inline imageEpisode 10 of theDIBB's SeaWorlds Parks tour takes me to SeaWorlds water park Aquatica and it is regarded by a lot of DIBB members as Orlando's best water park. I had only been to Aquatica once when it first opened. The landscaping was new and a little sparse then, offering little shade from the hot Florida sunshine, way back in 2008. So I was interested in seeing how things had changed and also to see the new attractions there.

Aquatica offers some of the best water slides and a fast, not to be missed, turbulent lazy river known as Roa's Rapids. Aquatica also now offer rentable cabanas to give you a break from the sun and private personal space. Our cabana was located in the centre area of Roa's Rapids.




There is a locker and a fridge to use. You also get bottles of water included in the fridge to use along with towels provided too.



Aquatica's lush tropical landscaping has really thickened out in the 8 years since I last visited. It could now be considered a tropical oasis and a perfect place to relax for a day off from the theme parks. If you don't want a cabana there are loads of areas to soak up the sun on a lounger.




Aquatica also provides plenty of life vests for children and adults that you can freely use during your visit.



Along with rentable lockers and changing/shower rooms.



If you did need first aid it is located next to Ihu's Breakaway Falls which can be seen from anywhere in the park.



Finding your way around any water park can be a challenge sometimes, so look out for the many maps and signposts to guide you to the attractions.



There are various add ons for the day. From the cabana that I have mentioned to the new Quick Queue line bypass that you can now buy. For Quick Queue, many attractions have a second entrance to allow you to bypass much of the queueing that normally build up for these slides.



You can also buy a wrist band for all day dining at the Banana Beach Buffet.



The blue band is to denote you have rented a cabana for the day which then allows you access into the private cabana areas.

What can you get at the buffet? You can eat as much as you like from chicken, pulled pork, hot dogs, pizza, salad, rice, beans and so on. The normal buffet type food you would expect.



I thought the food was good. I think you could easily find food that even the fussiest eaters like my kids would eat. Plus you can go back as many times during the day as you want. You cannot take the food or drinks outside of the restaurant so you will need everyone to go there. No takeaways to the cabana unfortunately.

There are many other options for eating at Aquatica too along with shops to sell you those forgotten items or just general gifts.



Onto what you are there for. The rides and attractions. I think Aquatica is a really great place for kids. Kata's Kookaburra Cove is designed for younger children, with smaller slides and play features along with the fantastically themed Walkabout Waters, a play fortress with slides, ladders and dumping water buckets.



There are two wave pools. Big Surf Shores featuring gentle rolling waves and Cutback Cove that has stronger, taller waves.



Two lazy rivers. Roa's Rapids, a faster, aggressive version of the lazy river with geysers, speed zones and centre islands and Loggerhead Lane, a traditional lazy river that passes through a grotto of cichlids and the Commerson's dolphin exhibit.




Onto the slides. As you enter the park you cannot miss the Dolphin Plunge. The park's signature attraction, these two enclosed tube slides pass through a pool containing a pod of Commerson's dolphins.



Queues for this can be long and there is currently no quick queue for this attraction.

Ihu's Breakaway Falls is a drop pod style body slide that opened in 2014. I have covered this in a separate article here.



Traumata Racer, an eight-lane racing slide with guests sliding down on mats through enclosed and open sections.



Whanau Way, a tower with four double-raft slides. Tassie's Twisters, a pair of funnel-like slides that can be ridden in single or double rafts. Omaha Rocka, rafts each carrying one rider descend into one of two slides with segments that look like a tornado funnel laying on its side.



Walhalla Wave, a twisty slide with enclosed, pitch-dark segments. Hoodoo Run, sharing a tower with Walhalla Wave, this triple-dip slide is short, but fast.



Aquatica is a must do if you love water parks. It is fun, exhilarating or relaxing. Your day, your choice. It has something for everyone. I will be back!

