Will I ever get a day I can sleep in? Probably not. Between my body being used to being up so early in the morning and the fact that in Orlando if you snooze you loose. I would probably not be getting any extra sleep till this trip is over and I am okay with that.
Today should be a fun day. Today is one of the day’s my daughter was looking forward to the most. Today we would be going to Discovery Cove. We went last year and had a blast. This year would be the same. We would just have an extra person with us this time.
I was up a little before 5 and I had to wake my daughter up at 6. We would be leaving a little before 7 to held over to the park so we can check in right when they open. We already had our tickets but I wanted to try and beat the crowd.
A little before seven we were off and heading to Discovery Cove. I put the address into Google Maps but I didn’t really need to. A lot of places around this area I know how to get to now. After all, I have been driving down here for the last six years or so.
We got to Discovery Cove a little before 0730 and the parking lot already had a decent amount of cars in it. The line to get in was also out the door and heading down the sidewalk. It already seemed much busier today than it was when we went last year.
Unlike last year (read about that here), we would not be swimming with the dolphins. It was a lot of fun but since we already did it once I didn’t see a point in doing it again. Swimming with the fish again does make sense. Plus now my mother gets to check it out too.
Even though the line was out the door and halfway down the sidewalk it moved quick. Every single station had someone there checking people in. Before we knew it we were all checked in and heading to find a locker for the day.
I grabbed a locker near the Grand Reef since we would be spending most of our day there. It was still too early to head into the Grand Reef so our first stop was for breakfast. Breakfast, Lunch, snacks, and drinks were all included with admission and boy is the food good.
The line for breakfast wasn’t long at this point which was great news for us. I was hungry and ready to have a good breakfast and Discovery Cove did deliver on that. I remember it being slightly different last year but it was still basically the same. Plenty of hot food, fruit, muffins, cereal, and more.
We got our food and made our way out to find a table. Even though the line for food wasn’t long, finding a table was a little more challenging. However, we did quickly find a table. We just had to wait for coffee.
Both coffee pots were out of coffee so we had to wait. They did replace them pretty quickly and we were off enjoying our breakfast. We all really enjoyed breakfast. Perhaps my favorite thing was the breakfast potatoes. They were cooked perfectly but the rest of breakfast was good too.
After we ate breakfast we went back to the locker area to grab our wetsuits. I grabbed a vest just like I did last year. I didn’t want to try and squeeze my fat but into a wetsuit. My daughter and mother both got wetsuits.
At this point it was a little after 0830 and I thought the water areas didn’t open till 9. We walked down to check out the little gift shop and show my mom where the snack shakes were at. We also walked by the dolphin lagoon and headed towards the Grand Reef.
When we got to the Grand Reef we saw that people were already in the water. Now I thought we had at least 15 more minutes to wait but I guess I was wrong. We found my mom a life vest. Not because she can’t swim but because she wanted to float around. There were lots of people with them on this time. I don’t remember seeing too many adults having them on last year.
We started to head into the lagoon and boy is it cold. In the afternoon when the sun has been beating down on you it feels really nice. Although, it is still pretty cold even than. You wouldn’t think that water in the upper 70’s would feel freezing but it does.
Good thing we had the wetsuits. We must have spent an hour swimming around the Grand Reef. We had thousands of fish swimming around us. All you have to do is look down and you will see tons.
Good luck trying to touch a ray. Those things sure do know how to dodge everyone and I mean everyone. It’s like they see in “bullet time” from the Matrix and can just move quickly to dodge all the hands.
You can touch the rays in the Grand Reef. However, you cannot and should not touch any of the fish. Even if you try the fish will swim away anyway.
After our grand tour around the Grand Reef we headed over to the “lazy” river. The Wind-Away River is a great area to relax in the water as you go around. It just stinks that they don’t have tubes. Instead they have these long floats that you can hang onto.
It’s a good thing too. Some of the areas on the river go to eight feet deep and you don’t float in the fresh water like you do in the salt water. Now as we went under the waterfall and into the bird area my daughter remembered she wanted to go back in there and feed the birds.
I told her we would do that once we finished going around the river. I swear she started to move faster so we could go into the Explorer’s Aviary. However, before we got out of the river we checked out Marmoset Island in the freshwater oasis.
We had a little trouble at first locating those little guys but once we found one we saw two more. They are cute little guys I do have to say. The little marmosets were just running around amongst the trees. We stayed and watched them for a few more minutes before we headed off to see the birds.
On our way to the birds we stopped at a snack shack to grab a quick drink and some chips. There was a couple of these located around Discovery Cove and they all had the same things. It is really nice to be able to grab a quick snack on your way to the next destination.
Once we had our snacks and drinks we headed into the Explorer’s Aviary. Today, well at least at this time the birds didn’t seem too hungry. Maybe it was too early. Who knows but we did get some birds to get food from us.
This whole area is really neat. There are so many birds around and they fly, feet from your head. If you’re not careful they might even hit you. You can even see the birds as you are floating along the river.
