This article is your complete guide to the best water parks in Orlando 2023. Florida has water park weather nearly all year round. Especially in the summer, you may want to consider visiting an Orlando water park since temperatures can reach over 100 degrees. Taking a day to cool off doesn’t mean missing out on the excitement the theme park capital has to offer. Orlando has the best water parks where you can choose to either relax in a lazy river or slide down the side of a volcano! Two extremes but you absolutely need to check out the best water parks in Orlando that we will rank, best to worst and give you a full rundown on each park in this article.
Which waterpark is the best in Orlando? Volcano Bay is the best waterpark in Orlando with the convince of the TapuTapu system, 2 lazy rivers, unique water attractions and the immersive experience is what makes this the best waterpark to visit.
So if you want to know the top 5 water parks in Orlando, keep reading!
What are the Best Water Parks in Orlando 2023?
The best water parks in Orlando to visit are Universal’s Volcano Bay, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon, SeaWorld’s Aquatica , Disney’s Blizzard Beach, and Island H20 Live! Each park has a distinct theme and attractions that make them stand out. We would like the preface and say creating the Orlando water parks ranked list was difficult because we think all of these water parks are worth a visit. We will highlight the best parts of each park and compare them to help you decide where you want to splash around on your next trip to Orlando
Orlando Water Parks Ranked
- Universal’s Volcano Bay
- SeaWorld’s Aquatica
- Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon
- Disney’s Blizzard Beach
- Island H20 Live!
Related Page: Discount Volcano Bay Tickets
What’s the Best Water Park in Orlando – Volcano Bay
Volcano Bay is the best Orlando water park. It is owned and operated by Universal and located on Universal’s property. Volcano Bay opened in 2017 and changed the water park game in Orlando with their advanced TapuTapu system that allows guests to wait in a virtual line for slides and return to the attraction when it is their time to ride. Guests are given their TapuTapu bracelet when they enter the park. It allows guests to spend more time enjoying the park than waiting in physical lines for slides.
Theme: Legend has it, Volcano Bay was discovered by a family of voyagers traveling the ocean blue. A magic fish is said to have led the Waturi (Volcano Bay islanders) directly to Volcano Bay. The voyagers settled and made it their home—creating epic water slides and fun aquatic activities to celebrate their love of water.
Beyond an excellent founding story, this Orlando water park is themed to perfection. You’ll feel as if you’re walking through an island paradise with beautifully manicured palm trees and greenery around every corner. Call us crazy, but we think this kind of theming really takes this water park to next-level!
What makes it special: Whether you’re seeking some serious thrills or a laid back day, Volcano Bay has something for everyone to stay entertained. It is home to the best water rides in Orlando from family-friendly aqua coasters inside the Krakatau volcano, to 125 feet body slide where the floor drops out below you, to the lazy river, you will not be bored in this park. Something in particular we love about Volcano Bay is that it has two ‘lazy rivers’ TeAwa the Fearless River is a not so lazy river with rapids and waves while Kopiko Wai Winding River is the classic lazy river we all know and love.
Another reason we love Volcano Bay as we mentioned above is because of the TapuTapu system. Not only foes your TapuTapu wristband will allow you to pay for food, drinks, and other items around the park if you link your credit card to your Universal Orlando account. This means once you store your wallet away, you won’t have to retrieve it until the end of the day because payment can be done right on your wrist! Additional functions of the TapuTapu include attraction photos, photo ops and locker keys all through your Volcano Bay wristband!
Overall, we think this is such a convenient, uniquely themed park with a wide range of rides where everyone can enjoy themselves.
Related Post: Guide to Cabana Bay Beach Resort
What’s the Best Water Park in Orlando – Aquatica Orlando
Owned by SeaWorld Orlando, Aquatica is an underrated Orlando water park. SeaWorld is Orlando biggest water park with 42 slides, rivers and lagoons and 84,000 square feet of sparkling white, sandy beaches. At Aquatica, you can enjoy body and raft slides, 2 wave pools, kid’s areas, a lazy river and a not so lazy river that sends guests on a river journey with rapids and waves.
Theme: Aquatica is inspired by the South Seas and the animals that live there. Throughout the park you will not only feel the wildlife and culture around you but you will see it with unique marine animal encounters all while you are having a fun water park day.
What makes it special: What makes Aquatica so special is that you get all the thrills of a water park combined with relaxing elements but also marine animal encounters. The Loggerhead Lane lazy river takes you through underwater tunnels where you can view tropical fish. The Reef Plunge slide sends guests directly through a pool with dolphins, leopard sharks, and other cold water fish.
Aquatica is home to Orlando’s tallest drop slides, Ihu’s Breakaway Falls, and the world’s tallest dueling race slides, Riptide Race. This park has the best water slides in Orlando! Aquatica is an award winning park for good reason. This park is also the world’s first water park to be designated as a certified autism center. It has quiet rooms, low sensory areas, and a sensory guide to help you choose appropriate rides. All staff members are specially trained to assist children with sensory processing issues. Aquatica Orlando is doing big things and changing the game in Orlando for water parks. If you are looking for a big water park day with loads to do, Aquatica is the park for you.
What’s the Best Water Park in Orlando – Typhoon Lagoon 2023
Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon first opened its gates on June 1, 1989. While being an older park, the Disney magic has kept Typhoon Lagoon as one of the best Orlando water parks. We would recommend Typhoon Lagoon especially for younger kids since there are seven attractions at Typhoon Lagoon without a height requirement. Even for adults visiting Typhoon Lagoon there is fun to be had with the relaxing, tropical vibe that is perfect for grown-ups looking to take it easy. There are plenty of lounge chairs strewn out by the wave pool for you to kick your feet up and relax on. If you’re over 21, stop by the Let’s Go Slurpin’ bar for cocktails and margaritas, or try their signature rum-based “Miss Tilly’ made with Herradura Reposado Tequila.
