The Best Water Parks in Orlando
When it comes to fun and frolics then Orlando is the world’s best fun destination. The best theme parks in the world all make an appearance. The hot Florida sun though can make it tiring to be on your feet the whole day. Fortunately, one of the best ways to cool off and continue the fun is by visiting one of the many water parks in the area. The climate is perfectly suited to spending the day in the water so we look at some of the best places that you can go to have some wet and wild fun.
The legend behind Volcano Bay tells of a mystical fish that led the Waturi people to discover this tropical island. At the pinnacle of the island sits a 200-foot volcano. The fiery God Krakatau couldn’t contain his adventurous daughter Tai Nui. She fell in love with a native, Kala. So, Krakatau banished Kala to the moon. The upset Tai Nui cries such tears that they became the ocean. Her distress caused Krakatau to relent and he pulled the earth into the sky creating the volcano so that the young lovers could reunite. His rage and jealousy remain in the volcano though.
With a backstory like that, you hope that the park lives up to it. The volcano is one of the landmarks of Orlando and can be seen for miles around. At night it spews hot lava into the air and is quite a sight. The volcano is the tallest peak in Florida, and it houses many rides for you to enjoy. The unique Krakatau Aqua Coaster is the signature ride in the park, and this takes your four-person canoe uphill (yes up!) through dark twists and turns inside the volcano before you are finally sent over a waterfall for the finale.
If you are feeling brave you can always try the Ko’kiri body plunge this will see you take a plunge over a 70degrees down a 125-foot drop to end up shooting through a pool filled with guests. If you fancy a partnered slide, then how about the fabulous Tai Nui and Kala serpentine body slides. This will see you and your partner dropped through doors simultaneously through clear intertwining tubes before splashing into the pool below.
One of the great features of this park is the TapuTapu wearable that is on offer when you first enter the park. This is a watch-like device that is waterproof (natch!) and allows you to wait in virtual lines. You can use it to, for example, queue for the Krakatau Aqua Coaster. It will then tell you how long you have to wait for your ride. In the meantime, you can chill in one of the wave pools or grab a bite to eat, and the device will notify you when it is time to ride. You are also able to link it to your credit or debit card so that you can use it to pay for everything in the park. This saves hassle fishing for wallets which can be left safely dry in the lockers.
Overall this is a fun park from Universal, their first in the area. It is well worth a visit and you will get a full day’s fun from it.
Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon
The story behind this park is that there was a huge storm that hit the resort. This flung surfboards up into the trees and scattered boats across roofs. The force of the storm was such that it impaled the Miss Tilly onto the peak of Mount Mayday. And this can be seen as the centrepiece of the park. You will find lots of fun and visual gags all over the park that relate this story to you
The showcase of the park is the ‘Crush N Gusher’ which is a water coaster. This ride will see you propelled through uphill climbs, steep drops
One of the newest and greatest attractions at the park is the ‘Miss Adventure Falls’ this is a family raft ride that sees you following the tale of treasure hunter Captain Mary Oceaner. As you zoom around the white-water rapids you will be able to spot many of the treasures that she discovered on her journey.
Time to Relax
As well as all the thrill rides there are ample things to do for the younger or less thrill-seeking members of the family. There is a large play area for kids called Ketchakiddee Cree. There are also several wave pools, and surf pools that are great for some relaxation in between the thrills. One of the best ways to see the whole park is on the lazy river, called Castaway Creek, that will see you relaxing on your inner tube as you gently meander around the park.
When it comes to making the most of the park, we recommend that you get there early and grab a couple of chairs in the shade. These are highly sought after and are worth their weight in gold. You can purchase a chair with an umbrella, or even rent a cabana but this can prove costly. Bring plenty of towels as well, as they are not free in the park. But we can recommend buying a refillable mug on-site as this will help you with drinks as well as providing a great souvenir. Finally, water shoes will help stop you from getting burnt sore feet during the day.
This is a great park with a mix of fun and relaxation, only topped by the other Disney park.
