Monday, October 3, 2022

Discovery Cove’s Grand Reef

Discovery Cove, Orlando opened its new Grand Reef on June 10, 2011.

As the press release says, “Visitors just need to get their feet wet to enjoy The Grand Reef, or they can choose to go deep.” 

“They can step into tranquil, shallow waters to discover a below-the-surface world teeming with sea life, or they can snorkel in deeper waters as thousands of exotic fish and graceful rays swim around them.”

This fills a need. I visited Discovery Cove in its first year and felt a little bit over-protected. The wetsuits issued were essentially flotation devices and I recall that when I tried, nonetheless, to duck my head underwater, I was prevented by a staff member. Nice to see that it’s now possible to have a more immersive experience – pun intended.

I’m looking forward to seeing Discovery Cove again soon – a VIP visit to this unique SeaWorld property is part of the program for the SATE ’11 Orlando Conference, an industry gathering organized by the Themed Entertainment Association, taking place 9/22-23.


  • The Grand Reef footprint: 2.5 acre area, with close to a million gallons of water
  • Water temperature: A comfortable 77 degrees
  • Animals: Approximately 10,000 animals, representing 125 different species of fish, rays and sharks

All images courtesy Discovery Cove, SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment.

Judith Rubin
Judith Rubin
Judith Rubin ([email protected]) is a leading journalist, publicist, strategist, blogger, content marketing specialist and connector in the international attractions industry. She excels at writing about all aspects of design and technical design, production and project management. Areas of special interest include AV integration and show control, lighting design and acoustics, specialty cinema, digital video and world’s fairs. Judith has ties to numerous industry organizations. From 2005-2020 she ran communications, publications and social media for the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA). In 2013, she was honored with the TEA Service Award. She was development director of IMERSA, and co-chair of the 2014 IMERSA Summit. She was publicist for the Large Format Cinema Association in the 1990s, now part of the Giant Screen Cinema Association (GSCA) and has also contributed to the publications of PLASA, IAAPA and the International Planetarium Society. Already making her mark as a magazine and book editor, Judith joined World’s Fair magazine in 1987, which introduced her to the attractions industry. Launching as a freelancer in the mid 1990s she has contributed to dozens of publications and media outlets including Funworld, Lighting&Sound America, Sound & Communications, Urban Land, The Raconteur and The Planetarian. She joined InPark in 2010. Judith earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute. She has lived in New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area, and now makes her home in Saint Louis, where she is active in the local arts and theater community.

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