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Which Orlando Water Park is Right for You?

Family enjoying swimming pool and wearing sunglasses

Orlando is home to some amazing water parks, all within minutes of International Drive. This is great news for anyone visiting Orlando, but it does pose a dilemma. Unless you are dedicating your entire vacation to visiting water parks, you’ll likely have time to visit only one park. To help you decide which Orlando water park is best for your family, we’ve created an at-a-glance guide of each park’s key features.

Volcano Bay

The theme at Volcano Bay is inspired by South Pacific cultures. This water park is outfitted with playful slides and experiences that celebrate water. At the center of the park is Krakatau, a 200 ft. tall “active volcano” with nightly lava flows.

  • Most unique feature: Volcano Bay is currently the only Orlando water park that offers a Virtual Line™ for all guests. When you arrive at the park, you’ll be given a TapuTapu™ wearable which lets you join the Virtual Line™ so you can enjoy other features at the park while you wait for your turn. The TapuTapu wearable also allows you to go cashless and unlock interactive experiences throughout the park.
  • Biggest thrill: The Ko’okiri Body Plunge™ is truly for the bravest of the bunch. At 125 ft. high, Ko’okiri Body Plunge is the tallest drop capsule slide in the world. It will send you speeding towards the base of the volcano at a nearly vertical 70 degree drop.
  • Biggest chill: The Reef is one of two leisure pools at Volcano Bay. Here you can relax and enjoy a private waterfall and calm waters, while also watching riders shoot down the Ko’okiri Body Plunge whose clear tube goes through the pool.
  • Kids’ activities: Kids at Volcano Bay enjoy two play areas designed just for them. Runamukka Reef features water guns and slides perfect for kids, while the youngest guests can play with water and tikis at Tot Tiki Reef.

Our recommendation: While Volcano Bay has a fair share of mild attractions, thrill rides like Ko’okiri Body Plunge™ and Kala & Tai Nui Serpentine Body Slides™ dominate, making this park the ultimate choice for the most intense thrill seekers.

Aquatica Orlando

Inspired by Australian and New Zealand cultures, Aquatica’s whimsical mascots include Roa the kiwi, Kata the kookaburra, and Ihu the gecko. Aquatica is also home to some real sea creatures including a pod of Commerson’s dolphins, which you can see up close and personal on the Dolphin Plunge ride.

  • Most unique feature: Aquatica is the first Orlando water park to become a Certified Autism Center. Staff are educated on a variety of topics related to autism and cognitive disabilities, and the park itself offers quiet spaces. Aquatica’s commitment to inclusivity means everyone can freely enjoy this park.
  • Biggest thrill: Ihu Breakaway Falls lets you free fall 80 feet at an 80 degree angle. The best part is this ride features multiple slides, so you and your friends can take the plunge together.
  • Biggest chill: You don’t have to brave the Dolphin Plunge to see sea creatures at Aquatica. Loggerhead Lane is a laid-back lazy river ride that lets you gently float by aquariums full of beautiful fish.
  • Kids’ activities: Kids can explore pint-sized slides at Kata’s Kookaburra Cove as well as the watery fortress at Walkabout Waters.

Our recommendation: Aquatica is a good choice for families or large groups as balance of thrill rides and chill attractions means everyone will be satisfied. Another perk is that many attraction allow multiple riders, so family and friends can share the experience together.

Typhoon Lagoon

This tropical water park owes its success to a typhoon, whose high winds created the present-day pools and attractions. At the center of the park you’ll see Miss Tilly, a boat forever marooned upon Mount Mayday, which frequently sends a geyser of water spewing into the air.

  • Most unique feature: The Typhoon Lagoon Surf Pool isn’t like other wave pools. This pool is seriously cool, featuring massive 6 foot high waves every 90 seconds. Catch the waves in the shallow end of the zero depth pool or join experienced swimmers in the deep end for the ultimate thrill.
  • Biggest thrill: Sure to elicit a few shriek of joy, the Crush ‘n’ Gusher is Typhoon Lagoon’s very own water coaster. You’ll be propelled by water jets through hairpin turns and drop offs, as you ride down this former fruit processing center.
  • Biggest chill: Although it’s considered a thrill ride by Disney, Keelhaul Falls is actually a very gentle inner tube ride on Mount Mayday. The twists and turns provide just enough thrill in this otherwise chill slide.
  • Kids’ activities: Kids can let their imaginations run wild at Ketchakiddee Creek, a play area for kids that also features a sandy beach. Those under 60” can also ride the Bay Slides, which are pint-size twin body slides.

Our recommendation: While a few of the rides at Typhoon Lagoon may get your heart pounding, the majority are mild enough for the whole family. The size of the park is also manageable; you can easily explore all the rides in one day.

Blizzard Beach

In what is by far the most unique water park theme, Blizzard Beach is actually a former ski resort. Legend says that surprise snowstorm led to the first Florida ski resort and when the snow melted, the resort was transformed into a waterpark.

  • Most unique feature: Due to its previous life as a ski resort, this waterpark is the only one in Orlando that features a chairlift. The chairlift lets you enjoy a gentle, scenic ride to the top of Mount Gushmore where you can brave the slides.
  • Biggest thrill: You might have to work up the courage to tackle this slide, but when you do, it’s totally worth it. Summit Plummet sends you plummeting nearly 12 stories, making it the third-tallest free fall slide in the world.
  • Biggest chill: If you wish lazy river rides went on forever, this is the ride for you. Cross Country Creek travels the perimeter of the park and takes nearly 30 minutes to complete.
  • Kids’ activities: Ski Patrol Training Camp is for kids under 12 and features a pool, rope drop, and two slides. The littlest ones can play at Tike’s Peak, designed for kids under 48 in.

Our recommendation: Blizzard Beach’s emphasis on thrill slides makes it an excellent choice for families with older kids and teens. Seasoned daredevils will feel right at home here, and younger family members will get a thrill out of the exciting attractions made for them.

Come Home to Rosen Inn at Pointe Orlando

No matter which park you choose to visit, let Rosen Inn at Pointe Orlando be your home away from home. Our spacious guestrooms and kid-friendly amenities make us the perfect choice for families visiting Orlando. If your family is looking for more time in the water even after a day at a water park, our hotel features three swimming pools (two seasonally heated). To check availability, click on the orange button at the top of the page, or give us at a call at 407-996-8585.

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