(Sea)Lions & Gators & Dolphins….Oh, My! A Halloween PTR/TR with a “wild” theme - Oct/Nov '18

Discussion in 'Sea World / Discovery Cove' started by Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina, Sep 22, 2018.

  1. Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina DIS Veteran

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    I got an excellent one from Ebay, by rand new, for about $7 shipped. Excellent quality.

    I actually need to order a new one. My current model fit my S7 edge perfectly but I have to take my S9+ out of the Otterbox in order to seal it tightly. Thank you for the reminder that i need to put that on my to-do list :thumbsup2.
     
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  2. Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina DIS Veteran

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    Yes, lockers are provided free to all guests so we tossed everything inside after changing into our wet suits. Keys are on lanyards so you can just hang the key around your neck :thumbsup2.

    The only photos from the photo package are those where we are with the dolphin. The rest were all taken with my phone. I dont tend to carry my phone around much during the day, as I like to unplug as much as possible.....so as a result, I never take as many photos as I'd like while at the park!

    I would definitely recommend investing in a waterproof case for your phone while at DC, not only to protect against moisture but also from sand. You can easily pick up great ones for under $10 so it's a small investment for big protection.
     
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  4. Joanna71985

    Joanna71985 <marquee><font color=green>Characters are my frien

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    I wish the park PhotoKeys worked at DC (the photos are a bit on the pricey side)
     
  5. Penguinempress

    Penguinempress Mouseketeer

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    :jumping3:
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts! Glad to hear you still think the overall experience is as good as ever. I hope to get back there one day but there’s always so much to do on my Orlando trips and not enough time (or money!)
     
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  6. pattyw

    pattyw DIS Veteran

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    That's a great deal! I was going to check Amazon- but good to know about Ebay deals!!:thumbsup2
     
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  7. Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina DIS Veteran

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    I agree, especially for solo guests or couples. If you have a whole family (mom, dad, a couple of kids, and maybe even grandparents or extended family) and get ALL those people on one photo package, then its a very fair deal. For just one or two people, though, photo prices do feel a bit steep at times. Honestly, if we hadn't got such a huge discount on the admission, we likely would have passed on the professional photos....but we justified the splurge with the fact that we only paid $99 each for the day. SeaWorld Math :p.
    I know that feeling well!! :goodvibes

    Definitely check Amazon as well. Between the two you are almost guaranteed to find what you need at a crazy good price!
     
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  8. Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina DIS Veteran

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    Wednesday, October 31st: Discovery Cove, continued

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    Once we were done with our dolphin swim, the balance of the day could be spent exactly how we chose. We never, ever have a "plan" for Discovery Cove ... we just enjoy the relaxing atmosphere and try to enjoy all the aspects of the park at some point during the day.

    Unlike most guests, we tend to spend the LEAST amount of time in the Grand Reef: not because we don't enjoy it, but more because we enjoy the other attractions in the park more.

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    We're warm water lovers, and the water in the reef can be noticeably more chilly than the Freshwater Oasis and Wind-Away River......so that makes it less appealing on the whole. But we always do try to spend at least a small portion of time swimming with the tropical fish and huge rays that call the Grand Reef home. It really is an experience that everyone should have at least once!

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    Full disclosure: we also don't tend to carry our phones with us around the park all day, so we don't truly document everything we did...which means its always a challenge to detail our Discovery Cove activities accurately in a trip report. We had the awesome opportunity to meet up with @Joanna71985 at Discovery Cove as she was also able to take advantage of that incredible $99 pass member rate on the same day we were there.....but in the 3? maybe 4? times we crossed paths, I didn't have my phone with me any of those times :headache:. So we have no photos to prove it, but we did enjoy another Dismeet on this particular day. Next time, Joanna!! :thumbsup2 Hopefully we will perhaps have a chance to say hello somewhere (for drinks at the Coke Store at DS, maybe? :drinking1) in May :goodvibes.

    So.....some snapshots of how we spent the balance of the day......

    As we moved around the park, at one point we had the chance to meet one of Discovery Cove's animal ambassadors: an adorable Kookaburra who was surprisingly comfortable with humans:

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    He was 7 years old and quite a little social butterfly. At times we thought he was as intrigued with US as we were with HIM :laughing:.

