Sneak Peek: Universal’s Volcano Bay

Universal Volcano Bay

Universal Orlando Resort has officially opened the doors of Volcano Bay–its third theme park in Orlando—inviting visitors into the imaginative world (and playground) of the fictional Waturi people who inhabit the park. The highly-anticipated water theme park is a tropical paradise with opportunities for adventure and relaxation in equal measure. Chill out in the wave pool, get an adrenaline rush on each of the 18 attractions, or munch your way through the park noshing on island-inspired eats and sipping tropical concoctions.

We were invited to preview the park a day before opening and arrived to find an oasis full of adventure and opportunities to unwind. Wandering through the park, you’re transported into a lush landscape that feels worlds away from the hustle and bustle of Orlando.

During our visit, we got the chance to experience rides, taste test the island fare, and immerse ourselves in the exotic landscape. Here’s a sneak peek of what to expect when you visit.

THE PARK: RIDES & THINGS TO DO

Volcano Bay features 18 rides for visitors to enjoy, ranging from the thrilling Honu ika Moana slides to the tranquil Kopiko Wai Winding River. The Volcano, Krakatau, is the focal point of the park. Inside the volcano, you’ll find three adventurous body slides, including the legendary Ko’okiri Body Plunge, a 125-foot trap door slide. The Krakatau Aqua Coaster also travels through the volcano.

For every heart-pumping ride, you’ll find its relaxing counterpart, and this is one of the best aspects of the park. You can spend the day challenging yourself to the slides or lounge by the wave pool at Waturi Beach.

The Honu ika Moana slides were our favorite in the park. The Honu slide (blue) sends you up against large slide walls and plunging down exciting drops.
Taniwha Tubes features four different winding slides. You can ride in a single or double raft.
The Ohyah (green) and Ohno (purple) drop slides are a must. The latter shoots you off the slide 6 feet above the water below.
The wave pool at the base of Krakatau cycles through varying types of waves.
Waturi beach features plenty of loungers, premium seating, and great views of Krakatau, the volcano. In front of the volcano, you’ll find the wave pool which rotates types of waves throughout the day.
Fun tropical details are sprinkled all throughout the park.
Upgrade your lounging experience with a private cabana, available for rent throughout the park. You can also upgrade to premium seating with covered loungers on the beach.

The opening of the park also introduces new TapuTapu wearable technology. Instead of waiting in line, swipe the waterproof bracelet at a check-in totem outside the ride and the bracelet will alert you when it’s time to ride. You can also link TapuTapu to a credit card for cabana and locker rentals and purchases. The TapuTapu wearables are provided to all guests for free upon entrance.

Volcano Bay TapuTapu
The TapuTapu wearable significantly alleviates time spent standing in line. Swipe the TapuTapu at a totem outside participating rides, and the wearable will alert you when it’s time to return to the ride.

FOOD & DRINK

There are four restaurants and two bars located throughout the park. The cuisine is mostly island-inspired, although you’ll find familiar staples on the menu, too. There are also several kiosks throughout the park with ice cream, drinks, and more.

Cool down with some tropical ice cream near the entrance of the park. You can blend up to four different flavors. We enjoyed a blend of pineapple, coconut, and mango.
The Taco Sampler from The Feasting Frog features one of each taco on the menu: carne aside, chipotle firecracker shrimp (our favorite), and pulled chicken mole.
We loved the jerk shrimp mac and cheese from Whakawaiwai Eats, creamy and indulgent with a kick of heat from the jerk seasoning.
There are two beach bars in the park serving beer and cocktails.
Try the Blue Hawaiian (garnished with an orchid) or the refreshing Volcano Blossom. The latter is a specialty beer by Orange Blossom Brewing Co.

MAKE IT AN OVERNIGHT

After a long day at the park, it makes sense to extend your visit into a mini staycation. Loews Sapphire Falls Resort and Cabana Bay are both good choices if you’d like to stay on Universal property. We stayed at Sapphire Falls, a sprawling resort complete with a huge resort pool, several restaurants, free shuttles to Universal attraction areas, colorful island-inspired rooms, and plenty of amenities. The islandy digs are an ideal retreat after a day of park hopping.

The resort pool at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort

DETAILS

Tickets to Universal’s Volcano Bay are $67/person for a single day. Multi-park passes are also available for admission to all three parks.

For more information, visit www.universalorlando.com.

Florida food and travel photographer and writer Stephanie Patterson

About the Author/Photographer:
Stephanie Patterson is the managing editor of Orlando Date Night Guide. She’s a talented professional food and travel photographer and writer with a passion for creativity, the beach and great eats. When she’s not taking photos or writing, you can find her exploring the state for her Florida travel blog, Travel Taste Click. Find her online at www.spattersonphotography.com and www.traveltasteclick.com.


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