Day 10 Part 1 - Discovery Cove Here We Come!

We were all excited about going to Discovery Cove. We had to make reservations long in advance,
even with it being off season. Pop had not wanted to go but promised that he would be there
tomorrow for our last day at MK.

We got up and did showers and stuff but didn’t have to worry about breakfast since it was included
in the admission price. We drove in and missed the turn initially …it’s pretty low profile. After doing
a couple of turn-arounds we found the entrance and still arrived just after 9am.

The grounds are very lush and the Check In/Welcome Center lobby has a nice tropical theme and
looks very comfortable. We just stayed there long enough to get our pictures taken and our ID cards
printed out. They hang around your neck on lanyards and act as access passes/mementos of the day
there. If you are going to Sea World on the week pass you get with your purchase, they also act as
your ticket to get into that park.

Once the paperwork side of it is done we were told that we could have actually arrived at 8:30am
and that the breakfast buffet started then …grrrr. Oh well, still plenty of time to eat and have fun.
We headed out the back door and onto a deck where we outfit Nana and my Mom with these funky
bubble-tired wheelchairs that we found out work GREAT on the sand but not quite as well on

You follow a trail through tropical plants and trees and over bridges, working your way down to
the cabanas and bungalows where the house the gift shop, dining area, and access to the different
water areas. Here are a few pics as we walked down the trail towards the main park area:

The Coral Reef and cabanas from afar

More thick foliage

A lifeguard on watch at part of the Tropical River

As you can see they really cover the whole concept of “lush” :D

We were stopped almost in sight of civilization and had our picture taken. I know we have that one
somewhere, but I haven’t come across it. Ahhh well – I’m sure y’all can survive with one less
picture from me – lol.

From there we were directed to the buffet line where we grabbed up some good breakfast grub.
The seating was outside and we chose a table overlooking the dolphin pool. After yummy vittles
time we walked down to our assigned cabana to get our lockers and wetsuits. If you do this the
short-sleeve/legged versions are the way to go. Much cooler while walking around the park.

I think all of us except the kids had to try on at least two to get a good fit – not much fun peeling
them off but worth it in the end. It was about 10 when we wandered down to the beach by what
they call the resort pool. It is shallow and made into rock formations with a double waterfall that
cascades over a water cave system.

Of course the girls were first to get their snorkels on and try them out

My mom gives some helpful hints

And away they go!

The pool/river area is a comfortable 86 degrees, so even though it was overcast and not a
particularly warm day, you could take a dip in this area and be nice and comfy :D

Nana is getting a kick out of watching he girls swim

The girls start following the current provided by a series of water jets that are placed all along the
river loop

It takes you through the caves and around the tropical river through the aviary if you let it. Or you
can go more towards the waterfall and just float around – good spot for smaller kids. Here is a
couple of shots of the pool area and the entrance to the cave

I went with the girls for a ‘once-around’ on the tropical river. You go through the cave area (has
light from openings all along it while still maintaining that ‘cave’ feel). After that you go into a
deeper pool followed by a water wall entrance to the aviary. You can also get out and walk
through chambered doors to the aviary and feed/interact with the birds.

We just floated through, looking at all of the cool looking birds as they flew around above us.
The current carried us past another area where you can get out and walk the aviary and then
through the exit water wall, which keeps the birds from flying out.

After that there are some themed areas of the river including some Atlantis-style pieces and a
sunken cannon. Then you come around a bend and there is an underwater window that lets
you look into the coral reef area. From there it is a few more turns and you are back to the pool

Roxy and the moms had the girls under their watchful eye so I walked back up the beach

…and around…

…over to the dolphin lagoon

They break everyone up into groups of eight or less and set times for them to interact with the
dolphins. Our time wasn’t until 3pm. Here are some other folks enjoying their time with them.

From there I walked over to the Conservation Station, where they have animal and marine exhibits
and interactions with a focus on protecting/restoring the environment for animals and humans alike.
When I was there they were speaking about different birds and specifically owl breeds and their
environments and the effect of human encroachment.

I scoped out a couple of areas on the river

…and then checked out the coral reef area

The coral reef, ray pool, and dolphin cove areas have temps around 77 degrees to make the marine
life as comfortable as possible. On a hot day I can imagine it would be very refreshing, but for us it
was just a touch on the cool side.

As you may have noticed you can hardly see a picture without a lifeguard in it. The resort is VERY
focused on the safety of the guests. And with so many different land and water features I must say
I was impressed with their ability to cover all the angles.

I strolled over to the pool area (other side from where I was earlier) so I could get pics of the
whole thing and especially the waterfalls.

You can really see the side openings for the cave section of the tropical river in this one

And here you see the snack bar located in between the resort pool and ray pool. Here they had
those big soft pretzels, a slurpee-styled concoction called cherry snow, chips and other munchies,
plus a big chunk of the Anheuser-Busch line of products. Since all food/drinks were part of the
ticket price I enjoyed several Amber Bocks throughout the afternoon – Whoohoo! :D

Coming up - Fun with rays and our feathered friends!