Spotlight: Discovery Cove

Although many visitors to Central Florida first think of Disney, Universal or Sea World as the first stop of their vacation, there just might be an option you’ve never even heard of – Discovery Cove. Yes, it is a part of Sea World, but this park is a stand-alone experience, and could be that unforgettable experience you’ve always wanted to have while on vacation but never thought of.

Discovery Cove offers two types of packages, a dolphin package and a non-dolphin package. Not that there aren’t several reasons to come to this park, but personally, I feel the dolphins MAKE this an experience unlike any other theme park. If you have the slightest interest in these spectacular creatures, you owe it to yourself to participate in the dolphin-swim.  If you’re really into dolphins, book their ‘trainer for the day’ experience. Otherwise you can still feed the birds, snorkel, wade with rays and see beautiful fish.

The package (starting at $199) includes everything for a full day – parking, gear, towels, lockers, breakfast, lunch, snacks and beverages. When you add up what you’d pay at other theme parks throughout an entire day, the cost doesn’t seem so extravagant. The dolphin swim is only a part of your day, and you’ll have plenty of time to explore the rest of the park – the Tropical Reef, Wind-Away River, Explorer’s Aviary and Serenity Bay.

The reason to start your vacation at Discovery Cove? When you make your reservation ask about passes to Sea World, Busch Gardens and Aquatica – their sister parks. You just might get to visit them for free! Who knew that the most memorable day of your vacation could be the start to so many other memorable experiences?! Another hint: Spend the extra money and purchase the video/photo package. Although this day will “live in your heart for years to come,” the video of you and your new best dolphin friend (or your child’s) is a way to re-live the first day of your best vacation over and over again.

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