The Volcano Bay is the latest water theme park in Orlando, owned and operated by the Universal Parks and Resorts. The hype is real. Lots of people come here daily. Since there are already plenty of water theme parks in Orlando, there is a question that many people have asked. Which one is the best water theme park? Below, we will put Aquatica to compare against Volcano Bay. Aquatica is owned and operated by the SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, and is considered as a great choice for fun. We will compare Aquatica vs Volcano Bay based on several factors, such as the location, area, attractions, and queuing system.
Aquatica Orlando is located at 5800 Water Play Way. It is quite easy to reach from the Orlando International Airport, and the official website does provide some directions to reach the place from the airport, Tampa, and downtown. You will find Aquatica just across the street from SeaWorld. It has its own parking lot, which is great. You can even buy an online parking pass from the official website. Also, see our previous post: Aquatica vs Adventure Island!
On the other hand, Volcano Bay is located at 6000 Universal Boulevard. Unfortunately, it does not have its own parking lot. The guests are encouraged to park in the main parking structure at the Universal CityWalk. From here, you can take a shuttle that will take you to the water theme park.
Area and Attractions
Aquaticais a larger park. The area spans for 59 acres (24 ha). It has two wave pools, two lazy rivers, and a man-made white-sand beach with sun beds, umbrellas, and deck chairs. It has a lot of attractions. Some of them pass by or through animal habitats. There are body slides, raft slides, multi-person family raft slides with round rafts, and children’s areas. Due to the larger area, Aquatica will feel a little less crowded.
On the other hand, Volcano Bay is smaller with a total area of just 27 acres (11 ha). The place is themed after Polynesian islands and cultures, with the Krakatau Mountain being the center of the park. It has several sections. The Krakatau has a near-vertical body plunge, a water coaster, body slides, and racing slides. It also has the Wave Village, River Village, and Rainforest Village. There is no animal habitat here.
Aquatica has regular queuing lines, but it also provides the Quick Queue Pass for specific attractions. By purchasing the Quick Queue Pass, you can get front-of-the-line access to the slides. Note that you can only skip the lines on certain attractions and not on others.
Volcano Bay has regular queuing lines, but it also has the TapuTapu wristband for virtual queuing. By using the TapuTapu wristband, you can select one attraction to queue and then go visit other attractions while waiting for your turn. This sounds good, but the practice is not as good because you can only queue one attraction at a time. The place can be very crowded, making it difficult to navigate.
Foods and Drinks
Aquatic vs Volcano Bay have different policies. In general, Aquatica is less restrictive. You can bring a cooler into the park with individual snacks, bottled water, and baby foods in plastic containers. In addition, the foods and drinks here are cheaper.
On the other hand, Volcano Bay only allows store-brought water bottles, non-glass refillable water bottles, and refillable cups from other Universal Orlando parks. You can only bring a soft-sided cooler with certain foods if you have an allergy. The foods and drinks here are more expensive.
All in all, Aquatica still scores better. This water theme park is larger and has more attractions. It has a close parking lot and cheaper foods and drinks.Volcano Bay is indeed very interesting, but it can be very crowded. The TapuTapu queuing still needs to be improved.