Swimming With Dolphins
Hidden amongst the hustle and bustle of the Orlando theme parks and attractions is Discovery Cove, an oasis of calm and relaxation.
The day starts with registration, information about where everything is, safety rules and the time you will be swimming with the dolphins (If you have booked the swim package).
A day at Discovery Cove includes breakfast, lunch, snacks and drinks throughout the day. There is a nice offering at both mealtimes and meals are eaten outside in the sunshine. The food is plentiful and the staff encourage guests to eat and drink as much as they like and even take snacks home with them at the end of the day.
Guests are provided with wetsuits (full length, short length and vest versions are available) and snorkels, as well as sunscreen that is safe for the wildlife. Life jackets are available for all guests to use if they wish.
Long, sandy white beaches stretch out across the park and there are plenty of loungers available - partly due to the number of guests admitted each day being limited to approximately 1300.
At one end of the beach is the Grand Reef, a huge lagoon filled with fish and giant stingrays. The water is cold enough to take your breath away but this is soon forgotten as you snorkel over the reef. Further out in the water a surprise awaits as reef sharks swim around in their own tank, cleverly protected behind glass. For the more adventurous there is the opportunity to take part in SeaVenture, a walk along the bottom of the reef wearing a dive helmet.
If the cool water is a little too much, a dip in Serenity Bay will quickly warm the body back up. With a gently sloping entrance to the pool it is the perfect place for the younger guests to play.
Snaking around the outer edge of Serenity Bay are the warm waters of Wind Away River. The gentle current pulls swimmers along through caves, a rainforest and waterfalls.
In the Explorers Aviary brightly coloured birds happily sit on guests arms and feed from their hands. Over in the newly opened Freshwater Oasis guests can enjoy wading and face-to-face experiences with otters and marmosets.
But the main reason most guests visit Discovery Cove is to interact with the beautiful dolphins. Before the experience starts there is a short 10-minute safety briefing. Guests are then taken in small groups into the Dolphin Lagoon. The dolphin experience lasts approximately 30 minutes, during this time there is the opportunity to have a photo with the dolphin and learn about its environment. The session culminates in each guest being towed back to shore by the dolphin.
As the day comes to an end there are plenty of hot showers, with complimentary shampoo, conditioner and shower gel, and the changing areas are immaculate. Towels are provided and are regularly re-stocked throughout the day.
After the perfect day you leave Discovery Cove feeling completely calm, relaxed and full of precious memories.