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.
- Beaches and Cream will begin accepting reservations December 18 - This small soda fountain restaurant serves burgers, sandwiches and their signature ice cream desserts.
- Limited Time Magic: Secret Santa Week - Visit the Town Square Christmas Tree on Main Street and see Duffy in his Christmas outfit. Other Disney characters will be located around the park. Get a special decorated keepsake card from each one as a souvenir.
- Limited Time Magic: Tour the Magic Kingdom with Phil Holmes - 25 lucky guests will get to tour the park with current Vice President Phil Holmes.
- Blog - Best Places to View EPCOT’s Illuminations: Reflections of Earth
- VIDEO: Holiday Storytellers - The Canadian Holiday Voyageurs - New to Holidays Around The World 2013 at Epcot in 2013 are the Canadian Holiday Voyageurs. The Canadian Holiday Voyageurs play multiple sets each day filled with Christmas songs done the Canadian way on the Mill Stage.
- Blog - EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with Jonathan Groff from FROZEN
- Guests at All Star Resorts will no longer receive Key to the World cards - As of 12/2/13, guests at All Star Sports Resort will no longer receive a Key to the World card. All information for the resort and parks will be on the Magic Band you receive when you check in. This will begin at All Star Music on 12/4/13 and at All Star Movies on 12/6/13. This system is already in place at Pop Century.
- VIDEO: it's a small world Holiday Full POV Ride-Through - The happiest cruise that ever sailed gets even merrier for the holidays. it's a small world, the 1964 World's Fair attraction that came to Disneyland in 1966, gets a full overlay for the holiday season including decorations and a new soundtrack!
- Atlanta Braves spring training tickets now on sale - The Atlanta Braves return to ESPN Wide World of Sports for their annual spring training. Tickets are first come/first served and the games take place at Champion Stadium.
- Blog - Give Kids the World Village and Giving Tuesday December 3, 2013
- VIDEO: Gran Fiesta Tour POV Ride-Through - Donald Duck disappears on his way to a Three Caballeros performance in Mexico City and his friends, José Carioca and Panchito Pistoles, set out to search for him.
- Blog - Brewing Now: Joffrey’s Disney Parks Collection of Coffees
- Blog - A Brit’s Perspective – Visiting the UK in Orlando
- Specialty food and drink offered for holidays at Epcot - New this holiday season, each country will be serving a specialty food and drink.
- New bus loop at Magic Kingdom open - In addition to regular single stops, there are several double stops that will accommodate two regular buses or one of the new articulated buses.
- Limited Time Magic: Donate a Duffy the Disney Bear to Toys for Tots - Visit the Once Upon a Toy store or the World of Disney store at Downtown Disney and with every $5 purchase, Disney will donate a Duffy the Disney Bear toy to Toys for Tots.
- Limited Time Magic: Jolly Year of the Ear - Celebrate the season in style with Santa Mickey and Minnie Santa ear hats - only available for a short time at the Emporium at Magic Kingdom.
- Times and dates for Epcot holiday storytellers - Each country has its own special theme that highlights its culture. Storytellers will delight you with tales of their heritage and how the holidays are celebrated in their homeland.
- VIDEO: "Let It Go" from Disney's Frozen in Celebrate the Magic - This holiday season, "Let It Go" from Disney's Frozen is featured in Celebrate the Magic, the nighttime projection show on Cinderella Castle.
- VIDEO: Disney Park Bench - Main Street Plaza - Cinderella Castle - Take 5 Minutes to Relax at Main Street Plaza - Cinderella Castle November 11, 2013 - Night
- Blog - Happy Thanksgiving from the Magic Kingdom!
- VIDEO: Disney Park Bench - Main Street U.S.A. Bridge - Main Street U.S.A. - Take 5 Minutes to Relax at Main Street U.S.A. Bridge - Main Street U.S.A., November 11, 2013 - Night
- Blog - Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom: Turnstile-Free!
- New holiday entertainment for the Canada pavilion at Epcot - Follow the Canadian Holiday Voyageurs on a musical tour to discover the country's holiday customs.
- Blog - Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights 101
- Royal Caribbean is offering a $200 Onboard Credit and 50% Reduced Deposit! - The offer is only available for booking on December 2, 3 and 4, 2013.
- Disney Vacation Club members offered event at Splitsville Luxury Lanes - On December 2 and 9 from 5-6:45pm, the experience will include bowling, shoe rental, a shared appetizer, an entree (or kids' meal), a signature beverage and a special DVC gift.
