Discovery Cove’s Sea Venture

While enjoying our day at Discovery Cove, our entire family participated in the Sea Venture experience.  My mother had a similar experience on a cruise excursion and said it was a unique experience that we shouldn’t miss.  I wasn’t nervous about it at all until I saw the safety video and signed the papers – they kept saying how important it was to breath normally, made us all wonder why we wouldn’t breath normally.  I kept telling myself that it is only 20 minutes and there are quite a few divers there to make sure everything is fine.

The experience is in the Grand Reef, the same waterway where you can snorkel all day long.  You are required to wear a wet suit for this experience so we got our wet suits when we were passing by the area after our 1st lunch.  In August these can be a bit hot so we just tried them on and then left them 1/2 way down until we checked in.

We purchased an underwater camera safe up to 65 feet for our trip (review to come) but if you do not have an underwater camera, Discovery Cove will loan you one and allow you to purchase the pictures after your experience.

Only 9 people are in each group and your group time is scheduled as you arrive to Discovery Cove in the morning.  Note: If you are in the water when there is bad weather, they will take you out and then let you complete your experience after the weather has passed.

The helmet is heavy but you don’t notice it under the water.  All of us felt differently about the helmet.  Of course, it is necessary to have the air to breathe and to keep the water out of the helmet but it is loud and a very unique experience.  I had to belch every few minutes to alleviate a tightness in my chest, my husband felt the need to take a deep breath every few minutes and the kids didn’t have either of those problems.  My daughters both had pony tails and they both advise a low pony tail for the experience.

The helmet has a weird shape.  If you are looking forward you can see very well.  But, you can also see some things in your peripheral vision – so you naturally turn toward it.  Nope, can’t see it until you turn your entire body.  You have to turn your entire body to see the person beside you.   Along with the slow movement, this was a little strange.

There are divers leading you around while you are under the water.  They taught us all some signals before we walked down the ladder and they used them to make sure we were all ok.  They also used an erasable writing pad to tell us information about what we were seeing.  They even took lots of pictures on our camera for us.

We were able to hold several underwater animals and the divers fed the fish while we were all standing there under the water.  The fish were all around us – if you are a little bit claustrophobic or “fish” phobic, you will have a problem with this because there are lots fish and they are very close to you.  The large ray even swam by us while we were underwater.

 

This experience is an add-on and begins at $49 (price depends upon the day you attend).  I know that if you are able to participate in something like this event as a Cruise Excursion, it will cost more.

All 5 of us felt like this was a great addition to the day (even my teenager who paid for this part himself) and we recommend that you add this to your day at Discovery Cove.

I just ordered a key-chain diver’s helmet to use for this year’s Christmas Ornament — family tradition to get a new ornament from our vacation each year.  I will put the link at the bottom of the post so you can see it — it looks super cute.

Please call us or click the link to Discovery Cove on our website to schedule your day (we receive a small referral commission at no extra cost to you which will  help pay our website costs).  If you are not a Florida Resident, please do not reserve your space at those rates but click to the regular page as Discovery Cove requires your Driver’s license or State ID when you enter.

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Discover Discovery Cove

I have wanted to go to Discovery Cove since it opened and it FINALLY happened!  Our family spent the day in paradise.  Before purchasing our tickets, we discussed the different packages and the availability of private cabanas as a family and we decided that this is probably a once-in-a-lifetime event.  We decided to splurge and purchase the Elite package (more on packages in a different post) which includes a private cabana.

A friend told me to “arrive when it opens and stay until they put you out” – she was right!.  Although the waterways do not open until 8:30, breakfast is served early and the doors open at 7:15 am.  We arrived in the parking lot by 7:30 am and the line to enter was very long, we must have been one of the last people to arrive since the line was not very long behind us.  We stood in line for about 30 minutes but it was always moving and the foliage was beautiful.  Although the park was almost full to capacity, it was the only line we stood in all day long.

An excellent variety of good food was available for breakfast.  The empty coffee

Continue reading Discover Discovery Cove

Sloth coloring book for adults: (Animal Coloring Books for Adults)


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Walt Disney World – Ohana Dinner Feast Review

Ohana signThe Ohana at Walt Disney World’s Polynesian Village Resort is a table service restaurant located on the second floor facing the Seven Seas Lagoon. All the food at Walt Disney World is expensive so is it worth while to splurge with table service? On our last visit (more here) we decided to celebrate a birthday with dinner at Ohana. We looked at several other restaurants but the menu and atmosphere interested us. We did make a reservation. None were available online for the dates we were on property so I called and talked to an agent. They found us a table and while the 8:30 p.m. time was later than we normally eat it worked out fine. Continue reading Walt Disney World – Ohana Dinner Feast Review

Walt Disney World – the Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness

Fort Wilderness at Walt Disney WorldWe love trying out different Disney Resorts. Staying on property is always fun and offers great benefits like free parking and Extra Magic Hours (Each day of the week, resort guests can enter a park one hour earlier or stay in a park up to two hours later than normal park operating hours.) As Florida Resident Annual Passholders we are often able to get special discounts on rooms. For this trip of three nights we chose the Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness. Continue reading Walt Disney World – the Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness

Epcot – Test Track

It has been a long time since I rode Test Track because we are line snobs and refuse to wait more than 30 minutes in a line but this visit we were able to get Fast Passes !!

