Tag Archives: Discovery Cove

Enter to win Discovery Cove’s Splashy Sweet 16

Coral, the first dolphin born at SeaWorld’s Discovery Cove to mother Jenny, turns Sweet 16 this year, as does Discovery Cove itself!

Coral sweet 16 Discovery CoveBorn October 4, 2000, Coral is having a party that’s going to last all year long, with one lucky person (and 15 of their friends!) receiving the gifts. To celebrate the momentous occasion, SeaWorld’s Discovery Cove is holding a contest where someone will win entry for 16 to Discovery Cove, including:

• 16 All-Inclusive Dolphin Swim Packages

• 2 Private Cabanas

• 2 Nights at an Official SeaWorld HotelCoral sweet 16 2

• Transportation to and from Orlando, Florida

• Tickets to SeaWorld and Aquatica


Enter here daily through August 14. A winner will be announced on August 15, 2016 via email.


Discovery Cove is what I like to call a Cruise Ship excursion, without the cruise ship! There guests can visit The Grand Reef®, which contains more than 10,000 tropical fish, and the Freshwater Oasis®, featuring playful Asian otters and curious marmoset monkeys. Our family has been just about every year for the past few years and we can’t say enough good things about it. Everything is included: delicious food, drink (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), treats, wet suit, animal-friendly sunblock… you name it!

Insider tip: Don’t let your kid have unlimited frozen fruit bars. Just one or maybe two. (Do NOT ask for the details on how we learned that, LOL!)

For three consecutive years, Discovery Cove has ranked as one of the top amusement parks and water parks in the world in the TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice Awards. For more information on SeaWorld’s gorgeous sister park, visit DiscoveryCove.com.

Did you know?
Coral is an eight-foot, 450-pound dolphin. Her female calf is named, appropriately, Reef!

Sea World Top 5: Training Sharks

It’s #SharkWeek! You know what that means… time to train some sharks! Well, not us. We won’t be training any sharks now or EVER, but our favorite trainer-in-training, Kailyn, might! (She loves orcas, but still!)

Below, our friends Shannon and Vertigo at Sea World share with us their Top 5 Things to Know About Training Sharks. Before we check out the latest dive knife reviews, grab our wetsuits and dive in, we wanted to find out more about them.

Why are they always staring at us? (They’re predators who prefer seafood, not humans.)

What’s up with all the teeth? (More than one row – yikes!)

Do sharks sing underwater karaoke? (Doubtful but they can dance! Kind of.)

Where to start?! We consulted seaworld.org, where we found a ton of resources for the classroom and teachers, animal enthusiasts, conservationists and more. We immediately noticed a trend…

Did you know? Sharks have FIVE fins!

  • Caudal (aka: the tail, aids in forward movement)
  • Pectoral (two fins near front, gives a lift while swimming)
  • Dorsal (two, on a shark’s back: think JAWS)
  • Anal (small, near tail)
  • Pelvic (another pair, under shark)
  • Bonus: Clasper (only on male sharks, near pelvic fins)

Even though they ARE in fact fish, don’t call a shark “a fish” to their face. (We’re told they get… testy.)

Top 5 Shark


Wonder if the dinosaurs called them that? Yes, some families of shark were around back when, and they don’t look a day over 65 million 21 years old.

All of you diehard (no puns!) finheads out there might want to check out The American Elasmobranch Society. They are a non-profit organization that seeks to advance the scientific study of living and fossil sharks, skates, rays, and chimaeras, and the promotion of education, conservation, and wise utilization of natural resources.

Shannon Zimmerman, an Aquarium Supervisor at Discovery Cove, shares, “Training these sharks allows us to get very hands on with these animals, allowing us to build relationships with them that can be just as enriching to them as it is to us.

Here are Sea World’s Top 5 Things to Know About Training Sharks:

Did you know it’s possible to train sharks?  The expert aquarists at SeaWorld and Discovery Cove in Orlando have done just that. They have learned that sharks have unique behavioral traits and that training them takes patience.  Training allows veterinarians and aquarists to provide hands-on care to the animals and also enables guests to interact with the sharks up close. 

