A First-Timer’s Guide to Volcano Bay

Summer is quickly approaching and if you live in Florida it’s basically already here. And that means it’s water park season! Florida has it’s share of amazing water parks but I want to talk about one of the newest additions: Volcano Bay!

Universal’s Volcano Bay is an amazing water park. The park is visually stunning, the volcano is pretty dang impressive and the slides are crazy. This isn’t your normal chill water park, the slides are intense and there is even an action river. Now with that being said, it still has a lazy river and a wave pool so you can definitely find your chill moments.

The biggest draw and the first thing I’m going to talk about is Tapu Tapu.

Tapu Tapu gives you the ability to get into a virtual line for the slides. It’s like a magic band, in that you wear it around your wrist. When this started, it had it’s flaws but everything has been worked out pretty well by this point and the system is bomb. Check out the video below from Universal on how it works!

You don’t waste your time on the steps for a slide with Tapu Tapu. And honestly that is really amazing.

The other really great thing about the slides at Volcano Bay is you don’t have to carry your tubes to the top of the stairs! Instead every slide has a conveyor belt that takes the tubes to the top for you. Less work, more play.

Let’s talk about the slides. These aren’t you average water park slides. In my opinion, they are all pretty intense. A friend of mine asked me to rate them from most adventurous (scariest) to tames so that’s exactly what I’ll do.

Ko’okiri – I have never been on this and will never go on it. This is one of the main attractions of this park. It’s a body plunge slide with a trap door. This slide drops you 125 feet at a 70 degree angle to a pretty big splash down.

Tai Nui/Kala – These body slides are a longer version of Ko’okiri and also trap door slides. Tai Nui (green) is more intense then Kala (blue). Tai Nui has more of a drop at the beginning where Kala has a slower more gradual start. I haven’t been on these either lol.

Honu – THIS. SLIDE. IS. TERRIFYING. And it’s a family raft ride. I have only been on this one time and haven’t been back because I’m legit scared of it. It has two massive walls that the raft goes up during the ride and it feels like you are going to flip right over. If you like intense rides this is for you.

Oh No/Oh Yeah – These slides are so much fun and the only reason they are high up on the list is because they are both drop slides. When I say “drop slides” I mean the slide literally ends and you fall into a pool. Oh No has a 6ft drop and Oh Yeah has a 4ft drop. They both let out into a 10ft deep pool so you definitely need to be able to swim to go on this slide.

Maku/Puihi – These are both family slides and also pretty intense. I don’t know if you have been following the theme here but honestly all the slides are pretty crazy. Maku scared the sh*t out of me just like Honu but just a little less lol. It has a different style raft that is kind of strange and makes me feel like I’m going to fall out of it. Puihi is a little less intense but not by much.

Punga Racers – This is your normal mat racer but it’s so dang fast. When I got to the bottom of the slide my reaction time to lift the raft up was not fast enough and the raft slammed me in the face and hurt my neck. It was nothing serious, but my neck was a bit stiff for the rest of the day. I know better now but I’m still afraid I’ll make the same mistake, so learn from mine!

Krakatau – This is Volcano Bay’s main attraction in my opinion. It will often have the second longest wait in the park behind Ko’okiri. It’s a water coaster and it’s so much fun. I really like this slide. It’s our first ride every time we get to the park. Mainly because it gets a wait so we like to get it out of the way. The technology is amazing and it’s a pretty long slide.

Taniwha Tubes – These might be the most common slides in the whole park. Well half of them. Taniwha Tubes is made up of 4 slides. The two slides in the back are so fast and twisty you will get dizzy. The two slides in the front are not as twisty. Other than that they are just all around fun.

Ika Moana – lastly we have Ika Moana, it’s the other half of Honu and it’s the least intense slide in the whole park in my opinion. It’s a family raft ride and even though it’s high, it has more of a gradual drop than the other slides.

Now that we’ve gone over the slides let’s discuss the lazy vs. the action river. That’s right, there’s an action river in this park. So the lazy river is your average lazy river other than the fact that you go through a volcano. So, you know, nothing really special there lol.

But the action river, there is something to be said about that one. You are required to wear a life vest and I understand why. It has two wave machines that go off every couple of minutes. And let me be the first person to warn you, when you hear the chant, move to the right of the river. The first time we were in this I got sucked under by the wave machine and it was a bit frightening because I was caught completely off guard. But if you know about it, it won’t be as scary. With all of that being said, the action river is so much fun!

The last water related activity to talk about is the wave pool. It’s a pretty average wave pool but it has one heck of a view. The volcano really is what makes the wave pool amazing. The waves aren’t very wavy. Nothing can compare to Typhoon Lagoon when it comes to wave pools.

I guess the last thing to talk about would be the food and drink options!

We’ve had the opportunity to eat a few things and try some of their drinks. The food is definitely the best quick service food in all of Universal. My suggestions are the tacos from the Feasting Frog and the Jerk Shrimp Mac n Cheese from Whakawaiwai Eats.

The drinks are really good and they come in souvenir cups that come with less expensive refills.

But the best thing about Volcano Bay is the Waturi Fusion ice cream found at Koka Poroka. We have contemplated on many occasions to just go into Volcano Bay just to get this ice cream and leave. It’s a combination of four different flavors: banana, blue raspberry, orange and strawberry. It’s delicious and refreshing and we’ve gotten it on our way out of every trip to the park.

The last thing I want to tell you, (even though I really don’t want to so it stays a “secret”) is head to the lockers in the back left and back right of the park! Everyone who enters always goes right to the front and those lockers are always so full of people. The lockers in the back, although they are a hike, barely ever have anyone at them allowing you to have all the room in the world to get ready to have a kick ass day at the park!

I hope this has helped you with any questions you may have about Volcano Bay. I didn’t want it to be too long but there is just so much to say about it. We really enjoy this park and can’t wait to go back!

Check out one of our vlogs from Volcano Bay! It’s a quick one but you’ll get a little taste of our time there!

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