Today is National Dolphin Day, a time for humans to gain a greater appreciation for and understanding of these aquatic mammals that are considered among the most intelligent and social creatures in the world. But people needn’t limit their fascination with and education about dolphins to a single day; Discovery Cove, an all-inclusive day resort in Orlando, offers year-round opportunities to interact with dolphins and learn more about how they live, eat, play, and communicate.
Accompanied by a trainer, small groups of Discovery Cove guests enter shallow water so they can come face-to-face with friendly bottlenose dolphins and learn about their habits and communication through hands-on activity. The highlight of this 30-minute program is a swim into deeper waters, where guests interact with a dolphin and ultimately get a “tow” back to shore that’s truly the thrill of a lifetime.
Discovery Cove is home to just over 50 bottlenose dolphins that range in age from 6 months to nearly 50 years old, including three generations of the same family—grandmother, mothers and aunts, offspring and cousins. Bottlenose dolphins are the most familiar type of dolphin, though there are more than 30 other species in the world; people may be especially drawn to them because they’re very charismatic and have plenty of playful tendencies. They’re also known for being aquatic acrobats, often breaching high into the air as they travel through the ocean or play in their pods. Though Atlantic bottlenose dolphins can weigh up to nearly 450 pounds and measure more than 12 feet in length, they make these water gymnastics appear incredibly easy. Guests can learn all of these facts and much more during their interactive session with Discovery Cove’s dolphins and trainers, who proactively provide plenty of information and are fully prepared to respond to any number of questions.
Celebrate National Dolphin Day in style, and book a visit to Discovery Cove. For more information on what there is to do beyond Walt Disney World, check out Beyond Disney: The Unofficial Guide to SeaWorld, Universal Orlando, & the Best of Central Florida by Bob Sehlinger and Seth Kubersky.