Our aquarists share the top five facts they’ve learned in training sharks:

  1. It takes time. Training a shark takes a great deal of patience.  Aquarists use positive reinforcement only, including treats such as trout, salmon and clams.  But because sharks are cold-blooded and some can be sedentary, they don’t eat much…or often. So, opportunities to reinforce them with food occur much less frequently than with other animals.     
  2. They can train to targets.  Aquarists use a technique called “target training” to train sharks to follow a target.  This allows the aquarists to direct animals to key locations in their environment.  The team can then interact with the sharks to monitor their health and also provide guests a closer look.  
  3. They play favorites.  Our aquarists have found each shark responds differently to training. Some sharks are very relaxed when held a certain way, and some sharks show a preference for certain aquarists.
  4. They can be picky eaters.  Sharks tend to be finicky about their food, which affects the way the animals interact during a training session. Sharks have individually discerning tastes. Some gobble up salmon and trout, but take a pass on squid and mackerel.
  5. Personalities come into play. Aquarists see personality traits heighten during training sessions.  For example, male zebra sharks have been known to compete with one another for the aquarist’s attention.  If one is interacting with the aquarist, others are likely to swim over and push their way in. Blacktip and whitetip sharks are especially playful and curious, and like to move around and dig in the sand in their environments. Some even like sand sprinkled on their backs.  

Shark expert Shannon Zimmerman talks about what it’s like to train a shark here.

Top 5 Animal Interactions

by Kelly Green, a.k.a. SeaWorld Mommy

Want to have a wild time in Central Florida? Get up close and personal with some of the natives (and transplants) who live here.

1) Discovery Cove, Orlando
There are so many unique interactions inside Discovery Cove by SeaWorld, we’re calling this a five within a five!

  • Snorkel with the fish & rays! Grab your best snorkeling set and dive into a reef-like oasis. For those who aren’t scuba-certified, it’s a chance to rub “elbows” with huge sting rays as they gracefully glide past you, swimming in and out of the schools of tropical fish. Little kids, too, can enjoy swimming in the Grand Reef, though squeals have been heard when a big, dark cartilaginous fish glides by. OK, adults have been known to jump a bit the first time, too!
  • Swim with a dolphin! There are only a handful of places where you can swim with dolphins, that don’t require a cruise ship first. Visitors can add on this experience which includes some interaction time, a “ride” where, to be precise, the dolphin swims, and you pretty much just hold on, and a kiss!
  • SeaVenture! Ever see those iconic underwater diving helmets? At SeaVenture they hoist those bad boys onto your head, and you descend the ladder for your walk-through underwater tour. Divers hand you a variety of cool creatures to examine (I held a sea urchin), and you “walk” up to the glass with sharks on the other side. Bring your underwater camera. Because of the angle, it looks like you’re right in there with them!
  • Bird Aviary! Speaking of photo ops, the birds perched atop a loved-ones arm (or head!), is a must-see/do. Three separate chambers are home to birds of every color and description. Tip: Go when you first arrive when you’re in your street clothes. The birds are ready for breakfast, and you’ll be able to take photos of the family before you’re all in matching dive suits. Spoonbill selfie, anyone?
  • River Otters! You can’t actually swim alongside the river otters (and if you take a close look at their sharp little claws as they speed through the water, you’ll realize this is a good thing!), but you can swim next to them with a glass wall between you that sure makes it LOOK like they’re right next to you!

Discovery Cove is SeaWorld’s boutique water park. Listed are the five within a five, but trust me… There are loads more!

2) Safari Wilderness, Lakeland
Since Safari Wilderness is right here in Central Florida you might not think it’s possible to have a little piece of Africa or Asia in our midst, but off the beaten I-4 path is a bumpy jeep ride where you’ll see zedonks, kudu, AND water buffalo that will eat right out of your hand! Note: Don’t freak out watching your small child’s hand so close to that enormous mouth! The tour lasts about 90 minutes, and if you’re so inclined, you can add on the lemur experience and take a stroll inside their habitat, too. You’ll also have the option of a camel ride! Seriously! Right here in Central Florida!

3) Wild Florida, Kenansville
Wild Florida hopes visitors see Florida the way it used to be 1,000 years ago… in its natural un-developed condition. Being “out in the middle of nowhere” sure makes that easy, yet surprisingly they’re only 45 minutes from Orlando’s theme park central. Guests can take an airboat ride to view Florida’s natural ecosystem , then explore the park where you’ll find a petting zoo (we saw a goat about 2-minutes old on our visit) as well as both Florida native and world-famous animal species. Some animals even wander around (like the peacock that seemed overly-interested in our afternoon ice cream).