Ep1 - Mako
Ep2 - Cobra's Curse
Ep3 - SeaWorld Rescue
Ep4 - SeaVenture at Discovery Cove
Ep5 - Falcon's Fury at Busch Gardens
Ep6 - Discovery Cove Dolphin Swim
Ep7 - Ihu's Breakaway Falls at Aquatica
Ep8 - Serengeti Safari at Busch Gardens
Ep9 - Discovery Cove

Read More & Comment...
Holiday to Florida with Florida4less
Advertorial by Ocean Florida

inline image

14 Night 2017 Summer Holidays From £699pp
Limited Availability: Call 020 7939 7773


The deal you’ve been waiting for has arrived! Treat the family to 14 nights in Florida next summer, flying with British Airways from just £699pp. It just doesn’t get better than this. This really is a case of when it’s gone, it’s gone so call now to avoid disappointment!

Departing on the 26th July 2017, you could enjoy one of the following holidays:
  • 14 Nights Champions World Resort - £699pp
  • 14 Nights Rosen Inn Pointe - £799pp
  • 14 Nights Disney Area Executive Plus Villa - £799pp
  • 14 Nights Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort *WITH FREE DINE* - £1399pp


About Ocean Florida
Ocean Florida have sent over 250,000 holidaymakers to the Sunshine State over the last 11 years. We’re proud to have a team of Florida Travel Specialists on hand 7 days a week, and a Welcome Centre in Kissimmee dedicated to helping customers during their holiday. We specialise in Florida villa holidays, US multi-centre trips, cruise & stay getaways and Florida attraction tickets, so find us at www.ocean-florida.co.uk or call us on 020 7939 7775 today.

Read More...
Ocean Florida
Florida Tix

inline imageIn Summer 2017, SeaWorld will debut its first digitally enhanced ride experience as the legendary Kraken roller coaster is transformed into a virtual reality (VR) roller coaster experience.

This thrill ride will be the only VR coaster experience in Florida. Guests will embark on a deep sea mission alongside sea creatures inspired by extinct and legendary animals of the past, including the mighty Kraken. A custom digital overlay with uniquely designed headsets, fully integrated both mechanically and electronically into the coaster train, delivers a new one-of-a-kind adventure.

The addition of VR to this fan-favourite brings a new level of excitement and interest in Kraken, for both new and returning guests.



Also in 2017 SeaWorld Orlando’s Dolphin Nursery will become more interactive, giving guests the opportunity to get up close to mother and baby dolphins in all new ways. Large-scale acrylic windows for better guest viewing, multiple levels to give kids a face-to-face view with baby dolphins and new slide out areas for easier access to mom and baby for the veterinary and animal care teams are just some of the enhancements.


Electric Ocean will debut next summer at SeaWorld parks in Orlando as a brand new, end-of-day spectacle event. As the sun goes down, the lights and energy go up, offering guests a different kind of fun after dark. The ocean comes to life with bioluminescent lighting, music and pathway entertainment, immersing guests in a glowing sea of wonder.

Seven Seas Food Festival, a popular music and food event at SeaWorld in California and San Antonio, is now coming to Orlando in 2017. SeaWorld Orlando’s popular music and food events will expand to a total of 14 weekends and roll-up under the Seven Seas brand.

Read More & Comment...

inline imageUniversal Orlando’s newest immersive dining experience is now officially open at Universal CityWalk with a diverse, radically innovative menu that also raises the art of chocolate to an entirely new level.

A world of unimaginable desserts, delectable dishes and a one-of-a-kind atmosphere awaits at The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen.

The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium is unlike anything ever created at Universal Orlando. The 19th Century Steampunk-themed restaurant offers guests a unique dining experience that offers something for everyone – and takes one of the world’s most popular confections to the next level.



Guests can enjoy everything from twists on classic steaks, seafood and pasta entrees to gourmet burgers and sandwiches to an “all-day brunch” menu featuring French toast, crepes and more. Guests can also satisfy their sweet tooth with an incredible dessert selection that includes artisan milkshakes topped with delicious items such as Key Lime Pie, Red Velvet cupcake and chocolate-covered bacon – as well as a variety of sundaes and additional sweet treats that are a chocolate-lovers dream.



