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Two of my kids have decided not to do the dolphin swim

Discussion in 'Sea World / Discovery Cove' started by janinca, Sep 27, 2012.

  1. janinca

    janinca Mouseketeer

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    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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  3. LockShockBarrel

    LockShockBarrel Pudge controls the weather.

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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?
     
  4. greenclan67

    greenclan67 Callie35

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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!
     
  5. janinca

    janinca Mouseketeer

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    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.
     
  6. janinca

    janinca Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for this warning, I would not want to be surprised by that!
     
  7. LockShockBarrel

    LockShockBarrel Pudge controls the weather.

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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? :goodvibes
     
  8. brenda1966

    brenda1966 DIS Veteran

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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. :scratchin 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.
     
  9. janinca

    janinca Mouseketeer

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    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.
     
  10. greenclan67

    greenclan67 Callie35

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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!
     
  11. Swirly girls

    Swirly girls Mouseketeer

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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:)
     
  12. Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina DIS Veteran

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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? :confused3

    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.
     
  13. janinca

    janinca Mouseketeer

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    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.
     
  14. janinca

    janinca Mouseketeer

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    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!
     
  15. janinca

    janinca Mouseketeer

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    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.
     
  16. greenclan67

    greenclan67 Callie35

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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!
     
  17. brenda1966

    brenda1966 DIS Veteran

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    Oh please. Her "belongings". Yes, I'm tearing them out of her crying hands to sell on ebay. :lmao: And what do you do with your old stuff? Throw it in the garbage? Box it up for goodwill -- I hope. That's what we do with ours except for those few items that sell well on ebay. My 10 year old no longer has use for Fisher Price Little People.

    I agree with Swirly: "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? "

    I'd really hate for my child's memory of Discovery cove 10 years from now to be that I didn't get to do the dolphin swim because I would have had to pay for it. But that's just me. By mentioning asking kids to pay I think it's fair to comment on. The OP could have just said "we've made reservation at DC and only half the kids are doing the dolphin swim -- what if the other half change their mind when we get there, will they be able to join the swim last minute?" We didn't need to know the kids were paying and now that we do, it leaves some of us shaking our heads a bit. :confused3
     
  18. brenda1966

    brenda1966 DIS Veteran

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    Understood. We all have vacation budgets and when our kids get older they can understand that a dollar only goes so far. And when we think something is not a good value (ie, the high cost for a short "swim") we can share that reasoning with our kids.

    I'm sure you'll have a great time at DC.
     
  19. FreeThinker

    FreeThinker Mouseketeer

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    My kids are a lot younger, the 9 and 7 year olds did the Dolphin Swim w/ DH adn I (had to take turns so the other could watch the 3 little ones). At the end of both Dolphin Swims they let the little ones come out and all pose together w/ the Dolphin! THe littles wre a just turned 1 baby, and 4 year old twins. We loved our Dolphin swim, but there is a lot more to do at DC. We plan to do it again when the littles are old enough to do it, but if we go back between now and then we would just do the regular day and enjoy the lazy river, aviary, ect. It is a beautiful place, and we loved that it wasn't too crowded!
     
  20. Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina DIS Veteran

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    And by mentioning that you, too, are having your child finance part of your family's day at Discovery Cove, its also fair to draw the comparison. ;) Just because you choose to have your child contribute in a different way than the OP doesn't make it any better or any worse.
     
  21. Swirly girls

    Swirly girls Mouseketeer

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    I agree with a few of the comments -- if you really feel as though you can't afford this, then just don't do it. If you have to ask your teenage kids to help pay for some of the vacation, then you probably shouldn't even be doing it in the first place.
    I have 3 teenage daughters, 2 work. I wouldn't feel right about asking them to pay for thier dolphin swim. Yes, they need to learn how to be responsible with money, but this isn't the way.
    I asked my working girls if they were told by us that they would need to pay fir thier own dolphin swim if they would still do it, and they both looked at me like I was totally crazy!
    No offense here, but kids living at home under age 18 don't chip in in vacations -That, is a parents responsibility.
     

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