Central Florida is home to many notable theme parks, but did you know it is also a haven for some of the world’s best water parks? If your upcoming travels take you to the Orlando area this summer as temperatures begin to soar, build in some chill time by adding a water park to your vacation itinerary. Here are a few of our favorite area water parks. Before you go, be sure to ensure that your water park of choice is operational as park operations are weather- and circumstance-dependent.
SeaWorld’s Aquatica Orlando is a water park that regularly tops “best of” lists. Recently ranked as the Nation’s Best Outdoor Water Park by USA Today 10Best Reader’s Choice Awards, this park for all ages has everything from racing raft slides to relaxing in-park beaches with heated pools. It also has private, bookable cabanas to make your day extra luxurious. Another cool spot for cabanas is the social-media-themed Island H2O Live! in Kissimmee which offers Standard, Cabana Suite, Adult, and Ultimate cabana options.
Discovery Cove delivers a deluxe experience every time thanks to its strict capacity limit and one-of-a-kind combination of themed attractions and up-close animal interactions. Here, you can snorkel with rays or swim with dolphins. Private cabanas are also available at this park starting at $199 per day. However you choose to enjoy the park, you’ll be covered from tip to toe since food, towels, and sunscreen are all included with admission.
If your vacation centers around the Disney resort complex, add in a day at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park. Featuring a water coaster, a whitewater adventure, and nine water slides, this 56-acre adventure destination can easily be added to your other Disney park visits with the Park Hopper Plus pass. Disney’s Blizzard Beach water park is also a fan favorite, but it is temporarily closed at this time. Keep an eye on it and consider it for future visits!
Thrills and Spills
For those that crave thrills, Universal’s Volcano Bay Water Park is sure to fit the bill. This newer park is completely themed around Krakatau, a 200-foot-tall volcano that erupts periodically. Rides here are not for the faint of heart, with features like trap doors that spill you down slides and intertwining tubes that keep you guessing as to where you’ll land. Notable attractions include the Krakatau Aqua Coaster and the Ko’okiri Body Plunge. After a day of defying gravity here, you’ll want to tuck into some of the park’s delicious South Pacific dishes and relax in premium park seating.
Whichever water park is your pick for cooling off, recharge at the end of the day at a reliable area resort hotel. Close to the Disney complex, the Crowne Plaza Lake Buena Vista and the Fairfield Inn Orlando Lake Buena Vista are both top choices. If you enjoy the convenience of shopping and dining on International Drive, stay at the Aloft Orlando International Drive, Comfort Inn International, Element Orlando International Drive, or Best Western International Drive. Other great bets are the Wyndham Orlando Resort & Conference Center/Celebration, Staybridge Suites Orlando Royale Parc, and Fairfield Inn Orlando Airport.