Sea World vs Discovery Cove

Discussion in 'Sea World / Discovery Cove' started by TLMAriel, Sep 6, 2018.

  1. TLMAriel

    TLMAriel Earning My Ears

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    We’re (Me, DH and kids- 7, 5 and 3) going to Disney the week after Thanksgiving, but will arrive in Orlando on Thanksgiving, so we’re thinking about hitting Sea World or Discovery Cove on Black Friday. I really am unsure which one to do. DS5 is obsessed with the ocean, so we really want to go. Which one is better for younger kids? Will it be packed on that day?

    Thanks!
     
  2. mjhtvchick

    mjhtvchick DIS Veteran

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    With kids that age, I would probably lean towards Sea World. Discovery Cove is a lovely, relaxing environment but I don't know if it would interest little kids for a full day and it is quite a bit more expensive than Sea World.
     
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  4. skylock

    skylock Mouseketeer

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    My choice would be seaworld also.

    Be sure to do pet's ahoy.

    Go to the petting pools. Do feed the dolphins.

    If you feed the sea lions, be sure to watch the kids close. The sea gulls will try to take the fish from you. Even I had a knuckle cut by one of the birds and I knew to watch out for them.

    As soon as you enter the park, head over to the area to the left and get a map. It will have all the times for the main shows for that day. I literally sit down with a pen and circle the times I want to see each show. Planning done at that point.

    Also remember the Shamu stadium is on the opposite side of the park from most every thing else. I would check out a map before I go to get an idea.
     
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  5. Joanna71985

    Joanna71985 <marquee><font color=green>Characters are my frien

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    Just a heads up that the only way to feed the dolphins is through the tours (either encounter or up-close)
     
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  6. AntimonyER

    AntimonyER Mouseketeer

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    Children are supposed to be 6 to do dolphin swim at Discovery Cove, if you are interested in that. That being said, when we went, my DD was 5 (in fact, it was her 5th birthday, so she was BARELY 5, and not big for her age) and they didn't bat an eye. AND She loved it. But 3 yr old will have to stay with an adult for that for sure.
     
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  7. skylock

    skylock Mouseketeer

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    Oh, ok. News to me. I used to feed them all the time, but that was a while ago.
     
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  8. Joanna71985

    Joanna71985 <marquee><font color=green>Characters are my frien

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    They actually had stopped letting people feed them altogether (I want to say that was around 3-4 years ago), but then recently it was added to the tours
     
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  9. CynBeth

    CynBeth DIS Veteran

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    SW. They will have special holiday shows at night. I recommend paying extra for the reserved holiday show seating to ensure you make the shows as they are popular and there is a special section in each venue which has a great view.
     
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  10. MrKnight

    MrKnight Former WDWCM & Proud DIS Member

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    It apples to oranges, SeaWorld is a traditional theme park while Discovery Cove is a unique swim-with-dolphin experience. SeaWorld would make the most sense for the purpose of your visit unless swimming with dolphins is very important to you.
     
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  11. Mikey15

    Mikey15 Mouseketeer

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    IIRC it was after this incident hit the news,


    https://www.cnn.com/2012/12/02/us/florida-dolphin-bites-girl/index.html

    She didn't mean to, but holding up the fish tray (empty or not) that close to the tank was careless. The dolphin was thinking it was food being held out for them.
     
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  12. TLMAriel

    TLMAriel Earning My Ears

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    Thank you! I think that’s what we’ll do.
     
  13. HopperFan

    HopperFan "It's a bug-eat-bug world out there, princess."

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    SeaWorld :thumbsup2 for you. Holiday time is very nice there and schedule your day to enjoy the evening events, some of the best in Orlando.

    Discovery Cove is a wonderful experience but for the price and what there is to do, I would wait until your kids are older and you all get enjoy it more. Even though they are permitted to snorkel in the reef, it can be exhausting as an individual but even more so when you are trying to watch three children. The river is not a lazy river, it is very deep and fast moving .... again, you would need to keep them close and watch them. We've been many times and it seems most the younger children end up just hanging out in the heated Serenity Bay which is just a beach/swimming pool area, and requires a parent sit there as well.


    DISCOVERY COVE

    Children of all ages
    can enjoy Explorer's Aviary, the Grand Reef, Wind-Away River, Serenity Bay and all beach areas. Life vests and other floats are available in some waterways.

    Children must be 6 years of age or older to Swim with Dolphins, Feed Rays, and participate in Animal Trek. Children under the age of 13 must be accompanied by a paying and participating companion age 14 or older.

    Children must be 10 years of age or older to Swim with Sharks or participate in SeaVenture. Children under the age of 13 must be accompanied by a paying and participating companion age 14 or older.
     
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  14. Tksolomom

    Tksolomom DIS Veteran

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    I agree with the other posters. I love Discovery Cove, but for little kids Sea World would be better. It would be hard watching them all in the water and there are not really little kid play areas like at the water parks. SeaWorl has lots of shows for them and the Christmas Festivities. I am not sure if the state of the kids play area, I know it is being redone as Sesame Street. The tours are really reasonable too if you want an up clean se animal encounter.
     
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  15. TLMAriel

    TLMAriel Earning My Ears

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    Thanks everyone! About the sea gulls with the sea lions. . . How bad are they? There’s somebody in my family terrified of sea gulls.
     
  16. skylock

    skylock Mouseketeer

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    I would not recommend feeding the sea lions if your family member is afraid of sea gulls.

    They are around, but probably will not bother you unless you have food.
     
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  17. andyw715

    andyw715 Mouseketeer

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    Two totally different experiences. Both are really fun.
    Day after turkey day SW will be in full Christmas mode. If you enjoy Christmas then that is the park for you. I would say its the best decorated/themed park in Orlando for Christmas.

    My real answer? Do both!
     
  18. Joanna71985

    Joanna71985 <marquee><font color=green>Characters are my frien

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    the birds are very aggressive around Pacific Point (especially if you are holding fish)
     

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