A bucket list item checked off! During my recent visit to the DoubleTree by Hilton at Orlando SeaWorld, we had the opportunity to spend the day at Discovery Cove, and it was one of the most relaxing experiences of my life. This paradise had been a bucket list item for years even though I live 1/2 hour away, and it is conveniently located in the DoubleTree vicinity! It’s the perfect way to spend a day while you’re in the area. While the park offers amazing experiences for the entire family, it’s also an excellent day getaway for couples who either don’t have kids or whose kid’s have flown the coop, like me!
I thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere – both its style and the relaxing feel of it all. I chose to make it a day of just resting, soaking up the sun, and generally letting my cares melt away for a little while. I did not get to swim with the dolphins nor get in the water, but I will next time I visit with the family! So, whether you’re looking for relaxation or adventure, Discovery Cove has what you want, and that’s really the mark of a truly great place.
Discovery Cove Atmosphere
Where should I begin? I think the beginning is good. 😉 The entrance to the park feels like you’re walking into a Polynesian resort. It features vaulted ceilings with exposed beams and thatching in between, huge columns, and a gorgeous polished floor that perfectly captures the light, making it a bright, cheery way to enter the park. The roofs of the buildings are thatched, as well, continuing with the tropical theme, which is only enhanced by the absolute monumental amount of palm trees and other tropical plants they’ve placed all around the park.
There’s no shortage of activities at Discovery Cove. They offer experiences like swimming with dolphins and interacting with stingrays. Guests can also visit the Explorer’s Aviary, a three-room area filled with tropical birds like African Turacos, Ivory-billed Arachis, Peacocks, and more. Every room has a bird specialist who gives out bird food. The best part is that you might even get to feed them by hand.
In addition to birds and dolphins, if you head to The Grand Reef, you’ll be treated to a snorkel experience you’ll never forget with thousands of tropical fish and stingrays waiting just for your arrival. Another fun activity which I MUST DO was the SeaVenture. The Grand Reef’s innovative experience is an underwater walking tour while wearing a diving helmet, you’ll feel right at home under the sea.
The food is so good, you guys. The price of your ticket at Discovery Cove includes all you can eat buffet – be sure you take advantage of it! Yup, you heard me right! As soon as you enter the park, head over there and have breakfast! It is served from 7:30 to 10 a.m. and lunch from 11:30 to 3:30 p.m. We had fresh fruit, danishes, muffins, eggs, potatoes, bacon. Hot and fresh. Throughout the day make sure to also have snacks which are all over the park. It has a wide variety of delicious food from the tame to the adventurous. In addition to the buffet, you can enjoy freshly prepared breakfast and lunch and unlimited snacks throughout the day, so you’ll always have a full belly to power you through your adventure.
All-Inclusive is Always Great
One of the best parts of Discovery Cove is that it’s all-inclusive. Even wetsuits and snorkeling gear are included in your stay. However, if you decide you want to swim with the dolphins or do the Seaventure, that will be additional. You book your stay, and you’re covered. There are none of those hidden fees or charges that are both frustrating and fun killing. That is a HUGE plus for this Coupon Mamacita!
Discovery Cove Packages
You can book a day package or longer if you’d like. As I said, these packages are all-inclusive, and they offer some really fun bonuses too:
- Unlimited admission to SeaWorld and SeaWorld’s water park, Aquatica.
- Access to Busch Gardens Tampa with an upgrade to Ultimate Package. A great value, at $25 extra.
- Unlimited snacks and drinks.
- Breakfast and lunch. Buffet!
- Lockers, sunscreen, snorkel gear, and changing facilities with showers
- Complimentary transportation to Busch Gardens Tampa for those who upgrade.
I Thoroughly Enjoyed my Time at Discovery Cove
I chose a more laid-back approach to my time at Discovery Cove. I didn’t swim with the dolphins or even go into the water, but what I did do was enjoy the lovely scenery and laid back atmosphere (and the buffet!). I took my time and sat in a comfy chair overlooking the water and foliage and just took it all in. That’s the beauty of Discovery Cove. You can do as much or as little as you’d like. That’s what makes it such a great place and so perfect for families with or without children. It’s whatever you want it to be!
Disclosure: This post is part of my all expense paid trip to DoubleTree by Hilton at Orlando Seaworld. However, all opinions are 100% mine.