Tips for Visiting Discovery Cove In Orlando, Florida

Discovery Cove Orlando

This summer we booked a trip to Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida after friends suggested that everyone should visit at least once. We loved our day, and while I thought this would be a one and done trip for us, we are already talking about going again. Here are eight tips for visiting Discovery Cove.

Add On Other SeaWorld Parks

 The price of admission for Discovery Cove is a little high, starting at $140 per person. However for about $20-50 more you can add on passes to SeaWorld, Aquatica and Busch Gardens that includes unlimited admission to the parks for 14 days. The Busch Garden Add On Pass is the best deal as it also includes parking at all the parks which runs about $20-25 per day.

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Make Your Discovery Cove Reservation 

Discovery Cove reservations are made for a specific date.  I would book this as your first day and plan your other visits around this visit.  They will give you an id that will get you into the other SeaWorld Parks if you bought passes for them.  The upgrades can book fast so  I recommend making your reservations at least two to three months in advance.

Discovery Cove Is All-Inclusive 

Your Day Resort Admission is all inclusive. Discovery Cove provides breakfast, lunch with unlimited snacks and beverages (alcohol included) Plus lockers, snorkeling equipment, towels and special sunscreen as well as parking for Discovery Cove only.

Activities provided include: snorkeling with tropical fish and rays, swimming with sharks through a 10ft tall panoramic window, encountering  otters, marmosets and exotic birds, enjoying the beaches and grottos and floating on the lazy river.

My aunt swam with sharks and absolutely loved it. And we all loved the lazy river and thought the water was surprisingly warm. 

Discovery Cove Upgrades 

You can upgrade your Day Resort Ticket to include a Dolphin Swim for an extra fee. This includes your Day Resort activities plus a 30 minute session with a trainer where you get to meet and play with a bottlenose dolphin.

Another upgrade is theTrainer for A Day where you get special behind the scenes tours, deep water interaction with the dolphins and so much more.

What Not To Bring To Discovery Cove

Discovery Cove does not allow jewelry or outside sunscreen so please leave those behind. Special sunscreen is provided in your Day Resort Admission. Towels, snorkel gear and life vest are also provided so no need to bring any of that with you either.

Arriving at Discovery Cove 

Everyone told me to get there for 7am and I listened. However, we waited awhile for breakfast to be served and we couldn’t start swimming until 8:30am. Since I’m not a fan of waiting around and listening to my kids whine about why I got them up so early to wait around, I recommend getting there for 8am. This gives everyone enough time to play and enjoy the park since it closes earlier than the other parks and not have to wait for what seems like forever in kid time. 

The Lazy River at Discovery Cove

The lazy river is deep and long but we absolutely loved it.  It is about a 15 minute ride and there are several parts that are 8ft feel for long stretches. I would recommend that your kids wear life vests. My kids are good swimmers but I felt, but I felt much more comfortable with all of us in life vests on the river. 

The Reef at Discovery Cove

The reef is where you can snorkel with tropical fish and rays. It tends to be the most crowded attraction at Discovery Cove. If you can stand the freezing cold water, I recommend doing this first thing in the morning. Lunchtime is another good time to explore the reef as it will be a little less crowded then as well.

We had a great day and can’t wait to go back. Have you been to Discovery Cove? Do you have any tips for visiting?

Want to swim with the dolphins and have fun at Discovery Cove? Email cara@magicaldestinationstravel.com or fill out the form below for your free quote. 

Arden Cahill Summer Camp

About the author

Avatar of Lisa


Lisa is a mother to an awesome son and daughter. She has been married for 22 years to her lobster. She attended UNO more years ago than she would like to admit and has a full time job in the CBD. She grew up in Jefferson Parish and now lives on the Northshore. She loves spending her weekends gallivanting the area from Nola to Biloxi with her family and vacationing as much as her pocketbook and vacation time will allow. She loves Disney. She has a scrapbook habit that connects her with friends. She is a Christian that tries to walk the right path but stumbles a lot.

1 Comment

  • Great post!
    My top tip – Discovery Cove operates a fairly low maximum guest policy so it never feels crowded. This means it’s a good place to go on days when you know other parks will be super busy e.g. Easter, Xmas, public holidays

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