The Grand Reef at Discovery Cove is now open for all guests. The new area features multiple levels of exploration, from shallow waters to deeper swimming adventures and white sandy beaches, to snorkeling among artificial reefs and a helmet dive adventure.
Here’s a video swim around the new reef:
Families can seek discoveries along the water’s edge or cross a bridge to see sharks swimming below. They’ll play hide-and-seek with thousands of beautiful fish, from small colorful wrasses to large spotted eagle rays. Many areas of the reef are just a few feet deep, so even those who don’t know how to swim can explore underwater.
Further out in the reef, habitats create the feeling of swimming right alongside venomous lionfish and sharp-toothed reef sharks, each safely behind glass. Guests can take paths and bridges to the reef’s islands and hidden grottos as they delve into the reef from above, around and below.
“The Grand Reef takes Discovery Cove’s world-class animal encounters to an all new level – several, actually,” said Stewart Clark, the park’s vice president. “It’s what our guests expect from us, unforgettable connections with the sea and making memories that will last forever. This could only be created by Discovery Cove.”
Those looking for an even more exhilarating adventure can take part in SeaVenture, an underwater walking tour. Wearing dive helmets, guests will be led on an underwater walk with lionfish and sharks (safely behind massive panoramic windows). They’ll also experience one-on-one touches with unique animals and schools of fish and gentle rays swimming by. Discovery Cove guests can take part in SeaVenture for $59 per person. Each guest is given an underwater camera with a chance to purchase the photos they took.
The Grand Reef replaces the old saltwater reef at Discovery Cove. That reef is being converted to fresh water for a new experience to open next year.
Discovery Cove is a full-day experience where guests can swim with dolphins, hand-feed exotic birds, snorkel through fresh and saltwater lagoons and relax on white-sand beaches. A day’s ticket includes meals, snacks and beverages, towels, wet suits and swim gear, plus a pass for unlimited admission to either SeaWorld or Aquatica in Orlando or Busch Gardens in Tampa to be used surrounding a Discovery Cove visit. Guests can upgrade to the Ultimate package which includes admission to all three sister parks for an additional fee. Advanced reservations are required.
Seasonal rates for Discovery Cove’s Dolphin Swim Day Resort Package start at $199 (rates for Day Resort Package without dolphin swim experience and guests ages 3-5 start at $129). Prices vary seasonally.
For reservations or more information, visit DiscoveryCove.com or call 1-877-434-7268.
• For a full report from Discovery Cove, watch episode 29 of Orlando Attractions Magazine – The Show.