Discovery Cove Celebrates 15 Years of Milestone Moments on July 1

This summer, Discovery Cove will celebrate 15 years of operation in Orlando, and it still continues to thrill guests.

Discovery Cove Orlando dolphin

When the park first opened on July 1, 2000, it was an anomaly in the world of Orlando theme parks: a reservation-only experience limited to approximately 1,000 guests per day.

At 15 acres, Discovery Cove opened with three signature experiences: guests could swim with dolphins, snorkel with rays and tropical fish, and hand feed exotic birds. Since then, it has expanded to more than 22 acres, and added signature experiences like The Grand Reef.

Here is a list of milestone moments for Discovery Cove:

  • In 2013 and 2014, rated the “#1 Amusement Park in the World” in the TripAdvisor® Travelers’ Choice™ awards
  • Opened The Grand Reef®, which contains more than 10,000 tropical fish and dozens of rays
  • Added SeaVenture®, where guests can experience an underwater guided walking tour
  • Opened Freshwater Oasis® with playful Asian otters and curious marmoset monkeys
  • Witnessed hundreds of significant animal births and hatchings, from dolphins to birds to sharks
  • Pioneered the first C-section on a shark
  • Hosted thousands of marriage proposals, birthdays, military homecomings, bucket-list wishes, and more
  • Participated in conservation initiatives such as Rising Tide, which helps protect reef ecosystems

“Throughout the parks 15-year history, the Discovery Cove team has provided millions of guests the opportunity to connect with and be inspired by amazing animals in an environment like no other in the world,” said Stewart Clark, Discovery Cove vice president.

Park fans are encouraged to share photos of their favorite memories using #15YearsofDiscovery on Facebook and Instagram. To be a part of the celebration and to book a reservation, visit

About Michelle Snow

Michelle is the owner and editor of CitySurfing Orlando. She also owns, is a freelance writer specializing in travel and entertainment, and has authored/co-authored four guidebooks on Orlando and Florida. She lives in Orlando near Disney, and hears Magic Kingdom fireworks every night.
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