You guys know I love a good water park and Orlando certainly has its fair share of them! So what is the difference and how do you pick which one to spend the day at? This blog post will be a comparison between all the water parks in Orlando with regards to price, number of slides, and thrill level. Please keep in mind thrill level will just be my opinion and is no way scientific. Also, the water parks will be listed in no particular order.
Let’s start with the newest water park in Orlando, Island H2O Live! located near the Margaritaville Orlando Resort off of Highway 192 (W Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway) just south of Walt Disney World property. Even though this resort has a silly overall theme of social media the slides are pretty darn fun and with a price point of $49.99 ($44.99 purchased online ahead of time) it is the least expensive water park on our list! However, it is the smallest water park on our list with only 8 slides, a wave pool, a lazy river, a 21 & up pool, a toddler area, and a kids area. Even though it is small it packs a pretty good “punch” when it comes to thrill level. I would rate this park a 6 out of 10 for thrills with high thrill family raft rides such as Hashtag Heights and a high thrill aqua-coaster type slide called Follow Me Falls. Island H2O Live! even has a couple of drop slides where the floor drops out from under riders causing a few seconds of free fall at the very beginning of the slide. This park is still very new so the crowd levels are pretty low for the time being, but this could change as the word gets out about the water park.
Aquatica by SeaWorld located across the street from SeaWorld Orlando near the intersection of SR-528 and International Drive. This water park is slightly larger than Island H2O Live! with a total of 9 slides, 2 wave pools, 2 lazy rivers, a toddler area, and a kids area. Even though it’s only slightly larger, the price for a single day admission jumps up to $69.99 ($54.99 if purchased online ahead of time, $46.99 if purchasing ahead of time and attending on a weekday.) The thrill level is slightly higher as well at a 7 out of 10, with multiple high thrill rides such as Ray Rush or Karekare Curl and drop slides like Ihu’s Breakaway Falls. One of the lazy rivers, Roa’s Rapids, is fast moving adding to the overall thrill level of the park. However, this park can get crowded because it is SeaWorld’s sister park and guests visiting Orlando are more likely to pick a water park that is associated with a well known theme park. SeaWorld recognizes this and offers a package deal for a ticket to SeaWorld and a ticket to Aquatica for one price ($104.99 when purchased online at least 3 days before visiting.)
Disney’s Blizzard Beach located on Disney property near Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort is a snow ski resort themed water park. This water park feels big even though it only has 7 slides, one lazy river, one wave pool, a toddler area, and a kids area. I believe the majority of the price of this park goes to the Disney name and the high level of theming. A one day Blizzard Beach ticket is $69.00 with no discounts for buying online ahead of time. There are discounts available based a number of different factors from being a Walt Disney World annual pass holder to buying multi-day tickets from the Disney Holidays website in the UK. This park has a thrill level of 5 out of 10 with only 2 high thrill slides, Slush Gusher and Summit Plummet, in the entire park. The Downhill Double Dipper is fairly thrilling, but thinking about the other slides in this article it seems pretty tame.
Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon located on Disney property near Disney Springs shopping district is a storm ravaged island themed water park. This park has the highest level of theming detail of all of the parks in this article, but like Blizzard Beach it only has 7 slides, one lazy river, one wave pool, one toddler area, and one kids slide. You read that right, there is only one slide (Bay Slides) for kids braver than the toddler area (Ketchakiddee Creek), but not brave enough for the adult slides. Typhoon Lagoon is the same price as Blizzard Beach ($69.00) and offers the same discounts based on various factors. When it comes to thrill factor this is the tamest park on the list at a 4 out of 10. Although the Crush ’n’ Gusher aqua-coaster is pretty thrilling, Humunga Kowabunga is tame compared to similar slides in this article despite having the tallest drop in the park.
Universal’s Volcano Bay is located on Universal Orlando Resort property just off of Interstate 4 and next to Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort is a tropical island themed water park. This water park has the most slides of all the parks in this article with a total of 10 slides, 2 lazy rivers, a wave pool, a soaking pool, a kids area, and a toddler area. Volcano Bay is also the most expensive water park in Orlando coming in at $85 during the summer and $80 for fall/winter with no discounts for buying online ahead of time. However, like Disney, Universal does offer discounts based on a number of factors from annual pass holder to buying Volcano Bay tickets in conjunction with Universal Studios or Islands of Adventure tickets. The thrill level for Volcano Bay is very high at an 8 out of 10. This is the most thrilling water park in Orlando with 3 drop slides including Ko’okiri Body Plunge which drops the floor out from under the rider dropping them 125’ at a 70 degree angle and Krakatau Aqua-Coaster which rockets riders up and down through the iconic volcano at the center of the park. These are just 2 of the high thrill slides, there are still 5 other slides in the park that could top the most thrilling of the other 4 parks in this article. There is also TeAwa The Fearless River which is a fast moving river with rapids and 2 wave machines. Even the “lazy” river is thrilling at Volcano Bay!
Hopefully this article helps you pick a water park to visit while you are in Orlando, there are a lot of choices and a lot of different aspects to picking a park.