Discovery Cove OrlandoThis content was gathered during Corey and Julie Martin's
"A 'Couple' Things to Do" segment on the DIS Unplugged Podcast.
- Discovery Cove General
- Dolphin Encounter
- Aviary Photos
- Coral Reef and Ray Lagoon
- Resort Pool and Tropical River
- Official Discovery Cove Website
- Listen to the November 6 , 2007 Podcast
- Discount Discovery Cove Tickets
Discovery Cove in Orlando is a once in a lifetime immersive experience into a unique tropical sanctuary. This adventure park allows you to interact with animals that would otherwise want nothing to do with you in the wild. The all inclusive experience includes a 30 minute dolphin swim, snorkeling in the Coral Reef with thousands of tropical fish, wading in the Ray Lagoon for an up-close and personal ray interaction, and hand feeding birds in the Aviary. They provide a Continental breakfast, lunch, and snacks and beverages all throughout the day. Snorkel gear (in adult and child sizes), swim vest or wetsuit, towels, lockers, beach chairs and sunscreen are also supplied. Before or after your Discovery Cove visit you have the choice of admission to either Sea World Orlando or Busch Gardens Tampa Bay for 7 consecutive days or a combination pass with admission to both theme parks for 14 consecutive days for $30.00 more.
Once we arrived and entered the Check-in Lobby we were directed to one of the many check in counters where we received our Discovery Cove photo badges with a small map attached to it. The Lobby has a beautiful mosaic floor and a very open feel, so it does not seem crowded even when there are numerous guests inside. Be sure to look up and see the Dolphin sculpture hanging from the ceiling.
Upon leaving the lobby we encountered one of the animal experts and a South American two toed sloth. We were allowed to pet the sloth along his back avoiding the head. The fur was coarse like the hair of a horse’s tail. Needless to say our adventure was already off to an amazing start. We continue along the winding path through lush tropical vegetation and giant palms. At the end of the walkway we were greeted by a tour guide who gave a short informational spiel about the park. She pointed out the First Aid station, the photo pick up, Laguna Grill, and the Blue Bridge which takes you to the Coral reef, Aviary, and Stingray lagoon. When the tour was over we headed to Laguna Grill to eat breakfast. They serve fruit, yogurt, muffins, cinnamon rolls, croissants, cheese danishes, and other pastries. The beverage selection included Pepsi products, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and bottled water.
After breakfast and before changing into our swimsuits, we chose to explore the free-flight three-room Aviary where we were able to feed, touch and interact with hundreds of different birds. This was a smart move on our part because it was still early in the morning, there were no other guests, and it was breakfast time. The aviary attendant provided us with small white ramekins filled with bird food and small pieces of fruit. She instructed us to hold the containers high in the air in order to entice the birds to land and eat. Immediately we were bombarded by several brightly colored tropical birds. We encountered a peacock, an enormous parrot, a tiny deer and a South American turkey. Each enclosure houses its own unique variety of birds. We had such a great time that we visited a second time later in the afternoon.
The next stop was the swim vest and wetsuit distribution center located directly across from the main changing area. This is also where you receive your snorkeling gear and sample of Eco-friendly sunscreen. We opted for the swim vests, but if you are sensitive to cooler water temperatures the wetsuit would be your best option. You are required to wear a swim vest or wetsuit anytime you are in the water.
Our dolphin encounter was scheduled for 11:10am and our meeting spot was the Sea Horse cabana, one of 3 meeting locations. Upon arrival at the designated cabana we were assigned to Pod B with 6 other people for a total of only 8 in our group. The Discovery Cove dolphin trainer went over several rules with us and then showed a short video about what to expect during our encounter. They ask that you remove all jewelry, with the exception of tight fitting rings. Cameras are also prohibited during the dolphin encounter. After the 10 minute orientation, we followed our Pod leader to the dolphin lagoon to meet our trainer and dolphin. Nate, our dolphin, was born at Discovery Cove and he is four years old. We were allowed to pet him along his back, feed him fish, have a one-on-one kiss, and get our picture taken with him. Honestly, I think I could have kissed him all day long; he was such a sweet dolphin. Then it was time for the dorsal fin ride. We swam out two at a time with one of the trainers and then Nate would pull us back to shore. Remember to ask plenty of questions to further enhance your dolphin experience. We headed back over to Laguna Grill for lunch once the encounter was over.
After lunch we snorkeled through the Coral Reef where we saw massive rays and Eagle rays with wing spans of 4 – 6 feet. We even got to see two of the Discovery Cove trainers feeding these gorgeous creatures. Swimming among the thousands of colorful tropical fish is truly an amazing experience. The Ray Lagoon was our next stop where we were able to interact with numerous smaller rays. We were able to feel the wings as well as the underbellies of these friendly sea creatures. The water in both of these pools is a cool 70 degrees, so the warmer water of the winding Tropical River was a welcome change.
At the end of the day we returned our swim vests and masks; we were allowed to keep the snorkel. We then took advantage of the on site showers where Crabtree & Evelyn bath products are provided. It felt great to leave the park refreshed and clean. This is a great option for people on vacation that may want to have dinner or visit Sea World after their Discovery Cove adventure.
- Happy 15th Birthday to Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith! - The attraction originally opened its doors at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on July 29, 1999.
- Victoria & Albert's will no longer accept Tables in Wonderland - This begins August 1, 2014.
- Summertime Pals Ink & Paint Cel release - This limited release will be available at the event, or pre-order by September 25 at 5:00pm EST.
- Haunted Mansion merchandise shop coming to Magic Kingdom - The former Yankee Trader shop will become a Haunted Mansion merchandise location in the near future. The decor will be inspired by Madame Leota and will carry items from the Haunted Mansion Authentic program, such as apparel, home goods, souvenirs and more.
