Because of its limited capacity and obvious popularity, a visit to Discovery Cove demands advance planning. Reservations are mandatory and making reservations six months or more in advance is not such a silly idea. Somewhat to the surprise of Discovery Cove’s marketing people, more visitors (over 50%) want to swim with the dolphins than had been anticipated. So if a dolphin interaction is your goal, the sooner you book, the better your chances.
While it is extremely unlikely that you will be able to book a dolphin swim on short notice, it can happen, especially if you can be flexible on dates. Cancellations do occur. If you want to visit Discovery Cove and not swim with the dolphins, your chances of getting in at the last minute are only slightly better.
The best plan is to phone regularly before your visit and drop by in person once you have reached Orlando. Obviously, the more people in your party who want to swim with the dolphins, the less likely it is you will be successful. It is also possible that there will be openings for just two people when you have a party of four.
There are two ways to make reservations, by phone or on the Internet. The toll-free reservation line is (877) 434-7268. Overseas visitors can call (407) 370-1280. You can make a reservation for the day you visit but you cannot reserve a specific time to swim with the dolphins until you arrive at the park, which is a good incentive to arrive early on the day of your visit. More on this later. The Internet address is
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