Through the end of this summer you can add on an interaction with baby bobcats that will be the highlight of your visit, I guarantee! Duke and Duchess are two of the cutest kittens I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. Just like their domesticated cousins they like to tousle with their friends, pounce on bystanders in their way, and pat their paws hesitantly into pools of water (then saunter RIGHT over you with their wet paws!). For $20 per person you can add on this experience, that’s not to be missed.

bobcat kittens

Other exciting animal encounters include visiting with the Two-Toed Sloths, Porcupines, or the Silver Fox. How often do you get to say you’ve pet a porcupine?!

Want more? Sign up for Keeper For A Day where you get to actively participate in preparing food for the animals, plus enjoy private interactions, or maybe the Half-Day Adventure Package that includes an airboat ride, tours, lunch, hands-on alligator demonstrations.

4) Busch Gardens, Tampa
Though giraffes have the same number of neck vertebrates as humans, their surprisingly large ones allow them to tower above guests on the Seringetti Safari at Busch Gardens, even over the guests riding on the open- air jeep-type vehicle. We recently took the tour and couldn’t get over how friendly they were. I have fed them before, so I DID remember how loooong their purple tongues are! Bring your appetite for adventure. The giraffes will bring their appetites for lettuce. Note: Have gobs of space on your camera to take pics, or just buy the ones their skilled photographers take. You’re going to want lots!

5) Gatorland
Want to hold the state’s iconic reptile? You know, without the threat of being nibbled on, I mean? Gatorland is home to over 1550 gators and crocodiles, and guests have the option of holding one or, as part of the “Adventure Hour” experience even feed them while standing a few scant feet from their enormous jaws. Beware: You might be surprised HOW close your child was to them when inspecting your photos later!

Want to combine gator holding with go cart/amusement fun? Visit FunSpot on International Drive, where Gatorland has opened a mini-version of their attraction right inside called Gator Spot (admission is just $6 per person). They showcase alligators up to 12 feet including the extremely rare leucistic (white) alligator. Critter holding ops are available. Last time I was there I had a snake around my neck and a gator in my arms while my son held both a baby gator and a lizard!

Would you like to interact with the gators from afar without leaving your hotel? That can be done, too. Gaylord Palms Resort features the “Best of Florida” exhibit, home to 15 juvenile alligators and 30 native species of turtles as part of a 10-year partnership with Gatorland. We’ve been there when the handlers were out so we got to hold a baby alligator before hoping off to Cypress Springs Water Park. Insider tip: All summer long (2015) Kids eat free at Villa de Flora, MOOR, Wreckers, Sora and Old Hickory.


Top 5 Reasons It’s Great To Be A Mom

Here are some wonderful reflections from one of our own favorite Central Florida moms, Kelly Green! Have some of your own? Share them with us in the comments below!

Dolphin Calf and Mom, Photo from Discovery Cove

Dolphin Calf and Mom. Photo Credit: Discovery Cove

Having been told I had a less than 30 percent chance of ever even having a child, I have to say that I feel wonderfully blessed to have my son who is 8. I get to make and share memories with a little miracle, and BOY (pun intended) is it fun!

Here are my Top 5 Reasons why I think it’s great to be a mom:

1)   The “little” things add up.
There’s a saying that you should “enjoy the little things in life, for some day you will look back and see that they were the BIG things.” Taking a walk, doing chores together, giggling at some passage we just read in a book… Those are the moments that, at the end of the day, are the ones we look back on with joy.

My favorite one from this week: Taking a “working lunch” with my son. We homeschool, so when we can, we take our lessons on the road. Sack lunch, and a Boxcar Children book in hand, we set out for our own lunch-and-learn.  Small thing. Big payoff.

2) The “hard” things can be survived.
In our daily affirmations we say “Obstacles are just opportunities in hiding.” I wish I could say I’m always a great example of what moms “should” do in hard times, but I’m not. Sometimes (most times?) I face the struggle head-on. Once in a while, though, I cry and pout and do all those things I encourage my child NOT to do. Guess what, though?! Even in my failures, I can express what I did do right, and what went oh so wrong. A few women who are experiencing a dying sex life managed to keep it alive and considered vaginoplasty. So, what is vaginoplasty? That is a topic of its own and needs its own discussion. Misery may not love company, but she does like to know that others aren’t perfect either. Being able to march through the fires together are treasured moments where that heat and pressure hopefully make diamonds.

