There are so many things to do in Orlando, Florida that you might overlook Sea World, Aquatica, and Discovery Cove. You could, however, make an entire vacation around these locations! Let me tell you why!
A limited number of tickets are sold to Discovery Cove each day so it is never over crowded. You can schedule a 30 minute dolphin encounter as well as other animal interaction opportunities. I arrived at 8 AM and was quickly greeted, sent through security, and given a badge to wear for the day. I was then escorted to breakfast where I could chose from many items on the buffet. After breakfast, I was led to a locker room and changing area where I was given a wetsuit for the day. I changed, locked up my belongings, and began my adventure.
At Discovery Cove there is a Great Reef area where you can swim with tropical fish, stingrays, and small sharks. I literally did this until my fingers and toes looked like prunes. Not only was I able to swim with these wonderful creatures, I was able to watch a trainer feed them and I was able to touch them as they swam by.
My dolphin encounter was scheduled for 11:30am. At check-in in the morning, I was given a meeting location and time. There are clocks all over the park to make it easy for you to keep track of your time. After signing a waiver and watching a short video, I was led to the edge of the dolphin lagoon to begin my adventure. For 30 minutes a trainer lead a group of eight of us as we learned about our dolphin, kissed, hugged, swam and took pictures with our new friend. Our trainer patiently answered our endless questions while a photographer was on hand to capture the entire experience. It was truly magical!
Of course, after the adventure, you are given the opportunity to purchase the pictures and or video from your time with the dolphins. How could I resist?! Other not to miss opportunities at Discovery Cove include the Aviary where you can hand feed birds, the Otter area where you have an up close and personal view of these amazing creatures, and a lazy river where you can float and relax. I would give this experience an A+… and it even rained most of the time I was there and it was still amazing!
Tip: You only need to bring your bathing suit and maybe a waterproof camera! Everything else in included such as breakfast, lunch, snacks, drinks, wet suit, towels, a locker to keep your belongings, and animal friendly sun screen.
Sea World not only has animal exhibits but several top notch roller coasters. I recently visited on a day in mid December and there were virtually no lines. This is a great time to go! I enjoyed multiple rides on the roller coasters as well as excellent viewing at the shows and up close and personal viewing of the dolphins at the dolphin nursery. The park was also beautifully decorated for Christmas and food and drink options were abundant. The best part? My ticket to Sea World was free with my purchase of a Discovery Cove visit!
If this sounds like something you would enjoy, I’d love to help you plan your next vacation!
Contact Tammy to book your vacation!