Discovery Cove - General Information

pattyw

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 7, 2008
Hi, we don't have APs but were curious about how this works since we have a trip planned this October and next October. If we bought 1 AP, then wanted to buy a Discovery Cove day (for 2 people this year, 3 people next year), is the $99 a set price? Just has some blackout dates or is it a very limited list of days? If only one person has the AP, can the guests add other parks onto the DC tickets?

Thanks!
Hi! :) The $99 special is only on Wednesdays in Oct. and is still available for Oct 3,10,17, &31. With my one AP I purchased the DC day for both me and DH- it says you can book up to 6 guests. This special does not include tickets to Sea World or Aquatica.
 

Mikey15

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 29, 2018
Hi! :) The $99 special is only on Wednesdays in Oct. and is still available for Oct 3,10,17, &31. With my one AP I purchased the DC day for both me and DH- it says you can book up to 6 guests. This special does not include tickets to Sea World or Aquatica.
Thanks!

While the dates work for me, oddly enough I think AP would make sense financially if I wasn’t doing DC both years. If I do though, it’s about the same as buying the day resort + 14 day package this year and next.
 

Michael Webb

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jul 22, 2018
My experience with the Discovery Cove Photo Key package:

Discovery Cove packages are separated between the Dolphin encounter photos and any other photos you have taken by them during the day. That's a shame that they should correct.

While at Discovery Cove, I took the Dolphin swim (their photographer) along with the SeaVenture (me as photographer with their camera) and the Animal Trek (their photographer). I bought their package at the park (not before-hand on line) at $265. The "deal" was the dolphin package at $229 plus all other photos at $80, then discounted because you were buying both. Whatever.

The photographers at the dolphin encounter do a great job at taking your photo multiple times. But in the end, basically, they take 4 photos: one of you with your hand on the dolphin, one of you kissing the dolphin, one of you being pulled by the dolphin in a swim and one of you and your whole family with the dolphin. Each shot mentioned above has about 3-4 shots in slightly different poses. Ok.

At $229 that is hardly worth it, but their cameras are the only ones allowed in the water so what are you going to do?

With the "extras" they are a little more reasonable.
While going on the SeaVenture, they provide digital cameras for you to take your own pictures. Great! We had both their cameras and our own underwater cameras.
On the Animal Trek (which included an aviary "private room" with many birds and macaws, and another area with a screech owl, an anteater and a sloth) and the otter encounter, we had a personal photographer who took pictures both of us with the animals and took pictures of the animals on their own.
The cost for the "extras" (Seaventure and Animal Trek) was $80.

Somehow, due to package discounts, this boiled down to $265 (and I had a $50 in park coupon to spend on merchandise) in which they were VERY accommodating in making things as cheap as possible for me! (I am a cheapie that looks to get discounts wherever I can!).

So...I ended up with numerous photos from dolphin encounter, SeaVenture and Animal Trek for about $215 (plus tax) Considering they corner the market on the dolphin photos, I don't consider this a bad deal.
When I go back (and the day was so awesome I WILL go back), I will NOT buy the package for just the dolphin photos. But I will probably do enough different things that will make the add on package worth it,

One caveat I will add is that I am am a scrapbooker and I buy and print all the photos I can get from a trip. If I were not a scrapbooker, i don't know if I wold find these packages worth it.
 
  • macraven

    Proud Redhead
    Moderator
    Joined
    Apr 21, 2003
    Very much appreciate you sharing your experiences with the Discovery Cove photo key package
     

    Disneytam

    disneytam
    Joined
    Sep 14, 2008
    If you don't purchase the photo package of the dolphin swim is there an option to purchase individual dolphin pictures for a cheaper price. My son is going next week and they are doing the dolphin swim and the stingray feeding but adding another $229 to an already expensive day is not in the budget.

    Another question is what does everyone do with their cell phones all day? He is getting an under water case for it but is a little worried about it.
     

    Joanna71985

    <marquee><font color=green>Characters are my frien
    Joined
    Feb 28, 2005
    With the "extras" they are a little more reasonable.
    While going on the SeaVenture, they provide digital cameras for you to take your own pictures. Great! We had both their cameras and our own underwater cameras.
    On the Animal Trek (which included an aviary "private room" with many birds and macaws, and another area with a screech owl, an anteater and a sloth) and the otter encounter, we had a personal photographer who took pictures both of us with the animals and took pictures of the animals on their own.
    The cost for the "extras" (Seaventure and Animal Trek) was $80.

    What exactly did you do on the Animal Trek tour? I'm looking to book DC at the end of the month, and this tour sounds really good (plus I absolutely love birds)
     

    mjhtvchick

    Universal Fan-atic
    Joined
    Apr 10, 2012
    If you don't purchase the photo package of the dolphin swim is there an option to purchase individual dolphin pictures for a cheaper price. My son is going next week and they are doing the dolphin swim and the stingray feeding but adding another $229 to an already expensive day is not in the budget.

    Another question is what does everyone do with their cell phones all day? He is getting an under water case for it but is a little worried about it.

    I can't answer your photo questions but with regard to your cell phone, Discovery Cove offers free lockers to guests.
     
  • Michael Webb

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2018
    I'm sorry, Joanna71985, I just saw you post with a question to me now (Oct 27th) probably too late for the answer to matter. The Animal Tour was actually longer than I wanted it to be!
    First they took us into a separate private "room" in the bird aviary where we got to hold two macaws on our arms and get plenty of pictures with them. Then we fed the rest of the birds in this "room" with cups of fruit. The photographers was great - she took 63 photos alone of me and my daughter and of individual birds in the room. Then we went to a cave in the lazy river where the otter encounter is. Their otters are Asian otters and they bite so we were not allowed to hold them or pet them, but we did feed them fish through a tube in the wall. After that we went to another area that was in a secluded pine tree grove to meet a screech owl, an anteater and a sloth. The photographer took another 28 photos of me and my daughter with these animals. These photos plus the ones I took with their camera on the SeaVenture were $80. That was well worth it and the photos are great - very clear, up close and distant, professional and memorable.

