873

    bas71873 DIS Veteran

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    What time was the first swim of the day? I just booked our DC day for our trip in August. Also, did you do the wetsuits or the vests. I lean toward the vests, although I know I'm going to hate either. Do you have to wear them in the lazy river and in the swimming pool area too?
     
  9. greenclan67

    greenclan67 Callie35

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    HI there, I like the vests compared to the wet suits, but probably because I am constantly running to the bathroom! So it is far easier, and wearing a two piece bathing suit also helps!! I also hate eithier. Just make sure you get one that is a little more snug compared to loose, because if they ride up, they will chaff you under the arms, and then they hurt!
    Yes you have to wear them in the lazy river, but we took them off in the swimming area!
     
  10. bas71873

    bas71873 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for the info. I think I may bring us all rash guards to wear under the vests just in case.
     
  11. scootch

    scootch DIS Veteran

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    Glad you had a great time. We have done alot of traveling and it is truly on the tops of our list as the greatest vacation day every.:thumbsup2
     
  12. gymboqueenkaylee

    gymboqueenkaylee DIS Veteran

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    thanks for sharing your experience. we are comtemplating taking DD next month while we are there. Thanks for all the tips too!
     
  13. meggiebeth

    meggiebeth Have faith in your dreams and someday your rainbow

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    That's great you had a good time! We loved it too- although it was very expensive and we probably will not do it again. Oh my goodness, those stingrays are HUGE! :eek: I know what you mean about the Grand Reef- the fish are so beautiful and colourful. :artist:
     
  14. jdragr

    jdragr Mouseketeer

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    Did you rent a cabana? We will be there May 29th and I am thinking this will be a once in a lifetime thing for us.
     
  15. Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina DIS Veteran

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  16. jdragr

    jdragr Mouseketeer

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    Thanks that did help. The only thing I didn't understand is what someone meant by getting a package. Can you shed any light on that? Thanks!
     
  17. Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina DIS Veteran

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    I think I can help :) .

    Cabanas are reserved on a first come, first served basis.

    Cabana-only rentals (ie outside of a package that includes an assortment of extras) can be made no more than 3 weeks out from the date of your visit. So for your date of May 29th, you would not have been able to reserve a cabana on its own until May 8th.

    For those of us with our visit dates falling further away (for example, my date of August 29), if we want to reserve a cabana sooner than our three-week point, we have to reserve it as part of a package. The premium package we reserved is the cheapest option ($50 more than than the cabana only rental) but includes a t-shirt, an underwater camera, a 6 x 8 photo, a DC frame or a stuffed dolphin toy, a personalized bouy delivered to you during the dolphin swim, and a 25% discount on the ultimate photo package.

    The reason why many of us want to reserve sooner than that 3 week point is because only 13 cabanas are available for rent on any given day. When I booked our cabana in April, 6 of the cabanas for our August date were already reserved (with 4 months yet to go). We were number 7. During the hot, hot weather we felt there was a high likelihood that they will be snapped up by the time our three week point arrived and we would be out of luck.

    Since your visit date is within the next 3 weeks, you have the ability to book a cabana only at any time, assuming there is still one available. You have to call DC in order to verify availability and make your cabana reservation.

    Let me know if you have any more questions :goodvibes .
     
  18. jdragr

    jdragr Mouseketeer

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    Thanks so much Gina! Big help! Just booked our Cabana. Was only 2 left for our day. I hesitated on spending the extra money but dh is not much of a water person so I thought he would enjoy having a place to relax. And, since my girls are teenagers it will give us a home base.
     

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