This weekend marked the opening of a large expansion to SeaWorld Orlando’s neighbor park Discovery Cove. The Grand Reef improves upon the previous snorkeling experience by making the fish more accessible and by adding new experiences that improve the value of a day in the all-inclusive park. With the Grand Reef, Discovery Cove has achieved the perfect balance between adventure and relaxation, a fully immersive tropical escape, yours to discover, because you deserve the best.
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“The Grand Reef takes Discovery Cove’s world-class animal encounters to an all new level — several, actually,” said Stewart Clark, the park’s vice president. “It’s what our guests expect from us, unforgettable connections with the sea and making memories that will last forever. This could only be created by Discovery Cove.”
As a visitor at the new Grand Reef, you get to decide how much of the experience you want to enjoy. You can choose to just wet your feet or go deep among the fish. Step into tranquil, shallow waters to discover a below-the-surface world teeming with sea life, or snorkel in deeper waters as thousands of exotic fish and graceful rays swim around them. The zero-entry beach makes this part of the park enjoyable by everyone.
In the following video my son Indigo was invited to feed some of the dozens of Rays that swim free in the Grand Reef. Just one of the experiences you can have without even snorkeling out into the deeper areas. Keep your eyes open for the artificial reefs. Those are actually inflatable, Discover Cove’s staff just pumps in some air in and they float away for easy cleaning. Reefs made slippery by slime was one of the most common complaints for the old reef area, but they’ve solved that problem at the Grand Reef.
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Those looking for an even more exhilarating adventure can take part in The Grand Reef’s innovative experience, SeaVenture, an underwater walking tour. Wearing dive helmets, guests find up-close excitement around every corner, each step yielding a new discovery. The adventurers will come across lionfish and sharks (safely behind massive panoramic windows), one-on-one touches with unique animals and schools of fish and gentle rays swimming by. It’s currently in pre-opening testing, but expected to fully open soon.
A walkway goes around the whole Grand Reef and affords great views of many of the special animals Discovery Cove includes. If it is your first time snorkeling in the area, I recommend taking a walk around to see what areas you’ll want to explore. Discovery Cove also has staff in the water and around the area to point out some of the animals and provide useful tips on how to best enjoy the reef.
Of course, if ultimate relaxation is what you desire, Discovery Cove has added a couple of cabanas to the new area. There you can relax with a fan, mini-fridge, and comfortable chairs between your rushes of adventure.
Whatever level of exploration best suits you, from shallow waters to deeper swimming adventures and white sandy beaches, to snorkeling among canyons inspired by reefs from around the world, Discovery Cove’s new Grand Reef has you covered.
Previously: Grand Reef Construction swims toward finish.