3) The teachable moments help us grow together.
There’s a reason they use a light bulb to convey an idea lighting up a mind. Watching a child light up inside because of a lesson learned has got to be one of the biggest thrills ever. Whether it’s an educational milestone, or when they understand some social cue they had previously not grasped, it’s beautiful to watch unfold.

My little guy is still a work in progress (as are we all), but because we take advantage of those teachable moments he’s growing daily. No, he does not have a handle on sarcasm (and wields in inappropriately at times). Yes, he apologizes when he makes mistakes. Maybe—it’s the best thing ever to guide them as they grow, so moments become habits, and habits become life-long patterns.

4) Memories stay.
Last week was my friend Shannon’s son’s birthday. And when she began to explain to me how you used to look for fun things to do with your friends, the same way your son will soon to start developing those habits, it completely freaked me out. As much as I don’t like to think of how quickly my little guy will become an adult and go out in the world, he will before I can even imagine. Our early morning snuggles, moments prepping dinner together, and birthday party candle blow-outs will be distant memories soon…too soon. Before I know it he’ll be driving a car not only in the mall parking lot to practice parking, but off to his own house, to his own family.

No matter how closely I feel I hold on to the moments we share, they slip by like water through our hands. I have our memories, though, and I guard them (and if you know me at all, I PHOTOGRAPH them). Lord willing I’ll always have those times filed away in my heart, to recall when he’s not by my side.

5) The funny things keep us humble.
I have a recording on my phone of my son laughing. The situation that birthed those laughs involved my husband, my son, and loud body sounds if memory serves. I play that laugh track sometimes when I need a quick “pick-me-up.” What’s really funny have been the time those blush-inducing things happen when we are out in public. How many shades of red does my face get? Not sure. But… learning to laugh with others and at yourself keeps you healthy, kid and mom.

One of my mottos is “Laugh first, and laugh loudest.” Good plan, don’t you think? And with kids… how can you not?!

Happy Mother’s Day to moms…

… by birth

…by choice

…and by association. You’re all very special!

Discovery Cove Welcomes Female Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin

Discovery Cove in Orlando welcomes Dolphin Awareness Month with special news – sharing the birth of a beautiful bouncing baby girl born Feb. 7, 2015. The female calf now weighs approximately 44 pounds, is 3 feet 10 inches long, and is nursing and bonding with her mother, Coral. This is Coral’s second calf and the 29th dolphin to be born at Discovery Cove since it opened in 2000. Coral was also born at Discovery Cove in October 2000.

A week after the calf was born, the Discovery Cove Veterinary and Zoological Team of local veterinarians performed her first neonatal wellness exam. Mom Coral kept a watchful eye close by as the team conducted the mini-physical. These examinations are part of the general health care given to all animals at Discovery Cove, which ensures the highest standards of care.

In this review, we discuss how mitochondria and the metabolism regulates the key behaviors of fusion, fission, transport, and mitophagy.

The Zoological Team is excited to welcome this new addition to the family and is providing around-the-clock care for Coral and her new calf. The veterinary team is checking on the progress of the baby 24 hours a day to monitor her behavior, respirations and nursing. By observing Coral throughout her pregnancy, and now providing gplc supplemental care for the calf, the team is able to gather necessary research to better understand the dolphin gestation process, and it also aids the Animal Rescue Team when rescuing ill, injured, orphaned or abandoned dolphins in the wild.

Discovery Cove will soon host a naming contest on its Facebook page where fans can help choose the new baby dolphin’s name.

Discovery Cove Welcomes Female Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin

Discovery Cove is an all-inclusive tropical day resort where guests experience awe-inspiring encounters swimming with dolphins, whale watching long beach, snorkeling among rays and tropical fish, hand-feeding exotic birds and relaxing on pristine beaches. For the second consecutive year, Discovery Cove was named the No. 1 amusement park in the world in the 2014 TripAdvisor® Travelers’ Choice™ Amusement Parks and Water Parks category. To learn more about Discovery Cove and to book reservations, visit the recently redesigned website DiscoveryCove.com, featuring a more user-friendly interface.

TripAdvisor Honors Discovery Cove as Number 1 Amusement Park in the World!

Visiting Discovery Cove Orlando is truly an Experience of a Lifetime

For the second consecutive year, Discovery Cove® in Orlando was named the No. 1 amusement park in the world in the 2014 TripAdvisor® Travelers’ Choice™ Amusement Parks and Water Parks category. The Travelers’ Choice awards are determined based on millions of valuable reviews and opinions from TripAdvisor travelers. Discovery Cove receives top ratings based on the guests’ awe-inspiring encounters with exotic animals in a resort-style, tropical oasis setting.

