Make a dream come true and swim with dolphins

For a generation raised on the TV show Flipper, it’s a dream come true – a water park designed by marine visionaries who have recreated the complexity and beauty of life underwater in a little section of Florida. The stars of this underwater paradise known as Discovery Cove are the bottlenose dolphins that you are invited to swim and play with.

Orlando is perhaps best known as the home of Disney Florida, but visitors to the Sunshine State shouldn't leave without checking out this amazing water theme park, located right next door to SeaWorld. While Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck will entertainthe children at Disney Parks, adults will get as much joy from the underwater activities as children will at Discovery Cove.If you need an excuse to go, look no further than the doctor’s office. Psychologists say that swimming with dolphins is incredibly beneficial for humans, helping to relieve stress and boost happiness. This isn't difficult to believe, as swimming with dolphins is a dream come true for most people.

Any child over six years old can book to spend the entire day on a ‘Trainer for a Day’ package, with other children or with the family. This day includes an incredible instruction course with lots of information about dolphins before you get in the water with them. For instance, did you know that dolphins usually live for between 25-30 years? Or that they have hair on certain parts of their body? Not sure where you should or should not touch a dolphin? You will be after the ‘Trainer for a Day’ programme.

While dolphins are the highlight of any visit to Discovery Cove, they are not the only act.Visitors can also swim with a variety of sea creatures including tropical fish and stingrays, as well as interact with land mammals. One section of the park is covered by protective glass behind which underwater shark and tigerfish prowl and look at on the guests. During the shark show, a few lucky audience members are plucked from the crowd and brought into the sharks lair – but don't worry, it’s not feeding time!The sharks’ behaviour is well managed by a resident shark expert.

Another of the exciting features on offer at Discovery World is the underwater walking tour, a scuba innovation which allows you to take a casual stroll through an underwater theme park complete with giantmoray eels, reef sharks and other tropical fish. Instead of wearing scuba masks and carrying oxygen tanks, guests wear a helmet which has been specially designed to provide walkers with a constant flow of fresh air.

Advance reservations are necessary if you want to swim with dolphins,so make plans early. The all-inclusive ticket price includes admission, parking, breakfast, lunch, drinks, snacks, wetsuit and mask use. Tickets are also available that allow access to other areas of the park such as the Grand Reef and Freshwater Oasis but don't include swimming with the dolphins.