Aquatica vs Discovery Cove Orlando

Orlando is the land of water parks where the Discovery Cove and Aquatica are top choices. 

Whether you’re seeking thrilling water slides or up-close encounters with marine life, both parks offer unique experiences that cater to different interests and preferences. 

Aquatica is the go-to destination for thrill-seekers and families looking for water-based excitement.

Discovery Cove takes a different approach, providing a serene and intimate environment where you can have remarkable encounters with marine life.

In this article, we’ll compare the classic Aquatica vs Discovery Cove Orlando parks to help you decide on your next holiday destination.

Aquatica Orlando vs Discovery Cove – Our Recommendation

We recommend visiting both the parks for all visitors who are confused between Aquatica and Discovery Cove.

Aquatica and Discovery Cove offer very different experiences that complete each other.

While Aquatica is all about thrilling water rides and a theme park feel, Discovery Cove offers unique marine life experiences in a calmer setting.

If you are under a budget and still wish to enjoy both parks, opt for the Aquatica + Discovery Combo tickets to get up to 10% discounts on individual entry tickets.

How to Choose Between Aquatica vs Discovery Cove Orlando

Choosing between Aquatica and Discovery Cove in Orlando depends on your preferences for adventure, budget, and crowd comfort.

Aquatica is ideal for those who love thrilling water slides and a classic water park vibe, offering more affordable entry prices but drawing larger crowds.

Discovery Cove caters to those looking for a quieter, more exclusive experience with unique interactions like dolphin encounters.

Even though Discovery Cove tickets cost more than Aquatic, with added perks and limited daily guests for a serene atmosphere, it is worth it.

Consider the time you have and the experiences you seek.

Aquatica fills a full day with diverse slides and pools, suitable for families with children.

Discovery Cove, while possibly requiring less than a full day, provides a peaceful retreat, perfect for adults or those seeking intimate encounters with marine life.

Your choice should align with your adventure type, budget, and whom you’re traveling with, ensuring a memorable Orlando visit.

Ticket Prices

The entry ticket to Aquatica Orlando is $61 per person (ages 3 to 99). 

Children ages 2 and below enjoy free access to the theme park. 

While a Discovery Cove entry ticket costs you $208 per visitor. 

If you cannot decide which theme park to hit first, we suggest you do both! 

While it may look expensive to visit both, we have a great Seaworld Florida Multi Park Pass that lets you visit both parks at a discounted price of $148!

Aquatica vs Discovery Cove Orlando Features

Aquatica Orlando and Discovery Cove Orlando are water-themed parks in Orlando, Florida, but they offer different experiences and attractions.

Both parks offer unique experiences and are perfect for beating the heat and having fun in the water. 

In this section, we will explore the distinctive features of each park, allowing you to decide which one suits your preferences and interests.

Features of Aquatica Orlando

Aquatica Orlando is a vibrant water park with thrilling rides, relaxing pools, and exciting water attractions. 

From heart-pounding water slides to lazy rivers and wave pools, Aquatica offers a wide range of activities for adrenaline junkies and those seeking a more leisurely experience.

Here are some features and attractions you can expect to find at Aquatica Orlando:

Water Slides

  • Riptide Race: The world’s tallest dueling water slide, featuring a high-speed race through twists, turns, and drops.
  • Omaka Rocka: A unique water slide that combines high-speed tubes and half-pipe funnels.

Wave Pools

  • Cutback Cove: A giant wave pool where you can enjoy the rolling waves and swim or relax on the sandy beach.
  • Big Surf Shores: Another wave pool offering calmer waves, perfect for swimming and bodyboarding.

Lazy Rivers

  • Loggerhead Lane: A relaxing lazy river where you can float in inner tubes, passing through waterfalls and lush landscapes.
  • Roa’s Rapids: A faster-paced lazy river with rushing currents featuring geysers and water elements.

Water Play Areas

  • Tuki’s Kid Cove: A play area designed for younger guests with smaller slides, water spouts, and shallow pools.
  • Walkabout Waters: A massive interactive play structure with slides, water cannons, and a giant bucket that periodically dumps water.

Cabanas and Private Rentals

Aquatica offers cabanas and premium seating areas for guests who want to enjoy private space, shade, and additional amenities.

Food and Dining

Aquatica Orlando has various dining options throughout the park, including cafes, snack stands, and dining areas.

Features of Discovery Cove Orlando

On the other hand, Discovery Cove Orlando is a unique park that provides a more intimate and immersive experience, focusing on up-close encounters with marine life. 

Here, you can swim with dolphins, snorkel among colorful fish, and relax on pristine beaches. 

With limited daily admission, Discovery Cove ensures a tranquil and exclusive atmosphere. 

Discovery Cove is ideal for those seeking a more personal connection with nature.

Discovery Cove Orlando is a unique all-inclusive day resort that offers a variety of features and experiences. 

Here are some of the key features of Discovery Cove Orlando:

Dolphin Swim

One of the main highlights at Discovery Cove is the opportunity to interact with dolphins personally. 

With the Discovery Cove entry ticket, guests can participate in a 30-minute dolphin swim experience without paying any additional fee. 