    I say it was longer than I wanted it to be because by the time all of this was over, my dogs were barking and I was ready for some lazy river!
     

    Joanna71985

    <marquee><font color=green>Characters are my frien
    Joined
    Feb 28, 2005
    I'm sorry, Joanna71985, I just saw you post with a question to me now (Oct 27th) probably too late for the answer to matter. The Animal Tour was actually longer than I wanted it to be!
    First they took us into a separate private "room" in the bird aviary where we got to hold two macaws on our arms and get plenty of pictures with them. Then we fed the rest of the birds in this "room" with cups of fruit. The photographers was great - she took 63 photos alone of me and my daughter and of individual birds in the room. Then we went to a cave in the lazy river where the otter encounter is. Their otters are Asian otters and they bite so we were not allowed to hold them or pet them, but we did feed them fish through a tube in the wall. After that we went to another area that was in a secluded pine tree grove to meet a screech owl, an anteater and a sloth. The photographer took another 28 photos of me and my daughter with these animals. These photos plus the ones I took with their camera on the SeaVenture were $80. That was well worth it and the photos are great - very clear, up close and distant, professional and memorable.

    I say it was longer than I wanted it to be because by the time all of this was over, my dogs were barking and I was ready for some lazy river!
    Thank you for the information! I'm doing the tour on Wed, and can't wait. It sounds awesome!
     

    jaceraden

    Ringleader to 3 kids in a Disney loving family
    Joined
    Apr 19, 2010
    My trip is 110 days away so I'm replying here to remind myself to reread the whole thread the next time I have some free time. Getting excited!
     
  • kace08

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 8, 2016
    If you have a dolphin swim booked, I would show up for the 7:15 check-in/breakfast. If not, it is really up to you...we usually get there around 8-8:30am. That gives us time to get registered, get our wetsuits, poke our stuff in a locker and grab a quick bite before heading to the water! :)

    Since your Discovery Cove day is your first day, you can use your DC "IDs" as your passes to Sea World, Aquatica and Busch Gardens. You can always bring your booking confirmation, just in case but I have never needed anything other than my DC ID.

    You are going to have an awesome day!
    What if your Discovery Cove day isn't your first day? Can you start using the 14 day pass to the other Parks prior to your Discovery Cove day? Do you just go to whatever Park you want to go first?
     

    mjhtvchick

    Universal Fan-atic
    Joined
    Apr 10, 2012
    What if your Discovery Cove day isn't your first day? Can you start using the 14 day pass to the other Parks prior to your Discovery Cove day? Do you just go to whatever Park you want to go first?
    Absolutely - when you enter whatever park you are going to, just bring your confirmation documentation to the Guest Services window.
     

    andyw715

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 27, 2016
    What if your Discovery Cove day isn't your first day? Can you start using the 14 day pass to the other Parks prior to your Discovery Cove day? Do you just go to whatever Park you want to go first?
    Absolutely - when you enter whatever park you are going to, just bring your confirmation documentation to the Guest Services window.
    Yep, you will be issued a paper 14 day pass that you turn in at DC for a photo id.

    We had vouchers from UndercoverTourist, and the process was pretty simple (photo ID of the adults was needed). I got the tickets while the rest of the family waited in line for SW to open.
     

    mom2rose&john

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 13, 2007
    I have a question on the alcoholic beverages. We were there in 2016 and colada's and daquiri's were included in the inclusive price. Is this still the case?
     

    Mikey15

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 29, 2018
    I have a question on the alcoholic beverages. We were there in 2016 and colada's and daquiri's were included in the inclusive price. Is this still the case?
    Coladas were in 2018 too. I was left wondering what the optional premium beverage package actually included, because the base offerings didn't seem lacking.
     

    FLOIR

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 23, 2009
    They have made a change in the drink package just in the past 3 months or so. I can't say definitely what the free base offering is now, but I believe it is only Bud / Bud Lite and a house wine. For anything else you would need to purchase the Premium Drink Package or purchase individual drinks while in the park.
     

    mjhtvchick

    Universal Fan-atic
    Joined
    Apr 10, 2012
    I have a question on the alcoholic beverages. We were there in 2016 and colada's and daquiri's were included in the inclusive price. Is this still the case?
    Coladas were in 2018 too. I was left wondering what the optional premium beverage package actually included, because the base offerings didn't seem lacking.
    They have made a change in the drink package just in the past 3 months or so. I can't say definitely what the free base offering is now, but I believe it is only Bud / Bud Lite and a house wine. For anything else you would need to purchase the Premium Drink Package or purchase individual drinks while in the park.

    Regarding these questions, when I updated the main post a week or so ago, this was the information available on the Discovery Cove website:

    Alcoholic Beverages
    A selection of beer and wine is available to guests over 21 years of age with proper ID (This will be verified when you check in and indicated on a lanyard that you are required to wear throughout the park.)

    Premium Drink Package - $40 per person
    • Selection of signature cocktails
    • Fully stocked liquor bar
    • Selection of craft and domestic beers
    • Red and white wines

    So, it appears that the colodas and daquiris are no longer included in the base offerings. The beers are usually just the basic Anheuser-Busch offerings - Bud, Bud Light, Michelob, etc.
     

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