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Dive Review of Epcot Dive Quest/Hampton Inn in
The Continental USA/Orlando, FL

December, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by Dan Huthwaite, VA, United States
Reviewer   (3 reports)
Report Number 5328
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
51-100 dives
Where else diving
Florida Keys, South Florida Coast, Barbados, Cozumel, Red Sea
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

calm, no currents  
Water Temp
78   to 78    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
175   to 200    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Dive was 40 minutes max but you could pretty much do as you pleased during
that time.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  2 stars
Large Fish
5 stars  
Large Pelagics
  4 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Cameras were not allowed in the tank.  The only equipment you could bring
was your mask.  They provided everything else.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
5 stars   
5 stars    
I checked my Chapbooks back to 2003 and did not find an entry on this dive
location. I may be the first to list Orlando, FL as a dive location.  No,
not in a lake or a sinkhole but in a 5.7 million gallon aquarium at Epcot. 
I was on a dive weekend to Pompano beach in mid-December and planned on
diving there all day Friday and Saturday.  Friday was nice, with a bit of
chop but on Saturday there wasn't one operator from Palm Beach to Ft.
Lauderdale that was going out.  So what to do?  A diver friend of mine that
lives in Florida mentioned to me that the dive shop he works at makes
frequent trips to Epcot to dive their Living Seas exhibit.  I called them
up Friday night and they actually had space available on Saturday's 5:30 pm
dive so I checked out of my hotel in Pompano and checked in at a Hampton
Inn close to Epcot.  I was informed that I needed to be at the guest entry
near the lost and found no later than 5:15 with my mask.  Upon arriving I
found about a half dozen other divers waiting as well.  This dive is open
to divers 10 and up.  Youngin's need a diving parent to accompany them. 
Exhibit staff members for the Epcot dive program came out, had us sign
release forms, checked C-cards, took down our shoe and wetsuit sizes and
then took us on a behind the scenes tour of the facilities. Very
impressive.  Until the Atlanta aquarium was completed this used to be the
largest in the country.  203 ft in diameter by 25 ft. deep (every inch of
depth is about 25,000 gallons of water), 8 inch thick plexiglass windows
filled with spectators and one restaurant, 200 ft viz and loads of marine
life.  You suit up in a very nice locker room then head to the tank area
where a DM provides the briefing then in we go for 40 minutes of swimming
with sand tigers, huge turtles, rays of all kinds. schooling tarpon and on
and on.  It was awesome.  And those that had family members on the other
side of the glass could ham it up for them.  They have a videographer in
the water that films your experience and you can purchase DVDs for $35
afterwards.  While $175 is pretty steep for a 40 minute dive with no boat,
every diver should do this at least once.  It's well worth the money and
they use the proceeds to support their ocean environmental awareness
program.  They do several dives each weekend and the tour, including the
dive lasts about 3 hours.  Hot showers and towels were available post dive.
 Very nice people, top drawer operation, highly recommended.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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