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Discovery Cove in Orlando

Junior Jetset: Discovery Cove

If you're looking for a fabulous family adventure, there's a spot in Florida that offers parents an oasis and their offspring incredible sea-life encounters. The folks at Busch Entertainment invited me to Orlando to check out Discovery Cove, a reservations-required, tropical retreat that offers kids six and older the chance to get up close with dolphins and those of all ages the opportunity to swim with rays (their stingers have been removed) and tropical fish. One lagoon also allows for safe snorkeling alongside sharks and barracudas as a partition separates the two pools. And, a bird aviary where park goers can hand feed over 250 exotic birds.

  • Location: Orlando
  • Price: $269 all-inclusive per person, children under 3 are free.
  • Includes: Dolphin encounter, unlimited access to coral reef, ray lagoon, pool, tropical river, and aviary, all food, beverages (including alcoholic ones), swim gear (mask, snorkel, swim vest, or wetsuit) towel, locker, sunscreen and use of locker-room showers, etc., parking, a complimentary photo, and a pass to SeaWorld Orlando, Aquatica, or Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.
  • Food: Breakfast — muffins, pastries, coffee, juices, tea,etc. Snack stations — chips, cookies, sodas, juice, etc. Lunch at Laguna Grill — offering entrees like pasta primavera, lobster salad, fried chicken, salmon, and kid-friendly favorites from mac and cheese to mashed potatoes.

While some parents may find the park a tad pricey, the chance to interact with sea life in such a safe environment is well worth it in my opinion. My experience was so incredible that I plan on returning with my own kids once they are old enough to swim with the dolphins. Most amusement parks cost a pretty penny, but this one is incredibly relaxing since it also offered sandy beaches for lounging and was not over crowded. Discovery Cove also has ample lifeguards patrolling the water areas and staff at your beck and call. If you're searching for a place to splurge on your fam, this is it.

Join The Conversation
CillaB8 CillaB8 9 years
I went to Discovery Cove last year. It was amazing. The snorkeling was my favorite part: giant sting rays crusing underneath you (don't worry; they're debarbed). The dolphin "ride" is basically walking out into the pool and having the dolphin pull you back. We were also able to pet the dolphin and take a picture with it (that you can purchase at the end), but the whole thing doesn't last very long. In fact, I spent longer waiting to the whole group to arrive and be led to the pool than I spent in the pool. Still, it's a good experience for your first time there. I brought an underwater disposable camera, and I thought the pictures might not come out without a flash. They all turned out great, so don't forget a camera!
isabella531 isabella531 9 years
how funny my boyfriend just told me he had gotten tickets for us to go the weekend of my birthday! i'm super excited and will let you all know how it goes!
Shopaholichunny Shopaholichunny 9 years
Oooo I have been wanting to go there. I only live about 2 hours away so one day...:)
Jenny86 Jenny86 9 years
Sounds fun!
abqmama abqmama 9 years
Oh, I so wanted to go there last time we were in Orlando but my son wasn't old enough yet. It looks like such a cool experience.
Annika2494003 Annika2494003 9 years
So cute Lil! Caterpillar girl, you're hysterical!
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
Wikipedia states : Occasionally, dolphins will also show sexual behaviour towards other animals, including humans.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
We did this a couple of years ago, and i had fun, but the dolphins....are shall i say? randy...hornballs complete with giant boners..and i am not liked me very much. I got his number...
Angelica Angelica 9 years
Sounds like fun lil! You look so comfortable with the dolphin!
nancita nancita 9 years
Aww! You and the dolphin both look so happy. This sounds very cool.
amh678 amh678 9 years
You are so lucky! I want to go!
Gruberr1 Gruberr1 9 years
What a cool trip Lil!! It sounds like an amazing experience, and one that you will always remember. I will definitely keep this in mind for when my little one is older!!
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