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    We spent gobs and gobs of time in the ultra-warm waters of the Wind-Away River.

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    In the hottest part of the afternoon, the caves at the river entrance were a cool escape from the bright Florida sunshine. We never rush through this area......it's got such a neat vibe, and offers a strikingly different atmosphere than the lush, green areas in the balance of the park.

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    Cave selfie! :teeth:

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    The Wind-Away River cuts a path right through the free-flying aviary, and two pounding waterfalls provide natural barriers for the birds. Beware your sunglasses, though!! The water packs a punch: this is not a gentle cascade, and it always catches a number of first-time guests off guard. It's definitely enough to knock your glasses off your face, and take your breath away if you're not expecting it.

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    Once you've made your way under the waterfall, however, a wonderful assortment of feathered friends awaits.

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    Some are even comfortable enough for you to get right up close and snap a photo or two.

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    Along the route of the river, we've found a few favorite spots where we always like to swim to the side and just savor the moment.

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    It's sitting there, in the beautiful surroundings and the warm sunshine, that we can feel a peacefulness that is tough to match anywhere else :cloud9:. It's one of those moments that you just wish you could stop time.

    We encountered a healthy flock of these white birds at the end of the lazy river, all lounging in the trees and quite unbothered by the steady stream of park guests who floated by. These were not birds from the aviary, but rather those whom we assume are native to Florida. Likely nuisances to southern folks but novel for us northerners. Maybe like a southern version of a seagull? :scratchin

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    As we splashed and sunned and soaked our pasty white bodies, we remarked at how fortunate we were to have such AMAZING weather. There was literally not a cloud in the sky.

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    Every so often, we took a break for a snack and siesta.....sometimes on a lounger, sometimes on a hammock. It's a tough life ;).

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    The balance of our DC day is next.

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  9. Mrs Doubtfire

    Mrs Doubtfire DIS Veteran

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    Love your DC day. We have been twice but honestly I can't remember the Wind Away River. However I'm not a great swimmer so maybe bypassed that? When I went in the Grand Reef the lifeguard offered to swim back with me! The big drop terrified me. My DH and DD just thought it was funny!
     
  10. Joanna71985

    Joanna71985 <marquee><font color=green>Characters are my frien

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    It was nice bumping into you throughout the day at DC! Hopefully I'll get to see you again in May
     
  11. Callie

    Callie Always Dreaming of Disney Magic

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    The dolphin swim looks like so much fun! I would worry about going into the area with the birds. I have a phobia of them pooping on me!
     
  12. I-4Bound

    I-4Bound Mouseketeer

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    The white birds in the tree are ibises. I can't get over how big the Kookaburra was! Discovery Cove is definitely on my to do list for an upcoming trip. I just renewed our Universal Annual Passes though, so it will have to wait.
     
  13. chicagoshannon

    chicagoshannon DIS Veteran

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    Discovery Cove is on the list for our next family trip. We've promised Madeline.

    We are home from Florida. The weather wasn't fantastic but better than at home I suppose. We did manage a lot of fun though. We all fell in LOVE with Volcano Bay. So much to do for those that aren't huge slide fans. If you love Roa's Rapids at Aquatica you will also LOVE the fast river at Volcano Bay. It has special effects, waves and such. The wave pool is also very relaxing with gently waves instead of giant tidals. We aren't cabana people but decided that it's the one park that we could definitely spend the entire day at so a cabana is on the table for next time!

    Also, Duncan has seemed to conquer his fear of some rides. He now loves 7Dwarves, Big Thunder and several others. Still didn't go on the huge coasters but I'm so proud that he tried some new things and like them!
     
  14. Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina DIS Veteran

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    The Wind Away River is easily our favorite attraction in the park....so relaxing, and such beautiful scenery. I could happily stay there all day and feel like I didn't miss a thing!