Theme: The story goes that Typhoon Lagoon took shape in the aftermath of an epic storm. The wind and rain carved thrilling waterways into the sides of Mount Mayday, transforming this tropical paradise into a natural waterpark. You’ll find boats, surfboards and nautical wreckage strewn all around the park, lying wherever the storm happened to toss them. Despite the park’s chaotic origin story, the tropical atmosphere is lush and relaxing.
What makes it special: Typhoon Lagoon latest ride additions came in 2003: Crush N Gusher, a 400-foot tall “water coaster” set in an abandoned fruit-processing plant. And Miss Adventure Falls, an exhilarating family raft ride that’s home to Duncan the Parrot — Disney’s first and only animatronic installed in a waterpark. Now 2003 was 20 years ago and that is a very long time to not have a new ride in a park. However, all of the attractions at Typhoon Lagoon along with the theming keep us coming back and makes it one of the top water parks in Orlando.
Typhoon Lagoon hosts H20 Glow Nights in the summer. This is an after hours event Disney puts on at the park. At this party, you can enjoy Typhoon Lagoon rides, attractions, and the wave pool along with Disney characters, dance parties, specialty treats and more. We really love this event with limited crowds and getting to experience Typhoon Lagoon at night. This After Hours party is a big reason we ranked this park at #3.
What’s the Best Water Park in Orlando – Blizzard Beach
Opening its gates on April 1, 1995, Blizzard Beach is the newer of the 2 water parks that Disney has to offer. Writing this article, Blizzard Beach has been closed for refurbishment for 10 months thus far. It closed for refurbishment in January 2022, remained closed through the hot Florida summer and has yet to reopen. Disney has not announced an opening date for the park but we are hoping to see some exciting changes. We will update you here when Disney announces the reopening.
Theme: According to Disney legend, a freak snowstorm in the late ’70s led to the creation of Florida’s first ski resort. Everything was going well until the sun showed up, turning the ski slopes to molten slush. All seemed lost for this ill-fated ski resort until an enterprising “Ice Gator” showed up to save the day. He tobogganed down the melting mountain on his belly, giving resort operators the idea to transform the ski slopes into a waterpark.
Since Blizzard Beach was originally a ski resort, you’ll find alpine-inspired buildings and melting snow sculptures abound. The park is organized by “slopes”, and there’s even a working ski lift to take you to the peak of Mount Gushmore.
What makes it special: The theme here is a special one, where else in the world will you ever find a ski-lift and a waterslide in the same place? Only Disney could have pulled off the ‘melting ski resort’ theme.
Blizzard Beach has always been the Disney Water Park for the older kids. It is home to Summit Plummet, a jaw-dropping 360-foot plunge straight down the side of Mount Gushmore. You’ll reach speeds of over 60 mph as you fly down Blizzard Beach’s flagship slide. Even though Blizzard Beach is home to this frightening attraction, there are eight different attractions at Blizzard Beach without height requirements, which is quite a lot! Tike’s Peak is Blizzard Beach’s toddler play area. There are plenty of slides and play-fountains for your little one to splash around in, all surrounded by Blizzard Beach’s signature melty-snow scenery.
Related Post: Comparing Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach
What’s the Best Water Park in Orlando – Island H20
Now you may not have even heard of this park before since it is located right next to Margaritaville Orlando Resort. This is the newest water park in Orlando opening in June of 2019 and it is making a splash! Island H20 has 20 attractions and rides including 8 water slides.
Theme: Island H2O Water Park is Orlando’s most immersive and technologically advanced water park. High-tech features invite guests to customize their experiences and share them with friends. Rides are themed to technology and social media like the “Hashtag Heights” and “The Downloader”
What makes it special: Guests are given a wristband that can be scaned at each ride to rack up points. Guests can hunt for check points and check on point totals throughout the day. Once you have earned enough points, you can turn the points into free snacks and souvenirs. These wristbands allow you to choose a music playlist that will play as you ride on certain rides.
This water park is a different park that we have not seen before with technology being the main unique feature that draws guests to want to visit.
Comparing the Orlando Waterparks
Volcano Bay vs. Aquatica
These are our top 2 water parks in Orlando however we have to go with Volcano Bay here. The Universal Orlando experience shows and their technology, theming, food options always allows for a great day at Volcano Bay.
Volcano Bay vs. Typhoon Lagoon
The ultimate battle of Disney vs. Universal! The difference we want to point out here is that Typhoon Lagoon opened in 1989 while Volcano Bay opened in 2017. Newer rides, updated technology but you know that Disney magic always gets you!
Blizzard Beach vs. Volcano Bay
Volcano Bay is the better park here based on the ride variety. Volcano Bay has more to do for the whole family compared to Blizzard Beach which is more targeted for kids.
Aquatica vs. Blizzard Beach
Aquatica Orlando is a very large water park. Blizzard Beach has great theming that the whole family will enjoy. However, we think that Aquatica has special experiences like animal encounters at their water park that makes it worth the visit.
What’s the Best waterpark in Orlando FAQs
Which waterpark is better Disney or Universal?
Taking into consideration all attractions at both water parks, Universal’s Volcano Bay is the better water park than Disney water parks. Volcano Bay has a much wider variety of attractions and is a lot newer than Disney’s Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon.
Whats the Biggest Water Park in Orlando?
Aquatica Water Park is the biggest water park in Orlando, totaling 59 acres and 42 rides.
Which Florida Water Park is best for Kids
Typhoon Lagoon is the best water park for kids with rides, attractions and kid’s play areas.
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