Universal’s Volcano Bay: Tips for visiting Orlando’s newest water park

Sometimes when you’re on a family vacation, some of your party might want to do an activity that you’re not super keen on.

Enter water parks.

I can take or leave them. If I’m going with a group, of course, I’ll go. I’ll have a good time, but it’s not my first pick of a day long adventure.

On our last vacation, part of our experience was spending a morning at the new Volcano Bay water park at Universal Orlando Resort. Did I have fun? You bet.

Volcano Bay

I’m not a huge water slide person, but I LOVE a lazy river…and Volcano Bay has two. One is a nice, calm (the Kopiko Wai Winding River) while the other is called The Fearless River…for a reason. It has a stronger current and even some light rapids. It was SUPER fun. But be warned, it can be a little complicated getting in and out. Here’s hoping Volcano Bay comes up with a better system for entry and exit over the next few weeks.

volcano bay lazy river

If your kids are old enough, there are two slides that they are sure to enjoy – the Turtle and the Whale (one is green and one is blue). Children must be 48′ to ride the Whale and 42″ to ride the Turtle.  They aren’t super crazy and while my 54″ eight-year-old was initially intimidated, he ended up going on it again. It’s a multi-person raft ride, so they aren’t alone, which is helpful!

A great benefit at Volcano Bay is that you don’t have to lug your raft up the steps each time. They have a lift that automatically takes them up — a pretty cool feature.

turtle and whale slides at volcano bay

If you do happen to have some adventurous types in your family, there are many other slides to ride and one AquaCoaster, which I heard is AWESOME. (We didn’t get to ride it as it was having technical difficulties at the time and we gave up waiting.)

Have little ones? Don’t worry. Volcano Bay has two areas designed for kids under 48″- Tot Tiki Reef and Runamukka Reef. They have spray grounds, small slides and lots of water to splash around in.

Runamukka Reef Volcano Bay

If you don’t want to do ANYTHING, have no fear. Find yourself a lounge chair on Waturi Beach, pull out a book and enjoy your day.
Volcano Bay Main Area - Wave Pool

Know Before You Go:

  • A one-day Volcano Bay admission ticket is $67.
  • You can bring your own towels or rent them for $5 each.
  • There are lockers available for rent where you can store your purse/wallet/valuables.
  • As it’s a new park, it fills to capacity VERY QUICKLY. Plan to arrive early.

  • You will be given a wearable device called a Tapu Tapu* upon arriving. The Tapu Tapu looks a bit like a fitness device and is your key to Volcano Bay while you’re there. You can link it up to your Universal account and use it to pay for food, drinks and souveneirs. But it’s main feature is to hold your place in line. Each ride has a kiosk station where it will either say “Ride Now” and you can go ahead and hop in line, or it will tell you how many minutes it will be before you should come back. You then TAP your device against the screen and it automatically saves your place in line. It will then buzz when it’s time for you to head back to the ride. While you wait, you can hang out in the lazy rivers or at any of the lagoons or wave pools. Another feature is that you can unlock interactive features throughout the park. My daughter thought this was super cool. *Note, it is not a perfect system and there are still some kinks to be worked out.

Tapu Tapu Volcano Bay

Things to Know About Universal's Volcano Bay Water Park

Want more information on visiting Universal Orlando Resort?

5 MUST DO’s for an awesome Universal Orlando Resort experience
What to pack for a trip to Universal Orlando Resort

I was a guest of Universal Orlando Resort as part of the Family Forward Retreat and paid a reduced fee for admission. I was not paid for this post.

Photo Credits: Erin Lane, The Crafting Chicks, Mommy University, Mom It Forward and Universal Orlando. All Rights Reserved.

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  1. Kathy says

    Only two slides? That does not seem like much for a water park. The Fearless River does sound interesting, though. We have annual passes for the Disney water parks which the kids LOVE. Speaking of love, that pink dress you are wearing is adorable. Is it just a coverup or an actual dress? Where did you get it?

    • Erin L. says

      Oh goodness, there are TONS of slides. I was writing from a perspective of someone that doesn’t do water parks but I’ll make some edits because I want it to be clear. So sorry!!

      My dress is from New York and Company. THANKS!

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