It was an exciting weekend in Orlando over Memorial Day. The opening of Universal’s Volcano Bay Water Park. I had a chance to be one of the first people to set foot into the park and experience the new rides. Let me tell you that you’re going to LOVE it!
It was a dark and windy day as I wound my way up the lush garden path and through the stone tunnel to get to the Volcano Bay entrance. I would have bet that it was going to rain at any moment, but one look at the stormy clouds through the palm trees and I didn’t care. It was going to be a fantastic day!
I immediately headed first to the 200 foot Krakatau Volcano set in the center. How could I not?! It’s the newest fixture towering over Orlando and I wanted to get up close. Sand hit my toes and I slipped off my flip flops and walked down to the beach to this view. It was spectacular!
I was torn between wanting to explore the park and relaxing in the lounge chairs. I decided exploring was first to see what this 25 acre park was all about. 18 unique attractions, fabulous food and drinks, and a landscape decor that you never stop staring at because there is so much going on.
I found something for everyone and am excited to share my pics with you. A place that is hard to leave at the end of the day because you are literally in paradise.
There were four family raft rides and I never missed my kids more because they weren’t with me to test out these slides. I knew from other experiences that they love listening to me squeal as the raft climbs up the sides and plunges down. I love these multi-person rides because you can do them all together!
There were two different kinds of lazy rivers. The Kopiko Wai Winding River was slow and lazy. But the one that made me smile during my entire float was TeAwa The Fearless River. It was a bit faster and the rapids and waves kept me moving along. They both go underneath the Volcano which was fabulous.
The four Taniwha Tube slides were whirls of fun. The worst thing about water parks is having to carry my tube to the top. They can be heavy! Here they are carried up on the conveyor and I grabbed one when I was almost to the top.
My favorite ride was the Krakatau Aqua Coaster. I like small-medium coasters, not the big ones, and this was perfect for me. Lots of dips and sprays of water where you couldn’t help but laugh and hollar and want to do it again and again.
Those slides up in the volcano? I was too chicken because they were drop slides. In fact the Ko’okiri Body Plunge is now the biggest drop slide built at 125 feet up with a 70 degree fall through drop floor. Eeeeeeek!
Can you see the top platform up there where the braves ones can look down? Alllll the way down they dropped and out the bottom.
When all the swimming and sliding made me hungry and I headed to the nearest restaurant. I expected ‘normal’ burgers and fries, but was pleasantly surprised when the menu was full of real south pacific dishes including jerk mahi sandwiches and island chicken salad.
I ordered Coconut Curry Chicken which was braised chicken, green coconut curry sauce, coconut rice and cilantro with sweet plantains. I was even more surprised when it tasted de-Lish! Have you ever had great theme park food before?!
Mini chocolate lava cake for dessert of course.
Another feature that makes Universal’s Volcano Bay unique is the TapuTapu wearable. I was handed one as I entered the park and gave it back when I left. The time for waiting in long lines is over! Each ride has a totem area where you match your wrist against the statue and voila the countdown begins for when you should come back.
Also enjoy other TapTu Play experiences throughout the park – like controlling streams of water spurting from whales in Tot Tiki Reef (yes there are wonderful little kid areas!), shooting water cannons at guests snaking down Kopiko Wai Winding River (who doesn’t love to shoot at strangers?) and illuminating images in the volcano’s hidden caves.
Plus all purchases can be made on it – don’t carry your money around. Keep it in a locker which is also controlled by the wearable! Universal has thought of everything.
At the end of the day I was tired, but couldn’t stop thinking about how awesome the whole water park was. I hopped onto my shuttle to take the very short trip back to my hotel at Universal’s Loews Sapphire Falls Resort.
Caribbean themed it was. I was going from a volcano beach to an island beach and I loved it! This is what vacation is all about.
Have you stayed at Universal Orlando Resort hotel before? There are many benefits including the water taxi that took me to the heart of CityWalk and almost to the entrance of the two Universal Theme Parks. No escort will get closer!
The next day I rode some of my favs including my all time favorite ride at any theme park, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. In fact my dad called just as I was getting off the ride, not even knowing I was in Orlando, and when I told him where I was he said, ‘did you ride that fantastic Harry Potter ride? It’s the best!’ Seriously it is.
Yes I had to have my ButterBeer too.
Read my post from last November when I chat about Harry Potter and the Wizarding World and my stay at Cabana Bay Beach Resort which is actually almost connected to Volcano Bay. You can stay in a room that towers above the water park and watch the visitors all day long. So Fun!
It is ALL so fun.
When is your next trip to visit Universal’s Volcano Bay?
Check out all the parks at Universal Orlando Resort!
Thank you so much to Universal Orlando who sponsored and paid for my trip to visit their theme parks. All opinions are definitely my own.