Aquatica vs. Volcano Bay: Exploring Orlando's Premier Water Parks

When it comes to beating the Florida heat and experiencing some aquatic thrills, Orlando has two premier water parks. At Rosen Inn at Pointe Orlando, you are within minutes of both Aquatica, operated by SeaWorld, and Volcano Bay, part of Universal Orlando Resort.

Both parks boast an array of attractions and amenities, but each has its own unique charm and appeal.  

A lifeguard stand at one of Orlando's premier water park Volcano Bay.

Let's dive in and compare these two water wonderlands to help you decide which one best suits your preferences. 

Theme and Atmosphere 

Aquatica welcomes visitors with a lively South Seas vibe. It’s present in the lush landscaping, sandy beaches, and tropical theming inspired by the colors and culture of the South Pacific.  

Volcano Bay immerses guests in the fictional island paradise of Krakatau, complete with a towering volcano, cascading waterfalls, and lush vegetation. The attention to detail and immersive theming at Volcano Bay create an unforgettable experience that transports guests to another world. 

By way of themes and atmosphere, these two Orlando water parks are similar. 


A theme park’s main purpose is entertainment! Both parks offer a diverse range of attractions for guests of all ages.  

Aquatica has exciting slides like Reef Plunge, where you can zoom through a tube surrounded by playful dolphins, and the towering Ihu's Breakaway Falls, featuring multi-drop slides for the thrill-seekers.  

Volcano Bay, meanwhile, features innovative rides like the Krakatau Aqua Coaster, which propels riders through dark twists and turns, and the adventurous Ko'okiri Body Plunge, a near-vertical drop slide that's not for the faint of heart. 

For families with younger children, both Aquatica and Volcano Bay offer plenty of options for safe and enjoyable water play.  

Child playing in the water at Orlando's premier water park Aquatica.

Aquatica's Walkabout Waters provides a colorful splash zone with slides, hoses, and a giant bucket dump, while Volcano Bay's Tot Tiki Reef offers shallow pools, mini slides, and interactive water features for little ones to enjoy. Both parks also offer lazy rivers and wave pools where families can relax and soak up the sun together. 

Some may say Volcano Bay is better for those seeking more excitement in a water theme park, while Aquatica is better for families with little kids.  

If you’re visiting the water theme parks with family or friends with cognitive disabilities, read on to see why Aquatica might be the best choice.

Comfort and Convenience 

In terms of amenities, both parks prioritize guest comfort and convenience.  

Aquatica provides spacious cabanas for rent, equipped with amenities like lounge chairs, towels, and mini-fridges, allowing guests to relax in style and privacy. In 2019, Aquatica earned its designation as a Certified Autism Center, the first of its kind in the world. Plan your trip with their sensory guide. Take extra comfort knowing staff are trained to assist families with children with sensory processing issues. If a break is needed from the excitement of being at a water park, there are private quiet rooms near Turi’s Kid Cove.  

Volcano Bay also offers cabanas for six to sixteen people and premium seating. But what edges Volcano Bay to the front if riding rides is your priority are its innovative TapuTapu wearable technology, which allows guests to virtually wait in line for attractions, and its express passes which allows you to skip virtual lines. The TapuTapu also is great for making dining reservations and for interacting with various features throughout the park. 

The winning water theme park in this category truly depends on your priorities. 

Dining and Refreshments 

When it's time to refuel, both parks offer a variety of dining options to suit every taste.  

Aquatica features several themed restaurants and snack stands serving everything from burgers and pizza to fresh salads and tropical smoothies.  

Volcano Bay offers a unique dining experience with its specialty cocktails served in souvenir Tiki mugs, as well as a diverse selection of cuisine ranging from island-inspired dishes to international favorites. 

We think both water theme parks are fairly equal when it comes to food options. 

Always Choose Rosen Inn at Pointe Orlando  

Maybe Aquatica is better for a calmer water theme park experience, and maybe Volcano Bay is better for packing in as many thrills into one day.

Whichever you choose for your aquatic adventure in Orlando, you're guaranteed a day filled with fun and excitement.  

After a long day in the sun, you’ll need a place to unwind. Rosen Inn at Pointe Orlando the best accommodation in town – no debate!