“We’re honored that Discovery Cove has been recognized on the world’s stage once again for its ability to deliver an unforgettable vacation experience. Daily we witness dreams come true – families bond, friendships strengthen and lifetime memories are made. Our up-close animal interactions inspire and give guests a greater appreciation for our planet and its incredible species,” said Stewart Clark, vice president of Discovery Cove.

Discovery Cove is an all-inclusive day resort in which guests enjoy a one-of-a-kind opportunity to swim with dolphins, rays and tropical fish and hand-feed exotic birds. At Discovery Cove, guests experience the most exciting animal encounters the world has to offer in a breathtaking tropical atmosphere. Discovery Cove is a paradise of rocky lagoons surrounded by lush landscaping, tropical reefs, winding rivers, a resort-style pool complete with waterfalls, and pristine white-sand beaches.

Freshwater Oasis® at Discovery Cove

Freshwater Oasis® at Discovery Cove

Located in the heart of the world’s largest theme park destination, guests often describe Discovery Cove as a “vacation within a vacation.” According to TripAdvisor reviews, visitors value the park’s all-inclusive offerings. From meals and snacks to snorkels and sunscreen, everything is included. Fourteen-day park admission to both SeaWorld® Orlando and Aquatica, SeaWorld’s Waterpark™ is also part of the day resort package. Discovery Cove’s sister parks in Florida also celebrate honors today. In the Amusement Parks category, SeaWorld Orlando is ranked No. 7 in the U.S., No. 11 in the world and Busch Gardens® Tampa is ranked No. 10 in the U.S. In the Water Park category, Aquatica Orlando is ranked No. 3 in the U.S. and No. 9 in the world. To see all of the 2014 Travelers’ Choice winners, visit http://prn.to/1jLJb9p.

For reviews on Discovery Cove, visit TripAdvisor.com. To book a reservation, visit DiscoveryCove.com or call 1-877-434-7268. Stay connected on http://www.facebook.com/discoverycove.

About Discovery Cove

Discovery Cove is part of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, which operates 11 parks across the U.S. including SeaWorld parks in Orlando, San Diego and San Antonio; Busch Gardens parks in Tampa, Fla. and Williamsburg, Va.; Aquatica, SeaWorld’s Waterpark in Orlando, San Diego and San Antonio; Sesame Place near Philadelphia, Pa.; and water parks Adventure Island in Tampa and Water Country USA in Williamsburg.

The 11 parks play host to 25 million guests each year and employ 26,000 people nationwide. To learn more, visit SeaWorldParksandEntertainment.com or call toll-free 1-888-800-5447. Additionally, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment created the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund, a non-profit, private charitable foundation committed to supporting wildlife and habitat conservation, research, education and animal rescue programs worldwide. Learn more at SWBG-ConservationFund.org.

About TripAdvisor
TripAdvisor® is the world’s largest travel site*, enabling travelers to plan and have the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers trusted advice from real travelers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features with seamless links to booking tools. TripAdvisor branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, reaching nearly 260 million unique monthly visitors**, and more than 150 million reviews and opinions covering more than 4 million accommodations, restaurants and attractions. The sites operate in 42 countries worldwide, including China under daodao.com. TripAdvisor also includes TripAdvisor for Business, a dedicated division that provides the tourism industry access to millions of monthly TripAdvisor visitors.

TripAdvisor, Inc. (NASDAQ: TRIP) manages and operates websites under 23 other travel media brands: www.airfarewatchdog.comwww.bookingbuddy.comwww.cruisecritic.comwww.everytrail.comwww.familyvacationcritic.com,www.flipkey.comwww.gateguru.comwww.holidaylettings.co.ukwww.holidaywatchdog.comwww.independenttraveler.comwww.jetsetter.comwww.lafourchette.comwww.niumba.com,  www.onetime.comwww.oyster.com,www.seatguru.comwww.smartertravel.comwww.tingo.comwww.travelpod.comwww.tripbod.comwww.vacationhomerentals.comwww.virtualtourist.com, and www.kuxun.cn.

*Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Sites, worldwide, Q1 2014

**Source: Google Analytics, average monthly unique users, Q1 2014; does not include traffic to daodao.com

Top 5 Activities for Warm Weather Family Fun in Orlando, Florida

Special Guest post by Michelle Rise, Be sure to follower her at @Rise7Up!

Minus the quick afternoon shower and the occasional tropical depression, Orlando, Florida is home to some of the best weather in the country. Sunshine, warm temperatures and light breezes make this area perfect for outdoor activities. As a result, families feel compelled to go outside and enjoy everything City Beautiful has to offer. The following 5 are considered top choices for outdoor family fun.Top5ActivitiesCFLT5.jpg

1. FUN SPOT ACTION PARK – Truly a family friendly amusement park without the super high price of an oversized theme park, Fun Spot is well known for safe rides and attractions. 4 exciting go-kart tracks, ranging from beginner to the world’s steepest guarantees everyone from young to old will experience thrill and excitement.

2. WET N WILD – Like Fun Spot, Wet n Wild also caters to all ages but with water instead of rides and go-karts. Water coasters and slides, swimming areas and a lazy river will keep you cool while you soak up the Florida sunshine. A high speed launch style water coaster is scheduled to open this summer, promising to be the fastest and highest water racing attraction of its kind, see here some special info. So whether you want to take it slow and relax in the pools with the, lazy river, water launch into oblivion or pentair intelliflo equipment you need to know that is essential in making sure that the water in your pool is of the quality to be healthy for you to swim in by making sure the chemicals remain balanced and the pool stays free of debris, Pool Vacuum HQ has all the information covered decently. A swimming pool is a superb addition to your back yard, for your convenience contractors like Worldwide Pools will build it for you. Everything becomes such a lot easier when things work smoothly and perfectly for your swim pool. Of course, the pool pump is that the heart, that creates the functionality of the pool absolutely correct. Let me tell you here, if the pool pump doesn’t work properly then nothing goes to figure well. The high efficiency pool pump should be of extremely good quality, because it works to circulate the pool water and keeps it hygienic and at its working best. While buying a pool pump consider the quantity energy and strength of the pool, as this permits the simplest cleaning or pool heating (winter season). BBQs and pools provide you with high quality memories with friends and loved ones throughout the summer.  Flotsam and jetsam, in large quantities, are not uncommon things for pool owners to find. If you are without a pool vacuum, then the job of removing said rubbish becomes nearly hopeless. You’ll easily get inexpensive vacuum cleaners online, and having one must be mandatory. It should be obvious, but even if you have a vacuum for your pool but don’t have a pool vacuum hose, you’re out of luck. A pool vacuum hose isn’t anything like a normal house vacuum hose. A pool hose will undergo the extremes of internal water pressure, debris, and harsh chemicals; as a result it will need to bear up under all of these stresses. When you decide upon the proper length of hose you should be sure to think it through prior to your purchase. It cannot be stressed enough that you should be able to have your pool vacuum hose easily reach the opposite side of the pool at its furthest distance.

3. DISCOVERY COVE – On the pricier side but worth every penny is Discovery Cove. Combining marine biology with conservation and hands-on experience with sea creatures, Discovery Cove is responsible for many a young mind deciding science is a worthwhile subject after all. A day at Discovery Cove includes marine biology classes, snorkeling, feeding exotic birds and tops it off with a swim in the dolphin pool. During special promotions, a ticket to Discovery Cove includes a day pass to Sea World as long as it’s used within 14 days. With Discovery Cove’s low attendance cap, families need not worry about crowds or missing a desired experience. That alone, adds value to the day. If you’re looking for a little more adventure, check out Florida Dolphin Tours for a fun-filled excursion for all families. Our hotel, staySky Suites – I Drive Orlando, treated us to a special $50 Credit for an amazing experience to swim with the dolphins packed with dolphin kisses, handshakes, and water fights!

4. BIKING – As a bike friendly city, Orlando has no shortage of ride friendly trails. Both West Orange Trail and Lake Apopka are extensive with well planned paths and offshoots specifically designed for a variety of riding levels. Refreshment is never far away as the trails are near coffee shops, restaurants and boutiques. If you don’t own bicycles, rent them at one of several places along the trails. Who knows? Your child could be the next Lance Armstrong, without the steroid use, of course. However, if you prefer biking in the mountains, there are tons of mountain biking trails that are just plain gorgeous and refreshing. 

