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Has anyone been to Discovery Cove?

(14 Posts)
Dailystuck71 Sun 15-Oct-17 13:32:49

We are going to Orlando next year. DS really wants to do seaworld but I can't bring myself to see animals in that environment. DW appears to be run by the same people though. Is it any different?

Dailystuck71 Sun 15-Oct-17 13:33:24

Not DW that should be DC for discovery cove.

PoptartPoptart Sat 28-Oct-17 23:51:18

Discovery cove is owned by Seaworld.
I’m probably going to get flamed but we went in August and had an amazing day.
You have to buy tickets in advance and they only let a strict number of guests in so it never feels too crowded. The whole atmosphere is very relaxing and peaceful.
There are freshwater pools, winding rivers, snorkelling with tropical fish, bird feeding and the obvious attraction which is a dolphin interaction (you pay extra for this activity). Everything else, including as much food and drink as you want, wetsuit hire, snorkelling kits, towels etc are included in the entrance price.
The prices for photographs/DVD of the dolphin interaction are eye wateringly expensive but it’s hard not to get caught up in the moment.
All the animal carers and staff seemed to genuinely love the animals and had a great relationship with them. The area for the dolphins to swim was pretty big, plus there is another huge water area behind the scenes that the public don’t have access to. They have quite a few dolphins and the trainer told us that each one only does two interaction sessions a day.
They were very strict about safety (for both humans and the animals).
TBH, I am not 100% comfortable with the whole set up, but the animals did seem genuinely cared for. I was happier at DC than at Seaworld where I couldn’t bring myself to watch killer whales performing shows in a glass tank. The whole atmosphere and environment at DC was much more natural (saltwater sandy pools rather than big tanks) and they had much more space.
DSS (who loves animals and wants to study marine biology) said that it was the best day of his life.

Dailystuck71 Thu 02-Nov-17 22:49:19

Thanks. I am still uncertain!

buffyp Fri 03-Nov-17 09:50:35

Pop you won’t get flamed by me. I have it booked for next year and am thoroughly looking forward to it. I’m glad you had a great time. I have done my own research on Seaworld and I am perfectly comfortable with my decision to still go. I understand why some people don’t but it’s a shame some people can’t respect others right to make their own decision.

Nurse15 Fri 03-Nov-17 09:51:48

We went and had an amazing day - the place seemed genuinely caring and well tune. The animals seemed happy. Would defs recommend it to anyone!

Soubriquet Fri 03-Nov-17 09:56:59

I went many years ago and loved it. The water with the dolphins was bloody cold though grin

There was a lovely pool with rays in, a coral pool with plenty of exotic fish and s swimming "walk" route as well as a normal pool

Very nice day

DownHereInTheHorridHouse Fri 03-Nov-17 09:58:31

We went about ten years ago and it was pretty, but I would never go now knowing what I do. Yes, the trainers were all nice and the animals well cared for, but that is the public face - it's the fact that there is an industry based around this exploitation that is horrific. It was a free trip for PR, but I couldn't bring myself to do a puff piece on it even then, even knowing the limited amount I did - it just felt wrong. Now, with all the information there is about how they choose animals, and the conditions that SW perpetuates, I would never even consider it.

Starwhisperer Fri 03-Nov-17 10:02:15

Discovery cove was the highlight of my trip. Numbers are very limited so you're well out of the hustle and bustle. The animals are of course still in large tanks but the set up here is better than a usual animal park. If you're very against sea creatures being kept in captivity then I don't think you will enjoy anywhere like this but the feel of the place is very different to sea world for example.

SpunBodgeSquarepants Fri 03-Nov-17 10:29:35

I went to Discovery Cove three weeks ago - and like previous posters i was unsure about going as I had read articles about Seaworld, but as my sister had originally booked the trip for her and her ex (whose place I was filling... long story) I felt I didn't really have a choice.
WELL it ended up being the highlight of my two weeks in Florida! We got there at 8am and managed to get a dolphin experience for 10:20am so we went for our breakfast which was included in the price of the ticket - it was really lovely, lots of choice. We then went to the aviary to feed some birds, has a mooch around the pools (one pool has an island with marmosets living on it - I could have stayed for hours watching them play!).
The dolphin experience was great - you sir through a safety talk first with your group, and then you are led to the pool which is SO COLD but you do quickly get used to it. You get to stroke the dolphin, give him a kiss and a cuddle, feed him fish and he will also tow you through the water. The dolphins do have a very large pool and as a previous poster mentioned, a lot more space behind the scenes too.
For me the best part of the day was the snorkelling with the rays and the fish - it's amazing to feel you're part of their environment (even though you're not really). Snorkel use and towels are part of your admission and they also have animal-friendly sun lotion everywhere that you are free to use. Snacks and drinks are unlimited throughout the day (the frozen lemonade is bloody lovely when it's 35 degrees!)
We went for the $229 photo package - printed photos, a DVD of the dolphin experience, a photo frame, a large poster, and also all our photos on a usb.
I would say if you can afford it, do it. Especially if you have spent ten solid days trekking around Disney and Universal! as it is such a calming and relaxing day. There are plenty of places to sunbathe, and the whole place has the feel of a tropical island - very quiet and secluded.

RosyWelshcakes Sun 05-Nov-17 19:55:55

I go to Orlando with my brother and his wife. We dont take children with us. I love it. Would I go to Discovery Cove? No. And not just because where I live I can swim in the wild with Whale Sharks 6 weeks of the year.

Honestly OP. Discovery Cove is just all wrong as are all the other places world wide like it.

carrie74 Sat 11-Nov-17 16:21:10

I don’t think I could go. I’ve been to Orlando more times than I can count, but Seaworld and Discovery Cove just leave me cold. I have no doubt that the experience would be amazing, but it’s all the stuff in the background that stops me.

I think you need to consider what you’re trying to get out of it. On any coast in Florida you’ll have an excellent chance of seeing dolphins playing in the wild, we see tonnes of them every time we go. And rays, and sand dollars and sharks, and manatees, and turtles. There’s plenty of marine wildlife in Florida that’s much cheaper to see animals that aren’t penned in.

dissapointedafternoon Sat 25-Nov-17 13:26:01

I had a ball!!

We did the sunset experience and had dinner in the dark and we could see the dolphins making little ripples in the water.
We loved the snorkelling pool and the tropical birds. It was great

Appleby39 Sun 26-Nov-17 12:45:11

There is another alternative to Discovery cove and that is the Disney Dolphin experience. Its in epcot. The whole things lasts about 3 hours and includes a 30min up close waist deep interaction with the dolphins. Only 8 guests per day. Price includes a photo op and a souvenir. We are going to Florida in August and have also been looking at this sort of thing. My son wants to do it as he will be 15 then.

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