Guests will also be able to watch the preparation of dessert and shake creations– and interact with Penelope and her trusty robot companion Jacques, the proprietors of The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium.

Read More & Comment...

inline imageDiscovery Cove is a personal favourite of mine. It is a day I always look forward to. I have had the pleasure of visiting the park 5 times now and would still go back in a heart beat.

To me it is a relaxing day but with many things to entertain you. For anyone that knows me I am a full on theme park junkie. My wife and kids say I cannot sit still for 5 seconds. They come home from a 3 week holiday totally worn out needing another holiday to recover . OK I might be a bit of a slave driver when it comes to getting them up early to get to the parks, but getting up early for Discovery Cove is totally worth it.

We normally get to the park around 7:15am and there are already people there checking in. The check in process is easy. You will need photo id for those over 21 so that they can note that you are able to drink alcohol in the park on your lanyard.

Drinks, food and snacks are all included in the day and it is good quality food too. We always go straight for breakfast before the queues start. As you are shown into the park they take your photo. This is a complementary shot of you looking the best you will all day. So make sure you pick up the free photo before you leave even if you haven't bought any other of the photos during the day.



Yes that is me at my best. LOL

Breakfast consists of the normal eggs, sausage and bacon etc along with fruit and cereals. Plenty of choice and nothing to stop you trying whatever you like.

After breakfast we normally suit up. You can choose between just a vest or a shorty wetsuit. I have heard many questions asking if they have wetsuits large enough. They certainly do. I consider myself on the large side and mine was a medium. The go up to XXL if you need a larger one. So don't worry about not getting one to fit.



They also loan you the mask and snorkels. You need to return the mask at the end of the day but you can keep the snorkel which is branded with the Discovery Cove logo.

One of the first things to do in the morning is go to the aviary to feed the birds. They are normally hungry first thing so they will fly down to take food from your feeding bowls.



You can either swim along the lazy river to get into the aviary or just walk into it from the pathway.




There are many different species of birds in there from large Peacocks to small yellow Weavers. You can pick up bird spotting guides in there too. There are 3 sections with different birds in. The feeding stations are staffed by exerts in knowing how to attract the different birds with different foods and will be pleased to help you get that all important photo with them.

Moving out of the aviary you can either get back into the lazy river or walk out to see the otters. This is one of the more recent additions to the park. There is a freshwater oasis you can swim in to get up close to the otters. They are behind glass but are always active enough to spot them.



There is also a nice place to relax in the water in the fresh water oasis. Perfect for chilling out in the sun.



Also in this area are Marmosets. A helpful staff member took my camera to get some close up photos.




If you want the ultimate day then you can rent a cabana. We have done 2 days without and 3 with a cabana. Personally I feel it is well worth the money for the extra luxury and welcomed shade. You will get a personal host that will look after your needs. Restocking the fridge and getting extra snacks for you. Some cabanas now also have a hammock.



Discovery cove is spectacular and you don't need a cabana to have an amazing day there. Just look at the incredible beauty of the theming. You could easily be on a tropical island surrounded by oceans and not in the heart of Orlando.



Lunch time comes around quickly so what can you expect? The meals are served in the same Lagoona Grill location as breakfast. On the menu was Pasta & Meatballs, Seafood Club Sandwich, Tropical Salad, BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich, Burgers, Island Seasoned Tilapia and Sweet Hawaiian Chicken, which I went for.


You take the food outside under the shade to eat.



I have covered both the Dolphin Swim and SeaVenture in separate articles. Worth a look if you are planning those while you are there. But you can experience Discovery Cove without them.

Take a look at the video below to see more of what you can experience. Also in this video is an interview on the Rising Tide initiative that SeaWorld parks have been involved with in raising tropical marine fish for home aquariums in captivity rather than taking them all from the reefs. Great progress has been made in this field recently which will really help stop taking some species from the sea for peoples fish tanks at home.

