By Gina Gallucci-White
Heading to Orlando, Fla., many tourists will have schedules packed with activities at Walt Disney World and Universal Studios, but what about a destination for aquatic lovers? Discovery Cove is an all-inclusive family-friendly day resort and oasis.
Forget having to lug a ton of supplies around. Here, they have towels, sunscreen, wet suits and snorkel gear on site. There is also unlimited food and nonalcoholic drinks so gorge yourself on meals and snacks throughout the facility.
Featuring white sand beaches and tropical lagoons, the park offers popular attractions such as snorkeling with thousands of tropical fish and rays in The Grand Reef and hand feeding exotic birds in the Explorer’s Aviary. For those looking to relax, head to the Wind Away River where the current gently pushes you through waterfalls and an underwater cave. Kids will enjoy the Freshwater Oasis where they can swim side by side with otters (separated by glass) and meander by a group of marmosets.
While there is plenty offered in the admission price, guests can book add-on experiences. The most popular one is swimming with dolphins. Participants will be placed in a group with a dolphin and animal trainer who will discuss the mammal’s habits, communication skills and behaviors. The dolphin will individually pull each participant on a short swim. Be sure to buy the photo package with the experience as the prints are totally worth it. Photo-taking by guests is not allowed during the experience.
Other upgrades include SeaAdventure, where guests walk on the floor of the Grand Reef while wearing a diving helmet. Swim with Sharks lets participants meander the water with about 20 of the world’s deadliest predators. Folks can also Mingle with Flamingos as part of an experience involving feeding and wading in the water together.
Trainer for the Day is the VIP experience upgrade in which guests get a second dolphin encounter and a number of behind-the-scenes experiences including feeding fish and birds. Whether you decide to add on or just do the included experiences, a fun-filled day of relaxing and exploring await.