Once again, in true Disney fashion, the wait is fun!  You get to create your own car for the test.  We started off creating a beautiful car and then we noticed that it had ratings on the top so we began paying attention to the ratings.  Then we noticed the countdown and had to hurry to complete the car.  Your magic band remembers your car.

While you are on the ride, signs show the car rankings.  Ours didn’t show because I didn’t press my magic band to the scanner at the correct time, instead I was moving out of the way so a man could take a picture of his wife on the ride.

Here is a ‘hidden’ gem.  Don’t just leave after the ride, more fun stuff awaits!

After you get off the ride, you have the opportunity to create a commercial using your car and it is emailed to you.  Here is the link to our commercial – warning, the car is not beautiful!  http://parklink.disney.go.com/media/ap/parklink/cards/testtrackvideo/video.html#testtrackvideo/2017-01-23/1f7522986a198095

After you leave that area, you can take pictures on cars and virtual cars – once again having them emailed to you.  Taking a picture with a virtual car is not easy.  Taking a picture with a real car is so much easier but still not easy!

Disney’s new Epcot Festival of the Arts — The Workshops & Seminars

This new festival celebrates the Arts and has both paid and complementary workshops.  I attended two complementary workshops – one on Henna and one on Photography.

Although the workshops are complementary, there are a limited number of tickets.  We arrived about 45 minutes early to get our tickets and had no problems getting a ticket but it was a Monday and they had waiting areas for tickets setup so it could have been more crowded over the weekend.

Both workshops were run by Disney employees who had worked with Disney for quite awhile and were very knowledgeable about their areas.  Both workshops were informative and entertaining and worth the time to attend.

Check out the remaining workshops for this festival here: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/events-tours/epcot/epcot-international-festival-of-the-arts-seminars-workshops/

Disney’s new Epcot Festival of the Arts — The Food

Disney has a new Festival — Festival of the Arts.  It seems like they are always trying something new to get us to spend our day (and money) at Epcot!  This festival takes place Friday-Monday until February 20th.

This festival isn’t quite as large as the Food and Wine Festival but it is still fun.

Neopolitan — Chocolate, Vanilla and Strawberry — Beer that is.  Cost $9.  Just had to give this one a try.

The strawberry was very sweet and the chocolate had a hint of chocolate flavor.  My daughter thought it tasted like coffee but I did not.  Neither of us cared much for the vanilla.

We then walked around the World Showcase to see what the festival was all about.  There are pavilions set up all around featuring different artists and foods.  The art was varied and included the original piece and some less expensive prints.  It was quite windy so none of the artists were able to demonstrate their work but they were all out talking to the people.

The food, of course, was good.  We had some Mexican food with sangria.

The food was excellent (under $20 for both items ) but the sangria was very sweet. It took us so long to drink the sangria that we didn’t purchase any other food or drink until we had completed our walk of the entire showcase.

After a breezy walk where we teased each other about being from Florida and freezing in 45 degree weather, we found a coffee I could not pass without trying.  Although the coffee was good ($10), it was small and not mixed well.

The food is delightful to the eye and I wish we could have sampled more.  I will be going back and I will be trying some of their beautiful food.

Here is a link to look at the food options during the festival: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/events-tours/epcot/epcot-international-festival-of-the-arts-culinary/

A better way to shave on the road.

Most men shave every day and when I travel, especially to remote locations in Mexico and Central America and to other areas outside of the United States, I find it a pain to take the supplies.

Let’s review the options:

  1. electric razor – I have one but it needs to be charged regularly and that is a problem in remote areas or where the power isn’t the same as the United States.
  2. Regular bar or liquid soap – Not a good option for me at least. Dries my face out, doesn’t lather up or help lubricate my beard so I am a lot more likely to nick and cut myself.
  3. can of shaving cream – The full size aerosol can is too big and heavy for carry-on luggage, I think the small travel can is expensive and doesn’t last. In checked baggage you have to consider what if the top accidentally gets pressed? Now we have to do laundry.

So I started researching and testing other options out.  And now you get the benefit of all that research and testing!

I found solid shaving soap. After trying several different ones I now use a Arko Shaving Soap Stick. It’s small, light and doesn’t require I carry a shaving brush. I carry it in a ziplock bag and just wet my face, rub the open end of the Arko over my beard and then use my wet hands to lather my face up.  It provides a nice shave and I don’t have to worry about shaving cream all over my suitcase.

If you want to take an Arko stick on your next trip, you can use the link below to order it from Amazon at a very reasonable price.

Arko Shaving Soap Stick, White, Pack of 2, 75g each