More info on this can be found at risingtideconservation.org



Some of the various snack locations. It does seem a bit odd just ordering a drink or a snack and walking away without paying.



Of course if you need anything extra at Discovery Cove there is a well stocked shop.



Don't forget to visit the animal at the Conservation Cabana. It tells you what time they will be there.



You can take the day at your own pace and relax. But I don't know how to do that according to my family, so I just do it all That is my type of relaxing. Whatever your preference I cannot see how you can fail to have an amazing day here.

Ep1 - Mako
Ep2 - Cobra's Curse
Ep3 - SeaWorld Rescue
Ep4 - SeaVenture at Discovery Cove
Ep5 - Falcon's Fury at Busch Gardens
Ep6 - Discovery Cove Dolphin Swim
Ep7 - Ihu's Breakaway Falls at Aquatica
Ep8 - Serengeti Safari at Busch Gardens

Read More & Comment...

inline imageEpisode 8 in theDIBB SeaWorld Parks tour revisits Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay and the much loved Serengeti Safari.

I have seen a lot of posts from members on how much they loved getting up close to the animals at Busch Gardens and the safari is no exception to this. You even get the chance to hand feed giraffe on the tour.

There is a dedicated loading area for the safari trucks where your safari tour guide will load you onto the back of the flat bed truck. There are no seats so you are free to move around the truck to get the best photo opportunities. It can get a bit bumpy in places so you will be told when you are moving off so you can hold on. When the truck stops you can then move around again.



As you leave the loading dock you will cross a cattle grid to get into the reserve and onto the safari trail.



My personal tour guide was called J.J. He was a great guy that explained many things about the animals on the tour. From where they came from and the differences between the sexes and the sub species of the different animals.



Just to show you how close you can get to the animals, these are a few images taken from the truck.



J.J. pointed out the Zebra they have on the safari at Busch Gardens are Grant’s zebras. They are the smallest zebra at around four and a half feet tall and actually have the stripes all the way down their legs to their hooves.



There are plenty of animals to see from the savannahs of Africa on the tour. From Rhino to Antelope, Ostrich and of course the much loved giraffe.

Hand feeding giraffe was an experience to remember. They love lettuce and the truck carries plenty for all to have a go at feeding them. The giraffe don't mind getting in your face as long as you have their lettuce. They will use their enormous tongues to try and get it out of your hand before you know it.



Some of them even like a neck rub...



And of course they will pose for a selfie for your favourite social media page



Just as long as you have lettuce of course

If you take a look at the short video below you can see the highlights of the safari.



I am really pleased that I went on the Serengeti Safari at Busch Gardens as it wasn't something I had tried before. The highlight for me was feeding the giraffe. Giraffe are my daughters favourite animals and she was so jealous that I had done this. So if you are visiting Busch gardens make sure you book yourself (and your kids) on this and you won't regret it.



Ep1 - Mako
Ep2 - Cobra's Curse
Ep3 - SeaWorld Rescue
Ep4 - SeaVenture at Discovery Cove
Ep5 - Falcon's Fury at Busch Gardens
Ep6 - Discovery Cove Dolphin Swim
Ep7 - Ihu's Breakaway Falls at Aquatica

Read More & Comment...

inline imageEpisode 7 of theDIBB 4 SeaWorld Parks tour literally drops me into Aquatica. Ihu's Breakaway Falls is the newest slide in SeaWorlds water park. It is also not your average water slide.

Aquatica is a fun day out. Many people on theDIBB have suggested that it is the best water park in Orlando for fun, entertaining rides. I first visited Aquatica when it originally opened back in 2008. It has continued improving since that day with new rides, restaurants and rentable cabanas for a bit of luxurious and much needed shade. One of the best new attractions in Aquatica has to be Ihu's Breakaway Falls.

