Welcome to a special edition of Dateline Universal Orlando. We were lucky enough to be invited to a preview of Volcano Bay, Universal’s brand new water theme park, yesterday. It grand opens to the public today, May 25th, and is a glimpse into the future of the resort, which now boasts three parks! We have about 140 photos to share with you, let’s dive in!
Wow, that’s a lot to cover! And, because my camera is not waterproof, I wasn’t even able to take you on any of the slides or into the volcano itself. This photo report is really just a tease.
Universal’s Volcano Bay is being billed by Universal as their third “theme park.” But let’s be clear, it is still a water park at heart. But it definitely has a theme, and also a heart and soul, which is something many water parks lack. Between the addition of this new park and the three newest hotels (Cabana Bay, Sapphire Falls, and the under construction Aventura), Universal Orlando feels more like a resort than ever before. This park also adds crazy value to staying at Cabana Bay, as it is walking distance away. TapuTapu was VERY easy to use and seems like a solid way to tie things together, and is possibly a hint at what is to come for the entire Universal Orlando Resort.
So, what didn’t we like? Well, there are a few spots in the park where you can see an I-4 off-ramp and Turkey Lake Road, which kind of pulls you out of the theme. There are a lot of slides, which is a huge plus, but for those who aren’t into that sort of thing, you basically have a wave pool, two lazy rivers, and some wading areas. Also, some of the slides are weight restricted, and they had scales at the entrance to make sure people could ride. There also isn’t a lot of shade at the current moment, so it is going to be very, very warm inside the park come summer. The only places I found air conditioning were the restrooms and the gift shop at the front of the park.
A few tips for those of you who are suffering from tiki envy and ready to make a beeline to Volcano Bay. Set up a Universal account at home, through their app, BEFORE your trip to save you time! You can link your ticket to it, and also add a credit card if you want to use TapuTapu to pay for things. And that’s a great idea because then you won’t need to carry a wallet around with you all day or risk losing a credit card in the wave pool. Second, invest in some good flip-flops, as you’ll be doing a ton of walking, and there are places to leave them that are watched by Team Members at the entrance to every attraction. Third, if you aren’t staying at a Universal Orlando resort, get there early. You’ll have to park at the main parking garage, go through security, and then get on a shuttle to the park. From there, you’ll be almost into the park. So, the earlier you arrive, the better. Also, don’t miss the Krakatau Aqua Coaster, as it was the star of the show for me, and was probably the coolest water park attraction I’ve ever been on.
So, what do you all think? Will you attend Volcano Bay? How does this stack up to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure as a third park for this resort? Let us know in the comments below.
Mahalo, a hui hou – Thanks for reading!
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