The Day I Swam With A Dolphin At Discovery Cove

Good Morning Thrill Seekers,

The 24th September 2015 was the best day of my life when I visited Discovery Cove. I have always dreamt about swimming with dolphins since I was a little girl and I knew this could well have been the last chance I would ever have to do it.

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We arrived at the park as early as possible so that we got a good timeslot. They took our photo and gave us our new ticket with our face on which had the name of our cabana and the time of our swim. We were told to be at the Seahorse cabana 5 minutes before our allocated swim time which was 11:05am. We were very happy with this time slot as it gave us chance to settle in and do our swim before lunch.

We headed over to get our wetsuits on and get a locker before going to find a sun lounger to soak up yet more sun. We went for a walk around the park to see what was about and came across the aviary. Looking at all of the beautiful birds flying on top of your head and even feeding them when they land on your arm is truly incredible. I’m not a massive fan of birds and they do scare me quite a lot but I had to do it.

11 o clock came around so quickly that I almost wasn’t ready. I’d started to get quite scared of doing it and nearly talked myself out of it as I’m not a strong swimmer. We had our meeting in the cabana and were put into small groups of 9 which we would share our experience with. To our surprise there was 2 other people in our group that live in our home town! What a small World!

Our dolphin trainers, Lauren and Brad introduced us to Catolina the dolphin and began to explain some facts about dolphins and show us some tricks that they can do with their trainers. We were able to feed fish to her and give her a stroke a few times before going out to begin the swim.

You have the choice between a deep end swim or a shallow end swim which I had to choose the shallow end as I don’t swim too well but it was all the same. I stood aside and watched the people that chose the deep water first and was getting more and more scared by the minute and then before I knew it, it was my turn.

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I walked over to Catolina and Brad, the trainer explained to place my hands on the top fin and the side fin with my arm over the top. Before I even had chance to think about it, we were off and I felt like I was flying across the top of the water. It was amazing!

After our swim we decided to dry off and get some lunch. Discovery Cove is all inclusive so you can have as much food and drink as you like all day.

I could not wait to get my snorkel on and check out some of the sting rays and fishes in the Grand Reef. I did panic a little due to my swimming abilities so didn’t make it over the sharks although the rest of the party did and said it was surreal. I never realised how big some of the rays are and you have to be careful not to step on them as they don’t move out of your way!

Soaking up some more of the sun back at Serenity Bay was becoming hard work as it was extremely hot on this day so we went off to the Wind-Away Lazy River and floated around it for a while before deciding to grab our last bit of sunshine again before the end of the day.

Discovery Cove was the highlight of my holiday and after visiting I felt so relaxed. It may not produce the adrenaline rush of a Rip Ride Rockit or The Hulk but its easily the best park in Orlando.

Discovery Cove only lets in 1300 people per day so you have to pre-book to avoid disappointment, you can find out more by checking out our dedicated Discovery Cove pages.

Smiles included…

Louise,

Orlando Attraction Tickets

Which Ex England Player has been spotted at Discovery Cove?

Ever wished you could holiday like the stars? well now you can!

While the England squad are currently busting their guts in preparation for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil – one former England player is currently taking it extremely easy…

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Former England and current Chelsea defender John Terry posted pictures yesterday of his visit to Discovery Cove in Orlando. In the pics Terry is seen swimming with the dolphins and posing for some amazing photos.

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But don’t think that this is some kind of special treatment afforded only to super high rollers and celebs – you too can swim with the dolphins at Discovery Cove, grab some amazing pics and have a once in a lifetime experience without breaking the bank!

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Book your Discovery Cove tickets this May and save £5 per-person at Orlando Attraction Tickets, you can even reserve your swims for next year with just a £10 deposit per person too!

For more details on what to expect on a day Discovery Cove please see the following post My Day at Discovery Cove

For more on this story please see Daily Mail

Karl

#smilesincluded

 

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My Day At Discovery Cove

Hiya Thrill Seekers,

Hopefully by now you’ve all read by last blog about my first day on the FAM trip visiting SeaWorld. We were up early on our second day to visit Discovery Cove. I was particularly looking forward to this day as we would have the opportunity to swim with dolphins!

Discovery Cove is a very short drive away from SeaWorld. Before entering the park we had to get our passes for the day, which was a very easy process. A member of park staff will take your photo which will be printed on a plastic card attached to a lanyard for you to pop around your neck whilst you’re at the park.

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As our Discovery Cove packages offers unlimited drinks during your visit guests who are over the age of 21 and want to enjoy a few alcoholic beverages your card will state that you are above the legal drinking age. This is great as it saves you carrying your ID around the park with you.

