Discovery Cove is a a day resort in Orlando, Florida. Oddly enough, this is one of the highest rated attractions in Orlando. Considering the competition, that’s saying something! But, is Discovery Cove worth it?
When I first heard about Discovery Cove, I thought it sounded awesome. But, after checking out the price? Nevermind.
Later, I heard through a friend that Discovery Cove was the BEST part of their Orlando vacation. Hmmmm….really??? So, I took a second look.
I found out that there is a lot more value at this day resort than I initially realized.
Discovery Cove is actually an all-inclusive experience. Sure, there are some optional upgrades, but most of what you need to have an amazing day is included in the price which covers parking, food, and gear!
What to Expect at Discovery Cove
Upon arrival, guests enter the Discovery Cove check-in area. It is similar to a hotel lobby.
As your group gets signed in, you’ll get general information and times for any special experiences. Then, it’s off to breakfast.
After breakfast, it is time to get outfitted for a day of fun. Discovery Cove requires that guests wear either a wet suit or a vest. These are both bright yellow on the back so they are easily visible to life guards.
The changing area and restrooms are nice and spacious and that’s where you can pickup towels as you need them. There are lockers available which are included in your admission. Animal friendly sunscreen is provided as well.
Food and Drinks
Breakfast and lunch are served in the Laguna Grill restaurant. There are lots of options and the food is quite good.
You’ll also find that Discovery Cove offers beverage/snack stations available throughout the day with snacks, water, soda, and icees. So, anytime you’re hungry or thirsty, Discovery Cove has got you covered.
Most activities are included in your admission. These include snorkeling in the Grand Reef, relaxing in Serenity Bay, floating in the Windy River, and exploring the Freshwater Oasis.
Special Experiences & Extras
Discovery Cove has several optional extras including swimming with dolphins and sharks or feeding sting rays.
We did the Dolphin Swim. And, it was absolutely worth the extra cost! We had plenty of dolphin interaction time. And, it was a big thrill being pulled through the water by a dolphin. On the down side, keep your wallet handy because the photo package costs extra and it is hard to pass up!
I wouldn’t suggest signing up for more than one or two special experiences. There are so many other activities to enjoy. So, too many scheduled activities would detract from the included attractions.
Is Discovery Cove Worth It?
When deciding whether or not Discovery Cove is worth it, there are really two things to consider: Time and Money.
Let’s start with money. For us, it was worth the money. When you consider what all is included in the price and how much fun it all is, we thought the value was there.
As an added bonus, the tickets we purchased came with 14 days admission to both Seaworld and Aquatica which was really nice! Check out ticket options at Undercover Tourist.
In terms of time, whether or not Discovery Cove is worth it depends on what you are hoping to get out of your trip and how many times you’ve been to Orlando.
We have been to Orlando (Disney) many times. So, on this vacation, we skipped Disney altogether.
If this is your first visit to Orlando and you’re visiting Disney, I’d suggest just sticking with the Mouse. For that trip, I think it is best to just stay in Disney and don’t leave. Save Universal, Seaworld, and Discovery Cove for future trips.
For us, this Orlando trip about was about exploring non-Disney attractions. And, Discovery Cove was a highlight of our week. We had a blast!
While I was skeptical at first, it didn’t take long to realize that Discovery Cove is WAY worth the time and money! And, I can’t wait to go back!
This post contains an affiliate link for which I make a small commission if you make a purchase. I was not compensated for this post nor did I receive any discounts or free tickets.