By Jackie Roseboom
We were recently invited by SeaWorld to enjoy a day at Discovery Cove. But since we had to book in advance and couldn’t predict the weather, we ended up going on a cold and rainy day. But that didn’t ruin our fun.
For those of you who don’t know, Discovery Cove is a limited admission theme park. But this isn’t a normal theme park or water park. There aren’t any rides or slides. But there are beaches, hammocks, swimming, lots of animals and all your food and drinks are included in the price. They also offer helmet dives and swimming with the dolphins for an extra cost.
We arrived early and ate breakfast, then headed to our cabana. The cabanas are an extra cost too, and aren’t needed, but they are a nice thing to have on a rainy day. Each features their own locker and refrigerator. They are situated around the property. Some have views of the dolphins, others of The Reef. If you don’t get a cabana, you can still get a locker at no charge. Just remember which color locker you have. Different lockers are in different areas of the park.
Non-swimmers can still enjoy Discovery Cove too. The aviary provides a nice way to interact with several different types of birds and there are educated team members available throughout the park to help answer any questions you may have about the animals. You can see the birds via the lazy river or on a walkway. If you choose not to snorkel, The Reef has a bridge so you can see the sharks and fish from above. They do offer floatation devices for those who are not strong swimmers.
If you’re planing on doing the dolphin swim or snorkeling in the reef, it’s best to wear the full-body wetsuit they provide. This will give you some added warmth from the cold rain drops. The water is also cooler than normal in some areas as well, as that’s how the fish and dolphins like it.
Photos don’t come out great when it’s raining. But, shots with an underwater camera are an always an option. Having a submergible waterproof case with a carrying handle for your mobile phone really comes in handy too. You might want to invest in one before your day at Discovery Cove. They have them for sale in the gift shop if you forget. Also, the shots you take above water come out better if you cup your hands above your lens, proving a little umbrella for your camera lens. Or, even better, bring an umbrella. Even on sunny days, Florida is known for quick showers. But like most theme parks, Discovery Cove has professional photographers at different areas around the park. Those photos are available at an extra cost, but they will probably come out better than yours on a rainy day. (See below.)
Breakfast and lunch are included, as well as snacks, beer and wine. All of the dining areas are covered. They provide a nice escape from the sun in the summer or if you get caught in a torrential rainstorm. The food quite good too.
On most days, the rain doesn’t last long. If it’s thundering and lightening all day, they will give rain checks. But, the park is still open if it’s raining. So make the best of the day, regardless of the weather