- Several rehabs added for early 2014 - The Magic Carpets of Aladdin, Festival of the Lion King, Kali River Rapids, and the Studio Backlot Tour have all been added to the rehab list.
- Aulani named Best for Families by Fodor's Travel - Aulani was recently named "Best for Families" by Fodor's Travel in their "Top 10 Hawaiian Resorts for 2013" list.
- Blog - Review: “Frozen”
- VIDEO: Disney Park Bench - Main Street Train Station - Main Street U.S.A. - Take 5 Minutes to Relax at Main Street Train Station - Main Street U.S.A., November 11, 2013 - Night
- Limited Time Magic: Thanksgiving Treats Available - Special treats will be available at various locations in the theme parks.
- New Year's Eve dining info for Swan and Dolphin Hotels - The restaurants of the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin will be offering special New Year's Eve menus.
- Walt Disney World Annual Passholders can save up to 37% at select hotels - Discount is valid for travel between 1/4/14-3/18/14, 3/14/14-3/29/14, 1/19/14-3/13/14 and 3/30/14-4/12/14.
- Blog - Why I’m excited to take my baby on a Disney Cruise!
- Limited Time Magic: Jingle Cruise poster giveaway - Celebrate the Jingle Cruise at Magic Kingdom and Disneyland Park with a complimentary mini poster while supplies last.
- Several rehabs scheduled for the Magic Kingdom - Among the closings are The Plaza Restaurant, Pinocchio Village Haus, Tomorrowland Transit Authority People Mover, Barnstormer, and the Liberty Square Riverboat.
- Blog - Disney’s Newest Animated Feature “Frozen” Flurries Into Theme Parks On Both Coasts
- The Comedy Warehouse Holiday Special to return? - Rumors are that the popular holiday version of The Comedy Warehouse will be returning to Hollywood Studios this year.
- Blog - EXCLUSIVE: Nikon becomes the Official Camera of Walt Disney World and Disneyland
- VIDEO: Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2013 - What happens when you combine one 30,000 pound, 65 foot tree, one 40 foot star, 5500 twinkling lights, 430 feet of garland, 325 ornaments, 275 feet of strung popcorn, 400 flickering candles, 135 candy canes, 100 gingerbread cookies and the Disney Characters? Why, you have the perfect recipe for Christmas at the Magic Kingdom!
- Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Photography - Creative photos from Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
- Christmas dining options for Walt Disney World - All restaurants on property will be open as normal, but some are serving special Christmas menus.
- Thanksgiving dining options at Walt Disney World - All restaurants on property will be open as normal, but some are serving special Thanksgiving menus.
- New looks available for the holidays at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique - Now through 1/3/14, little girls can choose from a Frozen Package or a Holiday Minnie Package.
- Santa Claus comes to Downtown Disney - At the Marketplace, you'll find Santa Claus waiting to greet you at his chalet in front of the World of Disney store.
- VIDEO: Josh Gad - Voice of Olaf in "Frozen" - Interview - Josh Gad, the voice of Olaf in "Frozen" and "World of Color - Winter Dreams" and Tony Award nominee for "The Book of Mormon", takes a few minutes to talk about how important it was to work on a Disney film that led to a theme park experience and the music behind it all.
- All guests at Pop Century will now use MagicBands - As of 11/14/13, guests at Pop Century will no longer receive a Key to the World card. All information for the resort and parks will be on the Magic Band you receive when you check in.
- Heart is the third musical group to cancel SeaWorld performance
- Willie Nelson backs out of SeaWorld Orlando's Bands, Brew & BBQ event
- Disney obtains distrbution rights to future Indiana Jones films
- Family sues Disney when woman dies from complications after a fall
- Disney's PhotoPass+ changing to Memory Maker
- WestJet debuts Sorcerer Mickey plane
- Seaworld Orlando's Shamu show closes for 3 months
- Barenaked Ladies cancels SeaWorld concert due to animal rights issue
- 12-year-old girl protests SeaWorld parade float
- SeaWorld plans several events for early 2014
Today's Theme Park Hours
Epcot Future World:
Epcot World Showcase:
|9:00 - 7:00
9:00 - 9:30
11:00 - 9:30
9:00 - 8:00
9:00 - 5:00
10:00 - 5:00
Extra Magic Hours Morning: Epcot FW