Situated right across the park from the entrance and the much loved Dolphin Plunge, you cannot miss the height of the slide structure. It is nestled between the wave pool and Kata's Kookaburra Cove play area for kids.



There are 4 different coloured slides all of which give a slightly different experience. Three of these slides are drop slides. What do I mean by drop slides? Well traditionally on a water slide you sit down and push yourself off to start the experience. one of the slides is like this but the others have a vertical launch system. You walk into what can only be described as a capsule with a transparent door.



You need to cross your arms and ankles and as the door closes your hear a pounding heart beat as you prepare to drop. This add to the tension to get the adrenalin going before your drop.

The video below will show you more along with my reaction to the initial drop.



It is an exhilarating ride. It is always busy and even with quick queue it can take a while to ride this. Especially if you wanted to try all 4 versions of the ride. I will be back to ride this again. 10/10 for a water ride from me!



Ep1 - Mako
Ep2 - Cobra's Curse
Ep3 - SeaWorld Rescue
Ep4 - SeaVenture at Discovery Cove
Ep5 - Falcon's Fury at Busch Gardens
Ep6 - Discovery Cove Dolphin Swim

Read More & Comment...

inline imageEpisode 6 of theDIBB four SeaWorld Parks tour brings me on to the main reason people want to visit Discovery Cove. Yes the Dolphin Swim.

Dolphins always seem to captivate humans and we often feel an attraction or bond to these amazing creatures. They never fail bring a smile to anyones face. I think that is because they always look like they are happy and smiling themselves.

Discovery Cove is a lush tropical oasis and you can easily think you are on some tropical island in the Caribbean rather than in Orlando. They have done an amazing job of making it the perfect relaxing day. From the luxury changing rooms with towels, suncream and shower gels. To the all inclusive dining and drinks and snacks all day. But the dolphin swim has to be top of the list for things you will talk about on your return.



When you check in to Discovery Cove you are assigned a swim time along with one of three cabanas you need to register at just before your swim time. I was in Seahorse Cabana for my orientation.



Once inside you have to sign the normal disclaimer and you will have already been assigned a group for the swim. I was in group D. There are around 8 people in each group. There will then be a talk by a trainer on what to expect along with a video.



You are then taken by group down to the lagoon for the swim where you are introduced to your trainers.



There will be two trainers assigned to your group. For your dolphin swim you can either choose to stay in the shallows or go into deeper water for a longer dolphin tow. I always opt for the deep water tow myself. You cannot sink in those wetsuits as they provide so much buoyancy so don't worry about that.

We were introduced to Roxy, a female dolphin in her teens. She also has a baby at Discovery Cove.



Roxy was quite playful and seemed to love the interaction with us all. She is especially good at posing for the camera. I did get a special shot as the trainer said if I put my knees underneath her so she was laying across my lap I could then support her weight so she could then get her tail out of the water for that classic dolphin curl. I am really pleased with the way this turned out.



The following video will show you more of the interactions and what to expect for the whole swim experience. It also includes an interview with Lauren, a trainer at Discovery Cove.



Once you have finished the swim you can go into another cabana to sort out any photos and videos you want to purchase. They do various options and packages.



Another great day out at Discovery cove. Memories I will treasure.

Ep1 - Mako
Ep2 - Cobra's Curse
Ep3 - SeaWorld Rescue
Ep4 - SeaVenture at Discovery Cove
Ep5 - Falcon's Fury at Busch Gardens

Read More & Comment...
▼ Scroll down to load more news... ▼
Charter Travel
DIBB Search

Guidebook: Forums:
Online: 685 (Members: 109 Guests: 576)
Attraction Tickets Direct
FREE Disney Planning Tools
DIBBcast Podcast
Theme Park and Resort Maps
Disney Theme Park Hours
Disney FastPass+ Planner
Florida Theme Park Wait Times
DisneyWorld Rehabs and Closures
Weekly Entertainment Schedule
Orlando Busy Day Guide
Walt DisneyWorld Menus
Dining Reservations Calculator and Planner
'Disney Vacation Club' Points Calculator
FREE Fully Featured Vacation Planner