I do have to say I don’t remember seeing all of these different birds last time. I remember a few of the different types but there were many I don’t remember seeing last time. Maybe I missed a whole section before.
Once we were done in the Aviary it was almost lunch time. When we walked by the Laguna Grill it was starting to get busy for lunch. We decided to take another stroll through the Grand Reef before we had lunch.
I do feel that the Grand Reef is my favorite part of Discovery Cove. I think both my daughter and mother liked the river a little more. Either way we were all having an amazing time. Plus the weather was holding up for us nicely. Sure it was hot but no storm clouds in sight.
After our little tour of the Grand Reef we made our way to Laguna Grill for lunch. The place was much busier now and trying to find a table took a couple of minutes. We did eventually find a table even if it was a bit lopsided.
Lunch I feel was even better this time than it was last year. The steak was cooked perfectly. Not bad considering the amount of steak they must serve here.
The pasta salads were delicious along with everything else we tried. Boy did we try a lot of different things Laguna Grill had to offer. I do think that the dessert was my favorite though. I wish I went and tried them all but the cheesecake that I had was amazing.
My daughter did sneak up and grab another one. Not that she needed to sneak back up there but she did. We each had our own cheesecake to enjoy and we shared a piece of their delicious and moist chocolate cake.
After lunch we walked around a little to walk off lunch. When we were in the one shop she found a cute little sloth bag and stuffed animal that she wanted to get for her friend. We didn’t get it yet but we did stop before we left for the day.
We were once again heading towards the Grand Reef to take another dip. While the water still felt cold getting into it. It was a nice relief since the air temp was above 90 at this point. Outside of the water you were sweating. In the water it was nice and cool.
We swam around for a good amount of time. My mother kept herself close to the shoreline or sitting on a chair. Every once in a while she would get about knee deep and cool off.
We ended up seeing so many fish. They seemed more active this time than last year. Same thing with the sharks. They were really moving around today. It was a really good day and it wasn’t even over yet.
I mean we were going to be leaving soon. Just not yet. Plus my daughter and my mother both wanted to go around the river again. So that is exactly what we did.
The water here was much more warmer than in the Grand Reef. However, it was still nice and refreshing. Like I said before, I just wish they had tubes.
I didn’t let it get me down though. Of course, my daughter didn’t care either way. She was just diving down deep and swimming around. She just loves the water. She would live in it if I let her.
The two of them ended up going around twice. I only did it the one time. It was almost time for us to get going and I wanted to get a couple more pictures before we left.
We ended up leaving a little after 1530 and headed back to Aventura Hotel at Universal. By the time we got back to the hotel we decided to change and head to Islands of Adventure and try to get on a couple of rides and get our picture taken with the raptor.
It was a really hot walk to Islands of Adventure. Thankfully, most of the Garden Walk is in the shade. I almost wished there was more cloud cover but if there was it would probably rain.
Luckily, we didn’t get hit with any rain today. It seemed like most of the rain was over at Walt Disney World. Discovery Cove and Universal were both spared today. Good thing too because I forget my umbrella in the car.
Islands of Adventure wasn’t too busy when we got here. It seemed like most people were at Universal Studios but since they were closing a little early tonight, I figured Islands would get busier as the night went on.
We got to ride Forbidden Journey in Hogsmeade and my mom got to go through the line with us. She wasn’t even going to attempt to try and ride this one. I can’t blame her either. I sometimes get a little dizzy when I get off.
Luckily, I didn’t feel dizzy after this ride. My daughter did though. To be fair the ride did seem to toss us around a little more this time than it has in the past. Of course, they could just be me. Who really knows.
The raptor encounter was closed for the night so we would have to try again tomorrow. VelociCoaster was also down at the moment but Hagrid’s was up and running but had a long, long wait. From here we just headed over to Dr. Seuss Island and did all the rides there.
Most of the Dr. Seuss rides had a five or ten minute wait, which we just loved. We wanted to get a couple of rides done tonight since tomorrow would be our last day at Universal. The time on this trip has been flying by so far. But every moment has been great.
We hung around Islands of Adventure till night fall. I wanted to get a couple of pictures at IOA at night time which I did end up doing. I’m just not a fan of how they turned out.
As it was starting to get dark we made our way to the exit for some ice cream than back to the hotel. Tomorrow would be another early day for the three of us. Islands of Adventure opens at 8 tomorrow morning and we are planning on being there first thing in the morning.
I want to make sure my mom gets to experience the Hogwarts Express both too and from Kings Cross Station. The wait times for the train at both Islands and Universal have been insane. Half hour for Islands and an hour or longer at Universal. Hopefully tomorrow we can just get to walk on both ways. However, time will tell on that one.
Today I must say was probably my best day yet. We still had another week to go but I have a feeling this might have been my best day. Looking ahead at the forecast, I am a little worried with the heat and rain for the next seven days. Hopefully, we make out okay.