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

Epcot Dive Quest/Hampton Inn, Dec, 2009,

by Dan Huthwaite, VA, United States (Reviewer Reviewer 3 reports). Report 5328.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations N/A Food N/A
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments 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.
Websites Epcot Dive Quest   

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

Weather dry Seas calm, no currents
Water Temp 78-78°F / 26-26°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 175-200 Ft/ 53-61 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Dive was 40 minutes max but you could pretty much do as you pleased during that time.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals N/A Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 2 stars Large Fish 5 stars
Large Pelagics 4 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Cameras were not allowed in the tank. The only equipment you could bring was your mask. They provided everything else.
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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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