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Old 21 Sep 16, 09:00 AM  
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SMAX
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Discovery Cove

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



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
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Old 21 Sep 16, 09:27 AM  
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Leelsisy
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Thank you for sharing. This looks lovely. Have you ever been in winter? I wonder if you would get as much out of the day in December, for example. Your thoughts would be appreciated.
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Old 21 Sep 16, 09:51 AM  
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I have only ever been to Florida from April to October so I cannot tell you what it is like outside those months. I know many members have been during those times so I will let them tell you.
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Old 21 Sep 16, 10:13 AM  
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You've just made me want to go back. I knew before we went that this day would be the highlight of my holiday but it far exceeded all my expectations.
When we go back in 2018 we're not going to do the theme parks again but we're coming back here for definite. I'd happily spend all day, every day there
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Old 22 Sep 16, 12:12 AM  
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Great article, if anything for me Discovery Cove is the opposite of our usual days - pre-booked limited attendance means for once we don't have to be up early to ensure we get in while it's not busy. The idea of a totally relaxed day (which for the thrillseeker like me, waterparks do not count for!) amongst an otherwise hectic theme park schedule is very well received and having the option of doing it with such spectacular surroundings and facilities is better still. I know for one member of my party, DC is going to be the highlight of the trip!
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Old 23 Sep 16, 02:18 PM  
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Bianca
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Thanks for your report. I haven't given DC much thought before - but now I'd like to go!
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Old 23 Sep 16, 06:47 PM  
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DC first timer here.

We've got a day booked at DC in November but are not doing the dolphin swim, is there any need for us to get there early ie before opening time?
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Old 23 Sep 16, 07:46 PM  
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Only if you want to maximise the time in the park. Which I always do. It isn't a cheap day out so I always want to get value for money Plus the earlier you get there for breakfast the less people you will have queueing.
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Old 24 Sep 16, 05:31 PM  
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Thanks for sharing. We have been to Florida twice before and never visited DC. It is def on our wish list for our next visit
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Old 24 Sep 16, 05:43 PM  
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this is a dream of mine but we can never stretch to it! it looks heaven!
I just hope dh suprises me next trip for my 40th but I doubt it!
thanks for sharing!
ill keep dreaming!
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