What’s the best water park in Orlando?

best water park in orlando volcano bay

My friends often ask, “What water park is the best one to visit in Orlando?” We live a couple hours north of Orlando, so we have a lot of friends that drive down for the day to hit one of the water parks.

Until recently, I would have said SeaWorld’s Aquatica. Great family water park. Lots to do. Unique rides (you can slide THROUGH a dolphin tank!).

best orlando water park seaworld aquatica

Recently, though, I visited Universal’s new water park, Volcano Bay (for the record, I was not paid to visit the park. Was not there on a media trip. We paid our own way). At the end of the day, I tweeted out, “I don’t know how any other water park in Orlando can compete!” I’ll break down why I believe Universal’s Volcano Bay is the best water park in Orlando.

Best Water Park in Orlando

The Rides

Universal’s Volcano Bay has some of the most unique slides of any water park in Orlando. From the Krakatau Aqua Coaster to the Ohno! and Ohyah! slides to the Ko’orkiri Body Plunge, Volcano Bay offers up an amazing variety of water slides and rides to visitors.

My personal favorites were Ohyah! and the Honu of the Honu ika Moana. Ohyah! features a closed tube water slide that ends with a six foot drop into a 10 foot deep pool. It’s exhilarating! And, nothing like it at any other water park in Orlando.

best water park in orlando ohyah water slide

The Honu of Honu ika Moana offers a family tube ride unlike any other I’ve experienced! Guests get nearly vertical with spectacular views of Volcano Bay….if you can focus through the thrill.

honu of honu ika moana water slide

honu of honu ika moana water slide


Those are just the rides that Volcano Bay has to offer. They also have amazing food!

food at volcano bay water park

Volcano Bay offers over 60 menu items for guests to enjoy. No other water park in Orlando can even come close to this menu selection. Chicken tenders and burgers are the norm at most Orlando area water parks. Not Volcano Bay. I enjoyed my Jerk Shrimp Mac N Cheese, thank you very much.

Jerk Shrimp Mac N Cheese at Volcano Bay Water Park

In addition to the food, Volcano Bay offers a variety of adult beverages to enjoy throughout your day at the park. With two stand-alone bars and drinks at every dining location, be sure to arrange for transportation to and from the park if you plan to sample all the drinks at this Orlando water park.

Early Park Admission

Speaking of transportation, if you stay at a Loew’s Universal Orlando Resort, you get free transportation to and from Volcano Bay. You also get early admission to the best water park in Orlando!

We took advantage of this one-of-a-kind feature during our recent stay at Loew’s Hard Rock Hotel. It was amazing! During our extra hour in the water theme park, we experienced nearly every ride we wanted to try before general admission. By the time the rest of the daily visitors rolled in, we were relaxing in the lazy river.

No other water park in Orlando currently offers this option (hello, Disney, how about some extra magic hours at Typhoon or Blizzard Beach?).

Universal calls Volcano Bay it’s “third park” and a “water theme park” for good reason.

volcano bay best water park in orlando

I’ve given you the three main reasons that I feel Volcano Bay stands out from the crowd and offers visitors the best water park in Orlando. I will admit, when crowded, Volcano Bay can be unbearable. The Tapu Tapu band and process still has some kinks to work out.

Overall, though, Universal has set a new benchmark for other Orlando water parks to chase. Until they catch up, Volcano Bay offers the best water park in Orlando.