The fat girls guide to some of Orlando's Theme Parks 2 of 3

I had mixed feelings about going to Discovery Cove. I wanted to be excited about it. Hubby had arranged it as a surprise. He knows how much I love Dolphins and thought it would be amazing to swim with them for our anniversary. However, my first thoughts were, I have to wear a bathing suit, near other humans?!?!? AHHHHHHHH! I didn’t want to hurt his feels but I had panic attacks every time I thought about it. I mean, people are already rude and disgusted by fully clothed fat people, what would they say when I am walking around half naked?

First I have to say that Discovery Cove is absolutely beautiful. When I walked in I feel like I was instantly transported to a tropical island resort. It is complete with Lush Gardens, beautiful water all around, and a very helpful staff. At check in the randomly assigned you a swim time with the dolphins. Our happen to be the first round (Damn us for being early!) which was at 10am. This meant we needed to rush through breakfast and get into our suits. After check they had an orientation about the park. I guide showed us where everything was and what was included in our day. He then said the dreaded words: everyone who swims in any of our water activities must wear a wet suit or swim vest that they will provide for us. Of course my first thought is: I will never fit into a wet suit. My second thought was: I am going to look like a beached manatee in that thing if I can ever get it over my thighs!

After they give us the spiel about the park rules and such they ushered us over to the lockers where we are assigned a locker and then stood in line for a wet suit. I decided on the wet suit over the swim vest because more of me would be covered. I originally wanted to wear a cover up into the water but it would not have fit over the swim vest. There was now way I wanted my thighs in plain site all day. As my turn approached I was greeted by a friendly girl who handed me a wet suit and said this should be about your size. Then quietly said, if not, come back and I will get you another one. I was happy I didn't have to ask for my size because I didn't know what it would be. I tried on the 2x suit but decided it was too tight. I went back and before I even asked her she had the 3x ready for me. I loved that they were so discreet and kind. I later learned that they had wet suits all the way up to 18x. I never had to worry that one wouldn't fit. The 3x fit fine but was not flattering. The suits were made to cling to your body and keep you warm. It also clung to your rolls and made you embarrassed. However after about an hour in the suit I forgot all about it and just enjoyed my time there.

Once we were done getting our suits on we went to eat breakfast. The breakfast choices they had weren't too healthy. The served cinnamon rolls, Danish, doughnuts, croissants, bagels, and sugary cereal. My saving grace was they did have apples and raisin bran so this is what I picked. Hubby was not so good; he can never resist a cinnamon roll. Before we knew it, it was almost 10am. We rushed off to our dolphin swim.

The Dolphin swim was completely magical. After showing us a 15min video we walked over to the dolphin pool. The water was freezing. I was glad to have the wetsuit. As the dolphin swan up to us, I was in heaven. The beauty and grace these creatures have is amazing. Being up close and personal with them was worth every penny. The first 15 mins we spent petting the dolphin and learning different commands. We were able to give different signals so she would do flips, turns, and more. Next the was the point where you get to go to the deep end of the pool and grab onto the dolphins dorsal fins has she pulls you along. I was afraid I would be too heavy and hurt the dolphin. Of course the trainer asks me to be first. As I grabbed onto the fin and started to get pulled I realized there was no need for worry. She was so strong. My water shoes even feel off in the process because we were going to fast. It was a piece of cake. Next was picture time with the Dolphins and it was over. I could have stayed with them all day. I recommend it to anyone.

The other attractions at the park were a gorgeous man made coral reef complete with sunken pirate ship, an aviary, a lazy river, and a sting ray tank. All of the attractions were perfect for anyone at any size. The lunch options were far healthier than the breakfast ones. I had grilled salmon with veggies and a potato. The other options were: Grilled Chicken, Chicken Caesar Salad, Garden Salad, Chicken Fingers, Mac & Cheese, Hamburgers and Hot Dogs. If you can, definitely wear water shows. If not you can get cut up a little in the coral reef and there are some slippery parts in the lazy river. Also bring an underwater camera.

In the end it was a perfect day in paradise.

The next day we would be headed to Aquatica Water Park.

To be continued...


  1. Great summary and congrats to you for making healthy choices!

  2. Thank you for this post. My hubby and daughter want to go to Discovery Cove and swim with the dolphins. As a fat woman, I'm not thrilled (although when I was not fat, I would have loved it!). So, reading your post helped me realize it's about the experience and not about my shape. I'm so glad to know that they have large size wetsuits! That removes a lot of fear and trepidation.

  3. Thank you so much for this post. My husband is also planning a trip to make my dream come true to swim with the manatees. And I am having the same panic attacks you experienced. I'm terrified to wear a wetsuit in front of others, let alone a swimsuit (at 270 pounds). Ugh!