discovery Cove with out Dolphin swim......still worth it?

Discussion in 'Sea World / Discovery Cove' started by junebug21981, Jul 23, 2012.

  1. junebug21981

    junebug21981 Earning My Ears

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    So the hubby and I are thinking about going to Discovery Cove, but we really don't care about the dolphin swim. Plus it's much cheaper without it, but is there still plenty to do and worth it? How is the food at DC and since were not doing the dolphin swim do we need to check in as early?
     
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  3. Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina DIS Veteran

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    The dolphin swim portion of your day really only takes up about an hour, tops. The actual dolphin interaction time is approximately 30 minutes, then there's a short orientation session before you enter the water and your photo viewing afterward. So to skip the dolphin swim really only shortens your daily activities by 60 minutes at best.

    While I highly recommend doing the dolphin swim package if the budget allows (it really is a wonderful experience and worth the $$'s IMHO), its still an amazing place even if you have day resort only admission. We did the dolphin swim package on January 1st of this year, and are gonig back as day resort guests (without the swim) on August 29th.

    You can feed the birds in the free flying aviary, snorkle with the fish and rays in the Grand Reef, check out the otters and the marmosets in the new Freshwater Oasis, and there's a fantastic lazy river that takes about 20 minutes (more if you are really taking it easy) to completely circle. There's fabulous beach areas with tons of loungers to catch some sun and just relax. Food and beverages (including alcohol) are unlimited, so you can snack and dine and drink to your hearts content. You can sit on the beach and watch the dolphins as the interactions are taking place. They have some wonderful musicians playing some Carribean inspired music near the restaurant, so you can grab a drink and sit under one of the umbrellas and totally kick back. My guess is you will be shocked at how fast the time goes by, and you will have no problem filling an entire day from open to close.

    I would still plan to get there early. We enjoyed the included breakfast. We plan to arrive by 8:30 for our August trip, just so we can get the most time there as possible.

    As for the food, we found it good (and a great selection). Everything from salads and fruit to burgers and pulled pork and macaroni & cheese. Delicious desserts. Frozen lemonade. Snacks of every description. Breakfast is eggs, sausage, bacon, french toast sticks (they are soooo yummy), and all your regular morning fare. Nothing gourmet, but tons to pick from and something for every taste.
     
  4. Claire-Bear

    Claire-Bear DIS Veteran

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    Out of interest, which drinks are covered at DC? Is the frozen lemonade covered? Or extra charge?
     
  5. Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina DIS Veteran

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    Food and drink-wise, everything is included with your DC admission.......if they serve it, its yours :thumbsup2 .

    My son will be putting a good dent in the frozen lemonade stock on August 29th .... its one of his fave's.... so I hope they are ready for him :rotfl: .

    That's one of my favourite things about Discovery Cove. No "nickle and diming". Its all included, with the exception of some upgrades or add-ons like SeaVenture, photo packages (but you do get your one free 6 x 8), cabana rentals and souvenirs.
     
  6. sympatico

    sympatico DIS Veteran

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    Thanks, Gina for the info. :thumbsup2
     
  7. Claire-Bear

    Claire-Bear DIS Veteran

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    Oh really? I thought that they charged you if you wanted one of their cocktail drinks or similar
     
  8. Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina DIS Veteran

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    It might be worth a call or email to DC to double check, then. To be fair, we didn't drink any cocktails, so maybe that's something we missed.

    If there was an extra charge for any food or beverages, we didn't see a single person paying out of pocket during the entire day we were there. I'm guessing the included selection of food and drinks will be very adequate for most families....there was lots to choose from.

    Enjoy your day at DC, and let us know if you call or email DC to ask. We will be there August 29, so if that falls before your visit date, I can always seek out the information for you if you don't mind waiting a few more weeks.
     
  9. Jaime4004

    Jaime4004 DIS Veteran

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    We went a few months ago and did the dolphin swim, only because it was my kids first time going and I knew that they would love it. Had been several times with just DH and we did not do the dolphin swim. While it is fun, I personally don't think the 30mins is worth the extra $100/pp. We have a great time without the dolphin swim, as PP said, there is so much to do besides that. We have always filled up the day, leaving around closing.
    I think the food is similar to any theme park food, but everything tastes better when you're not pulling out your wallet for it. :)
     
  10. Claire-Bear

    Claire-Bear DIS Veteran

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    Dear Claire,

    Thank you for contacting Discovery Cove. We appreciate the opportunity to offer
    you world class service!

    Your Discovery Cove day includes just about everything - a Continental breakfast
    which includes scrambled eggs, sausage, potatoes, french toast sticks,
    individually packaged cereals, oatmeal, croissants, and pastries, as well as, a
    sumptuous lunch.

    Also included are all of your drinks and snacks throughout the day, use of mask,
    snorkel (yours to keep), swim vest, wetsuit or life vest, sunscreen, lockers,
    showers, shampoo, body wash, hair dryers, towels, complimentary photo and
    parking. Here, at Discovery Cove, you will experience the adventure of a
    lifetime!

    I hope this information has been helpful. Please don’t hesitate to contact us
    if you have additional questions or concerns.

    Sincerely,

    Brian | Guest Relations
     
  11. Bearybear

    Bearybear A firm believer in the unbelievable

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    When we were there in February, cocktail drinks were included, as my husband (who doesn't swim) spent a great part of the day on a beach chair sipping "adult beverages" and snacking.

    It was such a great day, that we're going back next February, and will probably go twice (but only once with the dolphin interaction)
     
  12. the_princess

    the_princess DIS Veteran

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    When I went 5 years ago, at least one in your party had to do/pay for the dolphin swim. And I can highly recommend it. It's a big experience!
     
  13. anonymouscactus

    anonymouscactus Earning My Ears

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    This is an old policy, and is no longer the case. Everyone in your party is welcome to do the day resort. Also, cocktails WERE extra charge "back in the day"... but now *all* drinks and alcoholic beverages are included! :cool2:
     
  14. the_princess

    the_princess DIS Veteran

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    Ahh, ok thanks...

    Alcohol and swimming in the water: Great combo :sad2:
     
  15. Claire-Bear

    Claire-Bear DIS Veteran

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    Ahh, so that's why I was thinking they charged extra. Must have been an older practice.

    Having a nice cold beer/cocktail whilst lounging in their new sunken chair area sounds lovely to me :thumbsup2
     
  16. aprilgail2

    aprilgail2 Guest

    When we were there last week every adult in the sunken chair area had either a bottle of beer or a pina colada or the like in their hands in there- me included!! It was SO nice, especially now that my daughter is older (12) she and her friend went off and did their own thing while the friends mom and I chilled in the sunken chairs!
     
  17. Cdnmom2001

    Cdnmom2001 Mouseketeer

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    I think it would still be worth it without the dolphin swim. We LOVED DC and although I found that it made my experience that much better I could see us going without now that we have done it once. But that being said, you can stand with your feet at the bottom of the dolphin pool and the dolphins come so close when they are not in session, you don't get to touch them but you can see them in really shallow water. You can see them all day doing the interactions and you can do the grand reef and other animal interactions.
     

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