As we were there early the first stop was breakfast. As well as drink your food is also included for the entire day. Food is offered as a buffet service so you can go up and help yourself whenever you feel like it! There are also snack bars throughout the park. If like me you have a sweet tooth I recommend the French toast sticks!

Before getting in the water we decided to check out the Explorer’s Aviary. Here the park staff will give you a cup of fruit and seeds to feed the birds. Be aware the birds will land on you! I was pleasantly surprised at how gentle the birds were as they perched on my arm to eat.

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After struggling to get into our wetsuits (allow for plenty of time to do this) we headed to the Freshwater Oasis, Discovery Cove’s newest attraction. You can relax and explore, swimming lazily past Otters and Marmosets. The Marmosets are very playful and extremely cute. I found it quite difficult to tear myself away. We then grabbed our snorkels and went for a swim in The Grand Reef. We had  the chance to swim amongst thousands of colorful fish and view spectacular underwater scenes. We had to be extremely careful where we were putting our feet as huge stingrays gliding along the seabed. There is also a shark habitat separated by clear glass giving the illusion that we were actually swimming with them!

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Finally it was our turn for the dolphin swim. We were split into smaller groups of 8 and entered the water. The trainer introduced us to our dolphin called Yoko and taught us dolphin behaviour and commands. We each got the chance to have our photo taken kissing Yoko before going into deeper water than holding on to her dorsal fin and being pulled back to shore. The fabulous photographers took some incredible photos to document our experience. This really was an unforgettable experience and will stay with me for the rest of my life. If you’re visiting Orlando I strongly suggest booking the dolphin swim!

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We spent the rest of our day chilling out in the small pool next to the Freshwater Oasis. This offers relaxing under water lounge seating. It is also conveniently located next to the bar. 😉

So that’s me half way through my incredible trip to Orlando! My next blog post will be about our third day at Busch Gardens .

Smiles included…

Rachel

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Discovery Cove Celebrates First Dolphin Calf Born Via Sperm-Sexing

Morning Thrill Seekers,

Exciting news from Discovery Cove today who have confirmed that on the 30th November 2012 the park welcomed in its newest member, a  3.5 foot-long, 35-pound female dolphin.

What makes this calf super special is the fact it becomes the first dolphin born at Discovery Cove via  the use of “sperm-sexing” research. Sperm Sexing involves separating sperm carrying a female-producing X chromosome from sperm carrying a male-producing Y chromosome.

Discovery Cove wrote on their own blog

This scientific advancement affords Discovery Cove the opportunity to manage its species’ genetic diversity and social environment. Scientists at the SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Reproductive Research Center in San Diego, Calif., pioneered the ability to preferentially produce female or male dolphin offspring though sperm-sexing and artificial insemination. This recent birth represents the 15th dolphin calf produced worldwide using sex pre-selection technology.

Reports suggest the calf is doing well and is continuing to develop, nurse and bond with its mother.

The yet unnamed calf becomes the 25th dolphin born at Discovery Cove since the park opened in 2000. SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment who own Discovery Cove are noted as operating one of the most successful breeding programs in the World.

What name would you give a Dolphin?

regards,

Jamie

Discovery Cove Packages Change

As of the 22nd May 2012 Discovery Cove will alter the way their packages are sold to the UK market.

The product formally known as “Choice of Adventure Package” will be altering to the Discovery Cove Package and will include 14 days consecutive entry in to both SeaWorld and Aqutica.

Discovery Cove Package includes

  • Reserved dolphin-swim interaction
  • Unlimited access to The Grand Reef, free-flight Explorer’s Aviary, Serenity Bay, Wind-Away River and later this spring Freshwater Oasis
  • Freshly prepared breakfast and lunch plus snacks throughout the day
  • Beverages throughout the day, including alcoholic drinks
  • All swim gear (mask, snorkel, and swim vest or wetsuit), towels, lockers, sunscreen and other amenities
  • All day self-parking at Discovery Cove
  • A complimentary photo portrait of guest and their party upon entry to park
  • A pass for 14 consecutive days of unlimited admission to SeaWorld and Aquatica in Orlando.

The Discovery Cove Ultimate Package remains the same including all of the above plus Busch Gardens.

Extra info

  • Guests that booked their Discovery Cove reservations for 2012 up to and including May 21st and that have selected SeaWorld as their park of choice will automatically be converted to the SeaWorld AND Aquatica package at no additional cost. The barcodes on their ez-ticket and lanyards will be active at both parks (lanyards obtained after visiting Discovery Cove).
  • Guests who have booked a package with only Busch Gardens as their park of choice will be honored.

Ultimate Packages (SeaWorld, Aquatica, Busch Gardens) are not affected.