    I will freely admit that the sensation of the fish and rays touching my bare legs in the Grand Reef unnerves me just a tad. That, combined with the cold water, are the reasons we don't spend gobs of time there.....despite how awesome it is. It always seems so busy in the reef as well.....its definitely a guest favorite. I guess I never really took much notice of the big drop, but we are fairly confident swimmers (we generally spend several nights a week in our rec center pool, and were regular swimmers at our local Y when we lived in Canada).....but I can appreciate how a distinct change in water depth can definitely be unsettling!! How sweet of the lifeguard to offer to accompany you back to shore :goodvibes.

    When we get closer to our travel dates, I'll be sure to let you know our schedule so hopefully we can set up a time to say hello :thumbsup2.

    That's definitely a risk :laughing:. I guess the good thing is you're just seconds from the water if you do happen to get butt bombed!

    Are ibises common in the south? Considered a nuisance bird?

    The kookaburra was definitely a sizable fellow ::yes::. I bet he eats well at DC!!

    Now that we've committed to Universal for the next 12+ months, it will be a while before we get back to Discovery Cove as well :(. Have you guys never been there yet?? Or just not in some time?

    You guys will LOVE DC ::yes::. Will Duncan swim with the dolphins or will that be outside of his comfort zone?

    I loved seeing your Facebook posts and scrolling through all your pictures. It looks like you all had an AMAZING trip! I am super proud of Duncan as well.....I can appreciate his apprehension and how big of a step that was for him. He is going to be my inspiration when we're there in May :). I'll just tell myself if Duncan can muster the courage, so can I. [My goal, if I can manage it, is to try the Mummy and Jurassic Park this trip......if I can summon the bravery]

    We have been to Volcano Bay (back in October 2017, not long after it opened) but Steve wasn't wowed. We weren't super enthralled with the tapu tapu system or having to take a shuttle bus, but I will admit the park was lovely, lush and colorful. We had a cabana for that visit and did love that upgrade (though the price was MUCH higher than we were accustomed to paying at Aquatica). I actually asked Steve if he wanted to sit aside a day for that on our May trip and he said he'd rather go to Typhoon Lagoon :confused3. So far we don't have a waterpark day specifically designated but perhaps once the winter weather subsides here he might change his mind and get inspired ;).
     
  15. chicagoshannon

    chicagoshannon DIS Veteran

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    I'm guessing part of why we loved that park was because there were only about 30 people there that day. Didn't have to use the Tapu for rides at all. We just walked right up. We did NOT like that there were no maps there at all. We had no idea where we were going and had to go hunt down a paper map which is not ideal for a water park. We also did not enjoy having to take a bus. We were the only people on the bus heading there and there was another bus sitting behind ours and they still made us wait at least 10 minutes to take off. It was odd.

    Duncan has not gone on the Mummy yet and didn't try Jurassic because it was too cold. Hopefully he'll go on that one in the fall.

    Did I mention Eric and I are taking a couple trip in May? We're springing for the Royal Pacific Hotel to get the express pass. We're looking forward to it!
     
  16. Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina DIS Veteran

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    Yay for a couples trip!!! Will this be your first since the kids were born??

    Any chance your May dates cross over any of ours? (May 4th thru 11th?)
     
  17. chicagoshannon

    chicagoshannon DIS Veteran

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    Unfortunately no. Madeline has a ballet recital on Mother's day so we can't go til after that. We'll just miss you May 15-21.
     
  18. I-4Bound

    I-4Bound Mouseketeer

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    We have plenty of ibises where I live, and they aren't a nuisance at all. They might be at Discovery Cove, though, if they aren't full time residents! :rotfl2:

    We have never done Discovery Cove. My daughter really wants to go but doesn't want to swim with dolphins...go figure!
     
  19. pattyw

    pattyw DIS Veteran

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    Yay for Universal!! :cheer2: And you never know about DC! Hey they may come up with another offer that can't be passed up this year, too!!:thumbsup2
     
  20. tgropp

    tgropp DIS Veteran

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    Gina, we are going to Orlando for a quick four day trip due to some free airfare. Other than Sweet Tomatoes which my wife loves, what would you recommend for some good moderately priced restaurant? We are staying at Disney using DVC points but not going to Disney so lots of free time. We still have some Universal tickets and Disney water park tickets so that’s all we will be doing
     

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