Theme Park Ranger
9:19 AM EDT, July 19, 2012
Here's a quick guide to the three major parts of Discovery Cove's new Freshwater Oasis, which opened in late June.
Incoming guests to Discovery Cove can immediately see Primate Island, home of marmosets. An up-close view awaits. But after wading to the island, folks might need to squint to see the little monkeys because they are, well, little monkeys. When full-grown, they weigh about 1 pound and stand around 10 inches tall.
A moat and grassy barrier divide humans from marmosets, who are not swimmers. But listen for their call, a cross between a bird's high-pitched peep, a wee dinosaur's roar and a car's door-ajar beep.
Asian small-clawed otters are a playful lot. You might think "hyperactive" as they go from romping on land to swimming. The design for getting nose-to-nose with the otters is fun. As people wade through the Oasis, they are on eye-level with paddling otters, seen through a clear wall.
Finally, the eye-catching Sunken Terrace beckons. Bright green lounge seats are submerged so that relaxing folks are up to their torsos in the water of the Oasis. It's like a South Beach hot spot plopped in a deep puddle. Drop in on the way to visit otters and marmosets or on the way back … or after a quick stop at the nearby bar. Beverages are allowed.
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What: New animal habitats at Discovery Cove, an all-day inclusive resort featuring interactions with dolphins, rays, exotic birds and other animals
Where: 6000 Discovery Cove Way, Orlando
When: 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily
Cost: Prices start at $229, although there are Florida-resident discounts available at times.
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