If you think you know water parks, think again! Universal's Volcano Bay at the Universal Orlando Resort has really changed the face of the traditional water park. They've embraced new technology and really worked to improve some of the more "annoying" things about a hot summer water park experience.
The entrance is large, open and welcoming. If you are staying on property at Universal, you can catch a bus over here or walk from your resort depending on which hotel you are staying at.
The biggest innovation that sets Volcano Bay apart is the TapuTapu Wearable. Everyone gets one with park admission to use for the day and return on your way out of the park. These devices are completely waterproof and have little chance of falling off.
You can use these handy little wristbands to reserve your spot in a virtual queue so you aren't spending most of your day waiting in line. TapTu Ride allows you to hop in a virtual line. How it works is you find a totem or sign outside the entrance to the attraction you are wanting to ride, and tap your band at the access point and it will give you a time to return. Then you go about the park and have a good time until your TapuTapu vibrates to let you know it is time and you can hop in line with a 15 minute or less wait. That sounds great, but these wristbands can do so much more! You can also use it to TapTu Pay. You can purchase any item throughout the park by taping your band so you don’t have to carry any money with you. You can even set spending limits for members of your party.
TapTu Snap allows you to download a picture with your party from one of the three photo opportunities located around the park. TapTu Play is a fun and interactive tool where you can squirt unsuspecting people floating down the lazy river or make a tiki head burp and squirt water from his ears and nose. Finally, TapTu Lock allows you to unlock your locker with the swipe of your TapuTapu band this way you do not have to worry about carting around or losing a key.
The anchor of the park is really the Volcano (of Volcano Bay) which is home to Krakatau Aqua Coaster. You and three of your party can ride together as you plunge through the dark mist, sliding upward (yes, upward), ending your thrilling adventure plunging through a waterfall.
There is plenty for people of all ages and adventure levels to do at this park. For the less adventurous you can enjoy the sandy Waturi Beach where the waves are always perfect or sit in one of the many beach chairs and soak up the sun. Do you enjoy the thrill of free falling? Well then the Kala and Tai Nui Serpentine Body Slides might be for you. Here you and a friend can ride side by side from high atop of the Volcano through clear tubes to the picturesque waters below. Looking for something a little more relaxing? Kopiko Wai Winding River is a relaxing river ride (unless you get squirted from an unexpected tiki!) that goes through the Volcano where you can gaze upon the stars as you relax in the warm sun. TeAwa The Fearless River may look like a lazy river but don’t be fooled! Here you will get to experience roaring, churning choppy waves as you float around the park. Runamukka Reef is an exciting play area where the youngest of your party can enjoy splashing bubbling geysers, dump buckets, water slides and more.
|Ample loungers abound throughout the park for some R&R|
|A variety of water slides throughout the park|
|Lazy river to lounge around in|
There are also some less obvious things that Universal has done to really enhance the water park experience. Lugging tubes around? Nope! They have systems in place to move them around for you. Burning your feet on hot concrete from the sun? Nope! They have misters along the ground to keep it cool and comfortable all year.
There are many accessible areas located around the park. Some rides have wheel chair accessibility (you must meet specific requirements). American Sign Language Interpretation is also available. Family rest rooms are located around the park with roll in showers.
Looking for a little more relaxation and pampering on your trip to Volcano Bay? You can rent private cabanas for your party to have a reserved spot throughout the day with extra amenities. They are located in several locations around the park, so be sure to arrive early if you want a particular spot as they are assigned on arrival.
Until next time...
- Agent Maci