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Discovery Cove Reviews: Swimming With Dolphins In Florida

Updated on January 19, 2015
CJ and Me in Discovery Cove
CJ and Me in Discovery Cove | Source

I loved swimming with dolphins in Florida at Discovery Cove, Orlando. Some Discovery Cove reviews will tell you that this is the most expensive theme park in the United States, but that doesn’t do it justice. Let me tell you why.

True, at prices that range from $199 to $299 per person depending on the time of year, it is the most expensive one day ticket in the US. But the price of admission covers so much more than just swimming with the dolphins.

Your Dolphin Swim Day Resort Package includes all of the attractions at Discovery Cove, all-inclusive eating and drinking throughout your day plus unlimited entry to your choice of any one of these best theme parks in North America:

  • Sea World, with an outstanding collection of marine life, shows and rides
  • Aquatica, a water park featuring wave pools, lazy rivers and water slides
  • Busch Gardens, with its unique mix of hair-raising roller coaster rides and collection of African animals.

And, for just $50 more, you can have unlimited access to all three parks!

Discovery Cove: Swimming With The Dolphins

Dorsal Fin Tow Ride from CJ the Bottlenose Dolphin
Dorsal Fin Tow Ride from CJ the Bottlenose Dolphin | Source

The highlight of our day was the 30-minute swim with the dolphins. The time for the swim is reserved when you buy your tickets, so you know exactly when you will be swimming with the dolphins. Tip: I suggest that you try to book your swim earlier in the day so that you leave lots of time to enjoy the unlimited food and drink, swimming, sunbathing snorkeling and other activities.

After a short briefing, we put on the provided wet suits and entered the water to meet the dolphins. Each group of about 8 participants is ‘assigned’ their own dolphin that will swim with you, give you a ride and let you play with them. The interactive session gives you the chance to get to know your dolphin through flipper shakes and rubbing noses. The experience ends with a dorsal fin tow ride back to shore.

Not surprisingly, the whole experience is video taped and photographed to sell to you later. This adds a considerable extra expense to the day, although admittedly the photographs are of a very high quality. We were fortunate that we had a non-swimming member in our party who was able to both video and photograph us as well, which made it a little easier to turn down the video. However, we still purchased the photos and were extremely pleased with them.

Discovery Cove: Other Attractions

The Wind-Away Lazy River
The Wind-Away Lazy River | Source

Swim With The Fishes!

The Grand Reef Snorkeling Lagoon
The Grand Reef Snorkeling Lagoon
Rays in the lagoon
Rays in the lagoon
Colourful tropical bird in the Explorer's Aviary
Colourful tropical bird in the Explorer's Aviary | Source

Discovery Cove is centrally located in Orlando, Florida, conveniently adjacent to SeaWorld and Aquatica. The attendance is limited each day to just 1,000 visitors, so you can enjoy all of the attractions without the usual over-crowding of other theme parks.

In addition to your reserved 30 minute swim with the dolphins, your Dolphin Swim Day Resort Package includes:

  • Snorkeling in the Grand Reef: A fabulous lagoon full of thousands of tropical fish and rays. As a novice snorkler, it was an incredible opportunity to be able to snorkel in a crystal-clear lagoon with no waves. The waters were teeming with exotic fish, including some barracudas which, thankfully, were in a separate enclosed viewing area! The thrill of seeing giant rays swimming below me was one I'll never forget.
  • Wind-Away River: Floating along a scenic lazy river that circles the park and which goes through the Explorer's Aviary.
  • Explorer's Aviary: Opportunities to see a wide range of colourful exotic birds in a free-flight aviary
  • Swim and Sunbathe: Relax on a sandy beach beside a large swimming area while enjoying unlimited food, beverages and snacks!
  • Complimentary Lockers, sunscreen, snorkel gear, changing facilities and parking are included.

CJ and Me in my Profile photo!
CJ and Me in my Profile photo! | Source

Give My Regards To CJ!

I hope this look at Discovery Cove Reviews: Swimming With Dolphins In Florida has given you a better idea of what to expect if you decide to swim with the dolphins at Discovery Cove.

We stayed in the Orlando area for two weeks and took advantage of the unlimited entry to the other parks by visiting SeaWorld twice, and Busch Gardens once. We were thoroughly impressed with each park and the overall value was outstanding - highly recommended!

Many people have asked me where my profile photo was taken – well now you know, it was at Discovery Cove with CJ the bottlenose dolphin!

So, if you do go swimming with the dolphins at Discovery Cove, give my best regards to CJ!



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    • AmyEliza profile image

      AmyEliza 5 years ago from Toronto

      Swimming with dolphins in Florida looks like such fun. I'd love to do that some day. I will have to get more details from you so I can maybe plan a trip there at some point. The photos are very cute, too.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Nice hub with great pictures. Thanks for sharing your vacation.

    • DDS profile image

      David Sproull 5 years ago from Toronto

      That looks like fun!!

    • desertlab profile image

      desertlab 5 years ago

      Awesome! This is one of my dreams 'to swim with dolphins', but I can't afford to pay the are so adorable creatures. I haven't seen them real only in movies/videos and pics..I wish someday...Give my regards to CJ! It's nice to see photos like these in the morning.