In this, they can swim, play, and interact with these amazing marine mammals under the guidance of trainers.

Snorkeling in The Grand Reef

The Grand Reef is a stunning tropical reef where guests can snorkel among colorful fish, rays, and even sharks (in a safe and controlled environment). 

Snorkeling equipment and instruction are provided to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Explorer’s Aviary

This lush aviary is home to a wide range of exotic birds. 

Guests can walk through the aviary and interact with the birds, feed them, and even have them perch on their arms or shoulders.

Freshwater Oasis

The Freshwater Oasis is a relaxing oasis where guests can wade through clear springs, encounter playful otters, and explore marmoset island. 

It offers a tranquil and immersive experience with freshwater wildlife.

Serenity Bay

Serenity Bay is a private, secluded beach area where guests can relax on lounge chairs and enjoy the sun and the tropical surroundings. 

It’s a perfect spot for unwinding and enjoying the serene atmosphere.

Freshly Prepared Meals

All-inclusive admission to Discovery Cove includes unlimited food and beverages throughout the day. 

Guests can enjoy a delicious breakfast and lunch buffet, snacks, and drinks throughout the park.

Animal Encounters and Exhibits

Discovery Cove features other animal encounters and exhibits besides dolphins and birds. 

Guests can explore the Ray Lagoon, where they can touch and feed rays, or visit the Coral Reef, home to various marine species, including colorful fish and rays.

It’s important to note that Discovery Cove Orlando operates on a reservation system to ensure a limited number of guests each day.

Availability may be limited, so making reservations in advance is recommended. Click here to book your place now!

Aquatica vs Discovery Cove Orlando – Where do You Get the Best Experience

Aquatica is known for its wide array of thrilling water slides and rides, including the Dolphin Plunge, Ihu’s Breakaway Falls, and Taumata Racer.

The park features wave pools where you can enjoy the excitement of bobbing in the waves or lounging on the sandy beaches.

Aquatica offers attractions for the entire family, such as lazy rivers, splash zones, and children’s play areas.

One of the highlights of Discovery Cove is the opportunity to have a personal encounter with dolphins, including swimming and interacting with them.

Discovery Cove offers a more tranquil and relaxing experience than traditional water parks. 

It limits the number of guests daily, ensuring a more intimate environment.

The park has a large saltwater lagoon where you can snorkel and swim alongside various tropical fish, rays, and sharks.

Discovery Cove features an expansive aviary where you can observe and interact with colorful birds. 

It also has other animal exhibits, such as marmosets and otters.

Aquatica might be your better choice if you’re seeking a more adrenaline-fueled experience with thrilling water slides and a focus on water-based attractions. 

If you prefer a calmer and more intimate environment, Discovery Cove is the place for you, with opportunities for dolphin encounters and snorkeling with marine life.

Location of the Parks

Aquatica Orlando and Discovery Cove Orlando are two separate water parks owned by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. 

Aquatica Orlando is a water park at 5800 Water Play Way, Orlando, FL 32821, USA. Get Directions.

Discovery Cove Orlando is located at 6000 Discovery Cove Way, Orlando, FL 32821, United States. Get directions.

The approximate walking distance between the two parks is around 0.3 miles (0.48 kilometers), making it a short distance five to ten minutes walk. 

Opening Hours of the Parks

Aquatica Orlando’s opening hours vary between 9 am to 10 am throughout the year, depending on the season. 

Similarly, Aquatica Orlando‘s closing time varies between 5 pm to 6 pm. 

Discovery Cove is open from 7 am to 5 pm throughout the year.

ParkOpening Hours Closing time
Aquatica OrlandoBetween 9 am to 10 amBetween 5 pm to 6 pm
Discovery Cove Orlando7 am5 pm

Expected Crowd

Generally, Aquatica Orlando tends to be more crowded during peak tourist seasons, such as summer vacations and holidays. 

Weekends can also be busier compared to weekdays. 

However, it’s important to note that crowd levels can be unpredictable and vary daily.

Discovery Cove Orlando is known for providing a more exclusive experience than traditional theme parks, as they limit the number of guests daily. 

This approach is designed to maintain a more intimate and immersive environment.

FAQs About Aquatica vs Discovery Cove

1. What age is best for Discovery Cove?

Guests of all ages are welcomed at Discovery Cove. 

Children ages 6-12 must be accompanied by a paying adult

2. What is the best month to go to Discovery Cove?

Discovery Cove is open all year round. 

Visiting Discovery Cove between April and November for warmer water temperatures is great!

3. Can you still swim with dolphins at Discovery Cove?

Discovery Cove provides an exceptional chance for you and your family to engage in various activities. 

These activities include swimming with dolphins, snorkeling with numerous tropical fish and rays, feeding exotic birds by hand, and relaxing on unspoiled beaches.

4. Can you take pictures at Discovery Cove?

Personal cameras and video equipment are allowed in all park areas except for the dolphin and shark interactions. 

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About the author

Harshitha’s heart lies where greeny mountains meet stretches of beach. She believes getting lost is the best way to explore