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SeaWorld Texas provided me with the opportunity to swim with dolphins and meet sea lions and beluga whales in the hope that I’d share my experience with you. All opinions are mine. Thank you for supporting the brands and initiatives that support San Antonio Mom Blogs!
As you may remember, our family loves SeaWorld (and this post shares why). One of the most remarkable things about the organization is that, along with their Rescue Network Partners, they’ve rescued more than 28,000 animals in the last 50 years! I recently met one of these rescued animals, Brady, at SeaWorld’s new Discovery Point, where I slapped on a wetsuit to go for a dip with a dolphin.
Once in trouble on the Texas Gulf Coast, Brady is now a happy and healthy 17-year-old dolphin. After his rescue by SeaWorld and their partners, Brady was deemed non-releasable by the National Marine Fisheries Service. That’s when he came to SeaWorld, which became his new home. Now, he’s safe, well-cared-for, and living at Discovery Point in a new lagoon that’s twice the size of the previous dolphin habitat.
At SeaWorld, Brady’s provided with what he needs to thrive: food, friends, and enrichment. 10 feet long and weighing 500 pounds, Brady has a healthy appetite. He eats about 20 pounds of restaurant-quality fish and squid each day. And, he spends lots of time teaching people, like me, all about bottlenose dolphins and how we can make a difference for them once we leave SeaWorld. More on that in a minute. First, I know you want to see what swimming with a dolphin at Discovery Point is all about!
Now you want to swim with a dolphin too, right?!? The once-in-a-lifetime experience is just as amazing as it looks. SeaWorld’s Discovery Point is the only in-water dolphin swim in Texas. And, kids as young as six years old can get in the water (with an accompanying adult) with these incredible mammals! Two expert animal trainers guide you through your experience. Two spotters and two lifeguards are also on hand for your safety. A videographer and photographer capture your unique experience (you can purchase the videos and/or photos afterward for an additional cost) so you can remember it forever and share your dolphin swim with family and friends for years to come.
Your dolphin interaction begins at Discovery Cove where you can now reserve your dolphin swim in person (or, do that online before you arrive) and check in. This is where you’ll be outfitted with a wetsuit and water shoes and receive a safety and educational orientation to learn more about the dolphins, how they communicate, and how you’ll interact with them in the water. Then, with your heart pounding in excitement and anticipation of what’s about to happen, you’ll wade into the shallow lagoon to begin your swim. The whole interaction runs about 90 minutes, with about 30 minutes of water time. Prices start at $125 per person.
But, you don’t have to purchase a dolphin swim to experience Discovery Point. All guests are invited to visit these majestic and clever creatures from above the lagoon and down in the lower-level, underwater viewing area. You can also visit nearby Explorer’s Reef, SeaWorld’s giant, 750,000-gallon aquarium, home to more than 350 species of fish, invertebrates and amphibians, as well as five different species of sharks, ranging in age from seven to 27 years old – all of which are considered vulnerable and well on their way toward endangered status.
Interested in swimming with another sea animal during your visit? Discovery Point is also where to book and check-in for interactive experiences with beluga whales and sea lions. Once you check in, suit up, and receive your orientation, you’ll take a shuttle to their respective locations.
Back in 2012, I swam with the beautiful beluga whales and it’s something I’ll never forget. They’re timid and gentle and curious to meet you. And, I’ve been fortunate to meet the comedic sea lion too. They’re full of personality and they love to show off their skills.
Why is it important to learn about and meet these animals? The more we become educated about and connected to the amazing animals at SeaWorld, the more we, and our kids, will want to advocate for the animals living in the wild. While spending time with the bottlenose dolphins at Discovery Cove, I learned about the importance of recycling fishing line. Many, many animals in the ocean are harmed when they become dangerously tangled in fishing line people have carelessly discarded. Removing and recycling fishing lines is just one way we can begin to make a difference.
There are other important ways in which we can help our sea friends too: through legislative efforts. At SeaWorldCares.com you’ll find a page where you can sign up to learn how to contact your legislators regarding actions you and your family can take to help advocate for animals.
This summer, bring your family to Discovery Cove for a thrilling and unique experience like none you’ve ever had before. And, be sure to say hi to Brady for me!
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