If swimming with dolphins is on the to-do list for your visit to Orlando, Florida, you should know that you have several options for a unique experience. Here we touch on the special locations throughout Orlando that offer a safe, intimate interaction with one of the ocean’s most intelligent, social and playful creatures: the Atlantic bottlenose dolphin.
SeaWorld’s Discovery Cove
For an intimate, unforgettable encounter, Orlando’s Discovery Cove offers a unique swimming-with-dolphins experience in a private lagoon. Guests, accompanied by a trainer, are given a 30-minute interaction with a dolphin that includes petting and playing with the dolphin as well as a dorsal fin tow-ride through the deep end of the lagoon. Advance reservations are required, and the base price for Florida residents is $220, while it’s $230-350 for non-residents, depending on weekday and time of year. However, that price includes food for the day, wetsuit and snorkeling equipment, free rein of Discovery Cove’s beaches and swimming areas, and a 14-day admission to SeaWorld. Participants in the dolphin swimming experience must be at least six years old and accompanied by an adult. Extra encounters, such as feeding rays or swimming with sharks, require an additional fee.
6000 Discovery Cove Way, Orlando, FL, USA +1 407-513-4600
At “The Seas with Nemo and Friends” exhibit in Epcot Future World theme park, up to eight guests can participate in the Dolphins in Depth program each day. The backstage tour includes a three-hour presentation about the bottlenose dolphins that call Epcot home, the marine research programs Disney supports, and a private in-water experience that allows guests to pet and take photos with the dolphins. Participating in the Dolphins in Depth program requires a reservation, which can fill up quickly, and you should check for any restrictions in seasonal availability. Participants must be at least 13 years old, and the price is $199 per person.
Marineland Dolphin Adventure
Marineland of St. Augustine, Florida, which is about an hour and a half northeast of Orlando, offers guests the opportunity to go swimming with the dolphins that call the world’s first oceanarium home. There are two interaction options for swimming with dolphins in both shallow and deep water, called the Discover Dolphins and the Immersion Program, each including an educational behind-the-scenes tour that highlights the animals being studied at Marineland. Reservations are required for all participants, who must be at least five years of age and accompanied by a parent, and prices range from $179-239, depending on the weekday and season.
9600 N Ocean Shore Blvd, St. Augustine, FL, USA +1 904-471-1111