5. PIRATE’S COVE ADVENTURE GOLF – Located on International Drive, 2 separate 18-hole miniature courses give Pirate’s Cove top ratings for outdoor fun. Good for the whole family, the well kept, beautifully landscaped miniature golf courses offer a mix of skill level holes to suit everyone plus a pirate adventure better experienced than explained. It’s definitely an Orlando must-do.

BONUS – Don’t worry about the super heated days in the high 90’s. Orlando has plenty of indoor adventures such as Ripley’s Believe It or Not and Orlando’s Science Center. However, with spring here and summer fast approaching, we’re trying to get out and enjoy the great outdoors more. After all, the frigid temperatures of winter (for Florida) will bring us back indoors.

More about Michelle: Rise7up

After many years of walking the yellow brick road through Disney, Michelle Rise has become a Disney park expert in her own right. As a stay-at-home mom, proud mama of 5 (not including the hubs!), and travel enthusiast, Michelle is putting her passion for life into her writing. She also enjoys travel to most other destinations worldwide and when not writing about her experiences or hiking with the family dog, Tery, Michelle can be found traveling to a new adventure with her husband of over 25 years, Ben. 


Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin Born!

Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin Born at Discovery Cove

Dolphin Calf and Mom, Photo from Discovery Cove

Dolphin Calf and Mom, Photo from Discovery Cove

Dolphin Calf and Mom, Photo from Discovery Cove

Dolphin Calf and Mom, Photo from Discovery Cove

Dolphin Calf and Mom, Photo from Discovery Cove

More details soon!

A female dolphin calf was born at Discovery Cove in Orlando on Wednesday, February 12, at 5:35 a.m. The calf now weighs approximately 53 pounds and is 47 inches long. The calf is nursing and bonding with its mom, Rose, both a good indication that the calf is doing well. This is Rose’s second birth and the 27th dolphin born at Discovery Cove since the park opened in 2000.

Discovery Cove is an all-inclusive day resort experience where guests enjoy a one-of-a-kind opportunity to swim with dolphins, snorkel with rays and tropical fish, hand-feed exotic birds and relax on pristine beaches.

Learn more about this amazing place! http://discoverycove.com/


Freshwater Oasis is Now Open at Discovery Cove in Orlando


Freshwater Oasis is Now Open at Discovery Cove in Orlando

What ? Where! Freshwater Oasis….

Across the street from SeaWorld is Discovery Cove…and Now open at Discovery Cove in Orlando is Freshwater Oasis, an all-new attraction featuring wading adventures and face-to-face encounters with playful otters and curious marmosets.

Designed with a rainforest canopy above and sparkling-clear springs below, Freshwater Oasis is a natural fit within Discovery Cove’s tropical atmosphere. Guests can relax, explore and swim in the water-filled trails. No matter where they turn, guests will find endless discoveries.

Freshwater Oasis is included with admission to Discovery Cove, an all-inclusive tropical day resort where guests can swim with dolphins, snorkel with colorful fish and rays, hand-feed exotic birds and relax on pristine beaches, plus enjoy unlimited admission for 14 days to sister parks SeaWorld and Aquatica in Orlando.

Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin Born at Discovery Cove

Limited to approximately 1,000 guests per day, Discovery Cove requires advance reservations which can be made at DiscoveryCove.com or by calling 1-877-434-7268. Seasonal rates for Discovery Cove’s Dolphin Swim Day Resort Package start at $229 (rates for Day Resort Package without dolphin swim experience and guests ages 3-5 start at $149).

To learn more about Freshwater Oasis, visit DiscoveryCove.com. More details via their Blog!


New Discovery Cove All-Inclusive Package Now Includes MORE

SeaWorld Orlando Welcomes Twin Sea Lion Pups

I thought this was interesting to share too:

Discovery Cove is part of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, which operates 10 parks across the U.S. including SeaWorld parks in Orlando, San Diego and San Antonio; Busch Gardens parks in Tampa, Fla. and Williamsburg, Va.; Aquatica in Orlando; Sesame Place near Philadelphia, Pa.; and water parks Adventure Island in Tampa and Water Country USA in Williamsburg. 

The 10 parks play host to 25 million guests each year and employ 26,000 people nationwide. To learn more, visit SeaWorldParksandEntertainment.com or call toll-free 1-888-800-5447. Additionally, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment created the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund, a non-profit, private charitable foundation committed to supporting wildlife and habitat conservation, research, education and animal rescue programs worldwide. Learn more at SWBG-ConservationFund.org.