This park doesn’t have a story behind it as such, that is much more of a Disney angle. The theme here is around the South Seas and the animals that live there. It is all about showcasing some of the best aquatic animals around as you would expect from a SeaWorld resort. This is next door to the aquarium so it is easy to combine the two though there is so much to see and do, you would need a few days.
Ride with Friends
The standout ride at this park will see you racing with real dolphins. The Dolphin plunge is incredibly popular so get here early to avoid a wait. The ride will see you zipping around twists and turns before you emerge into a clear tube section where you are surrounded by Dolphins who will sometimes race alongside you as you zip through. This is a ride worth checking out.
Flushed with Fun
One of the newest rides at the park is the Ihu’s Breakaway Falls. This starts with a teasing wait on one of three trap doors. You are some 10 storeys up and whilst the staff dither to help build the anxiety you suddenly plunge down with a feeling somewhat like being hung. All three doors take you on a different ride through tubes with twists and turns that generate an effect like being flushed down a toilet as you go through corkscrews. If this is too much for you, there is a sit and go option about half-way down for the more timid riders.
There are many other fun rides, that offer the usual selection of rides that you would expect at a park such as this. As well as thrills and spills there is the usual selection of relaxing and wave pools. There are also a pair of ‘lazy river’ type rides, though unusually Roa Rapid’s is a fairly swiftly moving and longer affair. So, there are a variety of different attractions for all the family.
Fun for The Little Ones
The piece de resistance of the park is the area dedicated to the under 10’s. The Walkabout-Waters is a 15,000-foot calf-deep water playground for the kids. It goes up for three storeys and features many different water guns and hidden spraying devices. This means that even adults will not fail to get wet as they are hit by a playful child. But this means that it is impossible to not have fun.
This is a fun water park that has much to offer for the more junior members of the family. However, outside the lure of real Dolphins on the rides, there is little of notable distinction.
Disney’s Blizzard Beach
The story behind this park is that there was a freak snowstorm across Florida. When this happened, there was a rush to build a ski resort. This was completed with toboggan rides and slalom courses that you would expect at sure a resort. When the sun returned the snow melted and the park was transformed into a water park with a ski theme.
The star attraction is the ‘Summit Plummet’. This is one of the fastest water slides in the world and will see you reaching speeds of up to 55mph as you go zipping down the ride. The popularity of this ‘been-there-done-that’ ride means that you will see some long wait times so get there early. The ride is an achievement as it can be quite scary, and you will be able to buy a ‘I’ve conquered the Summit Plummet’ t-shirt after you have been on the ride.
All of the rides are themed around the different ski slopes and the whole place does resemble a failed ski resort. The red slope features the ‘Runoff Rapids’ which are an Inner-tube ride with many different options for both single and multiple riders. The purple slope rides are more themed around racing rides. This includes a twin-tube racing slide with multiple gates and heats that is well worth multiple rides as you take on the challenges.
When it comes to slowing down there are several different options. The Melt Away Bay will see you relaxing as you bob along in the rolling waves. There is also the usual lazy river type ride around the park called ‘Cross Country Creek’. This being a ski theme, there is also a chair lift which doubles duty as a people mover as well as being an attraction in and of itself. There are also areas for the younger children, but this is limited to the under 11s as it is anticipated that the older children will use the fullness of the rides at the park.
You will want to get to the park early and back your spot in the shade as it can be tricky to get one later one. This is very similar to its sister park in Typhoon Lagoon, there are also chairs and cabana’s available to rent. It is important to remember to bring towels with you as they are not free on-site. The food selections are great and are a mix of the sort of standard counter service places you would expect at a resort like this. Standouts for the meat-eater The Warming Hut. The range of desserts places on offer is really good.
This is another great park and edges out its sister Disney park in terms of fun and frolics. This park is geared more towards the slightly older children and adults. Though children of all ages will still have a great time.
There are many fun water parks throughout Florida that means you will easily find something that appeals to you and your family. Whether you are taking your trip just for the water parks or as a mix between these are the other theme parks, there is something for all. The water does certainly mean that you can cool off in the hot Florida sun.