- Type: Zoos and Aquariums
- Time to Spend: Half Day to Full Day
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There are animal encounters and then there's Discovery Cove -- a companion site to SeaWorld that receives almost unanimous raves. Dolphins, shmolphins -- here you can also get up-close-and-personal with stingrays, sharks and barracuda. There's also swimming areas, a free-flight aviary and a coral reef for snorkeling. And since it's a reservation only park, you'll get to interact with the fishes and trainers more intimately.
Several recent guests describe Discovery Cove as the best part of their Orlando trip. Says one on TripAdvisor: "Floating down the tropical river (heated), tropical birds, lush flora ... Ahhhh, glorious! Then snorkeling for several hours in the salt-water lagoon was breathtaking. â€¦ The highlight of course, was time in the dolphin lagoon! So many options here!" Trips here can set you back quite a bit (all-inclusive packages cost approximately $299), but visitors insist it's worth the expense. And unlike some other Orlando parks, a Yelp.com user reports, "All food and drink is free and included in the ticket price. The refreshing part was that the food was actually good!"
Discovery Cove is adjacent to SeaWorld Adventure Park Orlando; you'll find that it's open every day from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Packages to visit start at $199, but pricing fluctuates and is largely based on availability. Children must be at least six years of age to participate in any of the dolphin swims. Visit the official website for more information.