Latest DIBB Photo Blogs

The One Where The Kids Are No Longer Kids - Day Three 03/09/16 Wouldn't You Think My Collection's Complete
7 Photos by Chloeoeysmum
The One Where The Kids Are No Longer Kids - Day Two 02/09/16 I do, I do, I do...
6 Photos by Chloeoeysmum
The One Where The Kids Are No Longer Kids - Travel Day 01/09/16
3 Photos by Chloeoeysmum
An afternoon at the Food and Wine Festival
9 Photos by Loftus
My Magical Graduation - Day 21 Travelling Home
11 Photos by MickeyFan
The No Shopping Shopping Holiday July 2016 - New Home And A New Plan Update
7 Photos by debidee
50 Not Out. Solo In September. Party At POP!
37 Photos by Orlandobelle
Joni's First Disney Holiday - Day 1 Magic Kingdom
3 Photos by spectrolee
More Photo Blogs...

Park Hours - Wednesday 28/09/2016

WDW & Other Florida Park Hours
Magic Kingdom
Magic Kingdom
9:00am
~to~Extra Evening Hours
11:00pm
Epcot
Epcot
9:00am
~to~
9:00pm
Animal Kingdom
Animal Kingdom
9:00am
~to~
9:00pm
Hollywood Studios
Hollywood Studios
9:00am
~to~
8:00pm
Blizzard Beach
Blizzard Beach
10:00am
~to~
5:00pm
Typhoon Lagoon
Typhoon Lagoon
10:00am
~to~
5:00pm
Islands of Adventure
Islands of Adventure
9:00am
~to~
7:00pm
Universal Studios
Universal Studios
8:00am
Extra Morning Hours~to~
7:00pm
SeaWorld
SeaWorld
10:00am
~to~
6:00pm
Busch Gardens
Busch Gardens
10:00am
~to~
6:00pm
Aquatica
Aquatica
10:00am
~to~
5:00pm
LEGOLAND
Legoland
Closed
~to~
Closed
Extra Morning Hours +1 Hour Early Entry for On-Site Hotel Guests.
Extra Evening Hours +2 Extra Late Hours for On-Site Hotel Guests.
Full Schedule of Florida Park Hours

Disneyland Resort Park Hours
Disneyland Park
Disneyland Park
8:00am
~to~
6:00pm
Walt Disney StudiosCalifornia Adventure 8:00am
Extra Morning Hours~to~
8:00pm
Extra Morning Hours +1 Hour Early Entry for On-Site Hotel Guests.
Full Schedule of West Coast Park Hours

Disneyland Paris Park Hours
Disneyland Park
Disneyland Park
10:00am
~to~
8:30pm
Walt Disney StudiosDisney Studios 10:00am
~to~
6:00pm
Extra Morning Hours +2 Hours Early Entry for On-Site Hotel Guests.
Full Schedule of DLP Park Hours

US Dollar Rates
Cash/Travellers Cheques
Covent Garden FX  $1.2830
FAIRFX  $1.2736
M&S  $1.2620
Travelex  $1.2693
Prepaid MasterCard Rates
CaxtonFX  $1.2700
FAIRFX  $1.2742
Travelex CP  $1.2693
Updated: 00:30 29/09/2016
Print Quick Conversion Sheet

DIBB Advertisers



Euro Rates
Cash/Travellers Cheques
Covent Garden FX  €1.1421
FAIRFX  €1.1379
M&S  €1.1148
Travelex  €1.1324
Prepaid MasterCard Rates
CaxtonFX  €1.1330
FAIRFX  €1.1363
Travelex CP  €1.1324
Updated: 00:30 29/09/2016
Print Quick Conversion Sheet

Holiday Planner Guidebook Forums Home Park Hours Reviews Gallery Villa Rental