- Merchandise Events and Artist Appearances/Signings for August - List of authors and artists coming to the theme parks for signings and merchandise releases.
- List of characters updated for Villains Unleashed! event - Over 50 Disney villains will be taking over the park until the 13th hour!
- Beginning today, PhotoPass print packages are no longer offered table-side at character meals - This includes Chef Mickey's, 1900 Park Fare, 'Ohana, Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue, Disney's Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show and Tusker House Restaurant.
- Disney Visa cardholders can book Food & Wine Festival events early - Disney Visa cardholders can book special events two days earlier than the general public - on July 29 and July 30 from 7:00am-11:00pm EST.
- Tables in Wonderland adds blackout dates for several restaurants - The Tables in Wonderland program offers Florida Residents, DVC members and Annual Passholders 20% off of all food and beverage purchases at the participating Disney restaurants.
- Information on Holiday sleigh rides at Fort Wilderness - This horse-drawn "sleigh" ride is a fun way to celebrate the season.
- Marketplace menus for Epot International Food & Wine Festival - List of menu items for the marketplaces set up around World Showcase.
- Rehab planned in November for Magic Carpets of Aladdin - The Magic Kingdom attraction will be closed 11/10 - 11/21/2014.
- Food & Wine Festival Special Dining Experiences released - Bookings for these experiences begin July 31.
- 10 Places to Wait Out a Thunderstorm at Walt Disney World
- Disney Castaway Cay Challenge added to Princess Half Marathon Weekend - Runners who are registered for any of the Disney races (5K or longer) during the Weekend have the option to complete the Disney Castaway Cay Challenge when sailing on the Disney Dream February 23-27.
- Fantasia Miniature Golf Course rehab planned off and on for the next two weeks - Gardens Course closed 7/22-7/25/2014, 7/28-8/1/2014, 8/4-8/8/2014. The Fairways will still be open.
- Blog - I Can Go The Distance: Deciding is one thing, registering is another
- Save up to 30% on a Room Only reservation at Walt Disney World! - Valid for stays most nights 10/4/14 - 11/25/14 and 11/29/14 - 12/23/14.
- 2015 WDW hotel discount released for U.S. Military - Valid for stays most nights 9/28/14 - 10/3/15.
- All 3 remaining weekends sold out for Harambe Nights - July 26, August 2 and August 9 are sold out.
- Annual passholder discount for Spice Road Table - Through 9/17/14, Annual Passholders can get a 30% discount on their bill.
- 2015 Military Ticket Discount info released - Members of the military can purchase 4-day Magic Your Way tickets with Park Hopper option for $177 each.
- Changes to reservation times for Wishes Dessert Party - Reservations are all being set for 6:00pm, no matter when Wishes is taking place. The dessert party will actually take place one hour before Wishes.
- Frozen Summer Fun Premium package is sold out for all remaining dates - This package gives guests at Frozen Summer Fun Live reserved viewing for several events.
- Wild by Design tour to be discontinued after 9/26/14 - This tour takes place at Disney's Animal Kingdom.
- Fantasy Football Convention coming to ESPN Wide World of Sports - The convention will give attendees access to ESPN talent, a live fantasy football draft and more.
- Blog - Sneak Preview of What's Coming to the 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
- Dates and pricing released for ICE! at Gaylord Palms - Using two million pounds of ice, this Gaylord Palms Resort special ticket exhibit will be transformed into the North Pole.
- Blog - Disney's Magical Express Age Limit Changes: A Parent's & Teacher's Perspective
- Blog - Five Reasons Why We're Not Seeing "Planes: Fire & Rescue" in Theaters
- Blog updated - I Just Spent $20 on FastPasses! Would You? - The author has taken the tour she discussed in the blog - check out her thoughts to see if she would do this again!
- Blog - July 2014 Magic Kingdom Construction Update
- Information for Food & Wine Festival special dining experiences - book 7/31 - Premium events will be announced July 24 and can be booked on July 31 beginning at 7:00am EST. To book, call 407-WDW-FEST (939-3378).
- Princess Half Marathon fills in less than 24 hours - The Princess Half Marathon, the Princess Enchanted 10K and the Glass Slipper Challenge are sold out, filling less than 24 hours after registration opened.
- Dolphins at Epcot will be offstage through August 7 - Guests will not be able to see the dolphins at The Seas with Nemo & Friends. The Dolphins in Depth Tour will be unavailable during this time as well.
- Changes in parking due to Downtown Disney Remodel - Speeds in the area will be reduced, as well as lanes closed. Buena Vista Drive will be expanded to 10 lanes.
- Blog - Disney Responds to Disability Access Service Lawsuit
- High-speed train will link Shanghai Disneyland to city
- "Clyde and Seamore Take Pirate Island" show cancelled at SeaWorld
- PBS plans Walt Disney biopic
- Release date set for 5th Pirates of the Caribbean film
- Man arrested at Typhoon Lagoon for molesting 4 teenage girls
- Standby line to be cut off in Anna and Elsa meet and greet
- Disney's second quarter injury report: 12-year-old boy cuts fingers on Pirates ride
- 30 years in prison for man who molested girl at SeaWorld
- Possible agreement reached between Disney and unions
- Disney's CEO Bob Iger honored as CEO of the Year by Chief Executive magazine
Today's Theme Park Hours
Epcot Future World:
Epcot World Showcase:
|9:00 - 11:00
9:00 - 9:00
11:00 - 9:00
9:00 - 10:00
9:00 - 7:00
9:00 - 8:00
9:00 - 8:00
Extra Magic Hours Morning: Epcot FW