There’s been an eruption in central Florida.
Universal Orlando opened Volcano Bay Thursday, a water theme park that revolves around a 200-foot-tall peak. Replace lava with water — lots of it — and you get the idea.
Here’s everything you need to know about Orlando’s newest theme park.
WHY NOT JUST CALL IT A WATERPARK?
Universal is hyping its latest endeavor as a “water theme park.” That means you get a backstory with your splashes.
Creatives at Universal dreamt up the mythical Volcano Bay, formed when a fiery god and protective dad named Krakatau — angry when his daughter Tai Nui fell in love with Kala — banished Kala to the sky, where he became the moon. As the story goes, the tears from Tai Nui’s grief created the sea. And upon seeing his daughter so sad, Krakatau tried to reunite the young lovers, and pulled the earth up to the sky, creating the volcano. The overbearing dad’s anger and jealousy were stored as fire within the volcano. Fast-forward, and Volcano Bay is now inhabited by the mythical Waturi people, led to the island by a fish named Kunuku, after traveling around the South Pacific in search of a place to settle.
WHAT HAPPENED TO UNIVERSAL ORLANDO’S OTHER WATERPARK?
Volcano Bay replaces Orlando’s Wet ‘n Wild waterpark, which shut down in December. Unlike Volcano Bay, which was created by Universal, Wet ‘n Wild was actually founded by the creator of SeaWorld in 1977 before being bought by Universal in 1998.
The main attraction is, of course, the volcano called Krakatau, named for the mythical god who “created” it. From the outside, guests can gawk at waterfalls streaming down the sides of the peak during the day, and see lava-like effects at night. Once inside the volcano, choose from several water slides. Don’t miss the Krakatau Aqua Coaster, four-person canoes that weave through mists in the volcano before dropping you down a waterfall. There are plenty of other experiences spread out over different areas like Wave Village, River Village and Rainforest Village. Rides range from relaxing to thrilling, suit all age groups, and include inner tube “river” rides, wave pools, clear tube slides and a pool where little ones can play bongos and spray their parents.
Guests are given a “TapuTapu” band that you wear on your wrist like a watch. The goal is to not have to stand in long lines for attractions, letting you relax in pools around the park till the wearable alerts you it’s your turn to ride. This is done by “tapping in” at an attraction and receiving a return time. The band also lets you open lockers and buy food and other goodies in the park without carrying cash, if you link your party’s ticket numbers to a credit card.
Single day Volcano Bay tickets cost $67 for adults/$62 for kids. Guests can also purchase package deals for multiple days, and/or include the option to visit Universal Orlando’s other two theme parks — Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure — in the same day. Visit universalorlando.com for more info on ticket prices, TapuTapu technology and attractions.
Source: Universal Orlando opens Volcano Bay water theme park.