Discovery Cove, Orlando opened its new Grand Reef on June 10, 2011.
As the press release says, "Visitors just need to get their feet wet to enjoy The Grand Reef, or they can choose to go deep."
"They can step into tranquil, shallow waters to discover a below-the-surface world teeming with sea life, or they can snorkel in deeper waters as thousands of exotic fish and graceful rays swim around them."
This fills a need. I visited Discovery Cove in its first year and felt a little bit over-protected. The wetsuits issued were essentially flotation devices and I recall that when I tried, nonetheless, to duck my head underwater, I was prevented by a staff member. Nice to see that it's now possible to have a more immersive experience - pun intended.
I'm looking forward to seeing Discovery Cove again soon - a VIP visit to this unique SeaWorld property is part of the program for the SATE '11 Orlando Conference, an industry gathering organized by the Themed Entertainment Association, taking place 9/22-23.
- The Grand Reef footprint: 2.5 acre area, with close to a million gallons of water
- Water temperature: A comfortable 77 degrees
- Animals: Approximately 10,000 animals, representing 125 different species of fish, rays and sharks