||This article appears to be written like an advertisement. (November 2013)|
|Location||Orlando, Florida, United States|
|Owner||SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment|
Discovery Cove is a theme park owned and operated by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, a subsidiary of Blackstone Group, and located in Orlando, Florida. It is a sister park of SeaWorld Orlando and Aquatica. At this park, guests can interact with a variety of marine animals, most notably bottlenose dolphins. In addition to swimming with dolphins, Discovery Cove guests can interact with exotic birds, tropical fish, rays, and land mammals.
Discovery Cove offers the opportunity to schedule a reservation to “talk, touch, play and swim” with bottlenose dolphins. With the help of trained dolphin adventure guides, guests receive a safety orientation and information session to learn about the dolphins before moving to the dolphin pool. Guests are shown how to use hand signals and positive reinforcement to encourage the dolphins to perform behaviors before participating in a one-on-one swim. The “Trainer for a Day Package” includes the regular 30-minute dolphin session, adding deep-water dolphin interaction, private photo sessions, increased time with the dolphin trainers, and a behind the scenes tour. The dolphin interaction is between a single dolphin and a group of around eight people.
Discovery Cove contains a coral reef, where guests can use their park-provided snorkeling equipment to observe and interact with thousands of tropical fish, Sting Rays up to 4 feet across and an underwater shark and tigerfish tank located behind protective glass.
The park contains a free-flight aviary, which contains over 250 tropical birds to interact with and feed, including parrots, toucans, and over 30 other species of exotic birds. The heated Tropical River runs directly through the aviary and circles the park, allowing guests to float past an assortment of the Discovery Cove’s beaches, waterfalls, and rainforest landscape. The Tropical River runs into the park’s heated freshwater resort pool.
In October 2010, SeaWorld announced a new attraction at Discovery Cove called the "Grand Reef". It features a white-sand beach, palm-lined island and underwater grottos filled with moray eels, reef sharks and scores of other tropical fish. Activities range from snorkeling with eagle rays to crossing a rope bridge over a shark-filled lagoon. This attraction opened on June 10, 2011. A major attraction of the new Grand Reef section is called SeaVenture, an underwater walk on the sea floor. Participants are able to interact with various forms of sea life while wearing special underwater gear.
The Grand Reef replaced the reef featuring the sunken ship. That area has since been under construction to make room for expansion.
On February 12, 2014, Rose, an Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin gave birth to a female calf. On March 18, another dolphin named Natalie also gave birth to a female calf. 28 calves have been born at Discovery Cove since it opened in 2000.
Discovery Cove admission is all-inclusive, including food, drinks, equipment rentals, and a ticket to SeaWorld Orlando, Aquatica, or Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. Three different admission options are offered by the park, including the dolphin-swim, non-dolphin-swim, and “Trainer for a Day” packages. Reservations for Discovery Cove are required, and a maximum of 1200 guests can be present in the park at any one time. Admission to the park includes all you can eat or drink at the restaurants and snack bars, including alcoholic beverages. The park recently launched a program called "Twilight Discovery" that also includes a gourmet dinner and drinks. Entrée selections include salmon, mahi mahi, jambalaya, hamburgers, chicken fingers, pasta and roasted chicken, along with an assortment of sandwiches, salads, and desserts. All guests that enter Discovery Cove receive snorkeling equipment, which includes use of a mask and either a wetsuit or vest, as well as a snorkel that they get to keep. Lockers, towels, sunscreen, and beach chairs are also included in admission to the park. Private cabanas located throughout the park are also available for rent.
An artificial saltwater pool containing many types of rays and fish for guests to swim among.
Golden Conure, one of the many exotic birds in the aviary
Sun Conure being hand fed
- "The Discovery Cove Experience". baltimoresun.com. 2011-03-23. Retrieved 2013-02-02.
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- "Explore Discovery Cove - Swim with Dolphins, Snorkeling in Florida". Discoverycove.com. 2012-12-21. Retrieved 2013-02-02.
- Jason Garcia (2010-10-13). "SeaWorld unveils new reef for Discovery Cove, new coaster for Busch Gardens". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2013-02-02.
- "Timeline Photos". Facebook. Retrieved 2013-02-02.
- "Discoverycoveguide.com". Discoverycoveguide.com. Retrieved 2013-02-02.
Media related to Discovery Cove at Wikimedia Commons